Symbols Of Magick
Although you can carry out rituals using absolutely anything, you may like to create a special set of
symbols for a variety of rituals. These you can keep in a separate box within your main store of magick
artefacts so they do not get scattered or broken.
You may include a thimble to symbolise domestic affairs, a tiny padlock for security at home, a
wooden toy boat for travel, a silver locket for fidelity, a key charm for a house, tiny painted wooden
eggs for fertility in any venture – just to suggest a few. You can also use small fabric dolls to represent
people, for example in a love spell.
Tarot cards also provide excellent symbols for magick: the Emperor for power, the Empress for
fertility, the Ten of Pentacles for prosperity, the Lovers for romance, the World or the Eight of Wands
for travel, Temperance for harmony, Justice for matters of law, etc. Even if you do not use Tarot cards
for divination, a brilliantly illustrated pack, such as the Rider Waite or the Morgan Greer, will by their
pictures suggest all kinds of images for your work. My book Tarot Talks to the Woman Within
(Quantum, 2000) contains many examples of Tarot spells and in spite of its title, the book is very male-
friendly. The Tarot is also very portable.
You may also find a supply of white clay useful for creating impromptu symbols and if the clay is soft
you can empower it with written words or symbols. I am not suggesting you create waxen images of
the kind you see in B-movies, and I certainly don’t want you to collect nail clippings or hair in an
attempt to harm anyone in any way; this is merely a representation of a person or desired object. It may
be possible to find a natural source of clay.
A beach near my home provides me with an abundant supply. You can also buy the natural, untreated
potters’ material. After using the clay in a ritual, you can return it to the soil. Clay is especially good in
binding spells or banishing spells when the actions to be bound or the destructive habit are to be reabsorbed by the Earth. It is also excellent in group rituals as a number of people can mould into it their collective energies.
The Substances Of Magick
The substances of magick for formal rituals are the same as those used in informal magick. I have
already described their magical associations in informal spells and in ritual magick the correspondences in colour and fragrance are exactly the same. Each is set in its own quarter of the circle and used to charge the focus of the ritual with power. They can also be used for empowering and cleansing your ritual tools.
If you make your own candles or incense for your rituals, you can endow energies by chanting the
purpose for which they are being made. Some practitioners prepare their ritual substances the day or
the evening before the ceremony, at the right planetary or angelic hour for its purpose. But you do not
need to do this – the days of apprentices and long hours devoted to a single ritual are gone and even the
most complex ceremony need take no more than an hour, many much less.
Salt rituals are among the oldest forms of magick and salt can form the focus of magick for health and
prosperity ceremonies as well as for psychic protection. The kind used is most usually sea salt and
represents the Earth element. It should be kept covered and separate from domestic salt and it must be
empowered before use.
The salt should be placed on the altar to the left of your Earth ritual tools, in a small ceramic dish with
a silver spoon. Use new salt for each ritual and tip any remaining into flowing water, watching it
carrying away your wishes to fruition.
A very simple crescent moon ritual for attracting money involves piling magically charged salt in a
central cone, surrounding this with coins and filling them all with power. Then take the empowered
coins and leave them in an open jar in the moonlight until the full moon. On the day after the full
moon, spend them on giving happiness to others.
After the ritual, dissolve the salt in sacred water and tip it into a flowing source of water to get the
money energies moving.
In a formal ritual for the same purpose, focus the energies by casting a formal circle, inviting the
guardians of the elements (see page 200) to lend their power to the endeavour. Pass the elemental
tools, incense, candles and water over the salt and money, thus concentrating the energies. Dissolve
and tip the salt away in a tub of water that has been swirled nine times to get the power flowing as the
climax of the ritual. The difference is one of degree of intensity.
Incense is placed in the East of the altar to the left of the ritual tools.
Incense is, as well as an elemental substance, an easy but powerful way of marking the boundaries
between the everyday world and the magick. Frankincense, myrrh or sandalwood is sometimes burned
on the altar before a ceremony to purify the area, especially if the room is used for other purposes, and
to raise the vibrations from the mundane to the more spiritual. If you are using the granular kind you
burn on charcoal, you will need a censer, but a bowl containing sand will serve for incense sticks or
As the incense is burned, so the energies are released.
All rituals and spells use a number of candles but they are particularly significant in formal magick. I
will repeat very briefly the basic information you need for a formal ritual, but you might like to read
through again Chapter 5, as candles are such an important part of magic.
You will need one or two altar candles in white, cream or natural beeswax. From the altar candle(s),
you will light all the other candles used in your rituals. If you have only one, it will stand in the centre.
If two, they are usually placed symmetrically to the right and left of the altar, the god candle on the left
and the goddess candle on the right.
You will also need four elemental candles, to represent Fire, Air, Water and Earth, in appropriate
colours, though if you are carrying out a ceremony in which the power of one element predominates,
you could use four candles of this same element. If you are working entirely on the altar, these can be
small candles, placed in a line nearer to the perimeter. More usually, however, the candles mark the
outer perimeter of the circle at the four compass points. You can, place these on small tables or plinths,
or have floor-standing candle-holders.
Green is for Earth, midnight, winter and the North. Place the candle at the 12 o’clock position on a
clock, aligned with magnetic North (use a compass if necessary).
Yellow is for Air, dawn, spring and the East. Place the candle at the three o’clock position.
Red, orange or gold is for Fire, noon, summer and the South. Place the candle in the six o’clock
Blue is for Water, dusk, autumn and the West. Place the candle in the nine o’clock position.
Light elemental candles after the altar candles if they are within the circle, but before any wish or
astrological candles, and begin in the North. If you wish, you can light each candle as its Guardian of
the Quarter is invoked (see page 200) and thus called in the ascending flame.
You may also use a candle to represent the petitioner in the ritual. This may be yourself or the person
for whom you are performing a ritual. The candle should be in the appropriate zodiacal colour
according to the petitioner’s birth date and one the colour of the need.
In love rituals, light two candles, one for each lover, and place them slightly in front of the altar
candle(s): the male lover’s candle should be placed next to the goddess candle and the female’s by the
god candle, if applicable.
If you have a central cauldron, you can stand any candles of need or petitioners’ candles in it.
Usually candles are so powerful that they are already full of magical energies, However, in more
formal and elaborate magical ceremonies, you may wish to inscribe or anoint those candles
representing a need or person with either olive oil or a ready-prepared, fragrant, anointing.
Carving your wishes and intentions into a candle endows the candle with your special energies and as
you etch each letter or symbol, these energies become concentrated.
If you anoint a candle, you should engrave it afterwards, although you may feel that inscribing it is
sufficient. Engraving candles is not difficult, but you must use a very light touch and choose good quality candles. Beeswax is not so easy to inscribe, but because it is very malleable, you can push tiny
symbols, such as coins, etc., into the wax or you can buy sheets of beeswax and even if you do not
fashion your own candles, you can add tiny beeswax symbols. You can also buy beeswax candles – and
some ordinary ones – in different shapes, for example entwined lovers for a love ritual, or a beehive for
Anointing Candles With Oil
You can anoint, or dress, candles with scented oil or use candles that have fragrance already added.
When you anoint candles with oils, they become more flammable, so you need to be extra cautious
about sparks. For safety, stand your candlesticks on a fireproof tray.
Generally, the anointing is performed in silence. You can use virgin olive oil for dressing candles for
any need. Some people add a pinch of salt for purification and life-giving properties.
Before beginning, pour a small quantity of the oil into a clear glass or ceramic dish and gently swirl it
nine times deosil with a ceramic or glass spoon, visualising light pouring into it and endowing it with
healing and magical energies. You need use only a small quantity as the anointing action is symbolic.
Rub the oil into the candle in an upward motion, starting in the middle of your candle. Use a
previously unlit candle as this will not have absorbed any energies apart from those with which you
endow it. Rub in only one direction, concentrating on the purpose of your ritual. See the qualities of
your oil and your need entering the candle.
Then, starting in the middle again, rub the candle downwards, again concentrating on your goal. A few
practitioners will rub from base to top for attracting magick and from top to bottom for banishing
magick; it is also usual to use a white candle for attracting energies and a black for banishing.
By physically touching the candle with the oil, it is said that you are charging the candle with your
personal vibrations so that when it is lit, it becomes an extension of your mental power and life energy.
If the candle represents another person and they are present, ask them to anoint their own candle.
If you light a candle for a formal ritual on successive days, you should re-anoint the candle each time,
visualising the partial completion of the goal.
Water represents its own element and stands in the West in a dish to the left of the chalice. See page
163 for instructions on how to make and empower sacred water. You can also use water to which rose
petals have been added or you can float lavender or rose essential oil on top (this water should not be
—Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells By Cassandra Eason