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Solitary Witch : The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation
This book has everything a teen Witch could want and need between two covers: a magickal cookbook, encyclopedia, dictionary, and grimoire. It relates specifically to today's young adults and their concerns, yet is grounded in the magickal work of centuries past.
Information is arranged alphabetically and divided into five distinct categories: (1) Shadows of Religion and Mystery, (2) Shadows of Objects, (3) Shadows of Expertise and Proficiency, (4) Shadows of Magick and Enchantment, and (5) Shadows of Daily Life. It is organized so readers can skip over the parts they already know, or read each section in alphabetical order.
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February 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Solitary Witch by Silver RavenWolf
Whether you can believe you can do a thing or
believe you can't--you are right.
Although today many of us don't think about
the power of words, sound, or touch, those who
have gone before us knew that all these things
carried an energy of their own, and to give that
positive energy to another was a gift more precious
than gold.To bless is to remove any negative
energy around a person, animal, place, or
thing and instill them with positive energy. To
bless another is to empower them. By sound,
touch, and thought,we can help the sick, lighten
the heart of the troubled, or open a pathway for
a better life by removing negative blockages.The
mere utterance of a blessing can change the
course of a person's life. In our modern world,
people often scoff at this idea, not believing that
such power could be contained in anything so
simple. Many of us are independent individuals,
and to think that someone else (by mere word
or physical proximity) could alter our pattern of
living may seem unthinkable.
But they can.
In many cultures, past and present, it is customary
to leave a blessing at an individual's
home when saying farewell. It was believed that
a magickal person could make words turn into
f lesh, meaning by uttering words with one's
magickal voice (SEE PART III, UNDER POW WOW)
you could create a physical manifestation. To
have your house blessed in such a way by a magickal/
religious person ensured health and prosperity
for the occupants for months to come.
You too can give such a gift. Don't be shy about
it. If you believe you can do it, so shall it be.
Sometimes the mere presence of magickal individuals
can change the course of one's fate. The
more spiritual the person, the more pure the environment.
I've also noticed that if a magickal
person is involved in a particular type of study,
that study can affect those around him or her.
One Witch who steadfastly worked on building
her prosperity realized after a few months that
every time she walked into a store, especially a
deserted one, her energy attracted paying customers
off the street. Another Witch who
worked on protection experienced the same
phenomenon. He could walk into any establishment
and if there were negative people around,
they would quickly disperse. What you work on
in the magickal world will affect the world
The mechanism of a blessing is very easy:
� Think of a white light so powerful that it
encompasses your mind, body, and spirit.
� Move the white light into a mental picture
of the person, place, or thing.
� In your mind, allow the white light to burst
through the object (no, this won't hurt
� Intone words of blessing or touch the
person, animal, or thing.
� Seal the blessing with a hand motion of
your choice while pronouncing aloud
"It is done."
The Thirteen Powers of the Witch
When you truly take the power of Witch training
into your being and strive to do the best that
you can regardless of the situation, the thirteen
powers of the universe are given to you. These
are either transferred through a religious ceremony
by those who have been gifted before
you, or they can come about at their own pace
as you grow and learn on your own. If a power
is abused, it is thought that the gift is taken from
you, either for a period of time or permanently.
The powers speak of blessings that you can give
to others or use for yourself to enhance your
own life as well as the lives of those around you.
Thirteen powers do the Witches claim
their right of lineage by (say the name of
your patron god or goddess here)'s name.
Tie a knot and say the words
or hand on head--the blessing conferred.
A Witch can give success in love
curse or bless through God/dess above.
Speak to beasts and spirits alike
command the weather; cast out a blight.
Read the heavens and stars of the night
divine the future and give good advice.
Conjure treasure and bring fortune to bear
heal the sick and kill despair.
This poem can be said as a blessing when giving
something to another, and can be included
in any spell by adding:
This is my birthright to have and to share
blessings upon you, (the person's name),
may the spirits be fair.
This poem itself is very powerful and will create
change. Just be careful what you wish for.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply three or four
times until you feel relaxed and at peace. Imagine
that your entire body is filled with brilliant,
white light. If you like, hold your hands over
your heart, and say:
In the still of the night
while the world around me sleeps
may the angels smile upon me
and the Lady bring me peace.
Blessings upon (list those whom you would
like to remember in your prayers).
I know that You will care for them
and bring them what they need.
Instill in me great harmony
in thought and word and deed.
So mote it be.
Hold the object in your hands.Take several deep
breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Visualize
the object glowing with white light. Connect
your mind to Spirit and try to think of nothing
else. Imagine the gift capturing the pure perfection
of the universe. Then say:
Perfect love and perfect peace
the world will dance as one.
I dream the wish to make it real
the magick now is done.
Seal your work by drawing an equal-armed
cross (+) in the air over the object.You can also
empower birthday, get well, and sympathy cards
in this same manner.
Hold your hands over the food, and say each line
below three times. This can be worked into a
fun blessing for the whole family if chanted in a
The table round contains the Earth
and thus becomes the Mother.
We share her bounty in this hour
and bless and love each other.
So mote it be.
Personal Journal/Book Blessing
These words herein are mine alone
fashioned deep inside my bones
each picture, thought, and quote you see
are all reflections of what is me.
Beware the urge to take this book
or read it in some private nook
because its magick isn't blind
and I will know you've touched what's mine.
Charge of the Goddess
The Charge of the Goddess is one of the most
popular ritual invocations in modern Wicca.
The foundation of the work comes from a book
titled Aradia: Gospel of the Witches (Vangelo delle-
Streghe), written by Charles Leland and published
in 1899. Sometime after 1955, Doreen
Valiente, one of the most gifted poets and
priestesses of Wicca in our time, used the information
in poetry while assisting Gerald Gardner
in compiling the material later used for Gardnerian
instruction.The version written here appeared
in The Grimoire of Lady Sheba, first published
in 1972. In later years, the Charge was
broken into two parts, with the second section
standing alone and titled "The Charge of the
Depending upon personal or coven choice,
the Charge is read:
� At the beginning of a ritual. Members of
the coven may practice deep breathing,
grounding and centering, or meditation.
� Before communion.
� At the end of a ritual, as a closure.
� At some point during an initiation rite.
� During daily devotions.
� During personal spellworking.
The Charge (Part I)
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who
was of old, called amongst men, Artemis, Astarte,
Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen,
Diana, Arionhod, Bride, and by many other
At mine Altar, the youths of Lacedemon in
Sparta made due sacrifice. Whenever ye have
need of anything, once in the month and better
it be when the Moon is Full, then shall ye assemble
in some secret place and adore the Spirit
of Me, who am Queen of all the Witcheries.
There shall ye assemble, who are feign to learn
all sorceries who have not as yet won my deepest
secrets.To these will I teach that which is as
yet unknown. And ye shall be free from all
slavery and as a sign that ye be really free, ye
shall sing, feast, and make music, all in my
presence. For mine is the ecstasy of the Spirit
and mine is also joy on earth. For my Law is
love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest
ideals, strive ever towards them. Let none stop
you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret
that opens upon the door of youth and mine is
the Cup of the Wine of Life and the Cauldron
of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.
I am the Gracious Goddess who gives
the gift of joy unto the heart of man upon
earth. I give the knowledge of the Spirit Eternal,
and beyond death I give peace and freedom
and reunion with those that have gone before.
Nor do I demand aught or sacrifice, for behold I
am the Mother of all things, and my love is
poured out upon the earth.
The Charge of the Star Goddess
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess. She, in
the dust of whose feet are the Hosts of Heaven,
whose body encircleth the universe.
I, who am the beauty of the Green Earth and
the White Moon amongst the stars and the
mystery of the Waters, and the desire of the
heart of man; I call unto thy soul to arise and
come unto me. For I am the Soul of Nature
who giveth life to the universe; from me all
things proceed an unto me all things must return.
You, beloved of the Gods and men, whose
innermost divine self shall be enfolded in the
raptures of the Infinite, let my worship be in the
heart. Rejoiceth, for behold, all acts of love and
pleasure are my rituals; therefore, let there be
beauty and strength--power and compassion--
honor and humility, mirth and reverence--
within you. And thou who thinkest to seek me,
know that thy seeking and yearning avail thee
not, unless thou knowest the mystery--that if
that which thou seekest thou findeth not within
thyself, thou wilt never find it without thee. For
behold! I have been with the from the beginning,
and I am that which is attained at the end
Spirit is a circle whose center is everywhere
and whose circumference is nowhere.
From cave paintings to crowns, halos, and Stonehenge,
circles and spirals figure prominently in
all walks of ancient life, spanning a multitude of
cultures with religious and magickal significance.
Magicians were casting magick circles in
the Middle East during the Assyrian reign from
883-612 B.C.E., and a fellow by the name of
Honi cast a circle and successfully called in rain
during a drought to save the people around 65
B.C.E.,1 as noted in Jewish rabbinical literature.
The story of Honi the Circle Maker is interesting
because it gives us several clues to your heritage
of ancient magick, and how it is still taught
Honi and the Rain2
Since Honi's story occurred more than 2,000
years ago, there is debate on what he actually
represented in his society.Was he just a plain old
magician, or was he a part of the priesthood?
Some feel that his miracle was remarkable
enough to write down (which they did) but too
dangerous to let the reader think he was operating
outside of the current religious structure of
the day, therefore Honi (in successive tellings of
his story) became part of Jewish rabbinical society.
Honi's story gives us important clues as to
how magick works and why, 2,000 years later,
we continue to use the magick circle.
In the spring, the people desperately needed
rain, but it did not come.They approached Honi
the Circle Maker and said,"Pray so that the rains
will fall." Honi told the people to find sufficient
cover for the mud and clay Passover ovens because
they would melt in the rain. In magick,
this is the mental preparation needed to set the
stage for the working. In making the people
move the ovens, Honi was mentally encouraging
them to believe in the magick. Once the ovens
had been covered, Honi prayed, but it did not
rain. He then realized that he had made an
error: he forgot to cast the circle! No wonder
the rains would not come--he had not created a
stable platform for the work to manifest. Honi
then cast a magick circle (possibly with a staff or
rod in the dirt, though the text does not say),
and stood within it.
What is interesting about this story is that
Honi then talked to God as if he were talking to
anyone. He said, "Master of the universe, your
children have turned their faces to me because I
am like a son of the house before you. I swear by
your great name that I am not moving from
here until you have mercy on your children." In
essence, he gets a bit feisty.
So far, Honi has done four important things.
He's moved the bake ovens to indicate his faith
in his ability to make rain, a physical act which,
by involving the people, makes them expectant
of a miracle. He's cast a magick circle to purify
the area because when he "just" prayed, nothing
happened, therefore someone in the crowd
probably wanted to see him fail, and (more than
likely) he wasn't centered and cast the circle to
put himself in the correct frame of mind. The
next thing he does is connect with deity. Then
he tells Spirit his magickal intent, and very
firmly too. Is he threatening God with that last
statement? Actually, no. Again, looking at this
from a magickal point of view, he's telling himself
that he's going to succeed, no matter what. He's
putting his conviction into the magickal mix
and giving himself a verbal booster at the same
time. He's being firm, like a Victorian lady who
won't take no for an answer, yet it is not God he
is pressing, but himself. Honi has been trained
that he must touch the unmanifest to manifest,
which has nothing to do with threatening God
and everything to do with believing in himself.
Evidently, he needed the extra verbal push that
day. And with that push, the rains began to drip.
As dripping was not what he had in mind,
Honi says,"I did not ask for this, but for rains of
sufficient amount to fill cisterns, ditches, and
caves." Honi has just added visualization to the
proceedings. Those who are unmagickal think
that Honi is continuing to talk to God, but he
isn't. His dialog is meant for himself. He's matching
the word to the visualization.
The rains fell with a vehemence. Oops, too
much visualization! Honi isn't at all happy. It's
raining too hard, so he says, "I did not ask for
this, but for rains of benevolence, blessing, and
graciousness!"--fine-tuning that visualization
and adding the proper wording.
The rain fell precisely as he ordered it.
Finally, Honi says, "I know you will do this
for me," which magickally turns out to be the
most important statement he can make. He is affirming
his belief with utter conviction, removing
all doubt from his mind with the force of
Did Honi order God to make it rain? No. In
actuality, Honi was ordering rain from the collective
unconscious like you order fries from
McDonald's. He did, however, ask for God's involvement
by stating the need and calling God
by a title and thus touching upon what everyone
inherently believes--the perfection and order of
the universe. Therefore, divine energy was definitely
in the mix because, to Honi, that divine
energy was "all that is good" and the basis for
successful manifestation.Was Honi acting like a
spoiled child in circle? Some people may read it
this way, but I think it shows us that even great
magicians become irritated with themselves.
They are human, after all.
Honi's family, and his sons after him, were all
rainmakers, which means that Honi's magick
worked successfully on more than one occasion
to become a family tradition. What is lost in this
story, unfortunately, are any other incantations
and specific motions he may have done, but what
we do have works quite well. The story itself is
enough to let us know that (a) real magickal
people in history were not a figment of our
imagination or characters in a fairy tale, they
lived and breathed and practiced magick all the
time; (b) they were not necessarily a part of any
religious structure (though afterward they are
sometimes claimed to be so, especially if, like
Honi, they were at least sympathetic to the religious
regime at the time); and (c) for Honi's
magick to work that day, he had to have a magick
circle. The story also shows that the universe
has a sense of humor, and that when you ask for
something, you better be specific and you darned
well better not forget to cast that circle.
Does Honi's method work? Absolutely! In
the Honi tradition, add this to any spell:
1. Ground and center.
2. Cast the circle.
3. Pronounce the Honi conjuration
4. Continue on with your working.
5. Release the circle.
6. Ground and center.
Here's how the conjuration works.
"Master/Mistress of the universe!"--you are
calling on the perfection and order of the universe.
"I am (state your name), your magickal
son/daughter"--here, you are activating your
pathway to deity, and you are melding your entire
being with the perfection of the universe
that you called in the first line above. If you are
working for someone else, state his or her name
as well, much like Honi did, "like a son of the
house before you." State your request and add
"for all that is good." Finish with "I know you will
do this for me"--the affirmation of faith.
Walking the Circle
Walking the circle occurs often in European
folktales and religious ceremonies to break evil
spells, to transform oneself or the area into something
sacred, and to acquire power. This walking
the circle was called circumambulation, which
means to walk around an object, person, or place
with the right hand toward the subject either in
religious ceremony, in an act of reverence, or in
magickal practice.3 One walks sunwise (clockwise)
to bring good luck, destroy evil, cure disease,
and in some cultures to ensure that the sun
will rise the following day. These circumambulations
were especially used in ceremonies of birth,
marriage, and death, whether we are talking
about Tibet, Europe, South America, or the Inuit
culture. Knowing this, we understand that the
magick circle does not belong solely to Witches,
but is another ancient practice that has touched
all cultures and all faiths, and is still practiced by
many of them today. As with many other antiquated
practices, it is the modern Witch that
gives Western civilization a taste of our ancient,
magickal birthright by remembering and practicing
such things as the circlecasting in daily life
and reminding our brothers and sisters of other
faiths where many of these applications actually
came from. To deny one's history is to deny
This clockwise, sunwise movement in the
Craft is called deosil (pronounced jess-el). The
original spelling, deiseal, is of Irish descent, and
it's also called "the holy round." Dances, processions,
and parades--even riding around the battlefield
one turn for good luck before the clash
of axes and swords--are embedded in our history.
When someone says,"Gee, I hope this goes
right," they are actually invoking the ancient
power of the magick circle.
Although there are numerous ways in the
Craft to cast a magick circle, most of them involve
walking the circle one to three times with
the finger of the right hand (or the chosen tool)
held out from the body and pointing down
while reciting a verbal invocation.4 Some individuals
draw the circle on the ground with chalk
or use corn meal that can be easily swept away;
however, the drawing does not take the place of
raising the circle unless you are experienced and
can conjure while you are making the symbol.
Two additional popular symbols are the Spirit
circle and the pentacle.
The circlecasting is recommended for most
magickal activities, rites, and rituals in the Craft.
Yes, I've heard that a few individuals don't cast
circles for folk magick applications, but it's sort
of like gas. If you want the magickal engine to
run pure, then cast a circle. If you think that
dirty gas is an okay thing, so be it--however,
you may not achieve your intended goal.
Granted, the longer you work in the Craft (usually
years) and have practiced meditation and
other sacred practices faithfully, you won't always
need the magick circle for every little thing, but
until you reach this point in your spiritual training,
I always suggest casting the magick circle for
all Craft- and spiritual-related activities. Just remember
Once the circle has been cast, most Witches
seal it by saying:"As above, so below--this circle
is sealed. So mote it be!" (SEE SECTION AS ABOVE,
SO BELOW IN PART IV.) At this point, the practitioner
usually stomps their foot on the f loor (or
ground) to indicate the seal has been activated.
In your visualization of a circle, think of a
bubble, rather than a f lat circle. As the words indicate,
"as above, so below"--the circle is all
around you, over your head, and under your
feet. While in circle, one never, ever walks widdershins
(counterclockwise) unless you are releasing
the circle at the end of the ritual, and if
you break this rule in traditional Witch training,
you are certainly told about it--pronto! This
goes back to the ancient belief that to walk
counterclockwise in circle brings bad luck and
breaks the power of the magick. Whether this is
true or not, the clockwise movement in the circle
is one of the standard Wiccan policies, and
there are some Wiccan groups that will not even
take up the circle by moving widdershins
(which is a common practice) at the end of a
ritual. These groups, usually with strong Celtic
associations, dismiss the circle by moving clockwise.
However, if you participate in a spiral
dance (which is truly a fun thing to do), the entire
group dances clockwise to the center, but as
they return they move counterclockwise--moving
in to build the magick, spiraling out to release
the magick. Therefore, there are exceptions
to the rule.
Once the spell, magick, or ritual is over, the
circle is released. If you leave a magick circle in
place and allow the energy to hang there, it has a
habit of causing chaos as it breaks down on its
own, and if you have forgotten to release the
Some magickal individuals paint the Spirit circle (left) on a large terra-cotta plate and use the dish for a mini altar.
The same procedure can be done with the pentacle (right). This is a safe way to burn candles and incense (in their
appropriate holders) and it protects expensive altar cloths.
quarters, the energies there aren't too happy
about that, either. Most Wiccans move widdershins
to release the circle (one pass around), and
usually draw the energy into a tool or into their
hands. A few transfer the energy of the circle to
the sacred altar. Once the movement is complete,
they may say, "The circle is open, but
never broken. Merry meet and merry part until
we merry meet again. So mote it be!"5 and then
stomp their foot one time to indicate that the
circle is now open.
The magick circle has two main functions: to
provide you with a sacred area in which to raise
energy until you are ready to release it, and to
give you protection from things seen and unseen
while you work your magick. Granted,
years ago, individuals at the quarters also helped
to guard those within the circle, and often an
elder or the "man in black" kept an eye on what
was going on outside of the circle area while the
high priest, high priestess, and other coven
members concentrated on the work going on
inside. The man in black was the high priestess'
right-hand man, and had numerous responsibilities
within the coven hierarchy.
Magick containing circular symbols is also
prominent in modern Craft practice. For example,
you might lay a small circle of stones, gems,
or crystals around the picture of a loved one,
asking for protection. A small circle of salt
around a photograph also works in the same
way.To remove the threat of unwanted spirits or
thoughtforms, use crushed eggshells around a
white candle placed on top of a person's picture.
Words written on paper in a circular pattern to
gain success is another easy yet powerful spell.
Most ceremonial magick involving talismans
and amulets are prepared in circular form, either
on paper or fashioned in metal. A circle inside a
square represents the divine spark from which
material can manifest from the realm of Spirit
into the daily workaday world.6
How the Circle Works
Real science (case in point: new physics) can tell
us a lot about how and why magick and related
concepts, such as the magick circle, work. Once
you realize that the universe is made up of
processes, not things, you are really on a roll, for
what makes life truly interesting are the connections
between events. The sum total of our lives
is the change from one connection to another,
which becomes a process. Therefore, when
magickal people stress the importance of change
in their teachings, debates, and studies, they are
scientifically discussing the process of moving
from one connection to another that will eventually
create their desired goal, whatever it may
be. Life is change because nothing really is, except
in a very temporary sense, because everything
changes. Our chant, "She changes everything
She touches, and everything She touches
changes," often done in a round in magickal
workings, expresses this thought on a very basic
level and uses words to create the circle. Therefore,
casting a magick circle allows us to control
the process of change and modify what we
want, the way we want it.
In the Craft you are taught that every cause
has an effect, and that every event can provide a
variety of choices in which we can orchestrate
the change we desire. In new physics, this is
called the relational universe--where all energies
are connected and related to each other.
As you can see, the "we are one" statement
expounded in Hermeticism (SEE PART IV, ALCHEMY)
and many Craft teachings falls right in
line with modern science. The energy of one
event will travel and affect the energy of a future
event. This process is called the future light
cone7 and explains why we need the magick
circle and the Cone of Power (SEE PAGE ..) in
our magickal workings.To understand this concept
better, I've created the drawing on the next
page for you.
Let's say you want to cast a spell to bring
more money into the home. By casting a circle
when working your magick, you will be removing
random events that could affect your working
and destroy your goal.
Now, this means that the operation of the circle
and the cone of power, or controlled future
light cone, keep on working even though you
will conclude your ritual and release your circle.
You have already set the process of change in
motion and chosen which causal events you
want to keep and which you want to remove. If,
however, you doubt yourself or your desire, the
risk of "dematerializing" your outcome can be
very real. Visually this diagram shows you why
the magick circle is so necessary in spellwork,
ritual, and even meditation.
Cutting the Door
Every now and then you will need to "cut a
door" in an erected circle. This may occur because
you forgot something and it's sitting there
outside of the circle, taunting you to come get
it, and you can't go on with the ritual or spell
without it. In group format, a circle might be
cast by what I call the "bone people" (high
priestess, high priest, and representatives of the
four quarters), who in turn cut the door so that
others outside of the circle may enter. Those inside
the circle concentrate on keeping the circle
up because every moment the door is open
weakens the circle (especially if you are just
learning--SEE PART III, DOWSING, for tips on
how to check the strength and breadth of your
circle). By looking at the circle diagram again,
* This symbol represents events and energies that would disrupt your working, if you had not cast a circle.
YOUR MANIFESTED DESIRE
over your garbage
cans, forcing you
to buy new ones
* someone steals
your wallet at a
football game and
you lose all the
money you saved
* your brother defaults
on his loan
and since your
mother was the
cosigner, she now
has to pay the
* your father
misses an opportunity
for a raise or a
new client because
he oversleeps and
is late for work
* Aunt Jane is so
jealous that she
would rather see
your family in the
poorhouse than be
happy and successful
* your pet rat gets
sick and the vet
bill is over $100
* the new puppy
eats your thesis,
chews three chairs,
and swallows your
wallet. Expense toll:
* the yearbook committee
most expensive photographer
senior pictures because
he is a friend
of the editor
you can see how random events and energies can
enter the circle if it is broken, which will in turn
affect your working. Keeping the circle strong is
very important; therefore, if you are working
solitary and are new at this, you may want to
forgo whatever you forgot until you are more
confident about holding the circle in place.
Should you feel ready to cut a door, you can
use the athame or your hands to create the
opening. The athame gives a smoother line,
where your hands move as if you are parting a
curtain.Take your time making the shape of the
door or portal that you will walk through. As
soon as you step over that boundary, turn and
close the opening either with your hands or by
reversing the action you used with the athame.
Retrieve the object, then cut the door again,
turn, and close the door.Take your time. In a ritual
with several people, crossed brooms at the
door are ritually opened to allow individuals to
enter and then crossed to signify the portal has
been closed after all are inside. This visual representation
allows all circle members to participate
in sealing the portal.
Those individuals who have done a great deal
of energy work, including circlecastings, can
meld with the circle and therefore move freely in
and out of the circle environment without damaging
the energy. However, just because this feat
can be accomplished doesn't mean that you
should utilize the practice all the time, for several
reasons. First, you must be able to do this on a
repetitive basis, which can be checked by using
the previously mentioned dowsing rods. Secondly,
if you are training students, barging in and
out of the circle encourages them to disregard
their own training. Finally, every circle is based
on process--meaning each is different, depending
on the person who cast the circle, the location,
the weather, your emotions, and a variety of
other factors. My personal advice (take it or leave
it) is to practice melding so that you can use it in
case of severe emergency, but not to do it in public
or in training circles on a regular basis. Melding,
like other forms of transformation, takes time
and practice and is not a common phenomenon
among current Craft practitioners.
Triple Circle Magick
In antiquity, the idea of using three circles in
magick invoked the three Fates, or Goddesses of
Life, Growth, and Death. In the Nordic pantheon,
these triple goddesses were Skuld, Verdandi,
and Urd, who wove the tapestry of your
destiny. The Roman Fates were Fortunae, and
the Greeks called them the Moerae. Symbolic
offerings to the three Fates, such as bread and
milk,were said to guarantee prosperity and long
life, and could even bring one's future husband
knocking at the door (or at least a dream or vision
of him). From the Greek triad of body,
mind, and shadow came the primitive Christian
corpus, anima, and spiritus (body, mind, and
spirit), which was based on oriental and Hebrew
foundations known as the magick of the triple
circle.8 As I mentioned earlier, many Wiccan traditions
cast a triple circle in their spellworking
and rituals to magnify the power of the body,
mind, and spirit.
Here is an example of the conjuration for a
triple circlecasting.You will find additional circlecasting
instructions in my books To Stir a
Magick Cauldron and To Light a Sacred Flame.
by Lady MorningStar9
(Recite as you walk the first
time around the circle)
In this place, this circle round
I consecrate the sacred ground
with golden light this space surround
all power here contained and bound.
(Second pass around the circle)
From earth, the things that manifest
from air, the things of mind
from fire, the things that motivate
from water, the souls refined.
(Third pass around the circle)
And yet no place or time there be
between the worlds, my word and me
welcome,Ancient Ones, and see
this place is sealed, so mote it be!
Witches know that their perception of the
world is based on how each individual personally
views and processes emotions and events. If
you always see the negative side, then that's what
you will become. If, on the other hand, you
work to change your perceptions, and try to see
all things with equal clarity, then harmony
within your life has a chance to grow. Your
emotions are based on your perceptions of what
is happening to you. If you perceive something
as frightening, then that's what it will be to you.
If you perceive something as inspirational, then
the fullness of life has a chance to expand.When
we cast the ritual circle using the number three,
we are linking into the triple aspect of the Goddess
(Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and the God
(Father, Son, and Sage) in an effort to bring purification
and clarity into our lives. If you seek
healing of body, mind, and soul for yourself or
for another individual, carve the triple ring design
on a candle or draw it on a piece of paper,
then write the person's name over top.
If you are seeking a boost in prosperity (let's
say Mom has to pay a bill and she just doesn't
know where the money is going to come from),
try using the diamond or triceps variation,
which also belongs to the Nordic pantheon.
The triceps (earth diamonds) invokes the
powers of Earth (earth, sky, and sea--often found
in Druidic teachings as well) by using three diamonds.
The four sides of the diamonds stand for
earth, air,water, and fire.This symbol can be used
for weather magick as well as prosperity work.
These diamonds literally mean "the gifts of the
Earth."Write the amount needed inside each diamond
with the triple ring emblem on top.Keep
until you have obtained the amount needed.
Burn when the amount is received.
Note: Although Witches a hundred years ago
would have written directly on the dollar bill in
the United States, defacing our currency with
any wording or sigils is against the law in this
country; therefore, place a drawing of the triple
triceps over the currency rather than writing directly
on the bill. It is also illegal to burn the
currency, therefore burn only the drawing when
the spell is completed.
The triple ring design (top), and the triceps.
The idea of eating and drinking a sacred liquid
in celebration of one's deity choice is another
practice we find in antiquity and does not belong
specifically to any particular religion. In the
modern Craft there are two kinds of communion
--that which we celebrate in circle with
each other (meaning communion of fellowship)
and that which is given to the gods in offering
of thanksgiving. The act of communion (food
and beverage offerings to the gods) can be done
by the solitary Witch or can be celebrated by a
group of Witches. Many traditions have special
chalices and plates that are set aside only for the
rite of communion. This rite is often called
"cakes and ale."
For ritual purposes, breads are made in the
likeness of women, animals, f lowers, and birds;
examples have been found as early as 5000 B.C.
According to Marija Gimbutas, a prominent
women's studies scholar, the bread oven itself
was a prehistoric symbol for the incarnation of
the grain mother.10 Today, sabbat cakes used in
ritual communion may be in various shapes, the
most prevalent being the crescent moon and
stars, though there is no end to the imagination
of the baker! Many groups no longer use wine
or ale in respect for those who may be battling
alcoholism or because the laws in the United
States do not permit children to drink alcoholic
beverages (if children are present in circle) and
prefer fruit juices instead. If alcohol is used, as
each member only takes a sip of the drink, the
possibility of creating a bunch of drunk Witches
over communion is highly unlikely. Everyone
with half a brain knows you cannot do adequate
magick if you are inebriated, as alcohol impairs
your ability to mentally and physically function.
You can't focus on a single candle f lame if you
are seeing twenty of them spinning around your
Cakes and Ale
Originally called cakes and ale, the Wiccan communion
rite is normally done after any operation
of magick or ritual drama/celebration. It is
the last major block of activity before the circle
is closed. The tradition of the participants usually
decides which item is blessed first, the cakes or
the ale/juice. Depending on the tradition, the
high priest may bless the cakes, and the high
priestess the juice, or they may switch, or do the
blessings together. The activity of blessing the
food is meant to put you in sync with the divine.
The tray containing the cakes and juice is usually
set out of the way of the working altar until
you are ready to perform this rite. Most Wiccans
cover both the chalice and the cakes with a white
cloth until they are ready to use them.When you
are ready for the rite, set the tray on your altar
and remove the cloth coverings.
Hold your hands over the chalice (or cup),
From the sun to the vine
from the vine to the berry
from the berry to the wine
this brew is blessed in the sacred names
of our Lord and Lady.
So mote it be.
As this is said, the Witch visualizes the energy
of the sun feeding into a vine, which grows into
the berry, which in turn becomes the juice.
In most traditions, the athame is now lowered
into the chalice, and the Witch says:
As the rod is to the God
so the chalice is to the Goddess
and together they are one!11
The Witch visualizes divine energy pulsating
from the blade into the cup, and the entire cup
filling with white light.
When taking a drink from the chalice, visualize
pure, divine energy entering your body,
pushing out any negativity. When you are finished,
say:"May you never thirst." If someone is
in circle with you, repeat the statement as you
pass the cup to them, and they are to answer
with the same blessing--"May you never thirst."
In this way, you are passing the positive energies
of Spirit on to the next person. If you are alone,
you are affirming that you have taken this blessing
for your own.
Next, hold your hands over the cake(s), and
From the moon to the stalk
from the stalk to the grain
from the grain to the bread
this bread is blessed in the sacred names
of our Lord and Lady.
So mote it be!
Take a bite from the cake (or eat the entire
cake). When you are finished, say: "May you
never hunger." If someone is in the circle with
you, say the blessing as you pass them the cakes,
and then they are to repeat the same sentence
back to you, acknowledging the blessing.
In some groups everyone waits until all have
the item in hand--for example, the cup of juice.
When the high priestess raises her cup to drink,
then everyone takes communion at the same
time and says "May you never thirst" in unison.
In other groups the high priest holds the cup for
the high priestess while she takes a drink, and
she does the same for him. Again, practices differ,
so if you are visiting a group for the first
time, don't assume anything.Watch. Listen.
The next part of the ceremony is the Offering
Giving the Offering
There are several types of offerings, including
that of the libation performed in the communion
rite. If the ceremony is held outside, the libation
is given to the gods near the end of the
rite by pouring some of the juice and scattering a
bit of cake on the ground. If you are indoors, the
remainder of the cakes and juice are poured in a
cleansed and consecrated libation bowl, then carried
outside after the ritual is over and poured on
the ground. You may speak your own words of
thanksgiving, or you may use the following:
I honor the spirits of the north.
(hold the bowl to the north)
I honor the spirits of the east.
(hold the bowl to the east)
I honor the spirits of the south.
(hold the bowl to the south)
I honor the spirits of the west.
(hold the bowl to the west)
I honor the spirits of my ancestors.
(hold the bowl out in front of you)
I honor the Lord and Lady.
(hold the bowl slightly above your head)
I honor the spark of all life.
(hold the bowl out in front of you)
From perfection to perfection
this gift is given.
So mote it be.
Bring the bowl down to the ground and pour
out the contents.
Those Wiccans following a more shamanic
path may give food offerings when petitioning
the gods in spellworking.Write your request on
a piece of paper and place it underneath the dish
containing the food. Set a white household
emergency candle firmly upright in the center
of the food dish. If the candle burns clean with
little mess, it is believed the offering has been accepted,
and the food is then removed in twentyfour
hours. If the candle does not burn well,
then the food is immediately removed and
something else is put in its place. Although the
Santer�an and Voudon belief systems have a list
of what types of food their deities require that
includes various taboos,Wicca has no such list
and you are free to choose what you feel will
meet the needs of the gods should you incorporate
this practice into your work.
Food offerings can also be given to the ancestral
dead. In this case, the foods chosen would
match what they enjoyed the most while living
on the earth plane.
Moon Cookies Recipe
These may be used as cakes in communion.
Bless all ingredients before using. Hold your
hands over the ingredients while visualizing purifying
white light, and say:
Golden energy of sun-kissed grain
precious drops of cleansing rain
beams of moonlight from stem to bud
bringing joy from up above.
Blessings of the Mother
strength of the Father
unity of Love
so mote it be.
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Powdered or colored sugar
Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, oil, salt, and
vanilla together. Mix flour, baking soda, and
cream of tartar in a separate bowl. Add slowly to
wet mixture until thoroughly mixed. Roll into
one-inch balls, then shape into half-moons or
stars. Flatten a bit with fork. Bake at 350 degrees
for 10 minutes. After cookies have been baked,
sprinkle with powdered or colored sugar, and
top with cinnamon. Makes 8 dozen.
Silver's Witch's Brew Recipe
This may be used as ale in communion.
1 gallon apple cider (love)
1 orange (love)
1 apple (love)
3 cinnamon sticks (love, psychic powers)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (fidelity)
1 handful rose petals (love)
Pour apple cider into a large kettle. Peel orange,
reserving the peel, and squeeze its juice into the
cider, discarding the pulp. Tear the orange peel
into one-inch strips and add to mixture. Core
apple and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Add to mixture.
Break the cinnamon sticks in half. Add to mixture
with nutmeg.Warm over low heat for two
hours. Do not bring to a boil. Sprinkle with rose
petals before serving.