how and when to consecrate magickal tools

Consecrating magickal tools is likely one of the first magickal rituals you will do when you’re a new witch starting out. It’s very simple and straightforward, however, its one of those magickal rituals that can be made very complex if you wanted to.

What is Consecration?

Consecration is the act of making something sacred, or dedicating something to sacred use only. This is a practice found in virtually all spiritual paths dating back as far as recorded spiritual practices are found. I won’t go into consecration of individuals, such as that which is performed for bishops, here, as that’s not relevant to what I’m talking about.

The actual act of consecration can be quite ceremonial or rather simple, depending on the spiritual path, what is being consecrated, and what the purpose of the consecrated item will be.

The fundamental common theme among all consecration practices is that the very essence of the object being consecrated is irrevocably changed in the process.

If you are Catholic, you are familiar with the priest consecrating the bread or crackers and wine used in communion. There is often an element of transmutation that comes along with consecration, as one thing is symbolically or spiritually transformed into another.

If you are familiar with most Judeo-Christian practices of consecrating burial land in cemeteries, this is another example of making land sacred so that anyone buried there is then part of that consecration.

In Hinduism, temples are consecrated and then re-consecrated every 12 years.

In Islam, similar to the Judeo-Christian practice of consecrating holy ground, once a temple is built on a particular piece of land, it is permanently dedicated and consecrated for that purpose and that land then can no longer be used to build anything else.

What to Consecrate

There is some debate about exactly how many things you should consecrate and what should be consecrated and what probably doesn’t need to be.

What I will say is this: if you have an item that you will be using only in your magickal or spiritual practice and you will not be using it for anything else, then consecrate it.

If you have items that you are using for spiritual things, but they are also your personal items and you cannot afford to purchase extras (for example, you may only have a couple of nice glasses and you use them to give offerings, but also to drink out of yourself), then I personally don’t think you’re doing it wrong.

However, here are things you should consecrate, but you’re likely not using them for other things:

  • wands
  • cauldrons
  • ceremonial athames/knives/swords
  • permanent altars
  • statues or representations of deities
  • things you place on altars permanently

and then there are things you might want to consecrate, depending on what you’re using them for:

  • crystals
  • chalices
  • feathers
  • incense
  • candles
  • sacred/blessed water
  • temporary magickal work spaces
  • outdoor spaces you use frequently, such as a garden or outdoor altar

Its really kind of up to you if you feel that something should be consecrated. If your intuition says yes, then do it. But, realize that consecration generally does mean that once you do it, that object is now dedicated to your magickal work and shouldn’t be used for other mundane things anymore.

How to Consecrate

This process will vary widely from one spiritual path to another, so please feel free to consult with those in your own spiritual path or tradition first, as they may have specific guidance here.

A general process of consecration in many pagan practices is to present the item to all four elements, asking each element to bless it.

This might look like submerging it in water or sprinkling a bit of water on it if it can’t be submerged, passing it through or over a flame, placing it in a dish of salt, and blowing on it or passing it through incense. You would then state that the item is now sacred and dedicated to serve you in your practice.

You can also choose to consecrate items by calling on any deities or entities with whom you work, asking them to bless the item and then stating that it is dedicated to serve you in your practice. This can be in addition to or in place of presenting to the elements or any other process you prefer.

Some spiritual paths will prefer to make this ceremonial, casting a circle, calling the elements, and involving deities. If you prefer this and you have the time and resources, its also an option.

My practice is really fairly eclectic and intuitive, and I tend to grab whatever object I am consecrating, hold it in my hands (or place my hands on it, if its an altar space) and meditate on it for a bit, sending all my emotion and intention into it, then stating its purpose. I may or may not use the four elements, but I generally do pass it through some frankincense and myrrh resin or incense.

what is the lesser banishing pentagram?

The idea to write about this came to me when I was reading through a number of books about preparing for magickal rituals or spells, or doing protection or spiritual work. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram comes up frequently in occult circles, but I think it can be misunderstood in both performance and purpose.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (or LBRP) comes from the Order of the Golden Dawn and is a ceremonial magick ritual. It can be done as a stand alone ritual, simply as a protection ritual, but is probably more often considered a preliminary ritual to other magickal or spiritual work.

Its one of those things that many witches or magicians were taught as a newbie if they went through some sort of formal training is one of the esoteric schools of magick.

But, its also something used by many practitioners and spiritualists who are self-trained or maybe just didn’t learn it during some form of formal magickal instruction.

The Purpose of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP)

The LBRP is used to create a field or space around you or in your working space (or in a space in general, if you are cleansing or banishing there) in which you first banish any impure elemental energies, lingering energies not of your own, or unwanted energy of any kind.

It involves visualization, gestures, and powerful spoken words to perform the clearing, banishing, and preparation.

The basic structure of the invocation part of the LBRP comes from an old Jewish prayer:

“In the Name of God, the God of Yisrael: may Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, Raphael behind me, and above my head, the presence of God.”

-Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in The Hirsch Siddur [Feldheim Publishing, 1969]

In effect, the LBRP is seen as a measure of protection for a person or space before performing any tasks that may leave them open to influence from external forces, benevolent or otherwise.

Is the LBRP Always Based on a Judeo-Christian Foundation?

The original ritual definitely was based on this religious foundation, despite being used by many individuals who do not consider themselves Judeo-Christian believers or do not subscribe to a Judeo-Christian belief system.

There have been, however, a number of adaptations made of the LBRP for folks who prefer not to use a monotheistic invocation, for those who prefer to use a LHP version, or for those who do not want to use a deity-centered version at all.

If you’re interested in that, here are some I suggest checking out:

  • you can find a really nice elemental summoning version in Mat Auryn’s book Psychic Witch; this is a really fabulous book for all kinds of reasons, let alone the version of this ritual it contains
  • you can find one geared more for LHP/Luciferian/Satanism here
  • here’s an interesting interpretation using Roman deities
  • here is a Wiccan interpretation

Once you read the actual ritual, you can see how elements can be adapted for probably any magickal path one might choose to follow, and still maintain the meaning, symbolism, and effect.

What Do You Need to Perform the LBRP?

You technically do not need anything other than yourself and your visualization skills to perform the LBRP. There are, however, many interpretations or guides for this ritual that use tools such as athames, wands, crystals, and other common magicakal items.

More ceremonial schools of training or thought tend to use at the least a robe and sword/dagger/athame/wand. You may also need an altar at which to perform this, if you are taught to do this.

The LBRP Ritual

The LBRP consists of several main components:

  1. Start with the Qabalistic Cross. The Qabalistic Cross forms a very energetic and symbolic astral cross on or in the body of the magician. The points represent points on the Tree of Life. At each point of the cross, the magician visualizes a bright white light from within themselves that connects them to the divine, while intoning syllables or words (Hebrew) that create specific vibrations, making a strong connection between their energy and that of the astral plane. The following words are intoned at each p0int, respectively: Atah (at the forehead), Malkuth (at the breastbone), Ve Geburah (at the right shoulder), Ve Gedulah (at the left shoulder). Then the arms are crossed over the chest and the magician intones: Le Olam, Amen.
  2. Construct the Pentagrams. This either banishes or invokes the four elements. An earth pentagram to banish or an invoking pentagram to invoke is symbolically drawn in the air at each point starting in the east (E, S, W, N)  and a name of God is intoned and vibrated at each of those points (Yod He Vod He, Adonai, Eheieh and Agla, respectively). The pentagram should be envisioned as a glowing or burning bright light as it is drawn, and the names said with emotion and strong intent.
  3. The four points are now connected with a circle of bright white light that is drawn around the perimeter.
  4. Invoke the Archangels. The magician stands at each of the 4 cardinal points and visualizes the 4 archangels Raphael (“before me”), Gabriel (“behind me”), Michael (“on my right”), and Uriel (“on my left”) present, calling upon them to take up those protective placements.

The circle that is constructed is now visualized to expand into a sphere, surrounding the magician or the space completely, like a bubble.

This ritual essentially places you as the center of the universe with divine light channeling through you.

Once you are finished with whatever work you are doing, you release the circle by performing the pentagrams again at each cardinal point and performing the Qabalistic Cross at the end.

The one thing that really needs to be stressed here is that this must be done with feeling and emotion. If you simply go through the motions, it means nothing and will do nothing for you.

I would recommend practicing it a few times before you actually plan to use it for real, so that you can get used to the names (whichever ones you choose to use) and the feeling of energy drawing, as well as the creation of the circle.

magickal uses of water

I’m a water sign and have a lot of water in my chart, as well, so, naturally, I find watery stuff soothing and appealing, as well as intuitive to work with.

I wanted to put this quick post together for anyone who hasn’t pondered the ways that water can be used in magickal practice, and this is by no means fully comprehensive, but will include probably the most common, as well as few uncommon, ways to use water.

On Your Altar

This is something that probably all of us do almost all the time because its pretty consistently practiced across most magickal path traditions, to have something representing each of the 4 elements on your altar, including just non-work dedication altars to ancestors or deities.

Most people have either a bowl or a chalice with water. Some people even just put a bottle of water on there, and others still, use just any old random cup. I think as long as its symbolically meaningful to you, it probably doesn’t matter what vessel itself is used to hold the water. Some materials are more symbolic than others to a particular deity, but you can customize this many ways. \I bought an inexpensive set of crystal stemware to use for the water offerings on my altars to ancestors and the deities I do any devotional work with, and I think its a nice touch, but I know not everyone has a budget for those things.

I have known people who use a vase of fresh cut flowers in water to represent their water and earth at the same time, which also beautifies the work space or dedication/offering, if that is what the flowers are for you.

For Protection

Water itself is inherently cleansing, but it also absorbs all manner of negative intentions or vibes, if its charged and purposed to do so.

One of the tips that I picked up from Sophie Reicher’s Spiritual Protection (read my review of it from yesterday here) was to keep a bowl of water by your front door when you are anticipating guests. It will help to grab and contain the energies they are bringing into your home, lowering the chances of them leaving behind unwanted and unpleasant energy.

She also mentions sleeping with a glass of fresh water by your bed each night to prevent unwanted spiritual visitors while sleeping. Dump it out into the toilet and flush it each morning after you wake up, then fill with fresh water again before sleeping. This is excellent for hotel rooms or traveling, when you can’t ward your entire space regulary.

Water can also be blessed to function as holy water or sacred water, and you can either purchase it already blessed from a local religious organization or bless it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Holy water doesn’t technically have to be blessed by a priest or holy person, there are a number of non-denominational blessings you can find online (there is an excellent one in The Exorcist’s Handbook by Josephine McCarthy!!).

Water can be used to draw protective symbols on thresholds, windows, and mirrors, as well.

And, then water with salt added, particularly if you have also blessed the salt (that same book from McCarthy has blessings for both holy water and sacred salt), can even further add protection. You can use that to clean spaces, sprinkle in corners of rooms when cleansing and purifying, and to discourage evil or malevolent spirits or energies from entering your home or space.

Water can also be infused with various natural substances, like herbs, resins, plants, and crystals to use in spells involving protection, cleansing, abundance, and more. You can do a simple plant infusion by boiling the plant(s) in question in the water for 20 minutes, then removing from the heat, letting it cool to room temp, then straining the solids out and saving the infused water in an airtight jar in your fridge.

Purification

That brings me to my next point, which is that water is a purifier. As it is of the earth, and it is both one of the most destructive forces on earth, yet at the same time stimulates and feeds life, it is inherently powerful. Its all about the intent you put into this element.

I like to use spring water for my magickal work, especially that concerning purification, as it has not been adulterated or altered in any way. It is as close to the truest form of water found in the earth as possible, without actually going and collecting water from outdoors. I feel like spring water in a glass bottle retains better energetic properties than that stored in plastic, but in a pinch, again, its about the intent you instill in it.

Water collected from the earth, particularly that of a source of running water or catching rain water as it falls is even better, and even more energetically charged. If you can get that, do it! I know of people that order water from hot springs all over the country specifically for this purpose, if they cannot find any easily accessible sources in their area. You can also very easily set up a collection bowl or jars outdoors during rain to collect that which is free from the sky.

Moon water is a popular type of water used in spells, too. Put a jar or bottle of water out in the moonlight on a full moon (or a windowsill where the moon’s light will hit it) to charge the water with the energy of the full moon.

But, even if you can’t afford spring water in glass bottles regularly, and there is no clean outdoor source of running water near you, tap water is okay. Don’t worry too much about this. If you get hung up on using tap water, thinking its not magickal, then guess what? It’s not magickal. If you doubt yourself, your magick won’t work.

One caution I have is don’t drink water you collect from an outdoor source unless you sanitize it first by boiling it. While those sources are not typically contaminated by stuff we add to municipal water supplies like chlorine or the lead in our pipes, they are usually overflowing with microbes and other substances that may not be the best for you to consume.

I also recently started doing a ritual purification each day using spring water in a bowl with essential oils or my Release spell oil, along with water-safe crystals as a way to freshen myself up energetically for the day. You could easily do this in your bathroom or kitchen sink with the drain stopped, fill it with water and ritually cleanse your hands, arms, face, etc.

As An Offering

Don’t forget your ancestors and deities! A simple act such as filling a fresh goblet or cup of cool water each day for your ancestors and deities can go a long way to keeping them happy, and in your life, and honoring them with your attention.

This is another place I like to use spring water and my line of thinking is that if I can afford it, I can show them they matter to me by purchasing something higher quality, similar to the concept of burning ancestor money. I don’t view it as throwing money away.

Yes, I could use tap water and it wouldn’t cost me anything, but if I’m in a position to purchase spring water, then I should because my ancestors deserve it. If they make my life abundant, I should share some of that abundance and a $2 bottle of spring water each week is one small token of that appreciation. Plus, one of my grandmas is just petty enough to ignore me if she feels like I’m not making the effort lol

Now, please do not interpret that as saying if you don’t use some foo foo spring water, you don’t love your ancestors. Your ancestors know what you can afford and what your situation is. If it is truly a stretch for you, they are not going to get mad about tap water. I have friends who offer tap water and easy mac. Its not gonna be the end of the world.

However, there is no shame in saying to your ancestors, “I really want to be able to offer you more expensive offerings. Can you help me find ways to bring more money into my life, so that I can honor you by sharing it with you?” This works, really. Try it sometime.

But, I think what I’m trying to say about this is if you make 6 figures and your life is materially wealthy and your ancestors get tap water but they know you could be giving them better offerings, maybe don’t skimp. Its my experience that the more thought I put into what I offer them, the more they reciprocate with blessings in my life and my home.

On the subject of offerings, also consider putting a few drops of your favorite (or your deity’s favorite) essential oil into a water offering to add some beautiful or personalized aroma to the altar space.

So, hopefully you can take away some ways to work with the water element daily or in ritual/spell work!

thoughts on ritual bathing

ritual bathing….*sigh*

how many of us hungrily consume pics of carefully staged self-care baths with flower petals and candles and all the really cute shit that we’re all taught we have to have in order to make our bath effective. or for it to count. or for us to count?

yeah, i was once that impressionable chick who thought i had to aspire to that, but the reality is, a ritual bath might not be something we have 45 minutes to devote to.

it might be just 10 min with a nice smelling candle, and the music cranked up so you can’t hear the dog vomiting outside the bathroom door or your kids screaming about some perceived slight one has done to the other.

or maybe you’ve got plenty of time and privacy on your hands, its the routine and commitment you lack?

whatever the reason you’re not doing ritual baths, especially before important spell work or rituals/celebrations, consider these thoughts:

purification of your space is important, and you probably at least burn some herbs or incense to ritually purify where you will be working your magick, if its indoors. isn’t your body also part of that work space?

you anoint and bless your magickal tools, such as candles, athames, swords, crystals, and so forth…but isn’t your body also your main magickal tool?

would you go to a job interview looking sloppy and expect to get hired? if you’re working with a deity or several, and you’re asking for their help or guidance, if you don’t take time to care for yourself, should they care for you?

i could probably go on, but i’ll stop there with reasons. because we all really only need one reason to take a ritual bath (even if that bath in itself is your actual ritual and that’s it!!): you matter.

and, for full transparency, i needed to hear this as much as you did, sis.

a new moon sex magick ritual

sometimes you get to do two of your favorite things at once, and if you’re like me, and you love magick but you also love orgasms (and, quite frankly, if you do, we should be best friends), then you’ll love this new moon sex magick ritual.

but first…

what is sex magick?

it might be half of a RHCP album title, but it is also a real thing.

sex magick is the act of using the energy created during a powerful orgasm to direct toward your intention and will to power a spell to get what you want.

regardless of what the intended outcome of your spell is, its hard to find a more intense and concentrated source of energy than an orgasm.

so sex magick is just taking advantage of an already really pleasurable act to power your spells. rather than trying to raise energy all on your own through meditation, visualization, magickal elements, or any other method, why not use some or all of the energy you’ve raised during your orgasm?

and the great thing is, you don’t actually need a partner(s) for this, if you are solo or prefer to perform this solo.

what you will need:

  • a red candle for each partner participating
  • a red or white ribbon long enough to tie around the candle(s)
  • a scrap of paper and something to write with
  • any other trinket or other symbol of your intended outcome
  • any spell oils or essential oils you wish to use for anointing, massage, or scent enhancement

the ritual:

  1. its a good idea to clear your space of lingering negative or unwanted energies first, wherever you intend to perform the ritual
  2. each person participating will write their intended outcome on a scrap of paper. you may share them with each other or keep them to yourself. its up to you. set these near where you will perform your ritual.
  3. your outcome needs to be very specific, and worded in the present tense. its not going to happen, it is happening. (e.g.: “I got a $10,000/year raise” or “My offer on the perfect house is accepted for $50,000 below asking price”)
  4. light each candle(s) and place them in a safe location near where you will perform your sex magick ritual. (please make sure they will not get knocked over if things get cray, okay?!)
  5. you may feel free to wear (or don’t wear) anything that makes you feel sexy and powerful. literally whatever that is.
  6. apply any scented oils, lube, or other scented or sensual enhancement products
  7. begin your ritual by any stimulatory method you like. you and/or your partner(s) know what you like best, but the general goal is to build up to a really intense crescendo of orgasm, so some suggestions are to begin with stroking the body, intimate massage, passionate kissing, licking, etc and gradually increase the intensity of your physical and emotional connection.
  8. if you are performing this ritual solo, you will do the exact same thing. you know what you like, so begin with anything you want.
  9. here’s where you’ve got a couple options: you either just keep going and everyone involved orgasms (more about what exactly to do with this r/t your spell intentions in a minute) OR you and/or any partners bring yourself/each other close to orgasm as many times as you want, but hold off on actually orgasming until you literally cannot control it any longer.
  10. if you take the first option, during orgasms, we often don’t have conscious control of our thoughts, so its important to set this up beforehand so you’re prepped. you’ll want to be thinking of that intention you set down to paper, and, as you ride that powerful wave, begin to direct all that energy into that visualization of your intention being fulfilled. let yourself bathe in the afterglow still visualizing it, even.
  11. if you’re taking the tantric option of arriving close to, but delaying, orgasms until you can’t resist any longer, then you’ll just do the same thing as the last step as far as the visualization goes.
  12. once everyone involved is satisfied however many times they feel compelled to, each person will pick up their candle(s)
  13. if your intended outcome was destructive in nature, you will light your scrap of paper with your written intent using your lit candle, and place the paper in a flame-proof dish, bowl, or cauldron. then blow out your candle. let the scrap of paper burn out.
  14. if your intended outcome was constructive in nature, blow out the candle.
  15. whether constructive or destructive, use the ribbon to tie around the candle(s) – if you have more than one, you’ll bind them together with the ribbon. i find this symbolically is even more powerful, concentrating the energy of all involved toward those intentions.
  16. place the candle(s), paper scrap(s), and any other symbolic or representative items on your altar, or make a temporary altar somewhere, such as outdoors, in your garden, on your nightstand, your windowsill, or anywhere else you’ll see it often.

what is considered constructive and destructive?

if you’re unfamiliar with this, destructive spells include (but are not limited to):

  • removing something or someone from your life, mind, heart, etc (think about finally letting go of an ex who hurt you, blocking a stalker, or cutting the proverbial cord from an abusive parent)
  • letting go of bad habits (‘i want to stop drinking,’ or ‘i will stop saying negative things about my body’)
  • revenge spells (self-explanatory)
  • removing a curse or hex (one you cast on someone, or one they cast on you)
  • banishing spirits or entities
  • banishing negative energies or pervasive thoughts
  • basically anything you are destroying, breaking down, eliminating, reducing, or blocking, etc

constructive spells include (but are not limited to):

  • love spells
  • fertility spells
  • green magic spells (growing things, planting things, harvest, etc)
  • luck
  • prosperity/wealth/money
  • protection (from negative people, evil, ill will, harm, accidents, you get the picture)
  • beauty/glamour spells
  • something you want to turn out in your favor
  • anything you will be gaining or adding to your life

generally, its thought that new moon energy is best used for constructive magic (a form of sympathetic magic or ‘like attracts like’), but it doesn’t mean that a destructive spell during this time will be ineffective. and if you are really worried that it needs to be perfect, try simply restating your intention that was initially destructive (“i will stop saying negative things about my body”) into the constructive opposite (“I will only think and say positive things about my body – it is my temple”).

there is an equal inverse for all intentions if you think hard enough (and this is if you even care that much about your specific timing).

ok, so i promise its not as clinical as what it sounds like after you just read it. i hope your new moon is wonderful and the seeds of many great things are sown upon this night 😉

do you need to cast a circle before spellwork?

ooooh, controversy. i like.

new witches often (hopefully) read a ton of books, blogs, social media, and so forth and many or most of those sources discuss opening a spell with casting a circle. but some witches don’t cast a circle, or only before some spells, but not others.

this begs the question(s) of many newbie witches: do i need to cast a circle every time i prepare to perform a spell? if not, which spells should i cast a circle? what is the best way to cast a circle?

what is casting a circle?

casting a circle is the practice of creating a container in which to work your magic. the function of the circle is, depending on who you ask, to either keep in the powerful energy you are raising or to keep out distracting or unwanted energies.

i personally think its both of these, and most seasoned witches would probably agree. the circle simply provides you with a safe and clear space to work.

the circle can be cast a number of ways, and none of them are wrong. followers of Garderian Wicca will likely prefer to actually mark a circle on the ground. others will simply use a knife, wand, or other implement as an extension of themselves to direct their energy to mark where the circle’s boundaries exist, without leaving an actual visible marker.

if you read a book like Buckland’s Complete Guide to Witchcraft, which i personally think is rigid and outdated, but not altogether without value, there are specific ways to mark the circle, how big it should be, which direction you enter from, and where your altar must be placed within it.

and then you can read probably 1000 different opinions of others who have much looser ideas of what a circle is, where to cast it, how big it should be, and what purpose it serves.

all this to say: how you cast your circle will likely not impact the outcome of your spell as long as it is cast with the appropriate attention to your intent and the boundary you create, visibly or not.

i tend to view the circle as really any space in which you perform your spellcasting that you have purified or cleared, whether with smoke, burning herbs, sounds, or other methods.

should you cast a circle?

i think this depends. if you’re performing some really intense magick that is heavily emotionally charged (which, i would argue most magick should be, if you want it to work), then consider casting a circle if you want.

i personally only do so if i’m working with energies that i’m asking a lot of. if i’m working with a deity or spirit, or perhaps some heavy psychic work, i feel more comfortable working in the confines of a circle.

if i’m simply casting to send something positive out in to the world, or ask for a favor of the universe that i deem mundane or related to daily life, then i usually won’t cast a circle before doing so. i always purify my space before and after, however, regardless.

i can’t tell you with absolute certainty when you should or should not cast, but here are some things to consider that i think you can find a decent amount of support for in the occult and magickal community, specifically referring to the concept of the circle functioning like a container for the energy you raise and direct:

  • if you are working with a deity or spirit whom you would not want to simply have free reign of your space, consider casting a circle
  • if you are working with forces that require a heavy emotional investment on your part, consider casting a circle
  • if you will be doing any psychic work, particularly that which involves a trance, this may leave you vulnerable to unwanted energies, consider casting a circle
  • if the intent of your spell is to control another person, such as a hex, revenge spell, binding spell, or so on, consider casting a circle
  • if you are calling in a lot of energies (living, dead, or otherwise), consider casting a circle

what do you do with the circle once the spell is over?

if the circle functions like a magickal container, we don’t necessarily want our magick to stay within that container so that it cannot ripple out into the universe, right?

once you have completed your spell work, directed your emotion and energy in the appropriate way and you consider your work to be done, you’ll want to release the circle. depending on who you talk to, this can also be called either opening or closing the circle, which is confusing as hell.

again, you’ll hear varying opinions on exactly how to do this. wiccans will usually walk around it counterclockwise (the initial casting is done clockwise, so think of this as rolling back up an unrolled spool of thread) and draw the energy from the circle that they initially ‘drew’ back into their athame, hand, or other implement. they may also create a physical break in the line of salt/salt water to signify that it is broken now.

generally, if you use a formal series of steps to cast a circle, you will want to perform those steps in reverse to release the circle.

if your circle is more informal, you may simply state the closing of your spell, thank any deities or spirits with whom you worked or acknowledged during your spell or ritual (if this applies to you), and then imagine the barriers or walls of your circle slowly crumbling or disappearing.

some witches also believe that leaving your circle un-released can provide a portal between our world and the next through which unwanted or wayward spirits or entities can travel. if you subscribe to this opinion, its definitely best to make sure your circle is released after any spell or ritual you perform within it.

how to use magical sounds during spells and rituals

i know of witches who practice their craft without spoken words and those who shout their intentions and incantations as loudly as possible.

i think either way is fine, as long as your intent is pure and communicated clearly.

but what about other sounds in spells and rituals?

some of the things that can be used to produce meaningful or symbolic sounds during spells and rituals are:

  • bells
  • gongs
  • flutes
  • cymbals
  • clapping
  • finger snaps
  • music (pre-recorded)
  • other instruments
  • humming
  • anything else you want, really

sound can represent several things during a spell or ritual. it could be symbolic of an element, it could represent an animal, person, or thing, it could simply amplify your intent, or it could be used to increase and amplify your energy during the process.

let’s take a look at the first part of that statement – how sounds can represent elements, because this is really interesting and i’ve found that in this context, sound really enhances my spell work.

earth

  • percussion is ruled by the earth sign
  • clapping
  • drums/drumming
  • tapping
  • these are associated with fertility, career, money

water

  • bells are associated with the water element/sign
  • in addition to a brass bell, try hand bells or blowing on a windchime for something different
  • you could also use actual water sounds, like a small fountain or pouring water from one vessel to another
  • these are associated with healing, fertility, friendship, psychic powers, love, beauty, and happiness

air

  • naturally, air-based instruments like flutes, reed instruments, and brass instruments are associated with the air element
  • whistling
  • singing
  • humming
  • these are associated with business, intellectual pursuits, education/learning, and thoughts

fire

  • stringed instruments like violin, viola, cell, bass violin, harb, lyre, and dulcimer are associated with the fire element
  • think of the reverberating sound of the string’s vibration after being drawn or plucked and the flames moving outward from a central spark
  • these are associated with creativity, passion, sensuality, sexuality, enlightenment, inspiration, self-confidence, and energy

how do you incorporate sound into a spell or ritual?

i don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do this, and i’ve given some suggestions based on what has worked for me in the past, but play around with these and see what feels and works the best for you.

open your spell or ritual with a sound or sounds to call in the element(s) you wish to work most closely with; example: *slowly drumming on an overturned pot or cup* “i call the element of earth and ask its energy to lend me…”

you can also use a sound throughout a spell or ritual, marking pauses or to emphasize important words or statements; example: *plucking a harp string and letting it vibrate* “goddess of inspiration, guide my work” *pluck the string once again* “reveal my path through your wise counsel” *pluck the string once again* …and so forth.

use a sound as a background noise or foundational element in your spell or ritual, symbolizing the element most important during your work; example: playing a recording of wood flute notes during your spell or ritual to enhance the energy of the air element.

there are probably many more ways to use sounds during spell work or rituals, and the ones mentioned here are only a few suggestions specific to the elements. sounds like chanting and humming can also be used to build one’s own energy, or that of a larger group. if you have more ideas and suggestions, share them! i’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

what is a protection spell?

Protection spells may be one of the first types of spells you work when you’re new to witchery. And they are quite simple to construct, as spells really can be fluid and of your own making. They just need to include the items or words that are meaningful to YOU in order to be meaningful when performed.

Protection is considered a ‘constructive’ magick, which means it is most powerful when performed during the waxing part of the moon cycle, but, certainly, you can do it at any time of the moon cycle you feel necessary and it will still be productive.

These types of spells can be used to clear away negative or harmful energy or to protect your space, item(s), or a person/people from negative or harmful forces.

Most protection spells have the follow elements to consider:

  • timing
  • strong feeling/emotions/will/intent
  • a flame (candles, sage, palo alto, etc can all be burned to produce a flame)
  • a scent (can be incense burning, a scented candle, scented oil, fresh or dried herbs, etc)
  • a spoken direction, request, intention, or incantation,
  • other optional items:
    • a charm or talisman to imbue with protective qualities
    • crystals

A note on timing, because I know some people have strong feelings one way or the other about this:

Both timing and feeling are important, but feeling or emotional will far outweighs the affect that timing can bring to a well-constructed spell, or can even enhance the effectiveness of a poorly constructed spell performed on the wrong night.

In other words, its more important that you use your emotions and willpower or intent in a concentrated way to manifest the outcome of your spell than it is that you perform it on exactly the 11th hour of the 2nd full moon of the 14th year preceeding the return of Jupiter.

Protection spells don’t need physical items or elaborate rituals.

Try simply casting a circle around yourself and/or your intended subject(s) by visualizing a bright light starting from your heart chakra or third eye chakra, and allowing it to grow larger and brighter until it surrounds you or those you wish to protect.

Visualize the negative things around you deflecting off your shield, or simply disappearing as they come in contact with it, like a force field zapping them into oblivion.

This simple technique can work to create a barrier that allows in the positive and beneficial things you want, but filters the negative or harmful vibes, things, or people you wish to keep away. Picture it like a sieve or pasta strainer in which most things run off, but a few good things remain.

Remember to allow for this barrier to be fluid enough not to block absolutely everything that may come your way. This can yield an exceptionally heavy protective spell to carry around and will not be sustainable to keep up at all times.

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