Freya - by Rhea Loader
Image by Rhea



Reflections on beginning ritual work,
and a sample ritual.



Goals @ Propriety
I feel it is not always appropriate or proper to do a rite. In fact, if done without making sure it's the correct thing to do, at the correct time, it can even be (at the worst) harmful to yourself or others. Either that, or it would just be counterproductive or ineffectual.

  • If I have an idea for a ritual or spell, I check my motivations for doing so by writing out all the reasons I can think of to do the ritual, then writing out all the possible negative consequences, and finally writing out other ways I could achieve the same goal through everyday actions. For example, if I need money, I'd probably go through my budget first to figure out if I need to rethink my spending patterns first, or consider getting a second job, and possibly do a spell to augment those two things.
  • Second, I perform divination, to get a 'second opinion,' so to speak. I use I Ching, and/or Tarot.
  • Third, I check the astrological forecast to determine the best day/time, or to make sure the one I have in mind isn't badly aspected for the kind of work I want to do.
  • Last, I determine how I'm going to do the rite and/or magick, and write it out at least, or at best practice/memorize it so that I don't need to read it in circle.

Space @ Distractions
I clear the space I'll use, even if only a few feet wide so I can turn in a circle and stretch my arms out. I remove any obstacles so that nothing will be in the way of my body once I start. If I'm not sure, I run through the motions really quick so that I'm certain I won't stub my toes or smack my hands on anything. Oh yeah, and I unplug the phone @ take the batteries out of the smoke detector.

If I'm hungry, I eat lightly. If I'm thirsty, I drink water or juice, but not coffee or caffeinated tea. I don't smoke anymore, but when I did, I'd have a cigarette if I thought the cravings would bother me while I do this ritual. I go to the bathroom, I take a shower or bath, I brush my teeth. If I am stressed or sick, or don't have the focus to be able to meditate, I do ritual another day. Basically, I make sure I'm clean @ won't be bothered by distractions.

I write in my journal and then meditate, at least for a few minutes to clear my mind of distractions and stresses. I use calming visualizations and peaceful music sometimes to help.

I used to center to my solar plexus or to my pineal chakra, but ever since taking Street Magicks (see links for class info) I have physically centered to the "one point" - the center of balance in the body. Then I energically center my astral, spiritual, and physical bodies into alignment at that point. Next, I center in space, sensing all the world and universe around me, with myself as the central point. Last, with my entire past behind me, standing in the middle of what time of day it is now and the alignment of the forces (astrological, numerological, biorhythmic, seasonal), and with all the lines of possibility stretching out in front of me, I completed my centering in all known dimensions.

My own personal definition of grounding is the process of attaching yourself energically to a spiritually or physically massive object that has a physical representation on the material plane. What this means to me is that basically anything that Spiderman could shoot a strand out to and swing off of is strong enough to handle a ground, or an amulet/talisman that has a lot of spiritual power for me, will work to ground to. It has to be something concrete - bigger physically and/or spiritually than me. It must be stable, unmoving in relation to myself, because a ground is to keep my center from being pulled out of place. The second part of grounding is establishing a connection with the Earth so as to balance my energy - I need to be energically neutral. So if my energy is running high, excess energy will be absorbed by the Earth, or if my energy is low, it will run energy in - to equalize my energy to the Earth's.

How to Make a Pentagram
With my right hand I stretch my arm down across my body and point my first two fingers (or athame) toward the ground just outside and slightly forward of my left foot. I raise my arm out forward to a point slightly above my head, and down to point at the ground outside my right foot. Then I bring my fingers (athame) outward and diagonally to a point level with and outside my left shoulder (approximately 45° angle to torso). Next, across to and stretched past my right shoulder (my arm at approximately a 135° angle to my torso). Last, I return my fingers or athame down to the lower left, the point at which I started it, to seal the pentagram off.

The Ritual
I pause for a moment and take a deep breath to still my thoughts, then chant to invite the Divine's presence and blessing. "Lord and Lady, join together Grant your blessing on this space. I consecrate it, holding sacred Your gift of presence in this place." While doing this, I direct the energy outward in all directions - up, out into the universe, down deep to the center of the earth, to the north, south, east, and west, and every direction between those six. I feel forming an invisible force field, out to edge of the ritual space - a dome over my head and a bowl under my feet to form a sphere. I chant a verbal "spiritual adhesive," providing an anchor for the Lord and Lady's energies to hold onto within the sphere for the duration of the ritual. I place my spirit representation (I use an octagonal mirror with appropriately colored gems for the elements, but a pentacle or white candle will work as well) in the center of the sphere, chanting: "From sky and sun to womb of night Love and trust I bring to Thee Lord and Lady join to light, As I will, So Mote It Be!"

I then face East, the direction of Air, Sunrise, Spring, and the birth of consciousness in a child.
"Respectfully, I call on Air
Wind and waking, grant your grace
Father Sky, please hear my cry
Complete the sphere within this space."

I trace a pentagram, visualizing it as bright yellow energy, in front of me, formed of pure and concentrated air energy. I see it merging with the dome above and below to co-form the sphere in air, most concentrated in the North. I light the Air candle.

I move deosil to the South, the direction of Fire, Midday, Summer, and the passion of adolescence.
"Respectfully, I call on Fire
Heat and loving, grant your grace
Brother Sun, be welcome in
Complete the sphere within this space."

I trace a pentagram of red in front of me, formed of pure and concentrated fire energy. I see it merging with the dome above and below to co-form the sphere in fire, most concentrated in the East. I light the Fire candle.

I walk to the West, the direction of Water, Sunset, and Autumn, the maturity of adulthood.
"Respectfully, I call on Water
Wave and dreaming, grant your grace
Sister Sea, hearken to me
Complete the sphere within this space."

I trace a pentagram of blue in front of me, formed of pure and concentrated water energy. I see it merging with the dome above and below to co-form the sphere in water, most concentrated in the West. As before, I light the Water candle.

I walk to the North, the direction of Earth, Night, and Winter, the wisdom of old age, the time after death, and the period just before rebirth into a new incarnation.
"Respectfully, I call on Earth
Soil and wisdom, grant your grace
Mother Earth, you give birth
And complete the sphere within this space."

I trace a pentagram of green in front of me, formed of pure and concentrated earth energy. I see it merging with the dome above and below to co-form the sphere in earth energy, most concentrated in the South, but combining all the energies together into one cohesive sphere. I light the last candle, of Earth, and chant, focusing on the elements, all present, fusing them to the sphere for the duration of this ritual.

"From day and sun to womb of night,
Love and trust I bring to thee
The Elements have joined to Light
As I will, So Mote It Be!"

I walk the horizontal perimeter of the sphere deosil again, but not doing the pentagrams, starting at East and finishing at North, chanting as I do and energically strengthening the sphere so that it becomes impenetrable. I don't use a lot of my own energy for the work, but I focus to direct the combined energies of the Lord and Lady and the elements, together with my own, to join at the junction of this place and time, in this circle, by my Will.

"Fire and Air and Water and Earth
Energy weaves a sphere to guard me.
Lord and Lady watching over
As I will, So Mote It Be!"

At this point I perform a ritual or magick as appropriate. Alternatively, I might use this time to meditate and commune with the Divine.

When I'm done, I return to each quarter in the reverse order (widdershins) - Earth, Water, Fire, and Air - and make a gesture of thanks (my hands crossed over my heart and brought outward to be open-palms upward, still crossed). I then return to the center, bow, and chant:

"Farewell to the Elements
Lord and Lady, farewell to Thee.
With this I open the circle unbroken
For as I will, So Mote It Be!"


Important Notes
Please keep in mind that I wrote this in the hopes that those who like it, will personalize it. · I used some sense-terms, because I "see," "feel," and "hear" energy. Everyone perceives energy differently.

  • I used the terms "Lord" and "Lady," because I have not yet chosen a pantheon of gods. Therefore, I simply call on 'generic' God and Goddess energies.
  • There are a few different direction/element association systems that people use. This one is from ceremonial magick and is pretty common.
  • Color associations I use for the directions/elements are
    • East/Air: Yellow @/or White
    • South/Fire: Red @/or Orange
    • West/Water: Blue @/or Green
    • North/Earth: Green @/or Brown
  • Deosil is pronounced 'dee-oh-sil' or 'day-oh-sil' (depending on where you are from) and I've also heard some people pronounce it 'jeshil', though that is not common. It indicates moving clockwise.
  • Widdershins is pronounced like it's spelled, and means to move counter-clockwise.
  • The solar plexus is the spot in the vertical middle point of your torso where your diaphragm emerges out from under your ribcage.
  • The pineal chakra is located in your lower forehead, in between your eyebrows. It's also called the 'third eye.'
  • A pentagram is something you draw or trace in the air. It doesn't have physical form. (A pentacle is a five-pointed star, circumscribed by a circle).

Recommended Reading
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practicioner. Scott Cunningham.
Modern Magick, second edition. Donald Michael Kraig.

Also Recommended
If you're in the Seattle area, check into the Street Magicks courses, provided by Raven @ Rhea with Nightwing (who are also ShadowPlay editors).

However, if you have no in-practice magickal experience, OLOTEAS (a local eclectic pagan church, very welcoming to newbies - www.oloteas.org) provides free courses on the basics of magick and Wicca, but it's very helpful no matter what magickal path you choose and provides hands-on practice. They even give demonstrations of different types of circle castings. I recommend going to that first, because it'll be helpful in understanding what people are talking about, and you'll have the basics and not be behind when you start Street Magicks… or have a better idea of whether you want to take further classes at all.

2000, J. Autum Groves @ ShadowPlay. All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced and/or adapted for personal use only.


Published in Australia  1984 - 1990 - In Seattle & Sydney 1990-1994
Sydney/Seattle Webzine 1999, 2000
WebDesign: Rhea - Page last updated November 2000