Archive for the ‘wicca’ Category

29
May

Earth Day Sonnet Ritual

   Posted by: Scrivener Tags:

I know it’s a bit late but i wanted to post a working our coven, The Circle of the Dark Moon, did for Earth Day. This ritual originally appeared in Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s book,  “Creating Circles and Ceremonies”.

Earth Day Sonnet Ritual

 

2
Apr

Witchcraft & Christianity

   Posted by: Scrivener Tags:

(*)During my years as a practicing Wiccan, or “witch” or gasp “warlock” (yes I use the ‘W’ word), I have had occasion to ask myself this question many, times. With the recent political controversy where the repugnicans would have you believe that Jesus hates liberals and only bible-thumpin’ funda-mentals curry the Divine’s favor, the question suddenly has more than its usual immediacy for me and for my brothers and sisters in Wicca.

First, let me get the usual questions out of the way. Wicca is a real religion, born in the 1950s as a recreation of the Old Religion of Northern Europe, which some believe dates back about 25,000 years. In the mid-1980s, the U.S. Courts accepted Wicca as a legitimate religion and granted us first Amendment rights and freedom from taxation. Therefore, the point is moot, really. The same U.S. Constitution that protects Christianity protects our religious freedom – and a good thing, too. Wicca is the fastest growing religion of the 20th Century.

Wiccans do not believe in an evil deity, and would not worship one if they did—well, I might. Wiccans do not practice human or animal sacrifice—although I am making a list should human sacrifice ever come back into vogue. The most sacred commandment our religion demands of us is to harm no one. If you think about that last statement carefully, it pretty well covers most of the Biblical Ten Commandments – the important parts, anyway. Even more importantly, we do not attempt to convert our friends and neighbors to Wicca. Our faith teaches us that when they are ready for what we have to teach, they will seek us out.

What about me, personally? Am I a New Age nut? Well, that depends on what you mean—or whom you ask. I’m an environmentalist, certainly—rabidly so. On the other hand, I do not partake in illegal drugs of any kind. I am a database administrator working on air force base for one of the largest Native American SB 8A set aside employers in the United States. I am a college graduate. I am a published novelist (“Is Wanting Enough”). I am a licensed pilot with multiple ratings. My favorite hobbies include running/walking with my dogs, bicycling, reading all sorts of books on Magick and Wicca, anthropology, and other religions (Wiccans are some of the best-read people on the planet). Alas, I haven’t the time to read as much fiction as I’d like—I’m still finishing, “The Deathly Hallows.” I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I currently hold a secret clearance. In what way am I such an evil and dangerous neighbor?

Where does this knee-jerk hostility to the word “witch” come from?

It doesn’t come from the word, certainly. “Witch” is a corruption of “witcraft,” or “craft of the wise.” In fact, the Wiccan religion is sometimes called “The Craft of the Wise,” or just “The Craft.” There is nothing sinister there. Do Wiccans practice magick? Yes—resounding so for those of us in The Dark Moon Tradition—most Wiccans do practice some magick if only in ritual. Do Wiccans have supernatural powers? Yes they do but only those ‘supernatural’ powers innate in everybody and everything in an interconnected Creation. Oddly enough, those same Christians who believe the practice of magick is so evil are often those who most sincerely believe in faith healing. On the other hand, what most Christians fail to realize is that prayer is also a petitionary form of magick. Just think about that for a moment and try to explain the difference between me invoking Hekate or constructing a thoughtform to alter my reality or a Christian praying for their God to grant them a favor. Ahem, I’m waiting .

Let’s get back to the Craft of the Wise. During the Christian Inquisition, nobody really knows how many accused witches were burned at the stake. It is known, however, that a number of village wise women were accused of witchcraft and burned for curing fevers with nasty stuff like moldy bread. Were they followers of the Old Religion? Probably. Were they wise? You bet they were. Did you ever hear of penicillin? I wonder how many centuries of medical knowledge were lost because of a bunch of frightened priests? Can anyone say, “The Dark Ages?”

So where did the idea come from that we were (and are) Satanists?

The most obvious answer is that the moldy bread cure worked, and was unexplainable. A number of other herbal and common sense remedies were surprisingly effective, as “alternative” medicine is re- discovering today. The only way the church could admit these cures worked (and it was a little too obvious to deny) without admitting this was a really good thing was to make the claim that the women practicing these cures had made a pact with the Devil. Heavens, they couldn’t be physicians! Medicine was firmly in the hands of the priests, and the practice of medicine was expressly forbidden to women. At the time I write of, formal medicine consisted mostly of applying leeches to the sick.

Were the village wise women the only problem? No. During this early medieval period, when the Christians were converting Northern Europe at sword point, a lot of dirty tricks were played. The country folk, whom we believe to be the ancestors of modern Wicca, worshiped a Goddess we consider the Mother of Life, and a God we call the Horned Hunter, or God of Death. For us, death is merely a door to rebirth, so there is nothing at all fearful for us in a God of Death. In an effort to make non-Christianity something horrible, the monks who drew the medieval Biblical illustrations “borrowed” our Horned Hunter when they drew depictions of the Christian Devil. You needn’t take my word for this. Any educated person knows that the Greek Pan predates Christianity by some considerable period of time. Take a good look at a drawing of Pan in your nearest encyclopedia. Look familiar? He should. You’ve been looking at him in biblical illustrations dating back to your first Sunday school. Pan is the Greek form of our Horned Hunter. They are one and the same god. Read your mythology. Pan was never evil, just playful.

If all that weren’t enough, Exodus 22:18 was horribly mistranslated in the King James Version of the Christian Bible. The original “Suffer not a poisoner to live among you” became “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Some pretty bloodthirsty fundamentalist preachers want to enforce that mistranslation literally, even today. In August of 1999, Rev. Jack Harvey of Killeen, Texas, was quoted as stating publicly that all witches should be killed. He organized a “March Against Wickedness” for that Labor Day Monday in Killeen (which flopped pitifully), and I believe he was hoping and praying it would erupt into real violence, because he advised members of his congregation to carry guns, in case some of us witches decided to snatch his kids.

Other reasons for fear again date back to medieval times. The reasons have mostly been forgotten, but the fear remains. During medieval times, life was unpleasant. In fact, it was downright horrible for the peasants. Christianity taught the peasants that it didn’t matter, that the material world was to be shunned in favor of a reward in the Christian Heaven. Wiccans did not, and do not, agree. I can still remember my first teacher telling me that it would be difficult to cultivate my spiritual nature until at least my basic physical needs – as in food, shelter, warmth – were met. We are taught that achieving success at another’s expense is wrong (remember we are permitted to harm none!), but success in itself is actually a virtue. In medieval times, daring to hope and work for success was dangerous thinking. It might even have led to a collapse of feudalism. So the Christian hatred of that tenet of Wicca was one part envy, one part fear.

Another envy/fear combination had to do with the fact that Wicca is fun. The Old Religion is filled with laughter and playfulness. Our ceremonies are wonderful parties, full of happy tipsiness and flirtation. By comparison, medieval Christian practices were rather grim. Somehow, the Christians who were trying to convert us had to convince us that slipping off into the woods for a bonfire and a roaring good time wasn’t such a good idea. Do what they would, though, they couldn’t get us to give up our fun. Quite logically under the circumstances, they “borrowed” from us. The use of song and chants in ritual (although why the church couldn’t manage happy song, I can’t say), incense (borrowed from Mithraic ritual)- even some actual elements of ritual itself. You can hear echoes of our cakes and ale ceremony in Christian Communion. Oh, I don’t doubt that Jesus of Nazareth had bread and wine during his Last Supper! That’s as may be, but I don’t think the contents of his last meal became a central part of Christian ceremonies until Christianity clashed with the Old Religion in Europe.

Where did Jesus get the idea in the first place? Mithras, who died following a ritual meal of bread and wine? Or the cakes and ale of the Old Religion? Scary question, isn’t it? For the record, I believe it was Mithras, as he was the secret god of many of the Roman troops occupying Palestine at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Nevertheless, enough Roman troops were European “barbarians” that it is just possible that some elements of our faith were known to Jesus himself.

20th Century Christian practices never struck me as being a barrel of laughs, either. Wiccans are still having fun. So there is bound to be some ongoing envy, if not outright fear.

I wonder how many Christians know how many of their holidays were originally ours.

Samhain, our New Year celebration, when the walls between the worlds are at their thinnest and our beloved dead walk and feast among us, became Christian All Hallows or Halloween. One ceremony used by pagans to encourage a rich crop (although not at Samhain, which is after the harvest) was the sweeping of brooms over the planted fields. To early Christians watching from a distance, it must have looked like the witches were riding on the brooms or trying to do so. Since Samhain was known to be the witches’ most important holiday, witches riding on broomsticks became the symbol of Halloween. Not so surprising at all.

Yule, or the winter solstice, when we celebrate the birth of the Sun God to Mother Earth and Father Time, was borrowed for the birthday of the Christian Jesus. Most Christian scholars agree that Jesus was actually born in the spring. The Yule log, the tree, and even the Nativity Crèche were originally pagan customs. If you have Wiccan friends, and you thought they were only protecting themselves by displaying a Nativity Crèche at Christmas, you were wrong. Wicans had Nativity Crèches long before you xtians came along to convert us.

Imbolc, our festival of light, when we celebrate the start of the Mother’s return to us, along with the birth of new lambs and flowers awakening under the snow, became Christian Candlemas.

Beltane, our famous (and infamous) fertility celebration when we leap the bonfires in joy at the arrival of summer, became May Day, famous for playful fertility celebrations throughout the Christian world.

Lammas, or August 1st, when we celebrate the fruitfulness of the land – well, how many Christians have celebrated the rich harvest to come down through the centuries?

There are many, many more examples of “borrowing.” And therein lies the real root of the problem. The thing fanatical Christians fear most of all is being forced to admit our kinship.

(*) reprinted with additonal comments/edits

2
Aug

Happy Lughnasadh

   Posted by: Scrivener

In honor of Lughnasadh and the recent Black Moon, I’ve posted the custom ritual we, performed last night.

 

 


 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

 

Black Moon / Lughnasadh Ritual

Black Moon / Lughnasadh Ritual

 

July 31, 2011

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

You will need these items:

 

General items

  • Altar facing East.
  • Bell
  • Incense (dragon’s blood, galangal, or any incense good for expanding psychic abilities)
  • Ritual cake (dark bread)
  • Honey
  • Wine or Ale (dark ale or red wine)
  • God/Goddess candles
  • Black Crone Goddess Candle
  • Red (fire) illumination candle
  • Quarter Candles – Green (North), Yellow (East), Red (South) and Blue (West)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Athamé, Sword, or Wand
  • Besom
  • Chalice for Libation for God and Goddess
  • Plate for libation for God and Goddess
  • Cauldron

    Ritual specific items

  • A black candle for the Dark Aspect of the Goddess
  • Incense Mix
  • 1 pt. Mugwort
  • 1 pt. Yarrow
  • 1 pt. Copal Negro
  • 1 pt. Galangal
  • A Cauldron
  • A black “Nocturnal Candle”
  • A Scrying Mirror (you may substitute a black, glassy plate


     

    Cleansing Sacred Space

     

    (Maiden sweeps—with circular widdershins motions—widdershins about the ritual area. When she is satisfied that enough negativity has been removed she sets the besom aside.

    Next, she lights the black crone/resolutions candle.

    Finally, the maiden checks the layout of the altar making sure that the black candle is at least near the cauldron.

     

    Except for the above mentioned exceptions, the maiden ensures that the altar should be divided between male objects on the right—God candle, censer, salt dish, HP’s athame/sword/wand, and besom— and female objects on the left—Goddess candle, cauldron, bowl of water, chalice, libation plate (if used), bell, and the HPS’ athame/wand/sword. The pentacle should be placed forward and between the Goddess and God candles.

     

    The maiden also ensures that the chalice is filled and the ‘cakes’ are on the plate. When these tasks are completed she assists the HPS in any other way deemed necessary. )

     

    Call to the Circle

     

    HPS:(Rings bell to call everyone to the circle.)

     

    HPS: This time is not a time; this place is not a place; today is not a day; and this night is not a night. I stand at the threshold between the worlds. I stand ready to part the veil of mysteries may the Ancient Ones help and protect us on this mighty journey.

     

    Blessed be.

     

    Coveners: So mote it be.


     

     

     

    The Challenge and Entry into Sacred Space

     

    HPS: (Challenges each covener by pointing her athame against their breast)

     

    Better you should run thyself through on mine blade than to enter here with malignity or fear in your heart. What say you? How dost thou come here?

     

    Covener: In perfect love and perfect trust.

     

    HP: (After being admitted into sacred space, the covener approaches the HP who then smudges the covener with sage or lavender. When this action is completed, the covener moves to their place about the altar.)

     


     

    Consecration of the Elements

     

    Charge at the Pentacle

     

    (HP and HP kneel before the altar. The HP is on the right. Both of them place their projective hands upon the pentacle. After a moment, they rise.)

     

    Blessing the Salt

     

    HPS:
    (places dish of salt upon the pentacle)


    HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of salt from the Earth,

    magickal aid, and seasoning for the black cauldron upon the hearth.

     

    I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

     

    All: So mote it be.

     

    (HPS removes the dish of salt from the pentacle and then places the dish of water upon the pentacle. Then she takes the salt and using her athame drops into the water three measures of salt. She stirs the water three times with the tip of her athame. HPS sets the salt aside.)

     

    Blessing the Water

    HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of water—dark bubbles in the cauldron of rebirth—life giving, whether swiftly flowing or falling from the firmament.

     

    I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

     

    All: So mote it be.

     

    Blessing the Air

     

    (HP places the censer containing incense upon the pentacle)

     

    HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Air—blow forth the imagination to dare.

     

    I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

     

    All: So mote it be.

     

    Blessing the Fire

     

    (HP lights the incense)

     

    HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Fire—force of Magick’s pyre.

    I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

     

    All: So mote it be.

     

    (HP sets the censer aside.)


     

    Circle Casting

     

    By Earth

     

    (HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter. )

     

    HPS: I conjure thee, O Circle of Power,

    To be a meeting place of love, joy and truth.

    A boundary between the worlds of men and the Realms of the Mighty Ones.

     

    A rampart and Protection against all wickedness, That shall both contain and entertain the powers that shall be raised within.

     

    Wherefore do I consecrate thee in the name of Lugh and Hecate.

     


     

    Strengthening the Circle

     

    By Water

     

    (Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the circle)

     

    Witch 1: Rain of water and salt sprinkled upon the ground,

    Protect us from wickedness and make our magick sound.

     

     

    By Air

     

    (Takes incense around circle)

     

    Witch 2: Into the night sky, incense smoke, roil,

    rise, and writhe,

    Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

     

    By Fire

     

    (Takes candle around circle)

     

    Witch 3: Fire, shine true and bright,

    Aid, grant clarity of sight,

    Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

     


     

    Calling the Quarters

     

    East: Hail, guardians of the East: Sylphs of the Airs.

    High above in your cloud mansions of the atmosphere,

    your winds whisper of the imagination to dare.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.


     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Air)

     


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South: Hail, guardians of the South: salamanders of Fire,

    From your lava pools and realms of fire,

    you ignite within us our desire.

    Come to this circle on tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     


     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire)

     


    West: Hail, guardians of the West: Undines of the Waters.

    Shallow and deep, your tides ebb and flow;

    From stream to ocean, you hold depths of emotion, and mysteries to know.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     


    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Water)

     


    North Hail, guardians of the North: Gnomes of the Earth.

    Keeping silent beneath mountains you materialize stone into fantastic works.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth)

     


     

     

     

     

     

     

    (HPS & HP move to the altar)

     


     

    Drawing Down the Black Moon

     

    HPS: Oh Lady of the dark moon, crone, wise-woman, lady of knowledge
    Impart to me your wisdom, teach me your secrets
    deep in the womb of the Goddess
    lies the spark of life, and the seed of knowledge.

    Your face is veiled, but not turned from me
    hidden , but not withheld, I am your priestess, be one with me
    Answer my desire, teach me
    Lend me your sight empower me.

    Oh lady of the dark moon
    wise-woman, destroyer, creatrix, tear away the veil before my eyes
    wash away my jaded ideas and prejudices
    purify my intentions, show me the true path.
    My mind is open, my soul is pure, blow away the clouds of fear and inhibition

    I am your priestess, reside in me,
    show me your desire, teach me
    lend me your sight, empower me.

    Protector of witches, within the darkness you are the light.
    At the crossroads, I await thee; please heed my call.
    O Hecate, be with me on this dark moon night.

    Where the veil is thinnest, new beginnings begun, and banishments done,
    you teach us the mysteries on the dark moon night.
    Mistress of all sorceries, to those brave enough, you grant the sight.
    O Hecate, please come unto me; grant me your wisdom’s might.

    (HP stands before the HPS while she makes the invoking pentagram of Earth)

     

    HPS: Of the Mother Darksome and divine

    Mine the scourge, and mine the kiss;

    The five-point star of love and bliss—

    Here I charge you in this sign.

     

    (HPS lights the Goddess Candle Candle)



     

    The Charge of the Dark Goddess

     

    HP: Listen to the words of the Great Mother, she who

    of old was called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianhod, Isis, Bride, Flidais, Brighid and by many other names too numerous to name.

     

    HPS: Hear me child, and know Me for who I am. I have been with you since you were born, and I will stay with you until you return to Me at the final dusk.

    I am the passionate and seductive lover who inspires the poet to dream. I am the One who calls to you at the end of your journey. After the day is done, My children find their blessed rest in my embrace.

    I am the womb from which all things are born.

    I am the shadowy, still tomb; all things must come to Me and bare their breasts to die and be reborn to the Whole.

    I am the Sorceress that will not be ruled, the Weaver of Time, the Teacher of Mysteries. I snip the threads that bring my children home to me. I slit the throats of the cruel and drink the blood of the heartless. Swallow your fear and come to me, and you will discover true beauty, strength, and courage.

    I am the fury which rips the flesh from injustice.

    I am the glowing forge that transforms your inner demons into tools of power. Open yourself to my embrace and overcome.

    I am the glinting sword that protects you from harm.

    I am the crucible in which all the aspects of yourself merge together in a rainbow of union.

    I am the velvet depths of the night sky, the swirling mists of midnight, shrouded in mystery.

    I am the chrysalis in which you will face that which terrifies you and from which you will blossom forth, vibrant and renewed. Seek me at the crossroads, and you shall be transformed, for once you look upon my face, there is no return.

    I am the fire that kisses the shackles away.
    I am the cauldron in which all opposites grow to know each other in Truth.
    I am the web which connects all things.

    I am the Healer of all wounds, the Warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time. I make the weak strong. I make the arrogant humble. I raise up the oppressed and empower the disenfranchised. I am Justice tempered with Mercy.

    Most importantly, child, I am you. I am part of you, and I am within you. Seek me within and without, and you will be strong. Know me. Venture into the dark so that you may awaken to Balance, Illumination, and Wholeness. Take my Love with you everywhere and find the Power within to be who you wish.

    HP: Listen to the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven and whose body encircles the universe.

    HPS: I, Who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.

    From Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return; and before My face, beloved of gods and feared of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let My worship be within the heart that 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 thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that mystery that is attained at the end of desire.


     

    Drawing Down the Sun

     

    Invocation to the Dark God

     

    HP: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Father of us all, Lugh, the Longhand, master not of one art but of them all.

     

    To men lost in the dark you provide you provide succor and light.

    At the crossroads of Worlds, I await thee; please heed my call.

     

    O Lugh, be with me on this your night.

     

    Where the veil is thinnest, new beginnings begun, and bindings and banishments done,

    you teach us the mysteries and how all are connected as though one.

     

    Master of the wild hunt upon moonlit night, for those brave enough you banish sleep and grant the sight.

     

    O Lugh please come unto me this Lughnasadh ritual night and grant me your wisdom’s might.

     

    (HPS: stands before the HP)

     

    HP: (draws invoking pentagram before the HPS)

     

    HP: I am the stag of seven tines,

    Lord of the Underworld, darksome, and divine,

    Mine is the realm of shadow sublime.

    Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss;

    The five-point star of love and bliss-

    Here I charge you, in this sign.

     

    (HPS: stands aside)

     

    (HP lights the God candle)

     


     

    Charge of the Dark God

     

    (HP assumes the Osiris position with his back to the coven.)

     

    HPS: Listen to the words of the Dark God, who was of old called Donn,

    Anubis, Hades by many

    other names:

     

    HP : I am the shadow in the bright day, I am the reminder of mortality at the height of living.

     

    I am the never ending veil of Night where the Star Goddess dances.

    I am the Death that must be so that Life may continue, for behold, Life is immortal because the living must die.

     

    I am the strength that protects, that limits; I am the power that says No, and NO further, and That Is Enough. I am the things that cannot be spoken of, and I am the laughter at the edge of Death.

    I am a stag: of seven tines,
    I am a flood: across a plain,
    I am a wind: on a deep lake,
    I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
    I am a hawk: above the cliff,
    I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
    I am a wonder: among flowers,
    I am a wizard: who but I
    Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?

    I am a spear: that roars for blood,
    I am a salmon: in a pool,
    I am a lure: from paradise,
    I am a hill: where poets walk,
    I am a boar: ruthless and red,
    I am a breaker: threatening doom,
    I am a tide: that drags to death,
    I am an infant: who but I
    Peeps from the unhewn dolmen, arch?

    I am the womb: of every holt,
    I am the blaze: on every hill,
    I am the queen: of every hive,
    I am the shield: for every head,
    I am the tomb: of every hope.

    Come with me into the warm enfolding dark; feel my caresses in the hands, in the mouth, in the body of one you love, and be transformed.

    Gather in the moonless night and speak in unknown tongues; the Dark Mother and I will listen. Sing to us and cry out, and the Power will be yours to wield.

    Blow me a kiss when the sky is dark, and I will smile, but no kiss return, for my kiss is the final one for all mortal flesh.

     

    HPS & HP: Akhera goti—akhera beiti

     


     

    Statement of Purpose

     

    Tonight the Circle of the Dark Moon gathers to honor the Lady and Lord in celebration of Lughnasadh.

     


     

    Power Raising – The Wytches’ Creed

     

    ALL: Hear now the words of the witches,

    The secrets we hid in the night,

    When dark was our destiny’s pathway,

    That now we bring forth into light.

     

    Mysterious water and fire,

    The earth and the wide-ranging air,

    By hidden quintessence we know them,

    And will and keep silent and dare.

     

    The birth and rebirth of all nature,

    The passing of winter and spring,

    We share with the life universal,

    Rejoice in the magickal ring.

     

    Four times in the year the Great Sabbat

    Returns, and the witches are seen

    At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,

    On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.

     

    When day-time and night-time are equal,

    When sun is at greatest and least,

    The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,

    And Witches gather in feast.

     

    Thirteen silver moons in a year are,

    Thirteen is the coven’s array.

    Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,

    For each golden year and a day.

     

    The power that was passed down the age,

    Each time between woman and man,

    Each century unto the other,

    Ere time and the ages began.

     

    When drawn is the magickal circle,

    By sword or athame of power,

    Its compass between two worlds lies,

    In land of the shades for that hour.

     

    This world has no right then to know it,

    And world of beyond will tell naught.

    The oldest of Gods are invoked there,

    The Great Work of magick is wrought.

     

    For the two are mystical pillars,

    That stand at the gate of the shrine,

    And two are the powers of nature,

    The forms and the forces divine.

     

    The dark and the light in succession,

    The opposites each unto each,

    Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:

    Of this our ancestors teach.

     

    By night he’s the wild winds rider,

    The Horn’d One, the Lord of the Shades.

    By day he’s the King of the Woodland,

    The dweller in green forest glades.

     

    She is youthful or old as she pleases,

    She sails the torn clouds in her barque,

    The bright silver lady of midnight,

    The crone who weaves spells in the dark.

     

    The master and mistress of magick,

    That dwell in the deeps of the mind,

    Immortal and ever-renewing,

    With power to free or to bind.

     

    So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,

    And Dance and make love in their praise,

    Till Elphame’s fair land shall receive us

    In peace at the end of our days.

     

    And Do What You Will be the challenge,

    So be it Love that harms none,

    For this is the only commandment.

    By Magick of old, be it done!

     

     


     

    Main Working

     

    HPS/HP: (Begins by drawing four (4) tarot cards for the Dark of the Moon Spread )


    Card #1: What can’t I see in the darkness?

    Card #2: What must I pierce through?
    Card #3: Give me a glimmer of light
    Card #4: Where should I place my next step?

     

    HPS: (Invites the coveners to pass the cards—deosil—and take a plate. While the coveners take their places she tells them to meditate upon the meaning of the cards)

     

    Maiden: (Makes sure everyone has a dark scrying Mirror—i.e black plate)

     

    HPS: (removes the night candle from the cauldron)

     

    HPS: As the darkness from the light,

    Feel how dark crowds the circle of the light,

    Call it to yourself and touch the ether of the night.

     

    HPS: (Walks deosil three times around the circle and instructs the coveners while she

    walks)


    HPS: Visualize how the darkness presses against the edge of the sacred space, which

    now stands between the worlds. The energy generated within the sphere of power has drawn the attention of some beings that inhabit the dark spaces between realms.

     

    HPS: (lights the nocturnal candle and holds it aloft)


    HPS: Into this candle, I draw the power of night.

    Behold the tangible ether of the night,

    In the dark, aid grant clarity of psychic sight


    Dark within the light holds all possibilities.

    This candle, dark and bright, manifests my needs.

    This is my will; this is my spell; so mote it be.

     

    HPS: (further instructs the coveners to turn and face outward to the circle, and then sit

    or stand as is their pleasure. She instructs the maiden to kill the lights.)


    HPS: You will now make the invoking pentagram (Earth.) The scrying mirror will serve

    as a portal and a shield. You control the amount of dark energy you let manifest in the scrying mirror. Enter now a meditative state and gaze (not stare) just beyond the black of the mirror.


    What do you see? Are you receiving pictures or visions? On the other hand,

    perhaps some astral being is gazing back at you. They are curious about you. In

    your mind, talk to them. Ask from them a boon—if you dare. However, do not try to pull the dark ether, or the energy of these beings into yourself. Only feel the energy, and see the visions within the mirror, using your scrying mirror to

    regulate the energy flow.

     

    If you asked for a boon, see it being fulfilled. See yourself already having whatever it is you’re about to ask for (but do not imagine any steps that may result in having your need fulfilled.) Try to imagine for a moment that the flame of the candle is sending out both the absorbed essence of night and the charge that you put into the candle. But don’t think of your need at this point, or any more this evening, in fact.

     

    HPS: (Allows the meditation to continue as long she feels it needs to. When she’s ready, the HPS gives the coveners their final instructions)

     

    HPS: The meditation is ended; release the dark energies and bid the astral entities

    farewell. Tell them as you came in peace so must they now go in peace back to

    their realms.

     

    (The HPS instructs the maiden to turn up the lights and takes the nocturnal

    candle and walks widdershins three times around around the circle to close the

    working.)

     

     

    Consecration of the Wine and Cakes (Symbolic Great Rite)

     

    The Great Rite (Symbolic)

    HP: For in the Days of Old, the Body of Woman was the altar.
    Come, let us all share the loving cup of the God and the Goddess

    (HP holds the blade aloft)

    Blade of my heart and my intent
    Help us all to remember
    That what is given is received back threefold
    Help us all to remember
    To receive as graciously as we give.

     

    HPS: For in the days of Old, the body of Man was the power
    Come, let us share the loving cup of the Goddess and the God.

    (She holds the chalice aloft)

    Chalice of my heart and my intent
    Help us all to remember
    That what is received must be given back three times
    Help us all to remember
    To give as graciously as we receive

    HPS: You are the spear of Lugh,

     

    HPS: And, thou art the Grail of the Moon.

     

    HPS/HP: And the two conjoined as one in truth.

     

     

    Consecration of the Wine

     

    HPS: (lays her athame down and places the chalice on the pentacle.)

     

    HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing thirst.

     

    Consecration of the Cakes

     

    (HPS goes to the table holding the food and touches each plate in turn)

     

    HPS: This food is the blessings of the Gods to our bodies. Let us partake of it freely. Moreover, as we share, let us remember always to see to it that aught that we have we share with those who have nothing.

     


     

    Cakes and Ale

     

    Note: the ceremony of Cakes and Ales now proceeds according to the HPS’ wishes: either the plate and chalice is passed from covener to covener and they serve themselves or each other according to coven custom or the HPS and HP proceed from covener to covener serving them and finally each other.

     

    HPS: (When all of the coveners have partaken of the simple feast, the HPS places some food and drink in the libation bowl. HPS raises the libation plate in salute.)

     

    HPS: To the Gods.

     

    Coveners: To the Gods.

     


     

    Closing the Circle

     

    Release of Deities

     

    Release of the Goddess

     

    HPS: (faces the altar, assumes the Goddess position—or alternatively salutes with athame—and recites)

     

    Queen of the Universe who wears a mantle of stars and moonlight, on this Lughnasadh night,
    
    We gathered, to celebrate the first harvest in summer's on this Black Moon night.
    
    We thank you for your attending and witnessing these rites.
    
    With your help, we shall start down the path to wisdom's light.
    

     

    For this boon, and glimpse
    
    Of your magick, and mystery,
    
    We salute and thank Thee.
    

     

    Alas, our time together now is past.
    
    We bid thee farewell.
    
    Stay if you will and join our repast;
    
    Leave us if you must.
    
    Ere you leave us, know that all who met here
    
    Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.
    							

     

     (Extinguishes the Goddess candle)
    						

     

    Release of the God

     

    HP: (Assumes the Osiris position)

     

    Thou art the Stag of Seven tines.

    He who’s power is wide as the flood on a plain.

    Your wisdom stretches like a hawk across the sky.

    Who but you with smoke sets our heads afire?

    You taught us the secrets of the unhewn dolmen.

    For this boon, and glimpse
    
    Of your magick, and mystery,
    
    We salute and thank Thee.
    

     

    Alas, our time together now is past.
    
    We bid thee farewell.
    
    Stay if you will and join our repast;
    
    Leave us if you must.
    
    Ere you leave us, know that all who met here
    

    Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

     


     

    Quarter Dismissals

     

    (The HP follows the HPS around the quarters—except where noted—while the rest of the coven remain in place around the circle but mimic the HPS’ gestures. At each quarter, the HPS and HP salute the quarter with their athames. After the dismissal, the HPS, HP, and coveners, draw the banishing pentagram. The banishing pentagram of Earth shall be used for all dismissals.)

     

    North: Hail, guardians of the North, Gnomes of the Earth.

    On this later summer, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh rite.

    Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we met in perfect love and perfect trust.

     


    (Draw the banishing pentagram of Earth)


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    West: Hail, guardians of the West, Undines of the Waters.

    On this late summer, we thank
    you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh rite.

    Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we met in perfect love and perfect trust.

     

     

     

    (Draw the banishing pentagram of Water)


     

    South: Hail, guardians of the South, Salamanders of Fire,

    On this late summer, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh rite.

    Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we met in perfect love and perfect trust.


     

    (Draw the banishing pentagram of Fire)

     


     

    East: Hail, guardians of the East, Sylphs of the Airs,

    On this late summer night, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh rite.

    Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we met in perfect love and perfect trust.


     

    (Draw the banishing pentagram of Air)

     

     


     

    Grounding the Circle

     

    (HPS and HP face the altar together. The Deities have been thanked and the Quarters dismissed, therefore, the next action is to ‘take down’ the circle. Since the circle was thrice cast, it should be thrice unwound. Also, because the circle was cast doesil it should be undone in a widdershins direction.

     

    An Athame or sword may be used; but I prefer the sword for reasons you shall see later. Assuming it was the HPS who cast the circle, we’ll let her undo it.)

     

    (HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter.)

     

    HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee I now release thy energies into this blade.

     

    (In your mind’s eye, see the circle dissolve into a wispy energy smoke, which the glowing blade readily absorbs)

     

    Where there once existed a rampart between this world and the Otherworld, the rampart is no more. Once again, our realms are separate. However, the love and joy with which we met here tonight remains undiminished.

     

    (When three widdershins circuits have been completed, the HP remains at the altar while the HPS walks to the center of the circle and grounds the sword—this is why I said that I prefer using a sword.)

     

    HPS: This energy I return unto Mother Earth. May it help heal her hurts in some small fashion.

     

    (HPS rejoins the HP at the altar and then together they face the rest of the coven)

     

    HPS:          The circle is open but remains unbroken. Brothers and sisters, we are children of the Lord and Lady. May they always live within our hearts, our magick, and our lives. Merry did we meet, and merry do we part. Merry may we meet again.
    

     

    Blessed be.
    

     

    Coveners:      Blessed be.

 

Download this ritual here

19
Jun

Leaving Offerings for Fairies on Litha

   Posted by: Scrivener

Litha is the Wiccan term for summer solstice–which varies between June 20 and June 24, depending on the year. It entails a number of different celebrations and observances, many centering on children and notions of play. Faeries, too, become a part of the Litha celebration–the day supposedly brings us closer to the supernatural world, which William Shakespeare celebrated in his famous play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can leave offerings for the faeries in many ways, either as means of securing their blessings (and not being bewitched like Bottom or Rip Van Winkle), or just as a fun activity for you and your kids.

  • Find a suitable place to leave offerings for the faeries. Faerie folk tend to congregate in wooded areas, in the hollows of trees and near water. If you have a garden, you can prepare an altar for your offerings by planting flowers they might like, such as roses, bluebells, or lilacs. A fountain or small pool in your garden works well as an altar too.
  • Locate a place inside where you can leave offerings. If you live in an apartment or urban area, you can still find a place to honor the faeries on Litha. Household faeries such as brownies inhabit people’s homes, no matter where they are. Clear a section of countertop, dresser, or fire hearth for your altar and leave the offering in a saucer or a wicker basket.
  • Prepare food as an offering yourself. Faeries don’t usually like processed or pre-packaged foods, though they do enjoy milk and/or honey when served in a saucer. Baked goods such as bread and small cakes make much better offerings, especially if you prepare them in your own oven.
  • You can use flowers and summer herbs as offerings as well. Faeries appreciate them. If possible, plant the flowers so that they will grow and bloom, rather than presenting cut flowers.
  • Leave the offerings at least one night. Check the calendar and make sure you have the correct date for Litha or Midsummer’s Night (June was midsummer in the old calendars). It varies from year to year and astronomical sites will tell you exactly when Litha falls on the year in question.
  • Sing and dance when you leave your offerings. Faeries love chanting music and dancing and will be more inclined to approach your offerings.
  • Thank the faeries before you leave. If you want to ask them for help, Litha is a good time to do it, but try to ask for unselfish things, such as good health for your friends and families. Faeries turn their noses up at selfish requests for help.
  • Don’t be worried if the faeries don’t eat the food (or your kids ask why the faeries haven’t taken their offerings). They can absorb the essence of the food without actually eating it or appear as an animal and consume it that way.
  • Remove the food after is has been sitting a day or two. The faeries have likely removed all sustenance from it and even if they haven’t, it will begin to turn.
19
Jun

Happy Litha

   Posted by: Scrivener

Directly opposite of Yule, on the Wheel of the Year, is our Pagan Holy Day called Midsummer, the Summer Solstice or Litha, and in Christian times was known as St. John’s Day. Midsummer is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere between June 20th and 26th. (The festivities can actually go on for a week in some places!) This is the longest day of the year, and the day when we honor our God (as represented by the Sun) as He makes His ascent into the highest point of the Heavens before beginning His great decline towards His death (Winter). He was called by many names in every religion and land on Earth. To the Greeks He was Helios and then Apollo, to the Celts he was Lugh, to the Egyptians He was Ra and to the Christians He was Jesus Christ. He is also known to many of us modern Neo-Pagans and Wiccans as the Oak King, who rules over the light half of the year. In some cultures He, (the Sun) was even a She; such as the case of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu.

At this time in the cycle the Mother Goddess (the Earth) is now heavily pregnant with the Divine Child, who will be born at the Winter Solstice, 6 months from now. This Divine Child will be the rebirth of Her Dead Consort, who will be slain by His brother the Holly King (who represents the the dark half of the year) on this night to symbolize the death of the Sun’s reign of power on the Earth. The child growing in Her belly represents the bounty ripening on the trees and in the fields at Midsummer. This is the peak of the year. This is the height of not only the the growing season, but also of the waxing energy cycle of the year.

Couples living in the Old Ways often would wait until after they had a baby on the way before they wed. Because fertility was such an important factor in the marriages of country folks, because they needed children to work the farm, business or carry on the family line- that often the young couple needed to prove their ability to bear children before entering into a marriage. Otherwise, the marriage would not be considered to be blessed by the Gods. (Thank Goddess that such things are not a criteria for ‘wholeness in marriage’ in these days of infertility and overpopulation!) This Pagan tradition is the reason why the Goddess is pregnant at Beltane and the couple is not married until Midsummer. If a couple who was Hand fasted at Beltane the previous year, had prospered during their “Year and a Day” trial period of marriage- they would usually be Hand fasted again the next Midsummer’s in a more formal and binding ceremony to proclaim their commitment to each other and the family.

 

Because Midsummer is a cross quarter point of the year, it is a time of great power, magick and a time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. This is why it is considered an auspicious time for divinations, harvesting magickal and medicinal herbs and for Otherworldly Faerie and Spirit contact. The Faeries are said to rise from the hills and mounds on this night, because of this time in between times. These Faeries are not always light and fluff- the stuff of story books and New Age Bookstores. They can be mischievous and at times quite frightening. When working with them one must remember that they are not of this realm, and they do not operate by the same morality or laws as us who live on this plane.

If you would like to make contact or even friends with these Nature Spirits, you might like to make a Faerie Altar or Shrine in a secluded outdoor area. Preferably in your backyard, or somewhere on your own property; that way you can begin to attune with the Faeries and Land Devas that share your space with you. A Faerie Shrine can be something as simple as a flat rock to leave offerings on, or even a small birdhouse, decorated with growing flowers, and complete with a tiny nest. Faeries are known to enjoy small trinkets and nature objects like shells, rocks and crystals. They also like offerings of bread and honey. After leaving the food out overnight, toss it into the yard for the birds or animals to eat.

Midsummer’s Eve and Morning is also the time to harvest many Spring and early Summer herbs, and also to gather branches for making wands, staffs and stangs. It is best to precede this gathering with a moment of asking permission to partake of the plant’s bounty. Many Magickal Folks like to draw a circle in the Earth around the plant, to symbolically concentrate the energy before cutting into the plant. Then you harvest the greenery with your boline, or another sacred knife used only for this purpose. Afterwards, it is nice to leave a small offering as a token of appreciation and an energy exchange. The best thanks would be a nice long watering, and maybe some fertilizer; however, any small coins, trinkets or even bits of food or a libation are good too. Many times when I have been unprepared, I will leave a strand of my hair on a branch for the birds, and spit at the roots. (The spit is in lieu of water and also is a physical energy exchange from me to the plant.) When gathering branches to use for Wands, it is traditional to use branches from a ‘virgin’ tree, that is one who has not yet born fruit.

The traditional colors of this holiday are the reds, oranges yellows and golds of fire and the sun. The ancient Celts used to make giant Solar Wheels and set them ablaze while sending them down a hill. A more modern variation on this, to make with the children, would be to make Solar Wheels out of Ivy or other malleable branches and vines. First make the wreath and then the cross in the center. These can be hung outside with yellow, orange and red ribbons. For the littlest participants, a paper plate makes a great surface for these Solar Disks, and you could use paint and glitter along with ribbons instead of the more cumbersome wreath weaving. You can also take two sticks and tie them into a cross. Then, punch two tiny holes on either side of the sticks in a few key spots, and use yarn to attach them to the paper plate. That way, you can still have the ‘Nature’ effect along with the easy creation. Or, just keep it super simple and use paint or popsicle sticks! Either way, the turn out pretty and the kids love them.

This is a traditional time for creating and empowering Amulets, Talismans, and other Charms for use during the year. I also like to use the high waxing energies of this day to bless and empower my crystals in a Sun Bath. You do this in exactly the same way you cleanse and empower them in a Moon Bath, except this is done throughout the day, instead of the night. Three days in the Sun is even better than 1; but remember to bring them in at night, as they are supposed to be absorbing pure Solar energy. Traditional crystals to use for rituals or workings on this Sabbat are Amber, Carnelian, Citrine, Red Jasper, Pyrite, and any other gemstones with Solar correspondences.

This night is a great night for a bonfire (or a BBQ). As you sing or chant some jaunty Midsummer tune in thanks of the God and Goddess, throw a mixture of purifying herbs (such as lavender or sage) onto the fire for a purification smudge. Then catch fireflies in glass jars and spend some time divining with Tarot, Runes or scrying in inky water. Spend time with family and friends eating good food and enjoying some good drinks and music.

16
Jun

Morgan’s Wiccaning

   Posted by: Scrivener


 

Morgan’s Wiccaning

Morgans
Wiccaning

 

6 . 15. 2011

 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

 

 


You will need these items:

 

  • The usual tools, candles, paraphernalia for ritual

 

Items specific to the Ritual

  • A bird-feather fan (optional)
  • Sage
  • Anointing Oil
  • A white candle with the child’s mundane name and Wiccan name carved into it (optional)
  • Water
  • Wine
  • Salt

 

Preparation:

 

Cleansing Sacred Space

 

Sweep the area with besom then smudge with violet-sage.


Cleansing Sacred Space

 

(Maiden sweeps—with circular widdershins motions—widdershins about the ritual area.
When she is satisfied that enough negativity has been removed she sets the besom aside. Next, she lights the black crone/resolutions candle.
Finally, the maiden checks the layout of the altar making sure that the black candle is at
least near the cauldron.

Except for the above mentioned exceptions, the maiden ensures that the altar should be
divided between male objects on the right—God candle, censer, salt dish, HP’s
athame/sword/wand, and besom— and female objects on the left—Goddess candle,

cauldron, bowl of water, chalice, libation plate (if used), bell, and the HPS’ athame/wand/sword. The pentacle should be placed forward and between the Goddess and God candles.

The maiden also ensures that the chalice is filled and the ‘cakes’ are on the plate. When these tasks are completed, she assists the HPS in any other way deemed necessary. )

 

Call to the Circle

 

HPS: (Rings bell to call everyone to the circle.)

 

HPS: This time is not a time; this place is not a place; today is not a day;

and this night is not a night. I stand at the threshold between the worlds. I stand ready to part the veil of mysteries may the Ancient Ones help and protect us on this mighty journey.

 

Blessed be.

 

Coveners: So mote it be.

 


Consecration of the Elements

 

Charge at the Pentacle

 

(HP and HP kneel before the altar. The HP is on the right. Both of them place their right hands upon the pentacle. After a moment, they rise.)

 

Blessing the Salt

 

HPS: (places dish of salt upon the pentacle)
HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of salt from the Earth,
magickal aid, and seasoning for Brighid’s Cauldron of rebirth.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

(HPS removes the dish of salt from the pentacle and then places the dish of water upon the pentacle. Then she takes the salt and using her athame drops into the water three measures of salt. She stirs the water three times with the tip of her athame. HPS sets the salt aside.)

 

Blessing the Water

 

HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of water
life giving, whether swiftly flowing or falling from the firmament.
I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of
magick you may well serve me.
All: So mote it be.

Blessing the Air

 

(HP places the censer containing incense upon the pentacle)

 

HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Air—force of the full moon that

brings the imagination to dare.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of
magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be.

 

Blessing the Fire

 

(HP lights the incense)

 

HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Fire—force of Magick’s pyre.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

All: So mote it be.

 

(HP sets the censer aside.)

 


 

Circle Casting

 

By Earth

 

(HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter. )

 

HPS: (Traces the about the circle with her athame or sword. If “increasing magick” is to be done she walks deosil about the circle otherwise she travels widdershins if banishing magick is being performed. If mother and child are amenable, they may accompany the HPS as she conjures the magick circle. )

 

HPS: This sacred knife today we take in hand,

To cut the cord of newborn memory

Of sorrows; cut the fears and birthing pains.

You’ll start anew with newborn wings set free.

 

We scribe this holy Circle; sacred space

Within the holy temple blessed with mirth.

Come forth in childhood, my sweet, to learn

Of Air and Water, Fire and holy Earth.

 

We set the stage, oh little one, today’s

The day to come and meet the universe.

This blade doth circle and these words do make

A temple sweet and fine as any verse.

 

This magick circle is both a rampart and protection against all wickedness that shall both contain and entertain the powers that shall be raised within.

 

Wherefore do I consecrate thee in the name of Lugh and Hecate.

 

 

Strengthening the Circle

 

By Water

 

Witch 1: Rain of water and salt sprinkled upon the ground,

Protect us from wickedness, and make our magick sound.

 

(Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the circle)

 

By Air

 

Witch 2: Into the night sky, incense smoke, roil, rise, and writhe,

Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

 

(Takes incense around circle)

 

By Fire

 

Witch 3: Fire, shine true and bright,

Aid, grant clarity of sight,

Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

 

(Takes candle around circle)

 

 


Calling the Quarters

 

Note: if the coven plans to perform “increasing magick,” the quarters should be called in usual deosil order of East, South, West, and then North.

 

However, if the coven plans don’t include a working, or banishing magick is being performed, then, the quarters should be called in widdershins order of East, North, West, and then South. For the purposes of this document, the quarters will be presented in traditional dark moon widdershins order.

 

The Individual quarter calls themselves are presented on separate pages for ease of changing calling order. Page numbers have also been removed on the quarter call pages so that all one needs to do is reorder the pages to correctly reflect the type of magick being performed during the ritual.

 

 

East: Hail and welcome ye Sylphs of the Airs and realms of the Atmosphere,

I do summon, stir, and call you up.

Bring with you the hosts of the watchtowers of the East

to guard our circle and to witness our rites.

Sylphs, thou art the gatekeepers of the Eastern Portals of Knowledge and Intellect.


 

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Air)

 

 

 

 



 

South: Hail and welcome ye Salamanders from your realms of Fire,

I do summon, stir, and call you up.

Bring with you the hosts of the watchtowers of the South

to guard our circle and to witness our rites.

Salamanders, thou art the gatekeepers of the Southern Portal.


(Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire)

 

 

 


 

 

West: Hail and welcome ye Undines of the Waters,

I do summon, stir, and call you up.

Bring with you the hosts of the watchtowers of the West

to guard our circle and to witness our rites.

Undines, thou art the gatekeepers of the Western Portals to Death and Initiation.


(Draw the invoking pentagram of Water)

 

 

 


 

 

North: Hail and welcome ye Gnomes, Dwarves, and Trolls of the Earthen Realms,

I do summon, stir, and call you up.

Bring with you the hosts of the watchtowers of the North

to guard our circle and to witness our rites.

Gnomes, Dwarves, and Trolls thou art the gatekeepers of the Northern Portal of Boreas.


(Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth)

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

Drawing Down the Dark Moon

 

Invocation to the Goddess

 

(HPS & HPS return to the altar)

 

HPS : (Assumes the Goddess position)

 

O thou beautiful, Lady of the Moon,
most revered, mysterious, and triune,
Round and full above, yet hidden from our sight.

You glide through a starry sky this Full Chaste Moon night.

 

Thou art the Holy priestess, the triple Goddess,
Our mighty protectress during the full Moon in darkness.

You are maiden, mother, and crone,

At once, beautiful, full, dark and terrible to behold.

Admirable queen of the starry night,

Show me the mysteries and clear my sight.
I invoke thy lunar ecstasy, and thy mystic trance.
I invoke thy magick, and thy initiated guidance.

I invoke thee to enrich my soul’s power,
O Mother, Brighid come, onto me in this enchanted and sacred hour.

I invoke thee and call upon thee, bright Mother in Shadows of us all.

At the crossroads, I await thee; please heed my call.

 

O Brighid be with me on this moonlit night.

Mistress of all sorceries, to those brave enough, you grant the sight.

O Goddess please come unto me; grant me your wisdom’s might

and descend upon me, your priestess tonight.

 

(HPS lights the Goddess Candle)

 

(HP stands before the HPS)

 

HPS: (draws invoking pentagram before the HP)

 

Of the Mother darksome and divine,
Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss;
The five-point star of love and bliss-
Here I charge you, in this sign.

(HP: stands aside)

 


 

The Charge of the Goddess

 

HP: Listen to the words of the Dark Mother, who of old was called Hecate, Nuit, Morrigan, Banba, Erda, Macha, MotherNight, Sekhmet and many other names.

 

HPS: (HPS as the Goddess Herself, the HPS turns to face the coven.)

 

HPS: 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 witches.

 

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deeper secrets;
to these will I teach all things that are as yet unknown,
And ye shall be free from slavery;
and as a sign ye be truly free,
you shall be naked in your rites,
and ye shall dance, sing and feast,
make music and love, all in my praise.

For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and more
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 nothing stop you or turn you aside.

For mine is the secret door
which opens upon the Land of Youth,
and mine is the cup of the 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 who have gone before.
Nor do I demand sacrifice for behold,
I am the Mother of all living,
and my love is poured out onto the Earth.

I am the beauty of green earth,
and the white moon among the stars,
and the mystery of the waters,
and the desire of the heart of man.
Call unto thy soul, arise, and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature.
Who gives life to the universe.
From me all things proceed,
and unto me all things must return;
and before my face, beloved of Gods and men,
let thine innermost divine self
be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.

Let my worship be within the heart that 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 thinketh to seek for me,
know thy seeking and yearning
shall avail thee not unless thou knoweth the mystery;
that if that which thy seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never it without thee.

For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning;
and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.


 

Drawing Down the Sun

 

Invocation to the God

 

HP: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Father of us all.

Thy names are too numerous to tell: Anubis, Osiris, Hades,
Cernunnos, Lugh, and the Lord of the Underworld.

 

You are the stag of seven tines.

 

 

You are the Lord of all things wild, the consort of She whom we adore and before, you were her child.

 

 

 

You have many names but those who know your playful side call you Loki, Puck or Pan.

 

 

 

Though the oak grows and the holly is wan,

 

 

You are the stag of seven tines.

 

Great Father, Lugh the Longhand return to Earth, again.

 

Come at my call and show Yourself to men.

Shepherd of goats, upon the wild hill’s way,

Lead thy flock from night into day.

 

Forgotten are the ways of sleep and night—

Men seek for them whose eyes have lost the light.

Open the door of dreams, whereby men come to thee.

Shepherd of goats, ruler of wild things, descend upon thy servant and priest.

O, Lugh, answer unto me.

 

(HP lights the God candle.)

 

(HPS: stands before the HP)

 


HP: (draws invoking pentagram before the HPS)

 

HP: I am the stag of seven tines, Lord of the Underworld, darksome, and divine, Mine is the realm of shadow sublime. Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss; The five-point star of love and bliss- Here I charge you, in this sign.

 

(HPS: stands aside)

Charge of the God

 

(HP assumes the Osiris position with his back to the coven.)

 

HPS: Listen to the words of the God, who was of old called Donn,

Anubis, Hades, Loki, Cernunnos, Lugh and by many

other names:

 

HP : Listen to my words,

The Guardian of all things wild and free,

Keeper of the Gates of Death,

Whose Call we all must Heed:

 

I am the fire within your Heart,

The yearning of your Soul.

I, the Hunter of Knowledge, Seeker of the Holy Quest

I, who stand in the darkness, am He whom you call Death.

 

I, the Consort and Mate of Her whom we adore,

Beckoned forth to Thee,

To learn the secrets of Death and Peace,

Come thou unto me.

 

I am corn at harvest and fruit on the trees.

I am He who leads you home.

With Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood,

These are mine own gifts to thee.

 

Call unto me in the forest wild and hilltop bare,

And seek me in the Darkest Night.

I, who have been called;

Lugh, Pan, Hades, Hermes, Puck, Loki, and Osiris Bright.

 

Speak to thee in thy search, Come to dance and sing;

Come live and love; behold this is worshiping.

 

I, thy Father. You are my children. On swift night wings,

it is I who lay you at the Mother’s feet;

to be reborn and to return again to seek .

 

Know me, I am the untamed wind,

the fury of storm.

Seek me with pride and humility,

and passion in your Soul.

 

HPS & HP: Akhera goti—akhera beiti

 


Statement of Purpose

 

HP/HPS: Tonight, we’re gathered here to celebrate Morgan’s Wiccaning.

 


Power Raising

 

(HPS and HP lead any others in a catchy rune)

 

Preparing to visit the Watchtowers

 

All: Oh come with me, my child, and we will see

The secrets found within the Mystery.

For untold ages all have known the lore:

The Mystery of life within the Four

Some people know the four as winds above

While others call them Unicorns, with love.

No matter how they’re seen nor by what name

For Four are Universal, just the same.

Oh come with me, my friend, as we will see

The secrets found within the Mystery.

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Wiccaning

 

HP/HPS: Today, we meet in the Circle to ask the blessing of the Mighty Horned God, and the Gentle Goddess on Morgan the son of Jessa and Thomas, so that he may grow in beauty and strength, in joy and wisdom, and in sight and protection of the Gods.

There are many paths one may walk to truth and each must find their own. Therefore, we do not seek to bind Morgan to any one path while he is still too young to choose. Rather do we ask the God and Goddess, who know all paths and to whom all paths lead, to bless, protect, and guide Morgan through the years of childhood so that when at last he is grown he shall know which is the way of his True Will and shall gladly walk that path.

Jessa, and Thomas, parents of Morgan,
bring him forward that he may be blessed.

 

Parents: (Arise and bring the child to the waiting HP/HPS)

 

HP/HPS: Jessa, does your child also have a hidden name?

 

Mother: His hidden name is _________________ .

 

HP/HPS: (anoints the forehead of the child with oil tracing a pentagram)

I anoint thee, Morgan, with oil and give you the hidden name of ____________ .

(repeats the above action with wine)

I anoint thee, Hidden Name, with wine in the name of the Mighty God Lugh.

(repeats the above action with water)

I anoint thee, Hidden Name, with wine in the name of the gentle Goddess Brighid.

 

HP/HPS: (Gives the child back to the parents and leads them and the child to each Quarter in turn—beginning in the east.)

 

HP/HPS: Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the (East/South/North/West) we do bring before you, Morgan, whose hidden name is ________________, and who has been duly anointed within the magick circle. Hear Ye, therefore, that he is under the protection of Lugh and Brighid.

 

(In turn, after the child is introduced to each quarter, the caller of that quarter offers a blessing)

 

East: (smoke from the burning sage is wafted around the baby using the bird’s wing fan.)


By the Air which is Her breath, may you live long and prosper!

 

 

South: (the quarter candle flame is passed before the child.)


By the Fire which is Her radiant spirit, may you live long and prosper!

 

 

West: (water is sprinkled over the baby.)


By the Water which is Her blood, may you live long and prosper!

 

 

North: (salt is sprinkled over the baby.)


By the Earth which is Her body, may you live long and prosper!

 

 

HP: (The HPS and HP take their places back at the altar with the parents and child standing between them)

 

Lugh, lord of all the arts and ruler of the wild places, bestow upon this child the gift of strength.

 

HPS: Gentle Brighid, bestow upon this child the gift of wonder and awe of the natural world.

 

HP: Lugh, the Longhand master of all the arts, bestow this child the gift of wisdom.

 

HPS: Brighid, Goddess of home and hearth, bestow upon this child the gift of love.

 

(HP/HPS invite first the parents and the others attending to step forward and bestow their own blessings upon the child. When all have blessed the child, the HP and HPS, and the parents and the child turn to the others in the circle)

 

HP: Are there two in the circle who will stand forth as godparents? Who will stand for this child with me?

 

(At this time the god parents make their intentions known. If no godparents are present, the HPS answers the HP)

 


HPS: I will join you.

 

(If present, the godparents now come forward. Otherwise, the HP and HPS may stand in their stead. If no godparents are present, the HP and HPS stand facing each other and answer each other’s questions)

 

HP: Do you, ___________, promise to be a friend to _____________ throughout his childhood, to aid and guide him as needed, and in accord with his parents, to watch over and love him as if he were your own blood, till by the grace of Lugh and Brighid he shall be ready to choose his own way?

 

HPS/GM: I, ________, do so promise.

 

HPS: Do you, ___________, promise to be a friend to _____________ throughout his childhood, to aid and guide him as needed, and in accord with his parents, to watch over and love him as if he were your own blood, till by the grace of Lugh and Brighid he shall be ready to choose his own way?

 

HP/GF: I, ________, do so promise.

 

HP: The God and Goddess have blessed him;

The Lords of the Watchtowers have acknowledged him;

We his friends have welcomed him;

Therefore, O Circle of Stars, shine in peace on ___________,

Whose hidden name is ____________.

So Mote it Be!   �

 

HP: (Now invites all who want to come forward and offer their own blessings for the child)

 

(When all the blessings have been bestowed, the HPS directs everyone to return to their places and ceremony proceeds with Cakes and Ale)   �


 

Consecration of the Wine and Cakes (Symbolic Great Rite)

 

The Great Rite (Symbolic)

 

HP: For in the Days of Old, the Body of Woman was the altar. Come, let us all share the loving cup of the God and the Goddess

 

(HP holds the blade aloft)

 

HP: Blade of my heart and my intent Help us all to remember That what is given is received back threefold Help us all to remember To receive as graciously as we give.

 

HPS: For in the days of Old, the body of Man was the power

Come, let us share the loving cup of the Goddess and the God.


(She holds the chalice aloft)

 

HPS: Chalice of my heart and my intent

Help us all to remember

That what is received must be given back three times

Help us all to remember

To give as graciously as we receive

 

HP: As the athame is the male.

 

HPS: So the Chalice is to the female.

 

HPS/HP: And the two are conjoined as one in truth.

 

 

Consecration of the Wine

 

HPS: (lays her athame down and places the chalice on the pentacle.)

 

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing thirst.

 

Consecration of the Cakes

 

(HP holds the platter of cakes before the HPS. She touches each cake in turn)

 

HPS: This food is the blessings gods to our bodies. Let us Partake of it freely. And, as we share, let us remember always to see to it that aught that we have we share with those who have nothing.

Cakes and Ale

 

Note: the ceremony of Cakes and Ales now proceeds according to the HPS’ wishes: either the plate and chalice is passed from covener to covener and they serve themselves or each other according to coven cusThomas or the HPS and HP proceed from covener to covener serving them and finally each other.

 

HPS: (When all of the coveners have partaken of the simple feast, the HPS places some food and drink in the libation bowl. HPS raises the libation plate in salute.)

 

HPS: To the Gods.

 

Coveners: To the Gods.

 


 

Closing the Circle

 

Release of Deities

 

Release of the Goddess

 

HPS: (faces the altar, assumes the Goddess position—or alternatively salutes with athame—and recites)

 

 

Queen of the Universe who wears a mantle of stars and shadow'd moonlight, on this full Chaste Moon night,

 

 

We thank you for your attending and witnessing these rites.

 

 

With your help, we shall start down the path to wisdom's light.

 

 

 

For this boon, and glimpse

 

 

Of your magick, and mystery,

 

 

We salute and thank Thee.

 

 

 

Alas, our time together now is past.

 

 

We bid thee farewell.

 

 

Stay if you will and join our repast.

 

 

Leave us if you must.

 

 

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

 

 

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.
					

 

 

(Extinguishes the Goddess candle)

 

Release of the God

 

HP: (Assumes the Osiris position)

 

Thou art the Stag of Seven tines.
He who’s power is wide as the flood on a plain.
Your wisdom stretches like a hawk across the sky.
Who but you with smoke sets our heads afire?
You taught us the secrets of the unhewn dolmen.

For this boon, and glimpse
Of your magick, and mystery,
We salute and thank Thee.

Alas, our time together now is past.
We bid thee farewell.
Stay if you will and join our repast;
Leave us if you must.
Ere you leave us, know that all who met here
Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

Quarter Dismissals

 

(The HP follows the HPS around the quarters—except where noted—while the rest of the coven remain in place around the circle but mimic the HPS’ gestures. At each quarter, the HPS and HP salute the quarter with their athames. After the dismissal, the HPS, HP, and coveners, draw the banishing pentagram.)

 

 

 

North: Hail, Gnomes, Dwarves, and Trolls who toil in rock and dirt, on this moonlit night, we thank you for witnessing and protecting these sacred magickal rites.

Lead the hosts of the Watchtowers of the North and return to your Realms of Earth, Borean snow and ice.

 

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Earth)



 

West: Hail, Undines of the Rivers, Lakes, and Seas, on this moonlit night,

we thank you for witnessing and protecting these sacred magickal rites.

Lead the hosts of the Watchtowers of the West and return to your Realms of Water.


(Draw the banishing pentagram of Water)


 

South: Hail, Salamanders of heat and light, on this moonlit night,

we thank you for witnessing and protecting these sacred magickal rites.

Lead the hosts of the Watchtowers of South and return to your Realms of Lava, Heat, and Fire.

 

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Fire)

 

 

 


 

East: Hail, Sylphs of the atmospheres, on this moonlit night,

we thank you for witnessing and protecting these sacred magickal rites.

Lead the hosts of the Watchtowers of East and return to your Realms of Air.


(Draw the banishing pentagram of Air)


 

 


Grounding the Circle

 

(HPS and HP face the altar together. The Deities have been thanked and the Quarters dismissed, therefore, the next action is to ‘take down’ the circle. Since the circle was thrice cast, it should be thrice unwound. Also, because the circle was cast doesil it should be undone in a widdershins direction.

 

An Athame or sword may be used; but I prefer the sword for reasons you shall see later. Assuming it was the HPS who cast the circle, we’ll let her undo it.)

(HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter.)

 

HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee I now release thy energies into this blade.

 

(In your mind’s eye, see the circle dissolve into a wispy energy smoke, which the glowing blade readily absorbs)

 

Where there once existed a rampart between this world and the Otherworld, the rampart is no more. Once again, our realms are separate. However, the love and joy with which we met here tonight remains undiminished.

 

(When three widdershins circuits have been completed, the HP remains at the altar while the HPS walks to the center of the circle and grounds the sword—this is why I said that I prefer using a sword.)

 

HPS: This energy I return unto Mother Earth. May it help assuage her hurts in some small fashion.

 

(HPS rejoins the HP at the altar and then together they face the rest of the coven)

 

HPS: The circle is open but remains unbroken. Brothers and sisters, we are children of the Lord and Lady. May they always live within our

hearts, our magick, and our lives. Merry did we meet, and merry do we part. Merry may we meet again.

 

Blessed be.

 

Coveners: Blessed be.

 

2011 – Wiccaning _Morgan_pdf file

 

2011 – Wiccaning (Morgan) Word 2007 File

Attached are two files (one a .pdf file, and the other a PowerPoint presentation) that show an example of what a remote tarot reading by the Circle of the Dark Moon School of Wicca, Wytchcrafte, and Magick (CotDM) would entail. We have several experts in the Tarot as well as several students who have chosen the Tarot as their divination specialty.

 

Currently, the remote Tarot readings (some call them intuitive spiritual readings) are free of charge. The querent (the person requesting the Tarot reading) may either think of a question or just request a general Tarot reading.

Once a request for a Tarot reading is received, within 72 hours you will have the results of your personal Tarot reading emailed to you. All Tarot readings are performed by live coven members of the Circle of the Dark Moon and not a computer.

 

If you’d like a Tarot reading performed in real-time, Tarot readings via Skype (skype id: circleofthedarkmoon) are available. Simply contact us at[url]http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/contactus.asp[/url] to set up a time. Similarly, if you happen to be in the Warner Robins area and would like a Tarot reading performed by one of the witches from the Circle of the Dark Moon, contact us at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/contactus.asp[ to set up an appointment time. The Tarot reading may be done at our covenstead or some other place should you prefer.

Tarot readings by the Circle of the Dark Moon Coven members are accurate, professional, and most of all fun for the client. The Circle of the Dark Moon has more than 27 years of combined experience in the Tarot and other forms of divination (Channeling, Scrying, Runes, I-Ching, etc.). As mentioned above, the Circle of the Dark Moon is professional, discreet, understanding, and most of all anxious to help our clients whether they are Wiccan or not.

Tarot Reading 20110522

Tarot Reading 20110522 (Power Point Presentation)

 

15
May

Witch Bottles

   Posted by: Scrivener

Witch-bottles are probably quite familiar to many Pagans, at least as a concept. Witch-bottle isn’t a poor little Witch in a bottle, or hold something Witches drink in their gatherings. They are more akin to a “bottled spell”. The tradition originates from British folklore, traveling with British immigrants to the Americas, if not further. Many modern Pagans have included Witch-bottles in their collection of spells, widening and diversifying this old tradition – and making it more comparable with their personal ethics.

A Bit on the History of Witch-bottles

The history of Witch-bottles goes back hundreds of years. The origins of this tradition has been dated to the 1500’s. They were used most actively for a couple of hundred years. This is the same time when the Witch-hunts were going on. After this period, the tradition slowly waned. The last historical Witch-bottle was found in a cabin built in mid 19th century, in Pershore, Worcestershire (UK).

The actual bottle of a traditional Witch-bottle during the 16th and 17th century was a German stone bottle called “bartmann” or “bellermine” bottle. Similar bottles of stone material were manufactured in Holland and Belgium. The technique wasn’t mastered in England before the 1660’s and bartmann bottle manufacturing was rare in Britain.

The bottle got its name from a cardinal called Bellarmino only after the Witch-bottle tradition had already begun. These bottles had a round belly and they were decorated with a facial image of a grim looking bearded man and a medallion of stylized floral or natural imagery.

Even though these bottles were being manufactured actively in Germany long before the time of Bellarmino – who was against the Reformation – these bottles were given their familiar name as a satirical comment on the Cardinal. His bearded figure resembled the typical bearded man depicted on these bottles.[1] Later on, the bearded image was taken to represent the Devil, which suited well for Witch-bottles, after all — witches were considered as people allied with the Devil.

Glass bottles were also used, but according to my sources they were never as popular as Witch-bottles as were the bartmann ones.

Old Witch-bottles contained things like bent iron nails, human hair (head hair and pubic hair) and urine. Urine as an important ingredient of a Witch-bottle has been long known in folk traditions, but actual findings with the bottle still containing urine have been rare. However, all of the Witch-bottles found in England which were tested for urine, did prove positive. Other traditional items contained in Witch-bottles include small bones, thorns, needles, pieces of wood and in some cases heart-shaped pieces of cloth.

The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace. Other sites include under the floor, buried in the ground there, and plastered inside walls. The fireplace is, from a magical point of view, a security risk as it has a straight connection with the open skies above. It was believed that the curse of a Witch or even a Witch herself in a shape-shifted form could get into a house through the fireplace. Another security risk was the doorway, as doors are opened and closed several times throughout the day. In addition to the fireplace, the bottles were often hidden near the doorway.

On the Original Uses

The most active period of Witch-bottle usage and the Witch-hunts don’t coincide by accident. The fear of Witches produced ways of protecting oneself against them during times when slightest misfortune was easily interpreted as being caused by a curse put on one or another member of the family. From the point of view of a present day Witch, the original purpose for building a Witch-bottle wasn’t that pleasant: they were intended to keep Witches and Witches’ curses away. The contents of a Witch-bottle was designed to not only divert an attacking Witch, but also to cause her to suffer the agonies brought on by all the nasty things inside the bottle. To put it simply: to turn the curse back to the curser.

The urine in the bottle symbolizes the target of the curse. The curser and the target of the curse were believed to have a strong connection and the curse was believed to target not only its intended victim, but also the bodily fluids of the target. When the bottle was placed in a way that made it easier for the curse to meet with the urine (in the Witch-bottle) before the actual target, the curse hit the bottle and not its intended victim. This is why the bottles were usually hidden where they were. The importance of pubic hair and hair was similar to that of the urine.

Witch-bottles are very much a part of age-old traditions of sympathetic magic with its intentions of causing pain for the Witch with the contents of the Witch-bottle. According to folk beliefs, the use of Witch-bottles sometimes brought the Witch herself, writhing in agony, knocking on the door – begging for somebody to break the Witch-bottle and promising to reverse the curse.

The Witch-bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle remained hidden and unbroken. People did go though a lot of trouble in hiding their Witch-bottles. Those buried underneath fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building has been torn down or otherwise disappeared.

Modern-Witch-Bottles

Very generally speaking, the modern day Witch-bottles are very similar to historical Witch-bottles in their basic structure, even though their intended purpose has changed. The most common purpose for constructing a Witch-bottle today is capturing negative energies targeted at the constructor of the bottle, her family or her home. Even though some bottles are “mirroring” in nature, they aren’t normally built to cause agony to the sender of negative energy/caster of curses. Some Witch-bottles are intended to change negative energy into positive one and then release it into the surrounding area. This kind of bottles could be classified as “guard and protect”-bottles.

The basic structure of Witch-bottles can be used for purposes other than protective: for financial gain, for helping with artistic creativity, to call forth positive energy (instead of “just filtering out negative energy”), for improving health, etc.

One could say that the basic principle is the following: practically speaking, a Witch-bottle is a container of some sort, usually a jar or a bottle, which is filled with objects and often also liquids which fill a given magickal purpose. The person making the Witch-bottle, or in other words, the one casting the bottled spell, can charge the objects magickally beforehand and build the bottle to work on this charging until the need of renewing the spell arises. Witch-bottles can also be built to recharge themselves by the energy they ‘capture’ for as long as the bottle stays unbroken, whether it be years or centuries.

Instead of magickally charging the items, one can build a bottle whose the powers are based on its contents, but cumulatively so, resulting with powers stronger than the sum of its parts. Also this version can be designed to be seasonal or “one time lasts a life time”.

What Do Modern Witch-Bottles Contain?

The typical contents of the basic protective Witch-bottle today is quite similar to that of the traditional one: bent iron nails (some say they are better if old and rusty while others say clean and unused are best), thorns, rusty razor blades, broken glass or pieces of broken mirror (some say breaking a mirror for Witch-bottle use causes bad luck, others claim that breaking a mirror for this particular use will not cause bad luck except for people sending negative energies to the bottle builder), or other sharp and dangerous “nasties”, urine of the bottle’s builder, often also menstrual or other blood. One could use semen as the masculine counterpart for menstrual blood. The bottle is often a common tight-lidded glass jar, or a bottle with a rather wide mouth.

Other types of Witch-bottles may contain sand or different colored sands, crystals, stones, knotted threads, herbs, spices, resin, flowers, candles (no, you won’t burn them inside the bottle), incense (you won’t burn it either), votive candles, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, saw dust, ashes etc etc. Actually, everything used in “normal spells” can be used in this bottled version of a spell, the Witch-bottle.

Additional materials include candles and/or wax to seal the bottle/jar with. The rest of the materials depend on the ritual in question (if any) and the religion of the builder of the bottle.

On the Hiding Place

A Pagan living in their own house may be able to hide the Witch-bottle in the traditional way under the fireplace, under the floor, or in the walls. However, it is more common to bury the bottle in the yard in a place where nobody will accidentally break it while digging in the garden. One such place is behind stones under the stairs. For a Pagan living in a terraced house burying the bottle in the garden should work well – as long as you are careful not to attract too much attention to yourself while burying an odd object (the bottle) during the correct phase of the Moon, at night, with just candle light, wearing suspicious looking ritual garments.

Apartments can be a difficult place to live in when you’re trying to find somewhere to hide a Witch-bottle. Or, at least it may seem like that! Digging a hole and burying the bottle in the yard may be not only difficult, but also quite likely not allowed. Nosy kids can dig the bottle up and hurt themselves on the contents. Not to mention that in the right (or wrong, to be more precise) neighborhood could cause lots of trouble for the Pagan attempting to hide a bottle in the yard.

However, the situation is not that impossible! The bottle doesn’t need to be situated near the home in order for it to work. If you are constructing a bottle intended to be a personal safety guard, it can be buried in a forest or sunk in a swamp. With a Witch-bottle designed to guard a given home and those living in it, you can use a large flowerpot by the front door or on the windowsill to bury the bottle in to. In this case, the bottle should be small enough to fit in the flowerpot – with the plant!

Another idea I’ve heard is putting the Witch-bottle into a closet next to the front door, where it could easily do its job as a guardian and protector of the home and its inhabitants. However, this solution might cause some trouble if the same thing that happened to one Pagan happens to you: the Witch-bottle she kept in her closet worked very well – until it one day literally blew up. The bottle was of the very traditional type, so cleaning up after this wasn’t that pleasant, as you can well imagine! While refining the idea further, we ended up putting the bottle in a covered bucket filled with soil and then putting the bottle inside the bucket in the closet.

For a Pagan still “in the closet” or living in something like student housing with a room mate these ideas may not be that usable. There’s still no need to panic, as Witch-bottles can be made in miniature size, too. One witch working with test tubes in her professional life worked out recycling methods for test tubes as miniature Witch-bottles small enough to fit in the flowerpots on her windowsill. If you want to use test tubes, make sure you can close them tightly. There are also miniature bottles and jars available at various gift shops which can be used as well.

It should be noted that not all Witch-bottles are designed to be hidden away. Some are intended to be left out in the open, for example on the windowsill, on your altar or on your (work) desk.

Some Instructions

The next part contains some instructions for making Witch-bottles. I won’t be including any particular instructions for rituals. First, because the exact rituals used depend on the religion of the person crafting the Witch-bottle and rituals aren’t even always necessary. One doesn’t even have Pagan religious inclinations for constructing a Witch-bottle. One of the persons who has made a Witch-bottle with my instructions is completely unaffiliated religiously, doesn’t consider himself a Pagan, and is more or less an Atheist. He is, nevertheless, very happy with the results. Second, planning the ritual (if one decides to have one) can be considered an important part of constructing a Witch-bottle. As important as planning and gathering the objects used. Third, if you are using a pre-made ritual, you can easily end up repeating somebody else’s words and copying somebody else’s motions, without proper emotions. Finally, modifying things to suit you better is in this context not only allowed, it’s recommended!

Basic Bottle for a Modern Witch

This is the tried and tested basic Witch-bottle, suitable also for modern day Pagans. The bottle is intended to be one that protects its maker, often also the maker’s home and family, from negative energies. Depending on how the bottle is made and on the maker’s Will, the bottle can be one that gathers the negative energies in itself (capturing), one that sends the energies back to where they came from (mirroring) or one that changes negative energy into positive (transforming). I would say, however, that this traditional Witch-bottle isn’t the best suited one for the last option.

Materials

  • Glass, earthenware or stone bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap. Size depending on how big you can easily hide. Size doesn’t matter that much, so be reasonable.
  • Protective gloves for handling items you’ll be putting in the bottle. A Witch-bottle won’t help you much if you manage to get a blood poisoning while constructing one.
  • Wax or candles to seal the bottle. Black is a good choice.
  • Another jar for “potty” if you don’t have one. Aiming isn’t that easy, especially if you’re trying to hit something like a Witch-bottle. So, you’ll need something to pee into – and of course you’ll need your urine.
  • All kinds of “nasties”: Nails, rusty and bent (you can bend them yourself, too). Pieces of barbed wire, thorns, burrs, pieces of glass and/or mirror, needles etc.
  • Some things to choose from: Menstrual blood (if you are female) or semen (of you are male). You can drain menstrual blood from your menstrual pads or tampons, in order to get semen. Well, you do know how to get it. Word of advice, though – if you are using sex magick as a part of your Witch-bottle building ritual, do try to remember that you were supposed to collect some of the semen to use in the bottle. It’s not that easy to collect it out of your partner, you know. Other blood – get a sterile needle from the pharmacist and remember to buy some band-aids as well. You can also add your pubic or other hair to represent yourself. An egg can also be included.
  • Bandages should be readily available, in the case something happens. A lot of the stuff you’re putting into the bottle is sharp.

Preliminary preparations

Gather all the necessary items, your bodily fluids being the very last ones as you don’t want to store them even for a day. You can collect other items intended for a Witch-bottle over a long period of time, storing them until you have all the necessary items and enough of them. Items found on the ground suit the purpose well. Cut metal items into smaller pieces if necessary so that they fit into the bottle you’ve chosen. If you’re using a very small bottle, remember that will need only a very very small number of each item or alternatively small items (broken needles, tiny nails etc).

Choose a date to suit your magickal workings best and plan your ritual, if these things are important for you. Waning moon is often considered a suitable time for building a Witch-bottle. The ritual can consist of just the visualization of the bottle’s intended use.

You can use the following to help with your visualization:

Your bodily fluids are intended to symbolize yourself, they are part of your essence and are traditionally used in magick. Instead of having the negative energies hitting you, they hit your “representative” in the Witch-bottle, the part of your essence.

For a capturing bottle: The “nasties” inside the bottle are intended to capture the negative energies – the metal captures them, the glass confuses and cuts them, the thorns puncture them and iron (and egg) dissolve them. You can visualize the negative energies drowning in the urine. If you are building a mirroring bottle, visualize the glass and mirror mirroring the negative energy back to its sender or to grounding it to earth. For a transforming bottle you can use colored glass and visualize the negative energy transforming into positive one before continuing on its journey forward to benefit you, your home or the universe.

Choose the place to hide your Witch-bottle before you make it. Be sure you have all the necessary equipment like a shovel. By the time the bottle is finished, it’s too late to start pondering “but where will I put this thing?” If you are going to bury the bottle in the ground, choose the place so that people or animals will not dig it up.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

Have all the necessary equipment and items at hand in a place you consider best suitable for the task, at a time most suitable for you. Cast a circle, if you feel one necessary. You can build the bottle and have your ritual at the site of where you will hide it or do everything else in one place and then take the ready bottle elsewhere to be buried.

Fill the bottle with items you’ve chosen until they form a disgusting mixture. Shake the bottle to mix the items, if necessary. If you are including an egg, don’t break it and add it as the last of the solid items. Remember to leave enough room for it as well.

After this, add urine, menstrual blood or semen, or prick your finger with the sterile lancet and add as the very last thing a few drops of your blood. You won’t need large amounts, blood and semen are considered potent, so few drops will do.

Close the cap or lid and seal the bottle. You can carve symbols of your choice (for example runes, a sigil), being careful not to break the seal. If this happens, remove the wax and start the sealing process again.

If you are going to go to another place to hide the bottle, clean up after yourself especially if there is any chance that somebody else will get to the place where you were building your bottle before you come back from hiding it! If you did cast a circle before starting, take it down. Remember to ground yourself (if you are creating the bottle at the place where you’re hiding it, you can do this afterwards).

Travel to the hiding place and hide your Witch-bottle in a suitable manner. Banishing words suit the situation well and if you don’t know how or don’t want to use traditional banishing spells or something similar, you can even swear like a drunken sailor! You can bury the bottle upside down, putting more nasties in the hole you buried around the bottle before covering it all up. If you are hiding the bottle somewhere inside your home, hide it the right way up.

Wiccan Version

The Wiccan versions of the Witch-bottle which follow are more suitable for the Wiccan view of the world, magick and ethics. They are often intended to capture the negative energies or prevent it from ever arriving and – what’s important – prevent it to harm the home and its inhabitants. Many of these Wiccan versions are very much like the basic bottle described above, so it isn’t necessary to repeat everything over. However, you can use wine, (apple) vinegar or blessed (salted) water instead or in addition to urine. The nails used may be new, etc.

Many Wiccan Witch-bottles use herbs, with the herbs being chosen according to their magickal qualities. There are sometimes very specific instructions given for the gathering of each herb and other items, including correct phases of the Moon. The herbs and other objects may be put in the bottle the previous day, letting the bottle stand by the witch’s bed over the night. In the morning, you can add (morning) urine to the bottle, after which the bottle is closed and sealed utilizing Wiccan rituals. Some instructions state that the bottle will be placed in a cupboard or closet, so you don’t necessarily have to carefully hide it.

The following instructions are a basic version of a Wiccan version of the Witch-bottle, using herbs. You can do everything using a longer/more complex or a shorter/simpler route, depending on your own inclinations. You can for example start collecting the necessary items on a given phase of the moon (for example on the day before New Moon) and perform the ritual on the next Dark Moon. Or, you can collect the items when you have time for it and build the bottle at any phase of the moon (with protective spells, you don’t always have to wait for the right phase of the moon – you do it when you have to). You can utter a suitable spell with every item added to the bottle, summoning the spirit of the item/accessory and meditate for a while – or you can speak your chosen words after the bottle is filled. You can make the bottle as part of a ritual, or you can construct a ritual especially for this occasion. One reason why I’m being so vague with the instructions is that I’m not Wiccan myself.

Materials

  • Bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap or lid
  • Sea salt
  • Crystal or stone, for example turquoise, obsidian or black onyx.
  • Herbs, for example acasia, aloe, lilies, lime, lotus, agrimony, corn, cayenne and black pepper, dried onion, salvia, frankincense, basil, mint, myrrh, garlic, rosemary, mistletoe, pine needles.
  • A few nails or needles
  • Wine, (apple) vinegar or urine
  • Thread
  • Black candle for sealing
  • The usual tools used in the ritual section

Preliminary Preparations

You can choose the herbs and crystals you are going to use according to their special qualities or use some of those I’ve listed. You can also use a drop or two of an essential oil instead of a herb. You can choose the number of herbs and solid items in general (in this case, essential oil is counted as “solid”) to put in the bottle on numerological grounds either so that the number of all solid items is a specific one, or that you will use a certain number of herbs. Suitable numbers are 7, connected to protection, or 9, connected with the Goddess.

Gather the necessary items. Clean the bottle you are going to use. Wash it with warm soapy water carefully (if you can use a specific soap made for protective purposes, so much the better) and dry it well. You can leave the bottle over night in the light of a full moon to charge it. Choose a place to hide the bottle. For a bottle to be filled as part of a ritual or ritually, it is a good thing to have all the necessary tools at hand, on your alter. You can also construct your ritual and spells and chants beforehand.

The purpose of the crystal (which isn’t absolutely necessary, the list is given as an example – including the liquid items) is to use it’s magickal qualities, the same goes with the herbs. The salt is there to purify and bless the target of the Witch-bottle (the person(s), home to be protected). The nails and needles ground the negative energy and you can also visualize it being then sent back to its sender, threefold. The thread tangles the negative energy in a knot similar to what you are tangling the thread into and to bend the energies away from the builder of the bottle. You can also visualize the negativity tripping over to the thread. The urine represents the builder of the bottle. When using wine or vinegar you can visualize the negative energies drowning in the liquid, with vinegar acting as a purifying element as well.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

If you’re constructing the bottle as part of a ritual, you can perform the ritual opening as usual.

Start filling the bottle with the salt. After the salt, add needles or nails, bent or straight. After this, it’s time to add the herbs. The crystals and the thread you’ve tangled into a “ball” can be added next. If you are adding liquids, that is done after the solid items.

When the bottle is otherwise finished, you can raise energies with a suitable chant (I’ve seen the traditional “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna” recommended for this purpose) and directing it into the bottle, after which you close the bottle and seal it with the wax of the candle.

End your ritual as usual and bury the bottle into a suitable place or otherwise hide it. You can burn incense on the hiding place to seal the spell properly.

Witch-Bottle to Show Off

Witch-bottles that are intended to be left out in plain sight are not usually made to that much protect their makers, but to bring the one who has cast this bottled spell something she or he wants. The usual reasons are the reasons so common with other types of spell as well: the wish the gain more love, material gains, happiness, creativity.

I won’t give any specific instructions, only basic principles:

Select the bottle or jar used according to its color, shape or the simple fact that it is pleasing to the eye. Go through the magical qualities of herbs, colors, essential oils, metals, crystals etc and choose the ones you’ll use in the bottle according to how well they suit your intended purpose. You won’t normally use any liquids (except for a few drops of essential oils) in bottles left in the open, they are “dry bottles”. Aim for a harmonious whole. That means: don’t try to squeeze in your bottle every single herb or crystal associated with, for example, wealth. Too much is too much!

Pick a few suitable herbs or oils, one suitable crystal, one suitable color. To represent the color you can add (silk) ribbon to the bottle or tie a ribbon around it, or paint a symbol representing your goals with the chosen color. You can also make a “hat” to cover the lid of the bottle, making it out of black cloth and painting a symbol on it with fabric paint or magic marker, or use the color of your spell as the color of this “hat”. You can use colors as colored sands or salts. Even metals have their own magickal correspondences, so you might want to use metal dust or chips.

If you are following the phases of the moon or other celestial objects in your magick, take them into consideration while constructing the bottle. It is up to the bottle’s maker whether to use a formal ritual or not.

As a basic principle, it could be suggested that sands (and metal dust/chips) usually go to the bottom, herbs and oils on the sand and the crystal in with the herbs.

Final Words

You can easily develop a large number of versions of the basic Witch-bottle to suit your (and others’) needs and life situations. Even during the time historical Witch-bottles were in use, there were new versions being developed, so why not today?! There is no One True Witch-bottle (even though there probably are people who would like to claim so), only bottles more like the traditional ones and bottles of more modern variety. I have run into all kinds of bottles myself, some being love-raising bottles on the brink of going over the level of good taste and ethics (some actually going overboard) to bottles constructed to bind a given bad person very tightly. The many varieties speaks volumes for how effective this type of spell work can be and how versatile it is.

[1] Oxoniana, vol. i. p. 232, tells how the bottle got its name: “One of the Fellows of Exeter (College), when Dr Prideaux was rector, sent his servitor, after nine o’clock at night, with a large bottle to fetch some ale from the alehouse. When he was coming home with it under his gown the proctor met him, and asked him what he did out so late, and what he had under his gown? The man answered that his master had sent him to the stationers to borrow Bellarmine, which book he had under his arm; and so he went home. Whence a bottle with a big belly is called a Bellarmine to this day, 1667.”

Originally published in Finnish in Vox Paganorum Also available at The Cauldron.

 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven


 

    First Degree

Minimums for Initiation

 

  1. Be able to meditate and or maintain a trance state for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Be able to visualize the results of their magick.
  3. Be cognizant of their heritage
    1. Be able to converse intelligently about the major traditions in Wicca
    2. Know the major historical figures in Wicca
    3. Understand that while Wicca may have sprung into existence in the 1950’s, that it’s roots lie with Goddess worship and witchcraft techniques which extend back to at least Paleolithic times.
    4. Be passably well read on the heritage of their life-path and be able to discuss Wicca intelligently.
  4. Have an awareness of Deity
    1. Know what Deity means to themselves and others.
    2. Have a passing familiarity with differing religious pantheons in order to better define their personal relationship to Deity and to further understanding of others on a different path.
    3. Be aware of their God and Goddess.
    4. Know the steps to take to further their spirituality.
  5. Be able to function as a competent solitaire.
    1. Understand how Wicca is a lifestyle and not just a religion.
      1. Be familiar with the laws of Karma.
      2. Understand at least in a limited fashion the concept of living lightly and deep ecology.
    2. As a Wiccan, know your responsibilities to society.
    3. Understand the Wheel of the Year.
    4. Know the lore connected with the Sabbats and be able to observe the Sabbats and Esbats.
    5. Be confident in their ability to conduct rituals.
  6. Have a passing familiarity with numerous magickal systems so that if they should decide to pursue further experience in magick the student will know how to proceed.
  7. Have a thorough understanding of the basic symbolism of the Circle including,
    1. Casting the circle, calling the quarters, and invocation of deities.
    2. Altar arrangement
    3. Must have obtained proper ritual wear as put forth in the laws and know why you are required to wear a robe in ritual.
    4. Be well versed in Circle protocol and etiquette.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to write a full Sabbat or Esbat ritual. (teachers choice)
  9. Know the Sabbats, dates, mythos and symbolism behind them.
  10. Know the Esbats, what they stand for and how they are used magickally.
  11. Choose a healing art and demonstrate a beginning knowledge of it.
  12. General knowledge of the power of symbols. (May include some runes).
  13. Demonstrate a general knowledge of one magickal alphabet.
  14. Demonstrate the ability to cast a circle, create sacred space, and perform basic ritual of teachers choice.
  15. Display a passing competency of one form of form of divination.
  16. Receive a recommendation of secession from the HPS, the HP or at least one member of the coven council.
  17. Demonstrate the ability to write and cast a spell of your choosing.
  18. Complete a paper on what you believe a First Degree is and why you want to advance to that level.
  19. Know the differences between Witches and Pagans.

 

` Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of

humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the

Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves.

Therefore, be it noted that:

1. Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must

be lived by all who follow the old ways.

2. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this Middle Earth will

wax strong in other worlds beyond and return… bringing into creation, on this

world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for “as

ye plant, so shall ye harvest.”

3. It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain

godhead.

4. “This above all… to thine own self be true…”

5. A Witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus,

give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.

6. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the

matter may be known.

7. Pass not unverified words about another, for hearsay is, in large

part, a thing of falsehoods.

8. Be thou honest with others, and have them know that honesty is

likewise expected of them.

9. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s

head is a virtue.

10. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others.

Strive not to do harm.

11. Diverse covens may well have diverse views of love between members

and with others. When a coven, clan, or grove is visited or joined, one should

discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby.

12. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humor are much to be admired.

13. As a Witch, thou has power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom

increases. Therefore, exercise discretion in the use thereof.

14. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the

mountains have crumbled to dust.

15. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen

others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee.

16. Thou shalt not reveal the secrets of another Witch or Coven. Others have labored

long and hard for them, and cherish them as treasures.

1804

17. Though there may be differences among those of the Old Ways, those

who are once-born must see nothing, and must hear nothing.

18. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the

world.

19. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within

reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom.

20. Have pride in thyself and seek perfection in body and in mind. For

the Lady has said, “How canst thou honor another unless thou give honor to thyself

first?”

21. Those who seek the Mysteries should consider themselves the select

of the Gods, for it is they would lead the race of humankind to the highest of

thrones and beyond the very stars.


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