Ritual Magick could be said to be the halfway point between Ceremonial and Natural Magickal workings. It uses astrological alignments, colour correspondences, as well as moon phases and elements to achieve desired results. Singing and dancing are often used to help raise the energies, as well as drumming and trance-like states. Visualisation and incantations are used by the practitioner much the same as the Natural Magick practitioner, though elemental and astrological influences are taken into consideration. It may be performed by either individuals, or groups… as it is not as elaborate as Ceremonial Magick, though more complicated than Natural Magick. Because of the lesser complexities, it is not used for enlightment, but may be used to achieve mundane and spiritual results much the same as Nat
ural Magick. This genre of Magick can be classed within the same specifications as Ceremonial Magick- both are considered ‘high’ Magick, it does seem to be a meeting of both Ceremonial and Natural Magick.
NATURAL (OR ‘LOW’) MAGICK
Once so called because it was the practise of those who worked and lived in the ‘lowlands’…people such as farmers who worked long hours during the day, and had little time to perform elaborate and complicated rituals and ceremonies. Nowadays, Natural Magick has its roots firmly placed in those days- using natural objects during the workings. This less formal genre of practise takes less time and does not need a magickal space or structure to achieve the desired results. Sometimes referred to as ‘folk’ magick, it seems to have a much more common sense approach to magickal workings. The practitioners of this use feathers, stones, gems,herbs, wood, the seasons of the year and moon phases, coupled with their own forces and energies to create and perform a spell. The desired results of such magickal workings can be mundane and simple as well as more spiritual and mental.
Any parts of animals used for the Magick are not procurred by sacrifice, but are things that can be found- such as feathers or bones that are visible on the surface of the ground. The pratise of Natural Magick perserveres to achieve harmony with nature, rather than connecting to the Divine, and is often called ‘the Magick of the Wiccans and Witches’. Visualisation and chanting (incantations or spells) is used in this form of Magick also.
CEREMONIAL (OR ‘HIGH’) MAGICK
High Magick was once called so because it was the practice of those who were ‘above’ farmers and labourers…those people whose station in life determined that they had much more time on their hands. However, it is generally more accepted in modern times to use the term ‘high’ or ‘ceremonial’ magick to describe the magickal workings that use specific rituals and guidlines. The rituals are intricate, and have to follow exact rules and definitions. The people involved in the ceremonies of High Magick call upon entities (and sometimes demons) to do their bidding and will. The guidelines of the ceremonies and rituals may not be deviated from nor changed, as this may cause severe problems. It may also be noted that this genre of Magickal workings requires a group of people, and is not practiced solitary. Magickal spaces are used to confine the Ceremonial Magick- such as the triple circle.
Many practitioners of this Magick use it to connect to the Divine, for enlightenment, and often use complex astrological and numerical charts… the rituals are elaborate and take much time to perform. It has been known for practitioners to use animal sacrifice within the boundaries of ceremonial Magick..but much less so in modern times. This is a very disciplined form of Magick
Sometimes referred to as ‘middle’ or ‘middle path’ magick, it is basically the use of negative energy for good purpose. For instance…using a love or money spell to help another in dire need. Grey magick is performed with the hope for good intended results. Sometimes grey magick is the the use of both black and white magick- a practioner of the Craft who uses both aspects of magick (black and white) to achieve desired results. Some people within the Craft use grey Magick, as they personally believe that this balances the natural order of things…it balances Karma.
Sometimes referred to as ‘left hand magick’, is using energies to create a situation to benefit the practitioner This includes bending another persons will, causing confusion in others. Black Magick is usually self-concerning- in other words it is used by the individual, FOR the individual- for personal gain, whether that be emotional or physical gain- it is said to be used selfishly.It can be said that Black Magick works against the natural order of the universe- it bends the forces and energies against the natural way- forcing choas and misunderstanding. All Magickal workings have consequences other than the desired results…there are side effects to consider. Whereas the usage of white magick has naturally beneficial side effects, the opposite can be said for black Magick, and side effects may be dire indeed. Whether a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, it should be always considered that Magick can be dangerous either way
Sometimes referred to as ‘right hand magick’, white magick is catergorised (in general) as magickal workings used for the benefit of others. It is non-manipulative, and is not performed without the permission of whomever is involved. Healing and working towards finding the good within is all white magick, as is helping others with no dangerous or harmful side effects. White magick is concerned with peace and love, good luck and happiness- though not manipulating others to achieve the desired results. It does well to note here that White Magick is not often used for personal gain- it is used to benefit others; either individuals or groups- it is said to be magick used unselfishly. Consideration on the effects are taken very seriously.
Magick itself isn’t black, white, or grey. Magick is simply what it is. It is the intent of the person using the magick that molds it into becoming effectual as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, etc.
Categorising each magickal use as being white or black (or somewhere in between) is difficult. Some magickal practises can go awry, bad things may happen to one person due to not enough forethought…does this make the magick ‘black’? Good intent, nomatter how strong, may not make up for causing harm to another. The way in which you practise is entirely up to the individual- it is what you think you can accept morally and judgementally for yourself. As with all witchcraft, there is no right or wrong- it is whatever makes you most comfortable.
“Besom, besom long and lithe
Made from ash and willow withe
Tied with thongs of willow bark
In running stream at moonset dark.
With a pentagram indighted
As the ritual fire is lighted;
Sweep ye circle, deosil,
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill,
Make the round of the ground
Where we do the Lady’s will.
Besom, besom, Lady’s broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom
Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground
Of demons, imps and Hell’s red hound;
Then set ye down on Her green earth
By running stream or Mistress’ hearth,
‘Till called once more on Sabbath night
To cleans once more the dancing site.”
-I understand that this chant was written by Lady Tamara of the WCC.
(However, I have no evidence for this except hearsay, and the fact that
the WCC appears to use it, so I may be wrong.)
-I don’t have a published source for it – but it’s one of those things that
every Witch in town seems to have a copy of.
-There is absolutely NO reason to think of it as traditional Gardnerian or
Alexandrian. However, it’s an example of the kind of thing that finds its
way into a lot of BOSs, regardless of tradition. There appears to be no
equivalent to this in the “standard” BOS, and some people feel a need for
it, so a lot of people have added this chant to their BOS.
‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
It has become increasingly noticeable how the power grab has reached even the lower levels of living. It is a right thing for us to try to raise ourselves. To fail to try would earmark us for failure….and yet up the shaky ladder of success climb so many bodies without spirits, so little understanding of what is ahead….and often less of what is past.
If we could only realize our power comes not from grasping the coattails of others, but from a higher source that knows the way….that places before us the right steps, the correct manner, the much needed wisdom and inspiration.
Why is it that when all this guidance is available to us, we let the littleness of our souls hold us back, believing all the time that any forward motion is because we have learned how to twist situations to our own avail.
How sad the lot of those who discover all the rungs on their ladder are on the same level. “Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads,” wrote Caleb Colton. “No man is wise enough, nor good enough, to be trusted with unlimited power.”
Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.
Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org
Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 17
“Silence and self-control permeate the entirety of our lives.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The Creator gave us all the Red Road and on this Red Road we are required to think and act in a spiritual way. To make sure I conduct myself according to the Red Road, I must make sure I develop my self discipline. Self control works best when we pray for the courage and power t do the will of the Great Spirit. We are here on the earth to do the will of the Great Spirit. Sometimes, we must battle ourselves to do this.
Great Spirit, help me to have my self-control guided by spiritual ways.