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The Principles of Magick:  Part V

Section 1: Basic Ritual designing.

                There is a standard "form" if you will to almost all rituals, and being general you can modify it as need arises. These steps are designed to assist you in creating your own rituals (which is highly advised). While magicks that you can find in a book and on the World Wide Web work perfectly fine, rituals that you plan and design yourself are far more effective because you designed them. The more comfortable you are with a ritual the more effective it will be. The steps are listed below.
STEP 1: Purification of self (the person performing the work).
    This can be done through meditation or ritually bathing prior to the working itself.
STEP 2: Purification of Space (the ritual area itself).
    This step is only really needed if working indoors. You can sweep the area with a broom (traditionally a besom [round ended broom]) to sweep the negativity out of the area.
STEP 3: Creating Sacred Space.
    This is the portion of the ritual where you bless the area with the four elements and invoke the Quarters (however you chose to do it). Blessing the area can be accomplished simply by taking your tools (one at a time) clockwise around the circle while visualizing their elemental energies streaming behind you,  creating a circle.  If you work without tools, summon the elemental energies and send them streaming out from your hand (clockwise from the center starting at north east) to form the edges of  your sacred space. By creating Sacred Space, we effectively remove a portion of the regular earth realm, and place it "Between the Worlds" for the time of the ritual. The Circle, once fully cast, sits on the boundaries of the Spirit Realm and the Material Worlds.
STEP 4: Invocation of Deity
    This is the part where you recite an invocation to Deity as you see it. You may use the Charge of the Goddess and the Charge of the God, or a personal invocation that you write yourself, its up to you to decide with what you are most comfortable.
STEP 5: Ritual Observance.
    This is the portion of the ritual where you perform your rituals for the High Holidays, and full moons. If your ritual is not to honor either one, then you can skip this step.
STEP 6: Magickal Workings.
    Now is when you work your magick and summon the energies you wish to direct towards your goal.
STEP 7: Earthing the Power.
    Here is where you ground any excess energies by eating something, and rejuvenate with meditation if you feel drained. During a Sabbat (high holiday) or Esbat (full moon) celebration, this is the point in the ritual where cakes and ale are performed.
STEP 7: Thanking Deity and other Entities called.
    Once the working is done and the energies sent, you thank all beings that you called. After all are thanked, close by saying, Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!
STEP 8: Breaking the circle.
    After everything is done, you need to return the sacred space back to normal. This can be done several ways. If you laid a boundary with physical objects (such as herbs, string, candles, stones, etc.) remove them in the reverse order from the way you laid them. If you walked around the circle clockwise, walk it now counter clockwise and draw the circle into you. The same principles apply to any other methods you use to remove the space. Simply reverse the process.

Section 2: Putting it all together.

                Having now discussed all three forms of energy in more detail, and ritual format,  we can now work on putting them into practical use in your rituals. The preceding pages were designed to give you a good grasp of some of the things that you can use to augment your workings. There are a few steps to designing a ritual that are important to include, because a well thought plan tends to work better. Magick is nothing to be taken lightly, it requires respect and thought to use its powers effectively.

Step 1: Visualize your "needed goal": Picture your goal as clearly as you can, if its a new job, picture how much you enjoy it, like your co-workers, etc. If your goal is a feeling, picture how it feels in as much detail as possible. Do this until you feel certain that you have all the details worked out.

Step 2: Planning the event: Either purchase or acquire an ephemeris or a good astrology program that includes things like moon and sun signs and major aspects to the planets that might be involved in the ritual. Avoid things that are negative or contrary to your goal, such as the moon being Void of Course (between signs in the zodiac) or a square or opposition aspect to the main planet that you are working with. For example, a love spell might require Venus (both planet and Goddess) energies, and if the planet is opposed by another be certain to try to find another time or the exact time when the opposition stops. Choose your time carefully, taking into account the planetary hour, the magickal properties of the day itself, what sign the moon is in, and make certain that as many of these properties coincide with your goal as possible.

Step 3: Writing the Ritual itself: Once the planning and visualizing are finished and hopefully put to paper so that they don't get lost, you must write the working that you are going to undertake at the planned date and hour. When writing the ritual keep your words concise and clear, so as to not allow confusion on your part or on anyone else that might be participating in the ritual. Words spoken in rhyme and with rhythm tend to be stronger for raising power as they create patterns and are easier to follow. Repetition is also good for raising power, perhaps repeating the power raising chant a number of times, like 3,5,7,9. Those numbers are magickal due to association, the Triple Goddess (3 Fates, etc.) , the 5 points in the pentagram, 7 being lucky in general, and 9 being the number of Muses in the Greek Pantheon. Design an Altar layout for the ritual if you so wish, as this can add further focus to your work. If working for something to be drawn into your life, anoint candles and what not from top to bottom, if working on sending something out or banishing something, anoint from the bottom to the top. Aligning stones and most things on the altar to reflect this intent (to send or to receive) serve to increase the focus of the work being done and allow you to draw or send with greater strength.

STEP 4: Putting it all together:  Once all the details are put into place, the date and time set and the ritual is written, gather all your tools and perform your ritual! All the work you have done has led to this point and now you are ready to put forth your intention to the Universe and all thats left is waiting for it all to come to fruition.

STEP 5: The Hardest Part: This is the last stage and amongst the majority of practitioners, the hardest part to perform well. Once the Ritual is done and set into motion, forget about it !!!  There are 4 rules to being an effective Magi. 1: To Know, 2:To Will, 3: To Dare, 4: To Keep Silent.
The first rule: "to know" means that you have the knowledge at your fingertips and know how to do what you are thinking about. Rule Number 2: "to will" means that you have the spirit (the need and desire) to perform the working. Rule Number 3: "to dare" means that you have the courage to do the work itself, as magick is no small feat, it requires courage and daring to be a Magi. The last is Rule Number 4: "to keep silent". This means that once the work is performed, you do not talk of it to others until well after the goal has come to pass. Negative thoughts from others can influence the out come of your working in negative ways, so it is in your best interest to keep silent about your works.