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Casting the Circle
The Call to Worship is an essential part of worship in many religions all over the world. In Judaism the shofar is blown, in Protestant and Catholic churches the church bells are rung. In Pagan rituals we also begin with some type of Call to Worship, some way to let everyone know that ritual is about to begin. Some traditions sing a song, some read from their Book of Shadows. This is a way to focus everyone's attention on ritual and all that it entails. In doing ritual we are connecting with everyone who has ever done ritual before. Every ritual action connects us with every time that ritual action has been performed.
Sweeping the circle is a way to clear unwanted emotional baggage, "vibes" and to prepare the circle space for casting. The handmaiden literally sweeps the ritual area with a broom, often called a besom.
Ritual space is defined by walls in churches, by casting a circle in Pagan rituals. Circles are cast using the sword, the athame, or in some traditions, the wand. Usually the Priestess casts the circle. Holding her tool, the Priestess walks about the ritual space, defining the sacred area with that tool.
At this point often the elements are blessed or asked for their blessing by bringing the symbol of each element around the circle. Air - incense, Fire - red candle, Water - water in a cup, Earth - salt in a cup. Sometimes this is called censing and aspurging. Watchtowers or the quarters are called. These are the elements. Each element; air, fire, water and earth, correspond to a different direction. East, south, west and north respectively in most traditions. We believe that we and the planet we live on is made up of the elements. We invite or ask the elements into ritual so that they may share in the worship of the Gods.
The Gods and Goddesses, or the guests of honor, are invited and candles lit in their honor.
Now comes the work of the circle. In many traditions power is raised by chanting, singing, dancing or other methods of raising energy. This energy should be raised for a specific purpose and with a specific intent such as peace, health or success in a particular venture. Remember that the Threefold Law prohibits things that would harm someone. (see the Definitions link) If the group does invocation, now would be the time for this.
After the work of the circle is done, the circle is dismantled in the reverse order. The Gods and Goddesses are thanked, their candles extinguished. The elements are dismissed and the circle is banished. The circle is often ended with the words "Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again". This is a common goodbye phrase in Paganism.
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Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again.
Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.
Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's
insight. Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.
Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.
With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill:
"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
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You will need the following items:
· A candle in your favourite colour
· A green candle
· A small knife
· Cinnamon joss sticks
· Cinnamon essential oil
· Hyssop herb
The timing of this spell should also be considered as it forms part of the ingredients. Perform the spell during the dark moon.
1. Have a purifying hyssop bath to wash away negativity, then cast a magick circle.
Starting in the east, walk around the room clockwise with a cinnamon joss stick in your right hand.
Visualise a blue sphere surrounding your home.
2. Step into the circle. Using the knife,
Scratch your name on the candle chosen to represent yourself, and the jealous person's name on the green candle.
Start so the name begins nearest the wick and gose down the candle.
3.Anoint your candle with cinnamon oil. Light it saying,
"It is my will to banish jealousy from my life."
Now anoint the green candle and say,
"This candle represents a jealous person who will trouble me no more."
4. Light the green candle and move it out of the room towards the front door, saying, "I banish envy out of the door. May your spirit grow past petty spite, to fill your soul with love and light."
Allow the candle to burn down to the wick.
5.Bind your spell by imagining a blue ribbon of energy and tie a knot with this around your candle, saying,
"I call on Earth to bind this spell, Air to speed its travel well, Fire bring spirit from above, Water fill this spell with love. This spell bound around shall be, to cause no harm nor return on me. As i do will So Mote It Be."
6. Thank the elements, saying, "Earth, Water, Fire, Air, leave this circle to my care. Go with my thanks and with my love." Now walk around the room anticlockwise with a cinnamon joss stick, seeing the blue circle of flames fading away.
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