On Protecting Ritual Spaces

A spell for protection
A spell for protection

Over my many years as a self-identified Pagan, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of different ways of protecting ritual spaces.

While many Wiccan circles define a firm boundary to the ritual space, there are many other traditions that don’t.  Even the traditions that do have the firm boundary sometimes don’t have it all the time.

So, why do you define the boundary or not? Well .. there’s a lot of “it depends.”  In most cases that I’m aware of, the firm boundary is designed as much to hold IN energy as to keep negative influences out.  When you’re doing focused magic or intense work, this can be very useful.  However, there are other times where it’s not as important to hold the energy in .. or even preferred to allow the energy to spread out gradually. In public rituals especially, it can be very useful to have a flexible or permeable boundary. Parents feel more comfortable bringing their kids if they can quickly leave if the kids don’t want to be there, or people can go if they need to go to the bathroom. And if you’re at an outdoor festival, not having to worry about the adults or children who wander late to the ritual crossing your boundary is very useful!

In ADF, our public rituals don’t have firm boundaries.  Since our public rituals are mostly devotional, this works out great.  We want the natural world to interact with us during the ritual. We do, however, make sure to protect the space that we’re working in – while we want beneficial, or even neutral, outside influences, we do want to keep out the negative influences. As part of our rituals, we call upon a Gatekeeper – an other-worldly being who we call, make offerings to, and ask to protect the space. Also, many of our rituals make an explicit call to these negative influences – what we sometimes call “Outsiders” to leave us alone.  Ritualists in other traditions will often do similar things for rituals where they don’t have a firm boundary. They will either call upon an other-worldly being or will take other specific actions to protect the space without requiring the firm boundary.

There is no “right” way to protect the boundary of your ritual space.  The type of protection that you should use is very dependent upon your physical, magical and spiritual circumstances. Sometimes you really want that firm boundary, sometimes you really don’t .. and most of the time you’re somewhere in the middle.  Think about what you’re doing, and experiment.  Find what works for you.

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Breathing Into Your Body

There’s a technique that I came across many years ago, called “Bone Breathing.” I believe that it’s originally a Qigong technique for breathing energy into your bone marrow and improving your health.  The method that I learned adapted the original technique to help focus energy into internal parts of your body.

I first started using the technique with my sinuses. By breathing into my sinus cavity and focusing the healing energies there, my body had an easier time loosening up the crud that was building up and relieved the pressure. Today I sit here coughing thanks to an illness, and the focused breathing helps to ease the cough a bit.

If you’re interested in trying it, here’s the technique.

  • Sit, or lay, comfortably with your body fully supported.
  • Take a deep breath in and feel your whole body – the inside bits and the outside bits.
  • Identify in your own body where the illness seems to be residing.  If it’s in multiple areas, pick one to start with.
  • Take a deep breath in and feel the warm, golden healing light entering in through your skin to that area of illness.
  • As you exhale, see the yuck flowing out of you, through your skin and dissipating into the earth.
  • Take another breath, and repeat the exercise at least 9 times.

If you’re not a visual person, you can use your other senses to direct the healing energy – it could be the feeling of a warm breeze, or a beautiful note, or whatever works for you that says “healing.”  It also doesn’t have to be gold. If another color or sensation works for you, use that.  Experiment, see what works.

 

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The Job Hunt Spell

A few years ago – before this blog was really a thing, I was in a situation where I needed a new job.  I didn’t have one at the time, but I had some savings so I wasn’t desperate to take any job, I wanted one that fit me.  To help me focus and to help get me job I did a little magic.

For folks who are looking for a job, here’s what I did.  May it help you to find a job that suits you!

Preparation

Before starting the spellwork, I gathered together a bag suitable for putting coins and paper money into, a large green candle, a 2″x2″ (5cm x 5cm) piece of paper, a pen and a candle holder for the candle.  If incense helps you to focus, get some that reflect money, or focus, or intent.

NOTE: if you need a job in a hurry, a candle in a color that means quick energy to you might be useful.  For me, that would be orange.  Your colors may vary.

Create your Focus

Find a sentence that fits what you want to do .. “find a job that supports my family,” “find a job that fits my need for x,” etc.  If you have a very specific need, make sure that you included it.  Remember to be specific on definite needs you have … minimum salaries, personal needs you have, but not on what the job is or where it is – give the universe room to work.

Using your prefered method of making a sigil or bindrune, make one that fits that sentence.  Once you have your sigil, re-draw it on the  piece of paper.

Create a chant that reflects your sentence.  Make sure that you use the present tense as if you had already found your job.  For example, if your sentence was “I need to find a job that supports my family,” then your chant could be “Have a job / Fill our bellies / Clothe our bodies / Keep us safe”  or whatever works for you.

Do the spell every day

While you are hunting for a job, start your morning out by doing the spell to set your intention for the day.

If you have incense, light your incense.  Focus on your sigil for a few moments.  Remember what you are looking for and why you need this job.  Take a dollar, or a few coins, or whatever you can afford of real money and put it in the pouch.  Focus on that money multiplying to meet your needs, focus on being happy and knowing that your job is out there.

Light the candle and start your chant.  Depending on what you feel comfortable with, repeat the chant 7 or 9 times, or until you feel the energy and focus building within you.  Send that energy out to find your job and show it to you!

Repeat this spell every morning until you have started your new job.

Remember that you need to do the mundane work of job hunting, but the universe will help to open doors and show you the way.

Keep your eyes open and look at all the possibilities.  I ended up taking a job that was not my first choice, but it has since lead to me getting a job with an amazing company and given me a lot of wonderful opportunities that I would not have gotten at my first choice.

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Foundations: The Elements [PBP]

In an understanding of time, and an effort to save time, I’m counting this post for both the 30 Days of Druidry and the Pagan Blog Project!

The Fire from Within by HeliusFlame

There are so many different ways to define the elements and most of it depends on what traditions you follow.  Wiccans are often heavily involved with the elements, using them to define their working circles as well as invoking them in their work.  Other traditional witches that I’ve known use the associations and energies of the elements in their working.

In some revivalist druid practices, the elements are called into the sacred space.  In other druid circles the traditional witch/wiccan elements are not called.

I do use the elements in my magical workings, however I no longer create solid circles as I used to do when I was a Wiccan.  Now I define a sacred space and invite the appropriate energies and beings into the space.  Sometimes that includes elemental energies or beings.

I recognize five elements: air, fire, water, earth, spirit.  Each of the elements have their own areas of focus, but there is some overlap.  For instance, all elements are necessary for life, so they can all be used in healing or life-affirming spells and rituals.

Air is about the breath, communication and intellect.  This is the element that most affects learning and study, it’s also the best element to use for ensuring that you are clearly communicating and are actively listening.  Air can breathe life into the dying, or waft a gentle breeze to spread the life-giving pollen of plants.  Air can also destroy with the strength of storms and tornadoes.

Fire is my favorite (Leo that I am) and is both destructive and creative.  Think of a fire through a forest, it clears out the smaller plants and scorches the earth, but it also causes some plants to spread their seeds, and other seeds to begin to sprout into plants.  Fire is also about our own internal desire, drive and our creative spirit.

Water is generally tied to the emotions, and it’s also tied to healing.  Water can wash away the negative emotions and help us to heal.  We can suspend ourselves in water and just be, just experience our spiritual being as it is.  It is forgiving, and loving, and nurturing.  We nestled in water in our mother’s womb and it reminds us of safety.  But water can also be destructive, rivers cut into rock through time, floods can quickly destroy towns and land, emotions that can drown us with negativity.

Earth is our grounding, stabilizing energy.  It is the stuff that forms our bodies, that forms the basis of our Earth, the building blocks of life.  Earth is comforting, healing, building and nurturing.  Earth is also smothering and crushing in avalanches and mud/rock slides.

The fifth element that I recognize is Spirit, some call it Awen, others have different names for it.  Spirit is our connection to deity, it is that divine energy that supports us through life. It is our soul.  Spirit empowers us, connects us to each other, and allows us to recognize the divine in all things.  Too much spirit is also a bad thing, causing us to be disconnected from each other and from our own lives.

As you can see, each of the elements have positive and negative sides to them.  As with most things, it’s about balance.  Too much of any of the energies can cause negative effects, as can too little.

Take time and notice which energies are in your life, and which energies you would like more of in your life.

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The story of Persephone

Blessed Samhain everyone!

On this Samhain day, I’d like to share with you a re-telling of the Persephone myth that I wrote for our local group’s ritual.

Enjoy


The Story of Persephone

Once upon a time, when the world was still young, the Harvest Goddess had a daughter, Persephone. The young woman was enamored of beautiful flowers and would often wander off to see what she could find. One day, Persephone found a particularly beautiful flower and was enamored by it’s beauty. While she was admiring the flower, a dark chariot rose up out of the ground and it’s rider reached out and grabbed Persephone around the waist. Against her will Persephone was wisked away to the Underworld.

For many months, Persephone stayed with Hades in the Underworld, pining for the Sun and land again. Again and again, Hades offered Persephone food and drink, but she refused, knowing that eating or drinking would trap her in the Underworld. Eventually, she got so hungry that she had to eat. One, single Pomegranate seed was all she ate, but it was enough.

As time passed in the Underworld, Persephone began to realize that not everything was dark and gloomy there. She began to see the beauty in the greys, both within the Underworld and within herself. All the while, Demeter walked the land searching for her daughter. As she searched, Demeter would let no grain or crop to grow.

Zeus, the king of the Gods, saw what was happening to the earth and sent Hermes to convince Hades to release fair Persephone. Hermes spoke softly to Hades and the god of the Underworld agreed.

Because she had eaten fruit in the underworld, Persephone could never fully return to the land. Zeus saw the problem and decreed that Persephone shall live for two thirds of the year with her mother and the land, and one third of the year under the earth with Hades.

On this Samhain night, Persephone returns to the underworld to take her place as it’s Queen.

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A day with my book

It is rare that I get the chance to sit down with my books and notes and actually create something in my Book of Shadows.

Last weekend I finally did that.  The hard part is not the finding the time, as much as it is finding the time when I’m not doing something else.  There are so many things that I do, things that I’d like to do, and things that I think I have to do.

Lately, I’ve taken to creating with my beautiful glass dip pen, and some green ink .. and decorating the pages using Zentangle-inspired shapes and decorations.

I do have an online book of shadows where I put a lot of commonly referenced things like correspondences or ideas for spells or rituals that I haven’t had a chance to try out.  Slowly things are getting transferred into my physical book.  In this age of electronics, I do sometimes appreciate taking the slow way to get things done.

Once they’re created, each one of those pages get scanned and put into an eBook .. which does strike me as odd, but if it’s in an eBook it’s easier for me to carry around and to take advantage of those little moments where I want to look something up, or make a note, or plan tonight’s spell …

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Negativity Removal

Lately there’s been a bit of .. well .. challenging emotions .. around my house. Both hubby and I are hitting crunch times at work, with the long hours and high stress that goes with that.  So things are a bit tense around our house.

I found this spell somewhere on the web, but I didn’t write down where it was from.

I don’t know if it’s the spell or simply the fact that it’s a visual reminder for both of us to leave work at work .. but it’s working 🙂  Things have been quite sane around our house since I did the spell.

The Anti-Negativity Spell

Take half a fresh lemon and place it face down in a bowl or plate of salt.  Say a prayer or petition to your favorite appropriate god or goddess and place the plate or bowl in one of the main rooms in your house.

Refresh when the lemon dries out or as needed.

If the lemon rots instead of dries out, you’ve got more work to do than this simple spell can handle.

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