Preparing and Casting the Circle

Preparing and Casting the Circle

Though it sounds simple, preparing the circle for a ritual can be a long, laborious process with little thanks given by the people that come to the circle. The witch in charge of setting up the space for a circle must decide what they think is necessary and make adjustments on the fly for missing things. They must listen to the discussion on what will be done at that circle and find what is needed, often digging up scraps from here and there to get everything. The leaders of the circle in particular, will generally bring any special items that will be required, but the things that are more common fall to whomever is doing the ritual preparation.

If a witch works as a solitary, then she is responsible for everything. This, of course, is made simpler by the fact that she disturbs no one if she forgets something and has to go get it. Preparation for circle includes such things as vacuuming the carpet if the floor is carpeted and sweeping it if it is not, setting up the altar and cleaning out any items that were not cleaned out after the last circle, setting up the charcoal for the incense and lighting it just before circle so that it is hot when needed. She needs to check that there is a pitcher of juice or wine available if a feast is being done, that there is good ventilation and sufficient heat in the room, and that everyone is ready to go before the circle starts.

There should be enough time before a ritual starts for people to sit together in silence to attune to one another, allowing the mundane world to slip away and adjust to a sacred way of thinking. Shirking on this is shirking on the preparation of a ritual, as it is very important that a group work together as a coherent whole.

Once the preparations and meditations are done, it is time to cast the circle. This can be done in many different ways. Several are presented below to give the student a choice and different ways to do this. The actual techniques do not matter so much as the intent and desire. It is a way to trigger the mind into working in a different manner than it is accustomed to working. As a student becomes more practiced and able to cast stronger and better circles, they will notice the way their minds shift focus from mundane to the sacred as they create their space. They will also begin to experiment with different ways of casting a circle. When this happens, they have learned a critical step to becoming a witch.

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Daily OM for August 28 – A Special Goodnight

A Special Goodnight

Creating a Nightly Ritual

by Madisyn Taylor

Bedtime can be a perfect time for a nighttime ritual of sending love to the world and finding gratitude for your day.

At the end of the day, as the sweet, dark stillness of night beckons us to lay down our bones and rest, we find ourselves at a clear transition point: Behind us lies the previous day and all that has come before; ahead of us, dawn heralds the unfolding of all that is yet to be. While many of us have morning rituals that connect us with our center and help us to set intentions, we may want to explore the magic and power of nighttime ritual as well. It holds for us a beautiful chance for self-appreciation and blessing. Before you go to bed each night, you can send gratitude, compassion, and healing to the being you have been up until this moment. And you can send lightness and love into the future for the one you are in the process of becoming.

Though simple, this action honors the journey you have taken thus far, while opening you to the wonderful possibilities still ahead. When you consciously engage with your own evolution this way, you may find that your sleep gets sweeter, filling your night with a deeper sense of trust and relaxation. As you rest, you can surrender to these peaceful hours, knowing that the road behind you has been seen and acknowledged with respect and kindness, while the path ahead now holds your own benevolence and well wishes.

This bedtime ritual empowers you as the only one who can determine the meaning of your own past and the hopefulness of your future. By setting this special time aside each night, you can begin to orient yourself on your path of growing. It allows you to let the past have its place, to trust that the future is taken care of, and to simply rest yourself in the graceful arms of the present moment.

Oh, What A Glorious Morning! Greetings & Merry Lammas To You!

 

Wishing You & Yours A Very Prosperous Harvest This Year,

Dear Friends!

“Lammas celebrates the first wheat or barley  harvest f the year and the skills of those who tend them. Baking and sharing  bread, feasting with neighbor, and honoring the still-powerful forces of the  summer sun’s light, and are key elements of this cooperative, community-based sabbat.   Corn and wheat dollies made from the last sheaves and stalks  of harvested grain are kept through winter to be planted with the first seeds of  spring. These organic Goddess figures powerfully affirm the reverence for the  Earth’s cycles of birth, death, and renewal. The celebrations, which feature a  break from toil, contests of skill, laughter feasting, and dancing, are tempered  by the knowledge that most crops are still growing in the fields with no  guarantee of adequate abundance for the long winter.   Lughnasadh’s energy of cautious optimism and feeling of  well-being bring out the best in all people. The sabbat mingles the expansion of  vibrant summer energy with the gathering energy of the upcoming season. The  result is a unique time for solidly expanding toward focused goals, such as  perfecting and challenging your skills.”

Daily OM for July 21 – A Special Goodnight

A Special Goodnight

Creating A Nightly Ritual

At the end of the day, as the sweet, dark stillness of night beckons us to lay down our bones and rest, we find ourselves at a clear transition point: Behind us lies the previous day and all that has come before; ahead of us, dawn heralds the unfolding of all that is yet to be. While many of us have morning rituals that connect us with our center and help us to set intentions, we may want to explore the magic and power of nighttime ritual as well. It holds for us a beautiful chance for self-appreciation and blessing. Before you go to bed each night, you can send gratitude, compassion, and healing to the being you have been up until this moment. And you can send lightness and love into the future for the one you are in the process of becoming.

Though simple, this action honors the journey you have taken thus far, while opening you to the wonderful possibilities still ahead. When you consciously engage with your own evolution this way, you may find that your sleep gets sweeter, filling your night with a deeper sense of trust and relaxation. As you rest, you can surrender to these peaceful hours, knowing that the road behind you has been seen and acknowledged with respect and kindness, while the path ahead now holds your own benevolence and well wishes.

This bedtime ritual empowers you as the only one who can determine the meaning of your own past and the hopefulness of your future. By setting this special time aside each night, you can begin to orient yourself on your path of growing. It allows you to let the past have its place, to trust that the future is taken care of, and to simply rest yourself in the graceful arms of the present moment.

Lighten Up – Circle Etiquette

Circle Etiquette

Never summon Anything you can’t banish.

Never put asafoetida on the rocks in the sweat lodge.

Do not attempt to walk more than 10 paces while wearing all of your ritual jewelry, dream bags and crystals at the same time.

When proposing to initiate someone, do not mention the Great Rite, leer, and say, “Hey, your trad or mine?”

Never laugh at someone who is skyclad. They can see you, too.

Never, ever set the Witch on fire.

Looking at nifty pictures is not a valid path to mastering the ancient grimoires. Please read thoroughly and carefully from beginning to end so that your madness and gibberings will at least make some sense.

A good grasp of ritual and ritual techniques are essential! In the event of a random impaling, or other accidental death amongst the participants, (see next rule) a quick thinker can improvise to ensure successful completion of the Rite. Make them another sacrifice, Demons like those.

Watch where you wave the sharp pointy items.

Avoid walking through disembodied spirits.

Carry an all purpose translators dictionary in case the ritual leader begins talking in some strange and unknown language.

Avoid joining your life force to anything with glowing red eyes.

If asked to sign a contract or pact and you are experiencing doubts or reservations, sign your neighbors name. Malevolent entities rarely ask for photo ID.

Blood is thicker than water. Soak ritual garments an extra 30-45 minutes.

While drunken weaving may be mistaken for ecstatic dancing, slurring the names of Deities is generally considered bad form.

Best Time To Carry Out Spells And Rituals

 

Best Time To Carry Out Spells and Rituals

If a need is urgent then you can work at any time and picture the full moon or rising dawn whose energies you need, even at a different time of the month or at darkest midnight.

Sometimes the nature of the ritual will dictate the timing. For example, a new beginning spell can be launched on any new date; the first day of the month, the first day of the year, any Sunday, the first day of the week, the first hour after dawn or at the crescent moon when it first appears in the sky. Best of all is the first hour after dawn on a Sunday, which is ruled by the Sun, and so offers a double dose of power for that new beginning.

Lighten Up – Circle Etiquette

Circle Etiquette

Never summon Anything you can’t banish.

Never put asafoetida on the rocks in the sweat lodge.

Do not attempt to walk more than 10 paces while wearing all of your ritual jewelry, dream bags and crystals at the same time.

When proposing to initiate someone, do not mention the Great Rite, leer, and say, “Hey, your trad or mine?”

Never laugh at someone who is skyclad. They can see you, too.

Never, ever set the Witch on fire.

Looking at nifty pictures is not a valid path to mastering the ancient grimoires. Please read thoroughly and carefully from beginning to end so that your madness and gibberings will at least make some sense.

A good grasp of ritual and ritual techniques are essential! In the event of a random impaling, or other accidental death amongst the participants, (see next rule) a quick thinker can improvise to ensure successful completion of the Rite. Make them another sacrifice, Demons like those.

Watch where you wave the sharp pointy items.

Avoid walking through disembodied spirits.

Carry an all purpose translators dictionary in case the ritual leader begins talking in some strange and unknown language.

Avoid joining your life force to anything with glowing red eyes.

If asked to sign a contract or pact and you are experiencing doubts or reservations, sign your neighbors name. Malevolent entities rarely ask for photo ID.

Blood is thicker than water. Soak ritual garments an extra 30-45 minutes.

While drunken weaving may be mistaken for ecstatic dancing, slurring the names of Deities is generally considered bad form.

Lighten Up – Are You a TechnoPagan?

Are You a TechnoPagan?

You may be a TechnoPagan if…

If your athame has a SCSI interface…

If your OBE’s begin with a netsplit…

If your priest robes conceal a pocket protector…

If you calculate the phases of the moon with Windows ’95…

If your altar has a keyboard…

If drawing down a circle is a POST (power on self test)…

If you call the Watch Towers on your cell-tell…

If you do most of your correspondence by email and sign off with Blessed Be…

If you don’t call it a ritual, you call it a Macro…

If you end a circle with Ctl-Alt-Del…

If you have ever attached ribbons to a May Pole using a staple gun…

If you invite the God and Goddess to come online…

If you keep a Disk of Shadows (with encrypted backups)…

If you participate in online rituals more than you do FTF…

If you refer to eclectic ritual as cross-platforming…

If your Beltane ritual includes more than one news group…

If your candles have batteries…

If your cauldron is a crock-pot…

If your deities include Murphy and Gates…

If your drumming is done on a  CD player  (pre-recorded)…

If your herbs are always mail-ordered (express, overnight)…

If your idea of a great retreat has a Computer City, electricity, and a TV nearby…

If your incense is by Glade…

If your magic wand is a light pen…

If your magical name, email address, and online name are all the same…

If your magical writing is done in binary code or C++…

If your pentacle is made of computer chips…

If your technician compains about the wax and incense ash on your motherboard…

If, instead of asking what tradition someone comes from, you ask what operating system they run…

If your Yule ritual involves defragmentation…

If your coven is spread over a 12,000 sq. mi. area…

If your Book of Shadows has a 6-digit version number…

If you refer to deities using 3-letter acronyms (ODN, LKI, THR)…

If you do cord magick with ethernet…

If you ritually down your server for Samhain…

If your altar cloth is a mouse pad…

If, when your quarter candles burn out, the UPS backup system kicks in…

If erecting the temple entails formatting more than 4 disks…

If casteing the circle changes an (int) to a (float)…

If your Star Trek screen-saver signals when your meditation period is over…

If your Beltane ritual includes more than one news group…

If passing the cakes and ale entails using a /me command…

If your search for truth involves regular expressions…

If your familiar is a computer mouse…

If you draw down the moon using a light-pen…

If your cone of power has a surge suppressor…

If your tarot cards multi-task…

If your daemons collect news for you…

If your crystal ball has a horizontal-hold control…

If you refer to solitary practice as a stand alone…

If you tap into the collective unconscious using Netscape…

If your favorite deity has a homepage…

If the address of your covenstead begins with http://…

and finally, if your circle is a token ring…

Well, you just might be a TechnoPagan!

Lighten Up – Circle Etiquette

Never summon Anything you can’t banish.

Never put asafoetida on the rocks in the sweat lodge.

Do not attempt to walk more than 10 paces while wearing all of your ritual jewelry, dream bags and crystals at the same time.

When proposing to initiate someone, do not mention the Great Rite, leer, and say, “Hey, your trad or mine?”

Never laugh at someone who is skyclad. They can see you, too.

Never, ever

set the Witch on fire.

Looking at nifty pictures is not a valid path to mastering the ancient grimoires. Please read thoroughly and carefully from beginning to end so that your madness and gibberings will at least make some sense.

A good grasp of ritual and ritual techniques are essential! In the event of a random impaling, or other accidental death amongst the participants, (see next rule) a quick thinker can improvise to ensure successful completion of the Rite. Make them another sacrifice, Demons like those.

Watch where you wave the sharp pointy items.

Avoid walking through disembodied spirits.

Carry an all purpose translators dictionary in case the ritual leader begins talking in some strange and unknown language.

Avoid joining your life force to anything with glowing red eyes.

If asked to sign a contract or pact and you are experiencing doubts or reservations, sign your neighbors name. Malevolent entities rarely ask for photo ID.

Blood is thicker than water. Soak ritual garments an extra 30-45 minutes.

While drunken weaving may be mistaken for ecstatic dancing, slurring the names of Deities is generally considered bad form.

THE WITCHES BALLAD

Oh, I have been beyond the town, Where nightshade black and mandrake grow, and I
have been and I have seen What righteous folk would fear to know!

For I have heard, at still midnight, Upon the hilltop far, forlorn, With note
that echoed through the dark, The winding of the heathe horn.

And I have seen the fire aglow, And glinting from the magic sword, And with the
inner eye beheld The Horned One, the Sabbat’s lord.

We drank the wine, and broke the bread, And ate it in the Old One’s name. We
linked our hands to make the ring, And laughed and leaped the Sabbat game.

Oh, little do the townsfolk reck, When dull they lie within their bed! Beyond
the streets, beneath the stars, A merry round the witches tread!

And round and round the circle spun, Until the gates swung wide ajar, That bar
the boundaries of the earth, From faery realms that shine afar.

Oh, I have been and I have seen In magic worlds of Otherwhere. For all this
world may praise or blame, For ban or blessing nought I care.

For I have been beyond the town, Where meadowsweet and roses grow, And there
such music did I hear As worldly-righteous never know.

Enjoy!!!!!!!
Blessed Be