Components of Ritual Magic

1. Choose the timing of a spell
2. Outline the ritual and prepare your tools and materials
3. Purifying yourself
4. Purifying the working space
5. Creating  a sacred circle
6. Have an invocation
7. Performing the ritual observance
8. Raise and direct energy
9. Earth (ground) the residual power
10. Take some refreshment
11. Acknowledge the Lady and Lord (or elementals, source above and earth below,
ancient ones, etc)
12. Release (farewell) the elementals
13. Open the circle

These components of a ritual have been given previously, in circle casting, but not outlined quite so simply. It does sound somewhat complicated, but only reads that way.

Each step, over time, becomes simple as a morning routine or having a friend come to visit.

Prepare your spell in advance if possible, readying your candles if needed, and have your spellbook/wording/invocation at hand. Bathe with an herbal pouch (rosemary, lavender, and thyme, or basil, fennel, and vervain, or as directed in previous classes) if desired. The bathing is a time to wash off the cares of the mundane world and center one’s self.

Cleanse the ritual area of negativity and chaotic energies, with a besom, from the center of the circle to the outer edges, moving clockwise. You may chant your intent as you work if you like. Light your main candle and incense, then you are ready to cast your circle.

The circle’s purpose is to create a space where you can build up energies without them dissipating, so you can direct it toward your magical working. There is no need to delineate the circle except with what you envision, though you may mark each quarter as you see fit: candles, objects associated with elements, etc.

Many people insist a circle is necessary for protection, but the actual purpose is the gathering and focusing of power. The protection idea comes from the ceremonial practice of summoning (demons or angels) and keeping them at bay. In this case, the circle is the space into which you summon, though the author warns this type of summoning can be dangerous.

While a circle is not strictly necessary to hold a conversation with your deities, the elementals, or devas, it is still recommended by the author to do this until the experience is built up. And as an added bonus, if you cast your circle in the same space each time, the room and home in which this is done begin to form a larger circle over your living space.

For candle magic, you may carve/inscribe the candle with a rune or symbol or write a word or name, as is appropriate for your working. You may choose to anoint the candle with consecrated oil before lighting and take care to use a fireproof container for burning down in. Even the candle holder itself will get very hot, and should not be touched while in use, so take care where it is placed.

As you perform your spell, envision the actions you take as they lead to the completed goal so that by the time you have said all the words and added herbs to the candle flame, the process is seen as accomplished, and your final words will show it as done. You may raise the energy by chanting the spell, dance, etc, as you are drawn to do. When you feel the energy as it builds to its climax, send the energy to perform its task.

Then ground away from any residual energies by placing palms on the floor/ground and allow the leftovers run out. Without grounding, you may feel nervous or agitated for several days, or you may feel suddenly dissipated and listless. As you work your magic, take care to manage your personal needs and not drain away too much of your own vital energies.

As the candle burns down, take some refreshment (cakes & wine part of the ceremony). This offers a way to come back to earth and settle yourself back to reality before opening the circle again. The beverage and food are up to the witch in question, you don’t have to drink wine if you don’t want to, etc.

When your refreshments are finished, it is time to acknowledge the beings you work with, say goodbye to the elementals, and open the circle. As you say goodbye to each elemental, thank them for their help, and offer your blessing to them. And remember you are saying goodbye, not forcing them to leave.

As you open the circle, work in the opposite way from how you set it up. So if you cast the circle clockwise, pull it down counter-clockwise (widdershins), or vice versa. Drawdown the energy from casting the circle, draw it into your body from whatever tool you used to put it up, and hold that energy within yourself.

Allow the candle to burn down for one hour, then use a snuffer to put out. Pinching out the flame may not be possible if it is very hot (when there are herbs in a candle or it has been burning a very long time), so investing in a snuffer is a good idea.

Looking at the melted wax or herb residue is a way to use divination to determine how the spellwork went. Sometimes the way the candle burns tells what you need to know. There are any number of possibilities, and as with other forms of divination, use your intuition to guide your way.