Sacred Space

A General Set of Steps to Follow
By Melinda

Magic spells are amazing ways to take back our power, one which had been taken away for centuries by organized religions and the people who presume that they personally know the Creator and are the only ones who are capable of communing with HER or HIM.Magic spells allow us to use the tremendous energy that each of us have for creating magick in our lives.

However, there are some simple rules that people need to remember when working spells. First and foremost; remember the Wiccan Rede; “An it harm none, do what you will.” This means that all of us have the power to do anything, unless it harms someone directly or indirectly. If we hurt someone, then the three-fold law will be set in motion and we will be the recipient of three times the hurt that we inflicted on someone else. That’s a good thing to remember, right?

It is not easy to think of all the people that our actions affect, directly or indirectly. For example, if we love someone and work a spell to increase their love for us, maybe that indirectly affects the time and energy they have for loving the rest of their family! So think deeply before deciding on a spell and how to express your intentions. Make sure your words and thoughts do not hurt anyone or anything.

The next step is to decide what your intentions are and what tools you will need to work your spell. For each intention, there are colors, herbs, gemstones, tools, etc. that will make a huge difference in the ambiance or environment around us. Always use your own words while working a spell. Just because the words sound exotic or the words rhyme, it doesn’t mean that your spell will work. Your words have to mirror your intentions; that’s the only way the spell will work. So give yourself enough time to think about what it is you intend and how best to express it to the powers and energies who will be doing the work for you.

Whether you work the spell inside your house or outside, make sure that the area is clean of clutter and old, used things; for everything contains energy. If there are things used by other people around the area where we do our spell, that energy will affect the outcome of our spell. Also, if we use items used by other people, their energies will be part of our spell working. Depending on the items, it could help our cause or hurt it. Remember to consecrate all your tools and also bless them just before you use each of them.

The area where you work your spell is also very important. The best place is outdoors on inside your house where you spend some time in daily spiritual practice. An altar, images or candles representing Goddess and God or any deity that you respect is very conducive to our relaxation and inspiration. Some people use the powers of the creative energies, such as the Earth, Air, Water and Fire. We may use salt, water, incense, or candle flame for consecrating our tools. Also, use the directions, East, North, West, and South for guidance to accomplish our goals.

When we have gathered all our tools, a sacred circle needs to be cast. This is for the purpose of protection so that our energies remain pure and powerful and will not be tainted or reduced by negative ones. Casting a circle may be accomplished using the Athame, Besom, Wand or pointing a finger in the direction of the circle and calling upon the energies mentioned above to guide us in our path.

After the circle is cast and we have all the guides we invited into our sacred space, we have to close the circle so that we remain protected in our sacred space. Now we visualize on the intent of our actions and complete the rituals of spell working. Once the spell is complete, we have to remember to thank our deities and other guides before we open the circle.

Remember to dispose of all the remains of our spell working (such as candle wax, ash from incense, holy water, etc) in the proper ways. Throwing them away as trash is not a good idea. Mother Earth is our first ally. So burying most of the materials used, (as long as they are from nature) is a sensible thing to do.

The best practice is to use very little of nature’s resources and put back into life more than you have taken out of it. This is the only way our Universe will survive and thrive.

Retrieved from:  Articles About Magic

Circle casting is an important, and at times, difficult activity. It involves the use of many skills, and for the beginner it can seem like a pointless, if not impossible, routine. How do you do it properly? When should it be done? And perhaps most importantly: how do you know if you’ve done it?

What is a Circle?

A circle is a boundary of energy extending halfway above the ground and halfway below. It marks the boundary between the worlds: inside the circle is a cleansed space where the two worlds can interact. Outside is the mundane, ‘regular’ world. That’s the basics; more on this later.

Why do you need a Circle?

A circle is cast to create a clean space in which to do ritual and magickal workings. It creates an area in which both worlds are present; in a very real sense, it is between the worlds. To invite a Deity, or an Elemental, etc. without a circle (into the mundane world) isn’t always such a great idea. It’s easier to interact inside a circle. It also acts to keep magickal energy inside until it is ready to be released, or to keep negative energy outside.

What do I need to know to cast a circle?

Well, you must have a lot of focus. You must be able to clearly visualize what you are doing, and how you are doing it. You should be able to feel the energy you are attempting to move, and have a clear idea of where you want to put it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • 1. What is the purpose of your circle?

To protect from outside negativity; to contain magickal energy; to create a space between the worlds; another purpose; a mixture? The nature of your circle will depend on the ritual you are planning on doing.

  • 2. How big will your circle be?

If you are casting the circle for practice, then all you need is a circle the size of your own body. For a larger group, no big surprise, a larger circle. In my personal opinion, it should be large enough that you don’t keep wandering to the edges and sticking your head through it.

  • 3. How will you visualize your circle?

If you are just learning, it might be best to stick with simple colors. Later on, you can learn funky patterns and effects. Practice casting a circle in your mind during meditation. You must learn how to visualize things clearly, hold them in your mind, and focus while you rotate and move them. At the beginning, stick to the basics: there’s no substitute for them.

  • 4. Can you keep your focus for as long as it takes to set up the circle?

If you are constantly second-guessing yourself, you can’t maintain your concentration. Trust yourself.

  • 5. Treat it with respect.

Constantly walking in, through, and out of the circle without cutting a door, or otherwise ignoring its boundaries doesn’t really help you much. You can’t really expect to cast strong circles if you can’t create and keep it in your mind first. The circle is real because you make it real. You make it real by believing in it and acting on it.

  • 6. Finally, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it the first time.

Or the second. Or the 30th. It takes time; it takes self-trust; it takes PRACTICE.

When do I cast the circle?

I’ve found that the best time is right after you have cleansed the space (by blessing, sweeping, or making lots of noise), and before you invoke any elements or Deities. If you have others with you for the ritual, save up jokes, and try to make each other laugh really hard just before you create the circle. This further gets rid of any negativity that might be present, and provides enough positive energy to cast a good circle. My friend and I have had some fascinating rituals this way.

So, how do I cast a circle, exactly?

Well, there are many ways. If you’re reading this for information, then you’ll probably want a simple one.

First, ground and center yourself. Stand with both feet firmly on the ground, and relax your arms at the sides of your body. Simply feel and visualize the energy of the Earth below you, and the Sky above you.

Face one of the directions, and physically reach down with your arm and gather the energy of the Earth into your hand. Reach up to the Sky and gather the energy of the Sky into your other hand. Now scoot down near the ground and face your palms outward, sending that energy into a smooth wall of colour that will spread itself into the shape of a circle. Rise up as you do this, shaping and smoothing the wall at this corner.

Repeat this at the other three directions, constantly smoothing and shaping it with your hands. At each direction, the circle gets stronger and thicker; there are no gaps because the energy of the circle constantly swirls around evenly.

See the energy as a thick, fluid stream of color. It also flows under the ground, to even itself out as a complete sphere. You can shape it underground by visualizing it through the floor. Solidify it by visualizing the energy of the circle as sticking together, like hot glue or warm honey.

When you feel the circle is ‘set’, all you have to do now is keep it in mind, and perhaps make minor re-adjustments if you feel it is necessary. Take as much time as you need, and don’t rush. No one is holding a stopwatch. Don’t be afraid to move around spontaneously; no one is marking you on grace or coolness. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to screw up; that’s an important way to learn.

Casting A Circle – How do I know if I did it?

This is the fun part. Everybody has their own unique way of sensing circles. Some people can see the circle; as a band of color, or a thickening of the air. Some people can feel it as a spark of electricity, or again as a thickening of air. Some people can hear it as a low hum. Everybody is different.

One thing is certain, however: circles get really hot. In a strong circle you can feel the cold air rushing in when you cut a door. When you take it down, you can practically feel a breeze. In the beginning, you may not be sure whether or not you’ve succeeded; don’t let that bother you. When you really get the hang of it, you’ll know for sure.

Casting A Circle – What’s this about cutting a door?

Cutting a door basically means opening a hole in the circle so you can leave it. It’s best to stay in the circle the whole time it’s up, but there are times when you’ve forgotten something important in another room (like a lighter), or there’s something you have to deal with.

My personal favorite way of cutting a door is to hold your fingers and hand in a straight line, and move your hand around a rectangular outline large enough for you to walk through. Visualize the energy of the circle inside that rectangle being sucked into your forearm where you can store it until you get back.

When closing the door, do this in reverse, and then smooth out the edges of where the door was. Visualize the energy of the circle swirling around until the location of the door is lost. Still, cutting too many doors in a circle can also weaken it eventually.

I live in an apartment; will the people downstairs walk into my circle and mess it up?

I just added this question because I’ve wondered about it myself. Yes, the circle does extend halfway below the floor, and yes, someone downstairs could walk right through the bottom part of it. All I can suggest is that you either do your rituals after you’re sure they’re out or asleep, or just try not to think about it. 🙂

When and how do I take the circle down?

At the very end of ritual. After the Deities are gone, the Element/als have returned to their respective realms, etc. etc. etc. The only thing that generally follows taking down the circle is eating, drinking, and chatting. Take the circle down exactly the same way that you set it up, in reverse. Take as much time to take it down as you took to set it up. Send the energy back into the Earth, the Sky, or wherever you chose to get it from. If you used the energy from the Earth and Sky, then it’s a good idea to change it into healing energy for our planet and our skies before you channel it back.

What’s the best way to practice casting a circle?

Actually: alone. If you can do it alone, then you can do it in a group; it doesn’t always work in reverse. Working alone also lets you develop your own style, and you don’t need to worry about people staring at you. You can work on your concentration more easily by yourself, and you don’t feel like you’re boring people if you take a while. Write your own visualizations and keep track of your results in a journal. But above all, learn to trust yourself and your instincts; it’s one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself.

Author: Keitha (FireWind)

They say that the longest journey begins with a single step. So, too, the exploration of Magickal studies begins with a single step. Though the first step in a physical journey is often self-evident, the First Step on a Magickal journey is often not quite so clear. While formally organized groups often have a path of lessons to instruct newcomers, the solitary or isolated student is often left standing in perplexity on this broad plain of knowledge, wondering just where in the heck to begin. And wondering, too, if it’s “okay” to start just anywhere.

While it’s true that studies can begin in a direction that attracts you, the necessary first step must be learning to make psychic shields. There are “Things of the Dark” out there. There are any number of explanations for what these things might be– ghosts, demons, or simply uncontrolled urges of the subconscious mind. In truth, it doesn’t matter what they are. What does matter is that their effect is very real and unless they are put under your control, they will drag you over the borders of sanity into psychosis.

You are most vulnerable to them while you’re in an “open” trance or meditative state. That’s why the wise practitioner always begins by taking steps to define exactly what will be permitted through the portals of their “psychic shields”– no matter how simple the ritual. And this, in a nutshell, is what “protective magic” is about.

There are a number of ways to do this. The most common is to begin by drawing a circle (around a group or yourself) and invoking the one or more protective powers. Generally, this is done by candlelight, in front of an altar that holds certain magical objects. The circle may be further “secured” and “cleared” by using salt, salt water, rum, incense, or some other method. You may be wearing a special robe and will have taken a bath (or performed a cleansing ritual) earlier. The powers that protect you will be called on and then you will begin your ritual.

Is it psychological? Absolutely! Is there a reason why protection rituals always take this form? Positively! Let’s take a step back and see what you’re actually doing and how the process works– from a psychological standpoint– and how to use this knowledge to help you refine your circles to enhance your rituals.

Psychologists and psychics alike view the mind’s structure as a three-part entity: The ego (that which you think of as yourself), the superego (the “higher self”) and the Id (the child within). The Id is, in a sense, a computer. Like most computers, it operates on the “garbage in – garbage out” principle.

There’s an old superstition “as you name something, so will it become.” Tell yourself that you’re very unlucky and your id will obligingly give you bad days by enhancing any negatives in your environment. Tell yourself that you are clumsy, and your id-computer will obligingly arrange for you to break a leg while stepping off the sidewalk.

The bad news is that the Id can’t make a judgment as to whether or not this is a good idea. It only knows that it’s received these “instructions” and must carry them out. The good news is that you can actually program/reprogram this portion of your mind.

You begin programming this Internal Servant of yours by first drawing its attention to what you want done and then explaining what you need done in a simple and clear manner. Repeating the instructions in a chant help fix the goals for the Id– rhymed chants seem to be easier for it to process. Each time you perform the ritual and repeat the chant, the programming is strengthened. Never mind that your ego and superego understand that you’re going to program the child-like Id. It works just the same.

To direct the Id’s attention to the process, you first have to impress it. Using special tools and clothing alert it that something unusual is going on and that it must pay attention. Acquiring hard-to-obtain items, drawing symbols, performing a symbolic sacrifice (donating money, say, to a good cause) are all ways of reinforcing the Id’s impression that this ceremony is very special and that the result will be very powerful. Organized, meaningful symbols, speak to your subconscious mind in ways it understands, reinforcing the goals you have set.

Drawing the circle itself establishes boundaries within your environment (“The rest of the world can do what it likes Out There. All within this circle is in MY control!”). Purifying the circle and consecrating it (sprinkling water which has been blessed and salt added) further enforce your territory, defining the borders where you are “safe”. Nothing can enter this area except what you invite inside. You further tighten these borders by calling on certain powers.

You can call on any powers you like. Some use traditional Christian images. Others call up deities from the religion they are most comfortable with. And many people use the thought/image of a beam of light that represents either God/Goddess (whichever one they like) OR The power of light and life and goodness in the Universe.

The number of powers called as guardians varies. You may choose to invoke one powerful being to protect your circle. Or you might call on the Universal Being/Light AND four guardians (one for each quarter of the compass). A third approach is to use a guardian for the four quarters of the compass and no higher being. There is no “absolutely correct” system; the correct system is the one that YOU are comfortable with.

Take time to choose the guardians of your circle carefully. You should select guardians (gods or animals or some form of life) which have a deeper meaning to you and whose qualities are in harmony with your goals. For the new student, it’s best to have all your Powers and Guardians from the same belief system/religion/mythic universe so that the symbols will be consistent and not confuse the Id.

You CAN use people– saints, movie actors, figures from favorite books as guardians. DO, however, pick someone who’s dead or non-existent. The dead can’t argue with your interpretation of them, whereas the living may be highly offended to be approached as gods/ guardians).

As your studies continue, you will find that your totems or guardians change. This is to be expected; as you explore new realms in your studies, you may find you need guardians who deal with very specific areas to strengthen and guide you in these new fields.

But don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll become so powerful that you will never need the protection of the psychic shielding circle in some form. And don’t assume that you will not need a circle for “positive” magick such as healing. Open is open– and open is vulnerable. And circles strengthen and protect you by defining what psychological influences will be allowed to work with you.

NOTE: It is equally important to close your circle when you are complete. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Key elements are a statement of intent, for example: “The circle is open” and the releasing of the energy contained within the circle either by sweeping the perimeter, retrieving objects, or whatever feels appropriate.

Author: Mel White

 

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This is a very special exercise that is important to your ability to tap into Magick energy at any time (and for almost any reason). This exercise, not only creates the solid “base” from which your spell power comes from – but it also cleanses you of negative energy (including stress). The exercise can be done at any time, but is particularly effective during the dark of the moon.

There are 2 kinds of sacred space:

  • Internal Sacred Space
  • External Sacred Space.

Obviously, Internal Sacred space exists within your heart – and External Sacred Space exists outside of your body (for example, your altar, and the area surrounding it).

So many people practicing Witchcraft are so focused on the External Sacred Space… they make their altar just perfect, they cleanse their circle, decorate it, etc… don’t get me wrong, these things are very important! The more energy you put into your External Sacred Space the better your spells will work – without a doubt!

But can you guess what is at least 10 times more important than External Sacred Space? Yup, you guessed it – your Internal Sacred Space!

And some Witches completely ignore it… it’s a shame because if you set up your Internal Sacred Space properly, it will effect your Magick in amazing ways – much more than things in your External Sacred Space (like the color of your altar cloth, etc.).

I completely understand the attention being paid to External Sacred Space, because the sight of a beautifully done altar, in a perfectly clean External Sacred Space is a wonderful, spiritual thing to behold.

But it’s your Internal Sacred Space that is the “fuel” behind every kind of Magick you ever do. So let’s do something that a lot of Witches never get around to doing. Let’s set up your Internal Sacred Space now…

  • Find a quiet place where you can sit down and concentrate. Preferably outside on a nice day, but you can also find a quiet place in your house where you feel at peace.
  • Grab a pen and a piece of paper of clean 8 ½ x 11 notebook paper, sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes.
  • Take a few deep breaths and think of emotional and sacred things in your life. These could be fond memories, certain people in your life, emotions, feelings, important objects, places, etc.
  • If you think of negative things, immediately “sweep” them out of your mind. When you are done, you need to only be left with all of the sacred things in your mind. Relax, and concentrate until you feel you are “ready”.

When you open your eyes, let your list fall out of your pen and onto the paper. Just let it flow. I want you to write down everything in a list. Be as detailed as you possibly can about each sacred thing you can think of. (Remember, these are sacred things to YOU, and they can be anything that brings positive emotion into your heart)

When you are done, turn the paper over.

  • Now, close your eyes again and think of everything that is NOT sacred to you.
  • Think about your biggest long term problems, things that irritate you, things that make you sad.
  • Nobody is perfect, think about your flaws as a person.
  • Think about anything that brings negative emotion into your heart.

Once you have brought them all into your mind, open your eyes and write them all down on the back of the same paper. All of these negative things will keep you from creating your sacred space. You will soon find out how to keep them out of your sacred space so that you will have a true place of power within you for spell work.

Fold up the paper and get ready for the next step:

  • You’ve now got your lists. On the front you have a list of things that are “sacred” to you.
  • On the back you have a list of all things that are NOT sacred (the things that bring negative emotions into your heart).
  • Now, you will need to gather a few tools to use to finish the building blocks of your Internal Sacred Space.

Gather the following items:

  • White candle in a holder
  • Matches, or a lighter
  • A glass (or ceramic) bowl
  • A glass of water

Set them all up in front of you:

  • When you are ready, light the candle.
  • Let it become your focus.
  • Feel the heat and energy coming from the candle.
  • Visualize it’s energy surrounding you, enveloping you in it’s light and warmth. Let it’s light fill the aura around your body.
  • See this light purifying your energy, filling your heart with it’s pure, white glow.
  • After you feel warm and pure from the light of the candle, take the paper and unfold it.
  • Slowly read the list of sacred things aloud. Allow yourself to pause between each one and think deeply on it. When you have gone through your entire list, say the following aloud, and with purpose:

“These Sacred things that I see
Make them all a part of me
Help me raise the energy!”

  • Now visualize each item from your list rising up off of the paper to brighten the white purifying light around you.
  • Next, fold the paper back up without even looking at the list of negative things.
  • Gently hold the folded paper into the fire on the candle (be very careful not to burn yourself or anything around you).
  • Once the paper catches fire, drop it immediately into the bowl.

Now say aloud:

“Cleanse the Space inside of me
And rid all negativity
I accept no less –
So Mote It Be”

  • Now watch the flames carefully as they burn the rest of the paper while you focus on feeling your positive sacred energy full of grand emotions.
  • Feel the energy again, surrounding you and cleansing your space with white purifying light, filled with all of your sacred things.
  • Pour some water into the bowl to put out the rest of the flames and as to “cleanse” all the negativity from your space.
  • Now snuff out the candle.

You have now set up your basic internal sacred space that you are going to build on in the future. When you first set up your sacred space in this way, do this once a week for 4 weeks to reinforce it and grow the power of your space. (you can write down different things, or the same things every time)

Going forward, you are going to want to do this once a month to keep your sacred space clean so that your Magick will work to it’s fullest and won’t be tainted with negativity.

Source: Rose Ariadne

If you would like some advice about what sort of magick is needed, simply enter a short explanation of your situation. Our resident witch will be happy to assist. Good Luck!!

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Tracking The Moon
Being A Witch

We should educate people that ‘Witch’ is not evil but ancient and positive. The first time I called myself a ‘Witch’ was the most magical moment of my life.

~Margot Adler

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