Basic Ritual Title
Put everything you will need for your altar and spellworking inside the ritual area. Place on or near your altar the following items: everything needed for specific spells; a chalice with a little fresh water in it; a dish of salt; pentacle disk; sword and /or dagger; wand; incense burner with lighted charcoal; incense; one or two altar candles for light; four Element candles. After the circle is cast, unless it is an emergency, do not cross the boundary until the Elements are dismissed.

The burning of incense is one of the oldest religious and magical rites. In fact, the word 'perfume'comes from teh Latin profumum(by smoke). Scents of all kinds have a fast, subtle effect upon the human mind and subconscious. It appeals to past memories.

The candles of the four Elements in Celtic magic are red, east; white, south; grey, west; black, north. In the Wiccan and magickal tradition, the colors are yellow, east; red, south; blue, west; dark green, north. In the following ritual, the Celtic colors are listed first, with the Wiccan colors in parentheses.

You are striving to create an atmosphere in which magic can work. The candle-lit room, the wearing of robes and scented incense smoke can transform any ritual area into a shrine of power.

Set the altar in the center, facing east.The Celtic peoples honored the east as a place of renewing power because of the daily rising Sun in that direction. Play soft instrumental music to help create atmosphere. Relax, and take several deep breaths to center yourself.

Taking your magical dagger in your power hand and starting in the east, visualize that powerful, protective silver-blue flame sooting form the tip of the ritual blade. Aim it at the floor. Move clockwise from the east, drawing the magical boundary. Remember to overlap the ends in the east when you finish. Note that in casting the circle it is acceptable to use a dagger, a sword, or the forefinger of your power hand. While you are drawing the circle, say:

I consecrate this circle to the Ancient Gods.
Here may they manifest and bless their child.

Move back to the altar, facing east. Raise your dagger or wand in greeting and say:

This is a time that is not a time,
in a place that is not a place,
on a day that is not a day.
I stand at the threshold between the worlds,
Before the veil of the Mysteries.
may the Ancient Ones help and protect
me on my magickal journey.

Set the water chalice on the pentacle disk. Hold your dagger over it and say:

Great Mother, bless this creature of Water to your service.
May I always remember the cauldron waters of rebirth.

Hold your dagger over the salt, say:

Great Mother, bless this creature of Earth to your service.
May I always remember the blessed Earth, its many forms and beings.

Sprinkle a little salt into the water, then hold the chalice up high. Say:

Great Mother, I give you honor!

Beginning in the east and moving clockwise, sprinkle the water-salt mixture lightly around the edges of the circle. Replace the chalice on the altar.

Hold your dagge rover the lighted incense burner, saying:

"Great Father, bless this crature of Fire to your service
May I always remember the sacred Fire that dance within
the form of every creation"

Hold your dagger over the incense, saying:

"Great Father, bless this creature of Air to your service
May I always remember to listen to the spirit winds
that bring me to the voices of the Ancient Ones"

Put a little incense on the lighted charcoal. Do not put too much incense in the burner, as a little goes a long way in an enclosed room! Uing chains or some other method, touch the burner briefly to the pentacle, then rais the burner high, saying:

"Great Father, I give you honor!"

Carry the burner around the circle clockwise, beginning in the east. Return it to the altar.

Go to the eastern quarter of the circle. Light the red (yellow) candle and hold your hand up in greeting. You may also salute the Elemental with your dagger, sword or wand instead of your hand. Say:

"I call upon you, Powers of Air, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

In the southern quarter, light the white (red) candle and hold up your hand in greeting, say:

"I call upon you, Powers of Fire, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

Move to the west; light the grey (blue) candle and hold up your hand in greeting, say:

"I call upon you, Powers of Water, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

End by going to the north; light the black (green) candle and greet the Element, saying:

"I call upon you, Powers of Earth, to witness this rie and to guard this circle.

Move back to the central altar, and stand facing east. Raise your arms in greeting, say:

"This circle is bound,
with power all around.
Between the worlds, I stand
With protection at hand."

Proceed with yur planned spellworking or ceremony. When everything is completed, hld your hand or dagger over the altar and say:

"By the powers of the ancient Gods
I bind all power within this circle
Into this spell. So mote it be."

When you are ready to end the ritual, go to the east and extinguish the red (yellow) candle, say:

"Depart in peace, O Powers of Air
my thanks and blessings

Go to the south, extinguish the white (red) candle, say:

"Depart in peace, O Powers of Fire
my thanks and blessings

Go to the west, and put out the grey (blue) candle, say:

"Depart in peace, O Powers of Water
my thanks and blessings.

Finish by going to the North and extinguishing the black (green) candle, say:

"Depart in peace, O Powers of Earth.
my thanks and blessings

Return to the altar in the center and say:

"To all beings and powers of the visible
and invisible, depart in peace.
May there always be harmony between us.
My thanks and blessings.

Cut the circle with a backwards movement of your dagger or sword to release all remaining traces of power for manifestation. Say:

"The circle is open, yet ever it remains a circle
Around and through me always flows its magickal power.

Put away all magickal tools and clear the altar. Leave any candles or objects which must remain either to burn out or be empowered for a stated period of time.

You have completed a ritual. Practice will make the power flow easier and more freely. You wil become more self-confident. Soon you will be looking forward to the time you spend between the worlds with the Ancient Ones.


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All images on this page (c) Joelle Miller, 1999

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