Rather than working as a Solitary practitioner, many people will seek a community of like-minded individuals on the basis that their own individual powers are thus enhanced. We give a method of group working, although it is very easy to adjust this for work on an individual basis. The rituals used for a group represent a cooperative act of worship which widens the scope of the ceremony to encompass larger objectives than just the personal; we can then consider our joint responsibility for the world in which we live and a more universal perspective. At the same time, through working in a group, a more focused atmosphere can be created – a raising of consciousness so that each participant receives wisdom and energy commensurate with their needs and understanding. True initiation into the mysteries of magic for instance, is a private silent process, but an initiation ceremony accompanied by ritual can be seen as a more formal process for marking unmistakable long-term changes in the consciousness of the practitioner.
The purpose of rituals used in this way is to create an inspiring and expressive atmosphere in which to give life and meaning to the connection between the ordinary and the sublime. Symbolism takes on a meaningful existence and through colour, sound, movement and imagination, becomes a vibrant language of the soul. Rituals help us to do several things:
1. To learn the proper application of a basic structure for personal use and to understand the relevance of ritual.
2. To increase an understanding of the flow of energy which we experience and to develop confidence in the use of symbols.
3. To contribute to the group awareness of members thus helping them make the best use of their individual and group powers.
4. To create spiritual and emotional conditions where initiation on an inner level is accepted and experienced and where we can accept heightened states of awareness as the norm.
5. To use knowledge of ritual and power as a way of achieving personal spiritual health, so that the rituals themselves eventually become unnecessary and are recognized simply as a way of gaining access to the ultimate. They may then be replaced by direct experience.
By using the same rituals for both individual and group work these are seen as complementary and members of the group are able to enhance their experience on both a personal and shared level. We can take the insights gained from group work into the personal sacred space and come into contact with an awareness of a new level of activity and vice versa. A magical ritual is far superior if it succeeds without side effects and therefore can be shocking if there are untoward results. Traditional forms of magical ritual – often first taught in a group situation – tap a basic and, if misunderstood, possibly dangerous force which has to be channeled and directed properly. Group work can form a training arena which is also protected to enable the fledgling magician to learn the craft.
Natural Magic: Spells, Enchantments & Self-Development