WOTC Extra – Key Features Needed To Make A Ritual Work

WOTC Extra  – Key Features Needed To Make A Ritual Work

Wiccan rituals fit together a variety of tried-and-true magickal methods to form a congruous whole, rather like a spiritual jigsaw puzzle. Dancing around a ritual fire, singing, chanting, meditating, communicating with deities, casting spells, crafting charms, making wishes, pouring libations, asperging the participants or the sacred space — every part of a ritual has purpose and meaning in relation to the whole.

In Wiccan rituals, great care is taken to make sure there are no meaningless words or actions. A ritual without meaning becomes a liturgy to which the participants have no connection, and therefore cannot effect magick.

Not every ritual you create or attend will contain all of the following elements. However, any of these features applied in meaningful combinations will help generate similarly meaningful results.

Location

Where a ritual transpires has a tremendous effect on the participants and the resulting magick. Many witches enjoy enacting rituals outdoors. This allows participants to connect with nature and to recognize their place in the universe. If you’re a solitary witch, you have more options than a group of thirty people might. If you live in a heavily populated city, you may not have as many sites to choose from as rural witches do.

Accept your limitations and plan with the goals of the ritual in mind. Make sure that your space, whether indoors or outside, can comfortably hold all the people participating in the ritual and allow for the process to take place. If you’re going to do a spiral dance, you need a lot of room. Sitting and meditating, by comparison, requires far less space.

Ambiance

The right environment for your ritual is essential. Ideally, the place where you perform ritual should be a sacred space dedicated to this purpose. You don’t want anything to distract, interrupt, or otherwise take you away from the ritual at an important juncture — it should go without saying that ritual space is a cell-phone-free zone. Set the right mood by using appropriate decorations, aromatics, altar configuration, and so on. All of these components should reflect the ritual’s purpose.

Seasonal rituals usually include decorative and symbolic touches that reflect the cycle being commemorated. Fresh blossoms might grace an Ostara ritual; evergreen boughs compliment a Yule celebration. Well-chosen music, incense, and thematic items can make a big difference in the ambiance of a ritual. These touches affect your senses, which in turn influence both the conscious and subconscious mind.

Personal Preparation

Everyone in attendance should be in the right frame of mind, for their combined thoughts and emotions generate the ritual’s energy. When you participate in a ritual, you set aside daily concerns and mundane thoughts to focus on the goal of the ritual.

Before beginning a ceremony, many witches take ritual baths to cleanse themselves in body and mind. Salt is usually added to the bathwater (symbolizing purification) and sometimes essential oils. Ideally, you should bathe in a stream, lake, or the ocean; however, most ritual baths take place in an ordinary indoor tub.

Witches gather in circles to demonstrate visually and spatially each participant’s equal responsibility and relevance in the ritual. Everyone who chooses to participate should feel wholly comfortable with the ritual and its components. They should understand the ritual’s significance, its goals, and the steps involved, and be ready to contribute mentally and physically to the ritual’s purpose.

For the good of all, anyone who cannot fulfill these conditions is better off not participating. One person’s lower energies or distractions become a weak link in the circle of the power of creation and the direction of magickal energy.

Tools and Components

Do you need a complete altar setup? Do you want to wear costumes? What about a special altar cloth? A ritual might require any of the following tools:

Asperger

Athame

Broom

Candles

Cauldron

Chalice

Circumference-marking material (such as chalk)

Crystals or stones

Drum or other musical instruments

Essential oils

Feather or fan

Foods or beverages

Incense

Incense burner

Masks (or other props)

Objects representing the four elements

Offerings

Pentagram

Plants or flowers

Salt

Smudge wand

Statuary

Sword

Wand

Everything that will be used in the ritual should be cleansed in advance. In addition, each ritual object should be charged for its task in the ritual. (Refer to the cleansing and charging methods described in Chapter 13.) Bring all the items you’ll need for the ritual into the area where you’ll be working before you cast a circle.

Progression

A ritual follows a logical progression, like a play. The ritual’s progression creates the pattern — the actions and words that become tradition.

Each ritual should have a defined beginning, such as creating sacred space. The beginning of a ritual sets the tone for everything to follow. In particular, it transports the participants to that place between the worlds and unifies their hearts and spirits, directing them toward the ritual’s goal. A typical beginning in a group setting might include breathing in unison, holding hands, and calling the Watchtowers. Practitioners of solitary rituals might take a moment for prayer or meditation, followed by invoking the circle.

After the ritual space reaches this juncture, what happens varies dramatically, depending on the ritual and its goals. As mentioned previously, this middle portion might involve weaving spells, dancing, singing, drumming, meditations, visualization, divination, enactments, and so on. Whatever takes place should be congruent with the beginning of the ritual.

As is the case with spellcraft, the more sensual aspects you include, the more energy a ritual is likely to raise. As participants work their way through the ritual, everything perceived through their senses helps them maintain focus and direct energy. When the members of the circle are raising energy, drumming might get faster or chanting might grow louder, for example. Each cue communicates the goals of the ritual to the individual’s awareness and to the Divine, and therefore nourishes the magick.

“I think the highest purpose of ritual or magickal work is to seek our gods, to commune with the cosmic ‘mirror’ and the spirits of nature in order to learn more of the divinity within ourselves and reach evermore toward personal growth in its highest expression.”

— Maria Kay Simms, A Time for Magick

Human beings like closure; solid endings also bring the participants’ attention back to mundane matters. A ritual without a defined ending is like omitting the last chapter in a book; it leaves both the participants and the energy hanging. It’s also important to thank and release the Watchtowers who have been present during the ritual. Furthermore, participants need this time to gear down a bit (or ground out, as witches say). End the ritual by deconstructing the circle, saying a closing prayer, or stating a parting wish. Some circles end with a chant:

The circle is open, but unbroken May the peace of the Goddess be forever in your heart. Merry meet and merry part And merry meet again.

Author:
Sky Alexander
netplaces>>>>>Wicca and Witchcraft
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Let Talk Witch – The Watchtowers

Let Talk Witch – The Watchtowers

Calling the Watchtowers or calling the quarters is another element of Wiccan ritual that is not found in Traditional Witchcraft. The Watchtowers are another piece of Wiccan ritual that is pull from the Kabalistic magick, though Gardner likely took this right from the OTO. Rather than calling in elementals in this fashion, the Traditional Witch calls in Guardians, spirits of the land that they have some sort of relationship with. This is important, as they are not just random entities called upon for the sake of calling on them, as is often the case in Wiccan ritual.

Guardians can be spirits of the land or Ancestors that the Witch has communicated with or worked with in the past, and whom they know wish to assist and participate in their work. Others will call on spirit guides to act as Guardians. Not all Traditional Witches use Guardians, but those that do choose who they will call on very carefully.

Many people that work in systems other than Wicca who do not have things such as the Watchtowers, view the calling of the Watchtowers to be on par with holding the entities hostage for the ritual because of the way that they are often summoned of “commanded” to be part of the circle and not asked or communicated with previously. In ritual work with the Traditional Witch, there is often no set boundary for the work area, so the spirits and Guardians that are called on for ritual are allowed to roam freely around the person rather than reside in one specific spot.

 

W is for Watchtowers

W

 

 

Watchtowers

In Wicca, Guardians known as Watchtowers are called. These guardians are held hostage in each of the four corners or directions of the circle: East, South, West and North. They are set there to guard and protect the circle. This calling of the Watchtowers usually takes place during what is known in Wicca as “Calling the Quarters.”

Traditional Witchcraft does not call the Watchtowers, it does however, call Guardians. These Guardians are often called Spirits with whom a person feels comfortable with and has had a relationship with. Guadians can be our Ancestors, a Spirit Guide or other Spiritual Entity with which the you are familiar with.

 

 

Laugh-A-Day: Why Do Pagans Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Why Do Pagans Make New Year’s Resolutions?


Alexandrian/Gardnerian

To reveal this would be to break my oath of secrecy. I can say, though, that it really is an ancient rite, dating far back in time, back even before 1951, and I have learned it from an unbroken lineage. As Gerald said, it takes a resolution to make a new year.

Asatru

First, we don’t believe in a “Resolution” or a “List of Resolutions.” We believe in many lists. Second, “Making New Year’s Resolutions” is part of the three levels, or worlds, and the resolution maker simply rises from one level to another. Hail to the New Year!

British Traditional

The word “Resolution” comes from a very specific Old English word (“resolvere”), and it only properly applies to certain acts or processes of list making by those of East Anglia or those descended therefrom. As for the rest, I suppose they are doing something remotely similar to making resolutions, but you must remember that traditional resolutions are not to be confused with the modern resolutions…

Celtic

In County Hunghover on New Year’s day, they still observe Lady Resolutia’s Scribbling, which is a survival of the old pagan List Making petitionary rite. Today, modern pagans are reviving the practice, dedicated to the Tipsy Lady and the Green Scribe.

Ceremonial

“Making a List” is a phrase that summarizes many magical structures erected and timed by the practitioner to produce the energy necessary for the intention of making resolutions for the new year. For example, the astrological correspondences have to be correct, the moon has to be waxing (if the practitioner intends to follow the resolutions) or waning (if the practitioner merely wishes to keep the resolutions for reference), and the practitioner has to prepare herself through fasting and proper incantations. Note: Certain forms of invocation (summoning a list of resolutions inside your mind) can produce abnormal or even dangerous results and should only be constructed within a properly erected circle…

Chaos

Thinking in terms of “listing” and “resolutions” is simply looking at the formal, typically perceived structure of resolution making space-time. We, instead, focus on the possibility of the resolution making itself; what appears to be a random act is thus actually the norm — it is The List which is the freak of chance. Indeed, quantum mechanics now demonstrates what we knew all along: Two or more lists can simultaneously exist in the same place at the same time. Thus, by attuning ourselves to the dynamic energy (called “listing”), we can manifest the resolution. Of course, to the unknowledgeable, this appears as making a list of resolutions.

Dianic

The Lyst Mayker (“list maker” is a term of patriarchal oppression) seeks to reclaim for herself the right to make Resolutions, after it had been denied to her for centuries. By doing so, she reawakens the power of the Resolution within herself.

Discordian

You’ve got to be kidding!

Druid

Resolutions are made to arrive at the Truth, of course! Keep in mind that 99% of everything written about Making-New-Year’s-Resolutions is pure hogwash, based on biased sources. Yes, there were a few unfortunate sacrifices of list makers in the past, but that is over now…

Eclectic

Because it seems right to us at the time. We use some Egyptian-style paper and Celtic-sounding words for the Resolutions and incorporate some Native American elements into our Pen-names, like, Scribe-Who-Waffles-and-Runs-from-the-Wolves.

Faery

In twilight times and under sparkling stars, those properly trained can still see the writers making their lists. Reconnecting with these “fey-scribblers” as they write is crucial to restoring the balance between the energies of modern development and living with the earth.

Family Traditional

Growing up, we didn’t think much about “making resolutions.” A list was a list. It was made because that was what worked to get the New Year started. We focused on what worked, and we worked more with the elders of the list makers and less with all this “guardians of the New Year” business. We didn’t get our concepts of “Lists” or “Resolutions for the New Year” from Gardner, either. You can choose not to believe us since we did not “write down” on paper what was listed to us orally (which, at certain times in history, was the only way to avoid becoming New Year’s fireworks!), but that doesn’t change the facts: There were real list makers, and they really did make resolutions!

Kitchen Witch

The writers make their lists to lose weight, get a job and move away from home because they have mothers like me who are always testing new recipes on them!

Left-Hand Path

Earnest, dedicated pagans resolving to improve themselves! Do you think that is all there is to writing lists? Do you dare to know the dark side of making resolutions and the other path to self-development?

New Age

We make lists of resolutions because we chose this as one of our lessons to learn in this life. Besides, there is so much incense and bright, white paper to cover in the New Year.

Newbie

Well, ’cause I read in this really kewl book that said, like, we are supposed to make New Year’s Resolutions, right?

Posting On An Online Discussion Group

What do you mean why should we make New Year’s Resolutions????!!!??? Haven’t you read **any** of the previous posts? We’ve been [expletive deleted] debating every word of that question, painstakingly trying to come to some kind of answer. I know you wrote “all i wnted to know was why should we make a list of resolutions, im not looking for any Resolution spells” but I’m fed up with newbies who can’t even bother to REEEEEEEEAAADDD the posts on that very topic! No, this is *not* a flame. But, I and several others here have the *maturity* to properly explore and respond to this question, and we were properly trained; we *didn’t* just read a book and think we were full-fledged list writers. (phew, feeling much better after ranting.)

Solitaire

The list makers don’t want to be part of a coven.

Shaman

Making a list is a way to reconnect with the healing, visionary lifeways of the past. Wise Women have long known this, but increasingly the Wise Guy’s Movement is adding more men to the list making too.

Snert

Hey, are you guys really making New Year’s Resolutions? Can you give me a spell that will make me a list of resolutions?

Wiccan

The list maker makes a list because she feels like she is finally “coming home.” She can do it alone or with others, but she has to call to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the New Year first … uh, after casting the circle, of course.

Source: PaganPortal.com

Turok’s Cabana