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~Mystic Blessings~
~Starting Out
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Starting out

Many Wiccans follow a basic outline to rituals.

1. Purification of Self
2. Purification of Space
3. Creation of Sacred Space
4. Calling the Quarters
5. Invoking the Goddess and God
6. Raising and Releasing Energy
7. Cakes and Ale
8. Ending the Ritual
9. Breaking the Circle
10. Grounding and Centering


Purification Of Self

Before embarking on any ritual or spellwork, it is important to cleanse yourself from any negative energies you have picked up during the day. Take a hot, purificatory bath (salt and herbs or oils added), not only will this get you physically clean, it should also relax your mind and spirit. (If you're attemping astral travel then don't use salt, it grounds you). Breathe, meditate, forget the worries of your day and concentrate on relaxing yourself. This is the time for peace and calm, don't let yourself be disturbed. Put on some music to get you in the mood for your ritual, and maybe have a hot cup of herbal tea! When ready, dress yourself in your usual ritual clothes (or..don't!). The ritual has already begun good herbs to use in purifcatory baths are sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon..



Purification Of Space

The space in which you intend to work your magick should also be cleared of any negative build-up. This can be done in a number of ways.
Firstly, make sure you really do physically clean the area by hoovering, mopping etc.
If your ritual is being held outside then clear away any obstructive items that might cause problems, rocks, wet leaves, etc.
Scattering a mixture of salt and water will cleanse the area spiritually, or you could fumigate the room with incense. Good purificatory incenses are: frankincense, myrrh, sage, sandalwood
Use a besom (the broom) or your hands to sweep out stray negativity whilst visualising a white light coming front your fingertips dispelling these energies.



Creation Of Sacred Space

The Altar
Your altar could be placed either in the centre of your circle or to the edge, depending on size etc. On your altar you should have:

1. Goddess and God figures and/or candles to represent them
2. Book of Shadows for referance, if needed.
3. Small bowl of salt
4. Small bowl of water
5. Athame/wand/both/neither
6. Censer of incense burner
7. Cauldron (if using one)
8. Matches!
9. Food and drink (for 'cakes and ale')
10. Additional items for spellwork or celebration (candles, herbs, ribbons, stones, etc.)
11. Altar candle (you don't need one but it saves matches if you light this one first and then light all the other candles from it)
-Make sure all tools are consecrated before using them-

The Circle
The circle is cast to:
-Keep out negative energies
-To keep in energy raised until it is ready to be released
-To provide protection
-As a special meeting place between the world where we can talk to the Goddess and God.

These is no set way of casting a circle, and every witch does it slightly differently.
Here's just one way.
If you have space, mark the edges of the circle with stones, flowers, plants, twigs, shells, rope, etc. I've even used white faiiry lights!
In the north, put a large rock or a bowl of soil to symbolize the element EARTH
In the east put a large feather, censer, or incense burner to symbolize AIR
In the south, a lava rock or small candle that won't be easily knocked over, to represent FIRE.
And in the west, a large shell or bowl of water to represent WATER.

Some people start by casting their circle in the east, others prefer the north. Its more common to start with the east
So, from whichever starting point you choose, walk slowly deosil (clockwise) around your circle with your arm out in front of you, palm faced down. Imagine a stream of white or blue light coming from your fingertips to form a dome of energy around you and over you as you walk.
You may feel the need to walk around your circle only once, or you may prefer to do it two or three times in order to 'feel' that your circle is really there. Give your hand a shake, stamp your foot, and your circle is cast.



Calling The Quarters

'Calling the quarters' is another way of saying 'calling the elements'. Go to each 4 element in your circle in turn (the rock, the feather etc.) imagine the energy of each element. If you're standing at the element AIR, you might imagine a gentle warm breeze across your face, with EARTH you might imagine great mountains or hills. And so on. As you stand at each point invite each of the elements in turn. Try to use your own invitation. The following are an example
At the east:

"You are welcome, Element of Air. Light and Air, the Powers of the East, be welcome and join me in this circle"

At the south:

"You are welcome, Element of Fire. Illumination and Inspiration, the Powers of the South, be welcome and join me in this circle"

At the west:

"You are welcome, Element of Water. Cleansing Water and courage, the Powers of the West, be welcome and join in me in this circle"

At the north:

"You are welcome, Element of Earth. Growth and the Powers of the North, be welcome and join me in this circle".

You don't have to stick to these words, use whatever you feel is right or make your own up.



Invoking The Goddess and God

By invoking the Goddess and God you're not going to be invaded by demons or hit by a bolt of lightning. Magick isn't supernatural, and nor are the Goddess and God. Because we're part of nature, we already have the Divine within us, so it's all perfectly natural. Always start by invoking the Goddess, and light the Goddess candle. Then the God. There are many many invocations you could use. These are written by yours truly =)

Invocation to the Goddess

"To this Circle I invite
The Lady Goddess with all her light
Goddess of healing, love, and power
Be with be now upon this hour.
Plants, animals, moon and earth
Stars, space, rivers and childbirth
For all these things I thank you true
You are within me and I'm in you
Oh Mother Goddess, Goddess Bright
Be with me in my sacred rite!"

Invocation to the God

"To this Circle I invite
The Lord God Pan in all his might
God of healing, strength and power
Be with me now upon this hour
Sun, stone, summer and earth
Fire, fertility and rebirth
For all these things I thank you true
You are within me and I'm in you
Oh Father God, God of might
Be with me in my sacred rite!"


Now you are ready to do anything you intended to do within your circle: spellwork, sabbat ritual, astral travel or just meditation.



Raising And Releasing Energy

If you are doing spellwork then you need to raise energy and send it out in order for the magick to get to where it needs to go.
Dancing and chanting are good ways to raise energy but they aren't always appropriate if you're a teen in the broomcloset.
A good way to raise energy quietly but effectively is to tense up all the muscles in your body until you can't hold them any longer, then visualize the energy flowing out all at once and going to the place it is needed.



Cakes And Ale

Its traditional to share a meal with the Goddess and God before ending the ritual. It may be a piece of fruit, some bread and milk, a biscuit and fruit juice, or whatever you choose. Bless the food before eating it, and thank the Goddess and God for their bounty.



Ending The Ritual

In your own words, thank the Goddess and God for joining you in your ritual. Thank and say farewell to the elements.
Snuff out any candles. Most people advise against blowing out candles because it disperses energy and will affect your spell, so pinch them out, or use a candle snuffer.



Breaking The Circle

Sometimes called 'opening the circle'. It's not a good idea to just walk through your circle when you've finished with it. Dismantle it by walking widdershins (anti-clockwise) around the circle and visualizing the energy being pulled back into yourself.



Grounding And Centering

Grounding send any excess energy stored in your body into the ground, and can also be done before rituals.
Basically, kneel on the ground with your palms on the ground too, and visualize all that extra energy going into the ground. You could also eat something starchy like bread.

Centering allows you to have all your personal energy in one place and should be done after grounding.
I'm going to paste a paragraph from <HTTP: ground.html ~hrduby acssun.pstcc.cc.tn.us>because they say it better than I can..

"To center, make sure you are grounded, then take a few seconds to feel your own personal energy flowing through your body.
After a while, your skin will probably feel kinda tingly -- as though your whole body is about to fall asleep. Picture that energy sinking through your skin and towards your center. Each person's center is different. You will know where yours is when all the energy gets there. Just ke ep pulling the energy in from all your extremities and the energy will eventually pool in your center. Experiment with it.


Note On Circles

If you desperately need to leave your circle for a few moments then you should cut a doorway in the edge of your circle by using your athame, wand or hand to draw a line or a doorway which you can then walk through. Seal it up on the other side by using your visualization or imagine it with a zip or something. When returning to your circle, do the same.
Theres lots of dispute on whether its safe to walk through a circle or not. Some say that its fine for animals and children to walk through it, but not for older people. Others say that nothing should be allowed to disturb it.

You've read through loads of webpages (not just those with spells on them)..you know about the Wiccan Rede, the Sabbats, the Goddess and God, the Elements and the spiritual side as well as the practical side, and you've decided that Wicca really is the path you want to follow. So where do you go from here?

A few simple suggestions:

1. If you have not already started a Book Of Shadows (or a 'book of illuminations') then you may want to. Gather anything that takes your fancy, chants, recipes, quotes, the magickal meanings of certain herbs and colours. Decorate the cover of you B.O.S if you want. This should be a very personal resource. (see Tools page for more details)

2. Set up a small or simple altar A table or shelf with two items representing the Goddess and God will do, with anything else that is 'sacred' to you. Also, you know when you were a little kid? and you used to take walks in the park or along the beach and pick up feathers, and pebbles, leaves and pine cones, etc? Well start doing that again ;)

3. Actually..i think I just mentioned this next point.. Spend time outside. There is only so much you can learn from books. Sit under big oak trees and feel their energy. Be aware of the natural energies that are all around and if you spot a pwetty feather..pick it up!


As Witches, we acknowledge the transformation of the seasons throughout the year, celebrating the sun's journey across the sky; marked out by the eight Days of Power or 'Sabbats'.

These represent seasonal birth, death and rebirth as the relationship between the Goddess and the God are constantly changing.
Each spoke of the wheel marks an important moment of the Earth's movement and progression.
These are times to give thanks for that which we have, and to ask that the earth may be continually fertile so that we may continue to grow our crops and rear animals as we have always done.

Many Witches start preparing for a Sabbat perhaps a week in advance and will begin celebrations starting the day before the actual Sabbat date and ending at sundown on the day after. Some choose to cut out chocolate, caffeine, or red-meat in the run-up to the festival.

In covens, the weeks before the Sabbats are very important. Its a time to learn lines, and prepare for the rite. Making food for the feasts should be done with the mindfulness of magickal intent, and some insist on strict ten minute meditations and visualizations in preparation for the ritual.


Following Sabbat dates in the Northern Hemisphere:




Samhain = October 31st

Yule = Around December 21st (changes year to year)

Imbolc = February 2nd

Ostara = Around March 21st

Beltane = May 1st

Litha = Around June 21st

Lughnasadh = August 1st

Mabon = Around September 21st 

For more info check out my "Sabbats" page



4. It is important to begin to build up a good relationship with the Goddess and God. They may seem rather alien to you and first. Try making a weekly offering to them - a small bouquet of carefully arranged flowers from your garden, a picture or even a poem. Begin to imagine what they might look like. Don't worry about getting it wrong..there is no wrong. They are all that ever was and will be.

5. A prayer of thanks before you sleep could make you realise how much stuff you take for granted.

6. Continue to learn, read books and websites, talk to people. Although a lot of learning goes on when you first start.. learning never ever stops.

7. Practice visualisation. A key factor in spell and ritual work. If you don't visualise then your magick isn't very likely to work. Start by imagining a flower of some kind and just keep it in your head as long as possible (its ten times more difficult that it sounds) With a lot of time and patience you'll soon be a pro.

8. Have a go at some deep breathing and notice the way it calms you down.

9. When you are ready, have a go at casting a simple Take it slowly and don't get too annoyed if you really can't feel it or see it. This only means that you should probably work on your visualisation skills a bit more.

10. Most people don't recommend joining a coven until at least a year after taking the step to 'become' Wiccan. Its more important (at this time) to concentrate on what YOU are doing... rather than having also to think about a bunch of other people.

11. Consider whether you're going to tell your parents or friends about your new religion. You might want to have a book or some other information handy to show them. (I'll be adding a section about how to tell your parents and friends about Wicca, very soon)

12. If you're going to buy any books then be a bit careful.. there are a lot of pretty books offering spells, spells and more spells. That's not the kind of book you want to buy. Try
'Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner' by Scott Cunningham
'The Spiral Dance' by Starhawk
or
'To Ride A Silver Broomstick' by Silver RavenWolf

13. Don't be too eager to start casting spells. If it's only spellwork you are interested in, then sorry, but Wicca may not be for you.

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