Basic Spellwork

January 15, 2009 at 10:39 pm (magic, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, shamanism)



I guess the next order of business as I outlined before in the series I’m supposed to be writing is basic spellwork.  I have no idea what tradition or whatever my practice most closely resembles, as far as I am concerned if it works who really cares, and I have not really much more than disdain for the purists who say if you don’t do something in a specific way it’s worthless, because what in essence they are saying is that the words are more important than the intent/spirit, which is bassackwards to say the least. 

 To do any kind of magical working you need to create sacred space.  There are a few no brainers obviously such as have a clean working area, be clean yourself, have all distractions eliminated and make sure your in a centered calm state of mind.  I cannot stress enough that you need to do stuff like this calmly, you’re peeling back the fabric of the universe and tinkering with it, it is all to easy to get more than you bargained for.

Once you’ve done all that you want to call the Watchtowers/Quarters.  Watchtowers are Elementals, Earth Air Fire and Water, and they correspond to the four directions, North East South and West respectively.  I start in the North (Earth) and go clockwise, calling each Watchtower.  Usually I just say something to the effect of “Hail to the Watchtower of the North, Earth, I call you to this rite and ask your blessing” standing in the North of the circle, then I move to the East, repeat for East/Air, than move to the South and repeat for South/Fire, and then move to the West and repeat for West/Water.  You can be more fancy with the invocations if you like, but the Elementals aren’t dumb, they’ll get it if you just stick to the basics.  One you’ve done this the circle is open, you are standing in sacred space.  I ususally pronounce it as such but I don’t think it is necessary as long as in your mind you recognize it as such.  The next step is to purify the circle.  I have a special powder made of herbs that I use for this purpose and I go around the circle clockwise, again starting in the North sprinkling it and saying while I am doing it “I purify this circle, only Love may enter, only Love may leave”.  Now traditional Wiccans will purify the circle by the Elements, that is sprinkling salt for Earth, then waving a feather or something of the like for Air, incense for Fire and water for Water.  Again it’s up to you to do what you want.  Sometimes I also use bells to purify by sound.  I especially like this method because if you meditate on it as you’re doing it, which you should be anyway, it’ll clear out your head.  The next step after all of this is to purify yourself.  I use either frankincense oil or a combo of violet and white musk (balancing to the crown chakra) for this purpose and I anoint my brow while saying, “I purify myself, may I be filled with love, purity and with bliss”  Again I’m sure other people do it differently but whatever, as long as the intent is there, you’re good.  At this point you’re ready to welcome the Lord and Lady to the rite.  When I first started I looked at them as being a man and a woman like me, only invested with divine powers.  As I have matured in my practice I now look at them as the primal forces of the cosmos, but I still have that kind of child talking to her parents relationship that I did when I dedicated myself.  I have my own names for them, which I share with no one, just I have a name that only they know me by which I will also not mention.  Either way, welcome them to your working, in whatever way you see fit.  At this point do your spell/working, keeping in mind you are in the presence of the Divine and you stand between the worlds.  It’s not going to feel really all that different, it’s not like you’re going to see all sorts of freaky stuff, at least not usually.  When you’re really going to notice is after you’ve closed the circle, and you realize that you’ve been sitting there for twice if not triple the time you thought you were.  I’m not joking when I say you are literally standing between the worlds, time has no meaning here.

Okay so you do whatever it is you wanted to do and you’re ready to close the circle.  You do everything you did to open it (except purification) only backwards.  Thank the Lord and Lady for their presence and blessing, I usually say “Lord and Lady, I thank you for your presence and blessing, I walk with you always”.  Whatever you say be respectful, but don’t grovel.  If you are doing this you are well on your way to becoming an adept, and those who serve the Gods eventually become the Gods themselves.  After you’ve said your “farewell” to the God and Goddess, you then walk around the circle counterclockwise, starting in the West, dismissing the Watchtowers.  I usually say “Watchtower of the West, Water, I release you and thank you for your blessing”, and the repeat the process for South, East and North.  Once you’ve done that, you can pronounce the circle closed because it is, and there you go, you’ve done a spell.  Some helpful hints, do not not discuss a spell for at least 24 hours after you’ve done it.  Also the more you let go of it the better, ie don’t be looking for results, let them find you, trust me they will:)

I think the only other thing to cover is the pagan wheel of the year.  There are 8 sabbats that mark the turning of time.  Yule/Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Ostara/Vernal Equinox, Beltane, Midsummer/Summer Solstice, Lammas, Mabon/Autumn Equinox, and Samhain.  Even though I haven’t been keeping up on it on my blog like I said I would I will go into details in the other posts specifically as to what each sabbat represents.  What I will say here is that these are days of High Magick, meaning they are established Holy days and are more important than any personal spellwork.  By observing these days you are centering yourself and aligning yourself with the energies of the Earth and of the Cosmos.  You are also helping to keep the world glued together by helping will the “Wheel” to turn once again.  Any sabbat observance is done in the same way as an ordinary ritual but instead of a spell, you meditate on the meaning of the particular sabbat and you make offerings as is appropriate.  Like Lammas is a harvest holiday, the first one, so an appropriate offering would be first fruits from your garden if you have one, and if you don’t have a garden get something from your local farmer’s market and offer that.  Also offer “cakes and ale” to the Lord and Lady at this point.  This can be whatever you see fit, turth be told mine are usually a really big Little Debbie Zebra Cake and some Sangria table wine.  You eat them (although pour and drop a little on the ground for the Divine and spirits etc).  Other than that you do the same as you would for any other ritual work.

One thing you will notice I have omitted is ritual tools.  They are omitted because when it comes down to it, they mean nothing.  The magick comes from you and the universe, not your tools.  I run into far too many pagans who get lost on not only the words and “procedures”, but on tools and such.  They mean nothing everything comes from within.  Yes I have tools, I have a staff, an athame(knife), a chalice, incense burners and candles, a consecrated altar and a consecrated statue of Ma’at sitting on said altar, but they are just ephemeral material things, nothing more.  The most powerful magick I have done has been performed on Rib Mountain (which is made of quartzite so it serves to magnify Magickal energies times a million, and that’s not exaggerating) with nothing more than myself, some incense and some oil, with the ritual written down on some paper.  More often than not tools are distractions to me.

So there you go, there is your crash course on basic ritual work.  Blessed Be!


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