Sara Jean 5/14/05
Basic Ritual outline for my 1st degree
Create sacred space as I believe and I have written in my essay.
Ready the Altar. Purify candles and tools.
Anoint and purify those entering circle
Strike bell sealing the circle
Invite the Quarters
Invoke Goddess and Bless Circle
Slice through the air at the altar picturing the knife opening the circle and releasing the energy
from its captive hold. Ring the bell three times to vibrate and dissipate the energy at its will.
Sacred space is above all Safe space. The outside world is filled with things that assault our minds and bodies. Although it may be impossible to remove these things entirely from space that is made sacred though our actions, I truly believe that we are able to decrease these outside invaders to a minimum by creating this space. Sacred space is something that is very real and yet brought on by the imagination. It is important to manifest the reality that you are trying to create when you are imagining and building sacred space. Within this action you are building your own temple. This is your place to feel free to be you and to run amuck as desired.
I have always found it hard to clear my mind. That is one of the assaulting forces that invade our lives. I can be in the middle of calling a quarter and I think to myself, am I doing this right, did I leave the coffee pot on, is my skirt tucked in my underwear. The assault of the outside world on this sacred temple I am building is negative energy. This is not what I wish to include in my temple’s structure.
Early in my studies of this path I once read that when you cut the circle you are cutting a space out of the current realm and for the duration of this circle you walk on a separate plane. On this plane you are more easily within earshot of Goddess‘ and Gods and can more easily access their influence and will. This is similar to what I believe today. I believe that by clearing this space you remove most negativity and are creating a space that resembles a separate realm where nothing from the outside world matters. In this space you gather the strength and guidance to take control of those things outside.
Creating sacred space is mental and energy reliant with physical actions to reinforce the purpose of clearing this space. Stated simply it is a physical action that clears an energetic space. The first thing I do is to cleanse myself. I prefer baths to do this. Of course this is not always possible but in an Ideal situation I take a bath. I have made my own bath salts and I use my jasmine scent in particular for sacred baths. I have always pictured my temple over run with Jasmines so I bathe myself in that scent. I lay out my clothes that I wish to wear in the bathroom so that I do not have to look for them when I am out of my bath. I draw a bath Hot because I like how it perfumes the air. I stand in the bath breathing in the jasmine and lower myself down into the tub. I sit and picture myself as the goddess I am becoming and how Goddess speaks to me. I think about the waters cleansing my body and soul. I wash my hair I shave my legs, I trickle the water across my arms and chest all the while picturing negativity and impurities out. Sometimes I play music if it fits my mood. I focus on the tasks I wish to complete with the magick I am about to do. I soak until I fell like my intention is clear in my mind and my body is clean to facilitate that purpose. I then pull the drain and picture all negativities and impurity leaving through the drain. I stay in the tub until the water exits. I exit the bath and dry off. I put the towel directly into the dirty clothes hamper to go to wash. I will not use it again before washing it. I dress and apply makeup if I feel like it. If I am in hurry or if I do not have access to a bath I will use the Shower picturing the water flowing over me and washing me pure. If I don’t have access to a shower I will use a feather, sand or anything that I feel that would help me cast off the negativity and purify myself. Void of all these things, like when I am at work I will use my hands to cast off the creepies. I roll the energy off of my body like you can roll off a stocking. And finally flinging it off of my body to somewhere neutral like sink or a plant.
One I am clean physically and energetically I then go to the area that I will use for my workings. I have an altar set up in my bedroom. If I am doing my magick at home. If I am doing it elsewhere I travel to that location.
I like to connect with the things around me. I connect closely with a lot of animals. I especially like horses. One thing I learned early in my relationship with horses is that they have a fear of people walking behind them. Always when you walk around the back of a horse keep one hand on it’s flanks and rear so that it know where you are. This is the same way I feel with environments. No matter how many times I have been there or used that space I feel I need to introduce myself to that space again. I do this by walking around the space to ‘feel’ it out. I don’t have any special abilities to see the where creepy things lie but more of I just wait for something to pull my attention. I feel this action introduces my presence and the area to each other. After this I clean the area using a feather, a broom or other such object to physically sweep the area. I also like to use sage especially if it is outdoors. I pay extra attention to the areas that feel heavy or bound up. While I am doing this I picture in my mind a rolling fog that comes and dresses the area in clean newness. I breathe out breath so that I give of myself as an exchange with the area for letting me use it. The Fog stirred up by my breath rolls down my broom or feather and curls around the trees or the chairs or whatever surrounds me anchoring this magickal essence to the area. I always see the fog as a green or lavender fluff that settles down into white and finally becomes transparent when it is settled. As I walk I visualize a chant I learned once. Drawing on the elements I pull them into my space as they are apart of everything and a part of me. Earth my body, water my blood, fire my spirit and air my breath. I walk on the ground or floor connecting the earth to my earthen body, I feel my heart race and the blood blazing though my veins, I feel the energy that I emit and I take, propelling my spirit and my desires, and I breathe the air and expel it offering it back to the wind around me as an offering of myself. When I feel that the elements are of me and I am truly connected to them this is when I feel that my temple is built and I am safe within my sacred space.
My Vision of Goddess
I do believe that there are three separate aspects to Goddess. I accept the Maiden Mother and Crone as part of the life cycle. I have struggled with it sometimes however. For instance in trying to relate to Goddess where am in this cycle. Am I a maiden because I have not had children yet or am I a mother because I do bleed? Can a mother be a Warrior as well? Why have I always been drawn to the Crone Aspect? Is it because I need her more? Why is that?
My conclusion to answer all of the questions of which that is just a sampling is because I am a part of the cycle and am Goddess with my own self I am able to see and use a part of her when I need it most no matter where I am in the cycle.
The Maiden is pure of heart an innocent. This is where I spend most of my time. I decided a little while back to go back to enjoying the simple things. Bumper stickers, the wind stirring leaves, the freckles on little kids’ faces, so many little things. Instead of accepting it as all blasé I decided to take the wonder of things as I was seeing it for the first time. This is hard to do. Life does get repetitive and boring at times but this is when I feel it is getting boring is when I want to take on this child like view of the world. This is the Maidens territory. Innocence and pleasure in the little things, and wonder at the workings of life. She Takes things seriously when she has to but will not let the little things get her down.
The mother is the protector and the Keeper. She bears her children and raises them, protecting them. This is also a big part of me. My Children are my friends and the animals, and the plants. Soon I will have children of my own as well further solidifying myself into this aspect. I am a protector of the earth and she of me. I try my hardest to change peoples minds about their throwaway pets and their earth harming habits. I help and encourage my family and friends to do what they feel is right and advise them when they do not know where to go from here. This is the mother’s territory. She is the Helper the facilitator the lover and the warrior. This is my outward self.
The Crone is the wise woman. Where the Mother in limited scope may fail to have the answer The Crone has all of the answers. People may not want to hear her answers but she will tell them regardless. She is un-intimidated and strong of heart. This is where I need more of in my life. I need the ability to speak forthright and not to take no for an answer when I know it is not right. I do not have the experience in this body but I do have guidance from Goddess and from the wisdom of the women that have come before me and through me. This is the Crones territory. She is the Guru on the mountain she is the Grandmother that knows you the best. This is my future self.
I would also like to note here that I accept and honor the God aspect as well. Truthfully I believe that divine energy has to be both feminine and masculine and at the same time is neither. Therefore if I need help from the Male aspect I do feel I have him to call on as well although I usually do this only in cases where a male needs direction or help and I call upon God to help me out there. I also feel that I relate better to my male friends and family if I look at them as the complimentary aspect of the God to Goddess.
Tools and Their Uses
CANDLES are important. Candles burn and release intentions to prayer into the air as the go. I like to have candles that represent the elements in the quarters and are colored appropriately. The goddess Candle on the altar should be taller than the other candles but not necessarily the tallest thing on the altar.
BELL – I use my bell for striking parts of the ritual. I use it after I cast the initial three walks of the circle with my Dirk, censer, and shell to seal the circle. I think of it as a hammer strike sealing a link of chain. It will now take string circumstances to break the link and my circle. I use it again in ritual if there is a need for instance if there were a story where something is said and it has passages or perhaps different players in the story or lesson I will strike it to seal the statements. Finally I use it at the end and opening of a circle after I cut the energy loose from the holding pattern around a circle I strike the bell three times to vibrate and dissipate the energy.
DIRK or SWORD- I use a dirk as most of my circles are small, I do have a Sword for occasions where one is needed as well but this is generally outside in large groups. The dirk is used to cut my intentions out of the air. I look at it as carving out a space in which energy bleeds into for use during the ritual. I walk around the circle with my dirk at the beginning of casting my circle.
ATHAME- this is my working knife I use it when I need a smaller knife than the dirk. It is used as a blade for carving stating intention and cutting the astral doors in the circle in through which the elemental creatures join in my circle.
WAND- This is a blessing and consecrating tool for me. I use it to infuse magically energy into the altar and anything it touches like using a sword to dub a knight.
WATER- I use water in my circle that I have set out in the moonlight at certain phases of the moon. The Water is representative of my blood and the blood of all and lends an aspect to magic that is connective as blood is. I use it in a lions paw shell with sea salts which represent the earth and sprinkle it around my circler when casting it.
SALT- Salt represents the earth. I like to use sea salt as it is harvested and not processed although I have used table salt in a pinch, no pun intended. I use it in a lions paw shell with moon charged water and sprinkle it around my circle when casting it. Introducing the salt to the water is also often viewed a fertility act, fertility of the earth sewn with the salt seed.
CENSER- Used to hold the aspect of fire manifested in charcoal or fire itself if the space allows. I have a small cauldron that I use for a censer and I burn charcoal and incense in it. Burning the incense combines the aspects of air and fire and is also walked around the circle at the beginning of casting a circle.
GODDESS STATUE- This a totem of the goddess that is places upon the altar. It is a focal point for the magic that is done through her. It is not important what is used as this stature I have used Angel statues and dolls, it should be feminine in nature.
CHALICE- I use a chalice on my altar as a representation of the water and the womb. I poor water from the carafe I keep it in and into the chalice swirling it before it goes into the lions paw. This is also where I drink from after my circle.
BOOK OF SHADOWS- My book of shadows is something special to me. I keep in it knowledge to be passed down. It is a how to book and a cook book in one. I only write in it using Quill and ink.
JOURNAL- this is the equivalent of the book of mirrors that other witches might use, I use it for writing down my thoughts feelings and questions along my path. This is something I use for reflection on to what I have done and can do better.
CORD- My cord is a special Instrument to me as I have made it with my friends. The knots in it represent measurements of a circle and it binds me to my sisters.
These are my beliefs as they stand right now. They may change or take on new aspects in the future but they will always remain at their core, the same.