Preparing For Ritual

Preparation for ritual is important. Despite this, even magick has to conform to the needs and customs
of the modern world, and so witches today often do not fast for 24 hours or abstain from sex for the
same period. But you should try to slow your activities down in the hours before a formal ceremony,
eat only a light meal and turn off all phones, faxes and computers if you are working from home.
Make sure you have all the basic tools and ingredients for the ceremony and that the room is ready.
About an hour before the ritual, prepare yourself, by having a bath in which a sprinkling of sacred salt
and a few drops of cleansing oils, such as pine or eucalyptus, have been added. Light purple or pink
candles in the bathroom and allow all your daily concerns to flow out of your body into the water, to
be transformed by the candlelight. When you are ready to get out of the water, swirl the reflected light
three times widdershins and as you take out the plug, say:
Go in peace, flow in harmony to the sea of eternity.
Wear something light and loose for the ritual. You may like to keep a special robe for your magical
work, ready washed and pressed. Though some witches work skyclad, in groups this can result in selfconsciousness
and sometimes unnecessary emotional complications that can detract from the magick.
Also, in Northern climes it is usually too cold! But the choice, of course, is yours.
Next sweep out and cleanse the area you will be working in and set up the altar, either in the North or
the centre of your circle. Practitioners who work from the East of the circle may want their altar there.
The position of the altar really does not matter.
If the altar is placed centrally or in the North, you follow the tradition, as I do, of working from the
North; this means that you cast the circle from the North and enter the circle from the South so you are
facing the North. If, however, you work with the altar in the East, you will cast from the East and enter
from the West, facing the East. A central altar will work for either direction and it also means a group
can easily circle it. After all, for most of us space is at a premium, and sometimes it is a question of
marrying metaphysics with logistics