Ravemore's Notes

A little meandering… Pagan reflections on a left hand path.

Category: Spells and Rituals

Preface to the Demons of the Ars Goetia

The Demons of the Ars Goetia are Fomori, First Children of the Great Goddess… not unlike many devils and other diabolic beings from our world’s mythology. See Creation Myth. They are an embodiment of chaos, exiled to other worlds, bound in shadow, fire, and darkness. They seek toeholds into our world, harboring a desire to one day regain all they have lost. To this end, they are more than willing to answer a summoning and enter into pacts with the Third Children… mortal men. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend.)

They can give much, but they often require much. Only the foolish will attempt to summon them without something of value to give in return. Aleister Nacht stated it simply and beautifully: “Success comes from win-win situations and your ability to align yourself with the wants of others.” This legal concept of quid pro quo is “truth” when it comes to working with Lesser Powers, and will contribute to unimaginable success in your workings. Be prepared to till the fields and sow great quantities of seed if you wish to reap a great harvest though. If you are lazy, unimaginative, and are unwilling to put some hard work into your craft, more likely than not all you will end up with is a handful of weeds.

Various sources will prescribe certain observations or requirements for rituals specific to certain demons or classification of demons. I find very few of these hold value. I agree with observation of the age of the moon, primarily 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 days old being the best nights to summon. The requirements for the seals to be cast in metals have no inherent value. Beautifully crafted drawings are equally effective. The old seals themselves are very powerful. Colors used for inscriptions should be to the taste of the witch, don’t get hung up on this. Ensure you wear a pentagram around your neck. A simple necklace will suffice. Have a wet towel with you inside your circle, to be used to cover your face as protection against the sulfurous and flaming breath of the demon you summon. Have a brass vessel and lead plug available if you intend on containing a demon. I do not recommend attempting this… particularly with one of these 72 demons. Additional seals and incantations are required, which will not be explained at this time. You have been warned. Some profess a need to fast or practice abstinence for a period of time before attempting one of these rituals. Garbage… Go screw, lick, and eat to your heart’s content beforehand. Indulge… it will give you power and you will be less distracted. A final note in this regard is the old curses for demons that will not come forth and obey. Do not engage in them. If the subject of your summoning does not appear, try again another night. If your pact is not accepted, come back another time with a better offer. Honey catches many more flies…

A word of caution; Summoning or invoking these demons can put one at odds with the Sidhe, particularly the Seelie court. They are vigilant against the return of the Fomori… and their servants. Remember, these demons hold no love for mankind. Their gifts come at a price… and their desire is destruction of all we know. Use caution and think with a level head. The power you can potentially gain does not have words to describe adequately.

Preparation:

Familiarize yourself with Evoking and Summoning. Insure that the seal of the demon you are summoning is inscribed, along with your other arcane formulas, within all three open spaces in your thaumaturgic triangle. I will post a picture of each seal for your use.

Witch Bottles

Old and simple forms of Craftwork, these constructions are used for a variety of purposes, such as hexes, curses, counter-magical devices, and many others. Witch Bottles have been dug up and dated back to the 16th century. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to a Witch Bottle. Their use spans many different traditions and geographic areas, so regardless of what your Left Hand Path inclinations are… it should be fairly easy to find inspiration.

Older Witch Bottles tended to be made from glazed stoneware. The best type of modern glass to use in my opinion is a champagne bottle because the glass is thick, dark colored, and they are designed to withstand pressure. Most Witch Bottles contain large amounts of organic material and over time the contents can decompose or ferment, resulting in a build-up of gases that can break the glass and destroy the spell or containment. A current favorite among many witches are the small cobalt blue bottles. They can easily be incorporated into interior decor and thus hide protective charms and spells in plain sight within the home without raising suspicions. Personally, I tend to cling to the old methods of burying them, or concealing them outdoors… particularly with spirit traps. The last thing I want in my home is an angry spirit trapped in a little glass bottle. When broken, the containments do fail.

Counter-magical Witch Bottles are used to absorb and contain incoming curses and hexes from other hostile practitioners. They are often hidden on one’s own property, under door thresholds, or buried at the furthest edge of the property. Any hidden location close to the person seeking protection will suffice though. The most common components are urine from the casting witch, iron or steel nails, bent stick pins, shards of glass, and other sharp objects. The sharp objects catch or impale the curse, and the urine binds and nullifies it. A short chant or prayer is whispered over the burial spot.

Witch Bottles containing curses are equally prevalent. We can be amazingly malevolent beings, and there is never a shortage of hatred, jealousy, and rage among the Third Children. Sometimes it seems our thirst for vengeance can be unquenchable. I have already outlined one example of a curse-bearing Witch Bottle HERE… and it tends to be one of my favorites.

Another interesting type of Witch Bottle called a “Break-up Bottle” can be used to ruin relationships and separate lovers, usually for the sole benefit of the casting witch. The usual construction components consist of the names of the two lovers written on a piece of paper which is then then ripped apart into two separate pieces, the hair of a dog, and the hair of a cat. The bottle is then filled with a red wine and corked. Before it is buried on property where one, or both, of the lovers live it is shaken vigorously and a short chant or prayer muttered over the spot.

The polar opposite of the Break-up Bottle is the “Honey Bottle.” This one usually contains 3 parts water to 1 part honey and a variety of herbs suited for the purpose. The names of the witch and the object of the spell are written onto one piece of paper and incorporated into the mixture. It can be used to facilitate feelings of love, attraction, or good will. It should also be buried on the property of the object of your affection… or obsession, with a suitable chant or prayer.

Witch Bottles remain active as long as the item is hidden and unbroken. The occasional Spell cast to empower it further never hurts either…

Fetishes… Not the Yummy Sexy Ones.

A “Fetish” is a receptacle crafted for the purpose of storing energy or power that will be put to some specific purpose at a later time. Some arcane workings can require more energy than a single witch can muster, either because the practitioner is inexperienced, or the scope of the rite is simply too great for one witch alone to maintain. These greater rituals or spell castings will either require the assistance of other witches working in concert, the aid of Lesser Powers, or the tapping of energy reserves stored in a Fetish. Fetishes allow witches to extend themselves further and direct more power with their will.

When constructing a Fetish, it should be noted that the form it takes can vary immensely from witch to witch. It should incorporate a piece of you as a practitioner… and the path you walk. It is equally beneficial to create one that has a form conducive to the working. This adds to the ambiance and assists with visualization. Materials used are mostly unimportant, but there should be an integration of a gem stone or crystal relevant to the type of power one wishes to store in it. Crystals are amazing conductors of energy and frequency… in essence magic. A Fetish can be of any size, but should usually be portable and easily destroyed or hidden. Powerful covens are said to maintain permanent Fetishes within the Covenstead… containing deep reservoirs of energy. Caution should be exercised though with such permanent fixtures… If the inquisitor ever walks again with impunity and a nod from society, the stake can again become a reality. My favorite Fetish takes the form of a raven’s skull containing polished quartz crystals in the eye sockets. An activation rune should be inscribed on the Fetish, and the witch should also employ a simple spell to release and use the energy.

To Empower a Fetish, or charge it, a proper Ritual Circle should be cast first. The rite used for this empowering process is extremely simple. It is a meditation in which the witch feeds the Fetish power through a focused projection of the will combined with visualization. The longer the process continues, the more energy will be infused into the Fetish. It can be drawn from within the witch, from the surrounding earth, plants, animals, or even flame.

A Fetish can also be put to more diabolical uses. With the proper spells and curses they can be put near an enemy’s abode and used to siphon energy, cause sickness, and eventually even death. They can even be used as containments or prisons for Lesser Powers and the spirits of the dead who have self-bound to our world. A future post will deal with the processes and the dangers related to these alternate uses.

 

Invisibility

A long time ago I jotted this down in a notebook, the author unknown due to my tendency at that time in my life to overlook little matters such as that.

Get a raven or a crow’s heart, split it open with your athame; make three cuts and place a black bean in each cut. Plant it, and when the beans sprout put one in in a pouch hung about your neck and say–

 By virtue of Blackbird’s heart,
And by strength of my great art,
I desire to be invisible… and forgettable.

So mote it be.

And so it will be as long as the bean is kept around your neck, and until the next full moon. Be aware though, this invisibility is not one in which light is refracted and you cannot be seen. It is one of glamour in which people will tend to “not notice you.” You will be less conspicuous and the memory of those who have seen you will be somewhat foggy and unclear.

Ink – Rivers upon which Boats of Will and Intent Sail…

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

– Mark Twain

Many spells, talismans, and charms have a written component. This begs the question of what components are to be used in their construction. Often times the recipes or directions are very basic and do not elaborate greatly. As with all arcane rituals, and with life in general, what you put into your art can have a proportionate effect on what you get out of it. I have touched upon my views before that atmosphere and ceremonial practices have a tendency to more easily place the mind into altered states that are conducive to successfully working magic. Therefore, would it be prudent to buy a pad of lined paper and a blue ink click pen at Wal-Mart and put it to use? I do not think so. Ink can be mixed, feathers can be easily made into quill pens, and paper can be self-manufactured. It is work. It takes effort. To become good takes practice. The self-satisfaction can be enormous though. With that being said, the pad of lined paper and blue ink click pen will work if that is the method you choose to pursue. I’m the first to say “to each his, or her, own…”

I’m not a fan of making 300 different types of inks and papers for every conceivable rite or ritual. In my opinion it would be a foolish waste of time and resources. Other components, such as herbs, can be easily weaved into the magical working with greater ease and equal effect.

I have listed three types of ink and one paper recipe below, which should be sufficient for most, if not all, craftwork.

You can follow this link to a very interesting page instructing on Writing Quill Construction. Josh Berer also has an extremely professional WordPress Blog with a lot of information on Ink and Calligraphy. A very comprehensive work written in 1904 by David N. Carvalho on inks can be found here. Knowledge is power, and I challenge you to delve into some of these subjects in an effort to expand your own horizons.

 Dragon’s Blood Ink. 

  • 1 teaspoon Dragon’s Blood resin (powdered)
  • 10 teaspoons alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon Gum Arabic (powdered)
  • 3 drops Red food coloring

Steep the powdered resins in the alcohol until dissolved, and then add the red coloring for a deeper and brighter color. Filter and store in a dark bottle.

Black Ink

  • 2 tablespoon Lamp Black
  • 1 tablespoon Gum Arabic (powdered)
  • Small bowl of warm distilled water and an eyedropper

Grind the Lamp Black into a fine powder, mix in the Gum Arabic, and then drop by drop add distilled water until it is the consistency of useable ink. Store in a dark bottle.

Brown Walnut  Ink

  • Crushed shells of three dozen walnuts
  • 3 tablespoon Gum Arabic (powdered)
  • 3 rusty nails
  • 1 cup distilled water

Place walnut shells and rusty nails in pan and cover with distilled water. Add Gum Arabic and cook on low heat, with a lid on the pan, for 1-2 hours. Pour all contents into a glass bowl, cover top with plastic wrap, and soak for 5 days. Strain ink into a dark bottle.

Homemade Paper

1. First, make several frames: Bend an old wire coat hanger into a square or other desired shape, fastening the ends together with tape in the middle of one side (not in the corner). Pull a pair of pantyhose over the square or shape. Trim the ends of the pantyhose, and tie a knot on either side of the square or shape.

2. Tear newspaper into small pieces. Use of a paper shredder also works well. Other types of paper such as egg cartons, old greeting cards, old white printer paper, etc. can also be used. The key is to get the material into a very small shredded state.

3. Add the paper material and water in a pan. Ratio you should start with is approximately 1 cup of water per 1 cup of shredded paper. Boil and stir your paper mixture in a large pan until it becomes the consistency of oatmeal, adding water as required. For color and variety, you can add bits of dried leaves, flowers or grass, the papery outer skin of an onion, etc.

4. Let mixture cool. Add 2 tablespoons of white glue for every cup of paper material, and mix it evenly.

5. Wet the frame. Spoon the mixed paper material onto the frame, smoothing it out to the desired thickness. Hold the frame over your pan and allow the excess water and paper material to run off. When it stops running it can be hung up for drying.

6. Hang the frame in a well ventilated area until it is completely dry! Carefully peel the paper from the frame. You can then place it between 2 towels to press it with an iron on low heat, or let it sit overnight under heavy books to smooth it out. (16)

The Power of Charms..

It is very unfortunate that the power of charms and other similar incantations fell out of favor with modern man in recent centuries, and equally interesting to see the slow revival in the last few decades. The medical establishment lost a valuable tool when the age of reason and the development of the scientific method supplanted the influence of hedge witches, the cunning woman and man, and other practitioners of the medieval healing professions. The church did an excellent job in suppressing the pagan religions that were at the forefront of those arts, but early renaissance men saw their value, even if they discounted their arcane worth and attributed success to divine intervention.

Lea Olsan eloquently put a finger on the proverbial pulse when she stated “This belief in the power of the words to change the circumstances or reality lies at the basis of the use of a charm. The words might be spoken in a patient’s ear, written on bread or hosts and ingested, or carried on the person as a preventative. The directions for performance of the charm not seldom include specific accompanying acts, which in late medieval manuscripts are often simple tasks of caretakers, on the one hand, or acts intended to strengthen the sufferer mentally by means of evocation of deeply felt religious symbols.” (13)

Early attempts at melding charms into modern medicine was attempted by the church, without the success they saw in absorbing and assimilating the ontology of pagan life. When they stamped out their accepted use in healing, I believe they doomed many innocent people. Prayers and charms should have gone hand in hand with new and innovative treatments, but this was incompatible with doctrine.

We now know of the incredible power of the “Placebo Effect”, and as practitioners of witchcraft we also know it is even more profound than that. Effect can indeed be shaped by Will alone… the essence of magic. Neither way is more beneficial or powerful without the other. 1+0=1… 1+1=2. Basic mathematics are applicable.

Latin Charms and Oral Tradition

Evoking and Summoning

Evoking and Summoning are very dangerous arts, but a source of considerable power. The Will must be strong, and the Focus sharp when working these types of magic. Many traditions frown upon these types of craftwork, but as a practitioner of a Left Hand Path, this does not concern me. Some will point out that Evoking and Summoning are the same art, but this could not be further from the truth. Evoking is the practice of dealing with, commanding, and binding of spirits and Lesser Powers that have been summoned, usually through processes such as pacts or exorcism. Summoning is attributed to the process of calling a spirit or Lesser Power. The Goat God of the Witches has given us the knowledge necessary to accomplish these things, and as such we should explore this darker side of our craft.

The purposes of evoking and summoning are many, but the most common are for guardians, protection, assistance with tasks or desired outcomes, knowledge, and as weapons. The same principles here apply to both evoking and summoning of Lesser Powers, and the spirits of the dead who have been bound and linger. The ideal time for evoking and summoning are “the witching hours”, 12:00 a.m. until the break of dawn.

A summoning will require the casting of a proper ritual circle for protection, and construction of a thaumaturgic triangle outside of the perimeter of the ritual circle, in the northern quarter. A thaumaturgic triangle is simply an equilateral triangle drawn within a circle, all three sides of the triangle touching the edges of the circle. Inscribed in the enclosed points outside the triangle, inside the circle, but not touching any of the lines of the triangle or circle, will be custom incantations tailored to the type of summoning that will be conducted. There are many other valid types of containment, but this is the one I choose. Charge the thaumaturgic triangle similar to the ritual circle with your athame.

Remember that anything with a “hollow” or open space can be used to house or contain a spirit or Lesser Power; therefore you do not ever want to perform a summoning in your home, or within a permanently inscribed thaumaturgic triangle. Allowing the possibility of an entity taking up residence where you live can be a bad idea. I strongly recommend against binding spirits into portable items with the intent of keeping them indefinitely. They will rebel and seek your undoing. If you ever come across one of these items, I recommend not touching them and leaving the area immediately. Often times these entities or spirits have been tortured, abused, and forced into compliance by strong willed practitioners and they are not going to be friendly. You have been fairly warned…

You may hear from other sources about thought form construction in relation to summoning. This is not truly evoking or summoning and a separate art entirely. At some point I will post concerning that type of working. I would just like to comment that if the purpose of your evoking and summoning is to be offensive in nature, thought form construction is a much safer route for you as the practitioner… and it can be much more effective, reliable, and devastating.

After the ritual circle and thaumaturgic triangle are constructed, you must prepare a written pact. This is the bargain you intend to strike with the spirit or Lesser Power you will summon. Some research may be required to discover what payment or exchange the intended entity may be inclined to accept. Often they will desire a small portion of your life energy, which I deem acceptable. Sometimes something of value must be given before one can take something of value. All commerce with spirits is founded upon a law of exchange. Have caution that you do not bargain your soul though, for any pact using that as currency will be binding, and will be to your greatest ruin. Also, if you feel like your soul, or your entire life essence is the only thing of value you have to offer, the Left Hand Path may not be the road you are intended to walk anyway. After you have successfully summoned a willing spirit or Lesser Power you may have to negotiate changes, so have writing implements on hand. Some practitioners forgo negotiating and simply bind the entity through force of will to accept the pact. This is dangerous, but very possible. The first part of any pact should address the requirement that no harm to you, or yours be perpetrated or aided by the spirit or Lesser Power. The pact shall spell out what is required of both parties, the terms of the agreement, and the termination of the contract after both parties have fulfilled their obligations. The writing of the contract is a form of binding, and the written words are sigils imbued with the magic of your craftwork. Do not be afraid to walk away without coming to an agreement and entering into a pact if the price asked is too high. Be cautious if a spirit or entity asks for your blood, hair, or a personal item as part of your pact, as this can give it power over you. As Arthur Edward Waite has said “Against these you must be on your guard, because the guileful friend becometh an open enemy.” (11.) It is advised that no spirit or entity be detained beyond the time of one hour.

Light several incense sources near the thaumaturgic triangle, and ensure there is a copious amount of candlelight around both diagrams. Often times a summoned entity will manifest in the smoke and shadows. Sometimes they will speak audibly, sometimes only in your mind. Also, have a bowl of salt available in your protective ritual circle in case the need to exorcise a difficult or aggressive entity arises. Be aware, this is always a possibility. Also be aware that you may not be successful in a summoning as there may be no answering entity

Stand within your ritual circle facing the godstang, with an appropriate wand in hand, and an athame laying near your feet. Hazel is an ideal type of wand wood for a working such as this.

Raise your protective wards.

Cernunnos, Goat God of the Witches, I beseech thee to bless this rite,

watch and protect me in this endeavor, light the darkness with the cunning light between thy horns.

From a bowl you have within your ritual circle, grab a handful of dry earth with your left hand and let it slowly trickle through your fingers onto the ground, using caution not to allow it to fall onto the lines comprising your ritual circle. If you are summoning a spirit, grave soil is most appropriate.

I cast forth earth, symbolic of the surface world, Domain of the Third Children of Danu.

By wand I implore a willing entity, (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

By wand I implore a willing entity,  (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

By wand I implore a willing entity,  (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

Three times the call goes forth, do any (You) answer?

If there is no answer, the above can be incanted two more times before the rite should be abandoned until another night.

If a spirit or entity makes an appearance, negotiate your pact. Once an agreement has been reached, or one has not been reached and the space of an hour has elapsed, the spirit or entity can be released from the triangle by grounding the diagram with your athame. Grounding merely consists of a minor working that involves pointing your athame at your thaumaturgic triangle and willing the barrier to discharge its energy into the earth. It is a similar task to raising and lowering your protective wards.

Cernunnos, Goat God of the Witches, I thank thee for watching over my rite,

I walk in shadows and seek the light,

My face looks to the heavens for the morning star, and as always I will find thee burning bright.

Once the terms of the pact are discharged it should be burned and the ash buried in the earth.

If the pact is not honored by the entity or spirit, it can be forced into compliance through other means using the pact, or released if you are of kinder disposition.

If the pact is not honored by you, woe may come knocking upon your door.

An Interesting Adaptation of an Old Curse..

Curses and hexes are one of many dangerous types of craft-work in the repertoire of a practitioner of the Left Hand Path. Our Goat God whispers from the shadows to those of us inclined to listen… those of us with the will to use the darker arts. There always exists the possibility of persecution or attacks from the ignorant, the self-righteous, and society’s sheep; therefore it is prudent to have weapons at one’s disposal. From time to time I will post interesting curses and hexes, but you will not receive admonitions to “not use them” or “this is only for educational purposes.” You will need to make your own decisions on use and appropriateness. I am a realist in many respects and understand there are some individuals that cannot be reasoned with, cannot be negotiated with, and will single-mindedly seek to do you harm. My two cents is you should crush them. They are beneath you and not worthy of pity. You will hear me say in posts from time to time that the gods did not give the wolf teeth with the expectation that it not use them in defense of self, or the pack. This is a philosophical truism that holds much water in my opinion.

Bottle Curse of the Flies

Note, this curse is most effective when the weather is warm; therefore it is best suited to late spring, summer, and early fall. I prefer to do the casting during the witching hours and by candlelight.

1. Procure a medium sized bottle. The cork will not be required for this working. I prefer cobalt blue bottles myself, although a clear bottle that will allow you to see the contents can be very agreeable under the right circumstances.

2. Place a photograph of your intended target into the bottle, or nail clippings, hair, or a piece of clothing they have been in contact with. These items maintain a spiritual connection to the person whom they belonged to and will create a thread whereby the curse can find them and deliver its full effect.

3. Place a piece of raw meat inside the bottle.

Write the following on a piece of paper, and when complete read the incantation over the bottle. Focus the will and convey your intent as you weave and bind this spell. Slip the piece of paper into the bottle with the meat.

By candle light, deep in night,

this spell I craft full of spite.

Rot in soul, rot in flesh,

You will hunger, you will thirst, nothing will refresh.

Pain and fire, on swift wings come,

Buzzing death, like demons drums.

So I will it, So mote it be!

Place the uncorked bottle in a shady and out of the way place near your target’s home. Anywhere within about a ¼ of a mile should be sufficient. Avoid places where passersby may smell the odor. As maggots hatch in the rotting meat they will grow into flies and will carry the curse to your intended target repeatedly.

Hatred

Hate is a very strong emotion, and it tends to last long, persevering when the currents and flow of other emotions have begun to ebb. Emotion is a fundamental tool in our craft used to empower and focus the will and intent of our workings. The more passionate our emotions, the more likely we are to experience positive outcomes with our spells and incantations. Caution must be exercised with hatred though, but this does not mean it should be shunned or avoided. Like all other emotions, it is a tool, and when used properly can be honed into a state of razor sharpness. Hatred in offensive magic can be the difference between a curse with the punch of a derringer, or the impact of a howitzer. Hate is very powerful indeed… but it often exacts a toll or price.

If you harbor hate long enough, if you feed it enough, it can control you versus you controlling it. Unchecked it can become a supernova of destructive power, but it can also burn you out, consuming all that you are from within, and devouring all those around you. If required, use it wisely.

Lycanthropy

There are some who make the choice to bond themselves inseparably with the spirits of animals through incantations and magic. Sometimes the transformations are physical in all sense of the word, sometimes they are a transformation of spirit. In either case there is a vicious melding of the individual and the beast. They have no sense of good and evil, only that of hunter and prey. Their existence is servant to the waning and waxing of the moon, and they are deadly hunters. They are what we know as were-creatures, or lycanthropes. They are a shadow of the chaotic nature of the Fomori… and by extension the dark side of the Goat God Cernunnos.  Man has his dark sides, even as the Gods. Do not shrink from it, and recognize it for its place in the balance.

Innocents can also find themselves unwilling victims of lycanthropy by being bitten by a were-creature, or being born to a were-creature. Cures can be dangerous and unreliable. Once a victim tastes human blood, the process is irreversible. Silver weapons are said to be highly effective against were-creatures. The highly poisonous herb wolfsbane, better known as monkshood, is reputed to repel lycanthropes.

Example of an old ritual:

The ritual site must be remote and free from possibility of interruption and a full moon must be in the sky and visible. The preferable time is in the witching hours, between midnight and dawn. A stream of Lycanthropus water must run through the area where the ritual will be performed. Lycanthropus water differs from ordinary water in subtle details often overlooked, such as possessing a strange faint odor, not identifiable, or having a lurid sparkle strongly suggestive of the water being somehow alive. As the water rushes, it sounds like muttering or whispering human voices rather than the typical sound moving water makes, particularly at night. Dogs and horses are especially fearful of these bodies of water and will try to avoid them.

Select a level piece of ground to perform the ritual on.

Next, mark a circle of not less than 7 ft. in radius.

Within the circle and from the same center mark another circle 3 ft. in radius.

In this inner circle kindle a fire of pine or black poplar. Over the fire place an iron tripod holding an iron vessel of water.

As soon as the water begins to boil throw into it 3 handfuls each of the following substances: Parsley, saffron, aloe, and poppy-seed.

Add 3 cups of a salve base and the hair of a wolf.

After it renders down and cools, strip off your clothes and smear the salve all over your naked body. Kneel at the edge of the Lycanthropus water and incant the following:

Tis night, ’tis night, and the moon shines white

Over pine and snow-capped hill; the shadows stray through burn and brae and dance in the sparkling rill.

Tis night, ’tis night, and the Goat God’s light casts glimmering beams around. The spirits dance, the spirits prance on the flower-enameled ground.

Tis night, ’tis night and the werewolf’s might makes man and nature shiver. Yet its fierce grey head and stealthy tread are nought to thee, oh river!

Oh water strong, that swirls along, I prithee a werewolf make me. Of all things dear, my soul, I swear, in death shall not forsake thee.

Next, strike the banks of the river 3 times with your forehead; then dip your head 3 times into the river, at each dip gulping down a mouthful of the water.

This completes the ritual. At the next full moon, you should undergo your first metamorphosis into a werewolf.

Familiar Spirits

It is the Goat Headed God Cernunnos, Lord of Witches, who gives knowledge of the Familiar Spirit. The ways a Familiar Spirit can manifest itself to a witch are many. Sometimes they appear unbidden when a practitioner is in need or distress, and sometimes they are sent by the Horned One in response to a prayer or plea. A Familiar Spirit can be a demon, angelic being, lares, or other lesser power. In most cases they are said to be able to manifest in corporeal form. Some are even said to be shape shifters and able to take on multiple physical forms. Some are animals like the proverbial cat, dog, or toad, the Familiar Spirit possessing their physical body. A stray animal that just shows up and exhibits an extraordinary bond with you could be a Familiar Spirit. However a Familiar Spirit appears to you, be aware it is a profound gift from the Horned One. You will know beyond any doubt when one enters your service. The connection will be electric. It’s with a smile when I think back upon all of the small children I have known who have had “invisible friends”, that special person or creature that only they are able to see and communicate with. The Horned God shows interest in all of the Great Goddess’s Third Children, even the small and young.

Familiar Spirits often serve as guardians, helpers, and reservoirs of power that can be drawn upon to strengthen spells and curses. They lend moral support, commune, and act as guides during astral travel. They watch and they listen. They will usually maintain their service until either the witch dies, or they are destroyed. Some have even been known to continue service along family lines for multiple generations. It is entirely proper for you to name your Familiar Spirit, and it does not matter if others know, for it is a rare event indeed for even a witch bound to their Familiar Spirit to know its “true name.”

If you are actively seeking the gift of a Familiar Spirit, it is recommended that a prayer be offered on Esbat, under the light of the full moon, beseeching The Goat Headed God for the boon of a Familiar Spirit.

  • In preparation it is recommended that you fast from the dawn prior to the Esbat to the dawn after.
  • No Circle is necessary for this working.
  • The location of this ritual should be outdoors and in an area that will be free from interruption and prying eyes.
  • If you have an animal you wish a Familiar Spirit to possess, have it nearby in a cage. If the Horned One grants you a Familiar Spirit, it may choose it as a host, or it may not.
  • Have a ritual cup and some dark ale at the ready.
  • When the moon is visible in the sky it is proper to proceed.
  • Kneel and face north.
  • Light a small fire, and have plenty of small pieces of wood available to feed it throughout the ritual.

Say:

I invoke thee Cernunnos, Lord of Witches, my Morning Star.
Ignite the Flame betwixt thy horns Great Goat God,
That the path may be illuminated and I shall be found from afar.
That a union can be forged between flesh and spirit.
Cernnunos, Dark Master, I pray thee, send forth a Familiar Spirit,
That we might be bound together in Craft and Blood.

Feed the fire and begin a soft chant: Great Goat God, send forth a Familiar Spirit.

Continue this chant, for hours if need be, keeping your small fire fed. Allow your senses to roam and the chant to carry your awareness to your surroundings. A Familiar Spirit can appear at any time, in actual physical form or in spirit. Avoid preconceptions and your desires to color what type of Familiar Spirit answers your call. Let the Spirit choose you. Watch and listen as you chant, and when a figure does appear you may cease chanting and commune in speech or thought. If the Familiar Spirit chooses to be bound to you it will answer, if not it will depart. If none appear, do not worry, as you may have been observed and still under consideration. The Familiar Spirit may appear to you at a later time. You can continue this ritual on each full moon thereafter until a Familiar Spirit answers your call.

Whether or not you have success, make an offering of dark ale, holding a cup of it up, and say:

Cernunnos, Lord of Witches, my Morning Star, I offer my thanks for lighting the way.

Drain half of the ale, and pour the rest out on the ground in front of you. The ritual is complete.

Why Should Spells Rhyme?

Ahhhh… there is a question. Why indeed should a spell be spoken in rhyme? I believe this practice should be followed for a few of reasons. The first and foremost reason is the effort one must take to compose a rhyming spell forces one to invest a piece of their-self into it. It is work for many, and comes much easier for others, but the fact remains it takes some thinking… and I believe that it assists in connecting you to the casting. It makes it more intimate.

Many of the historical accounts and documentation tend to support that this is the way our forbearers in the craft did it. In early times man danced around the fire chanting and singing before they embarked on the hunt or to war. The shaman often presided and lead them in their ceremonies. Singing, dancing, and music has a “beat” and rhythm. It is well documented that repetitions of beat and rhythm can lead to altered states of consciousness. Like music, chanting, and dancing the rhyme of a poem has a meter very similar to the beat or rhythm of music and chanting. Early witches recognized this and grasped it’s importance in relation to casting spells and weaving magic.

Modern accounts of witchcraft in the Renaissance period popularized spells as little ditties or rhymes. Some may theorize that it was an attempt to hide the reality of a spell under the seemingly harmless guise of a poem or nursery rhyme, but I believe it was just a continuation of the aforementioned altered state. This is also the period from which many modern witches begin drawing upon reference for their own paths or traditions. The written word was becoming so prevalent that we now have the ability to draw upon a wider range of wisdom and teachings over a wide swath of historical time. We are no longer dependent upon the spoken word being passed down through the generations.

This does lead to other questions though. Does this make a spell I have found elsewhere less effective? Is a spell I have not composed weaker in some way? For example one found in a book or on the Internet? The definitive answer to all of those questions is a resounding “no.” Spells found in other sources often carry an equally compelling and powerful quality… Atmosphere or ambiance. Obscure and cryptic magics found in ancient tomes and writings open up our imagination… assist in focusing the will. This is often just as powerful a tool. All the better if they rhyme though…

I often suggest taking spells and rituals from other sources and changing them to fit your own purpose, thereby making them your own. There is nothing wrong with this, and in many ways you can get the best of both worlds.

Lughnasadh Rite

-Cast the Ritual Circle.

-Perform The Sacrament.

Declaration

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

On this dark night we celebrate sacrifice. The life of our Sun God Lugh is willingly given. His body returns to the fields to nourish the grains that will be planted in the upcoming year and his spirit begins the long journey on the Low Road to the Underworld to await rebirth. This is the holy night we commemorate and give thanks for through the Sacrament, consuming our Lord in body and blood. We pray on this night to the Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos, to watch over Lugh’s journey. Guide him with the eternal fire harbored between your great curved horns. We both mourn and rejoice, for although the Great Sun God has perished… death is not the end.

Opening Invocation

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos,
I utter your name into the darkness.
Giver of knowledge, Goat God of the witches, I invoke thee,
By standing stone, and twisted tree.
By fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still.
Come to the tone of chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Come to us from dark depths below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow. (1)

– Prayers and invocations can be offered to the individual Gods and Goddesses at this time.

Sacrifice

Offer a sacrifice of dried grain stalks or a handful of grain, laying them upon a plate on the altar. Other offerings can also be made if desired. After the circle is opened, the sacrifice can be burned in the bonfire or buried beneath a tree. Wherever it is left, Pour a libation of ale or beer.

Beltain Rite

-Cast the Ritual Circle.

-Perform The Sacrament.

Declaration

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

On this dark night we celebrate fertility and the planting of the fields. The power of our Great Lord Lugh pulses forth from the sky, warming the land. The womb of Danu becomes full, promising life and plenty. On this night love and the erotic mysteries preside over all.  The Horned One, Goat God of the witches whispers secrets and wisdom into the ears of those willing to listen and his presence is keenly felt on this night. The Maiden Bridgit throws back her head screaming in ecstasy as the phallus brings her pleasure. The Crone Morrígan waits patiently for the cycle to complete, continuing her task of measuring and cutting the threads of fate.

Opening Invocation

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos,
I utter your name into the darkness.
Giver of knowledge, Goat God of the witches, I invoke thee,
By standing stone, and twisted tree.
By fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still.
Come to the tone of chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Come to us from dark depths below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow. (1)

– Prayers and invocations can be offered to the individual Gods and Goddesses at this time.

Sacrifice

Offer a sacrifice of spring flowers and bones to The Gods, laying them upon a plate on the altar. Other offerings can also be made if desired. After the circle is opened, the sacrifice can be burned in the bonfire or buried beneath a tree.

Yule Rite

-Cast the Ritual Circle.

-Perform The Sacrament.

Declaration

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

On this dark night we celebrate the victory of light over darkness. Our Great Lord Lugh will emerge from the halls of The Underworld with the breaking dawn born anew, as we all must. The Mother Danu will end her grieving and the seeds of spring will stir. Silent nights cloaked in cold and mists have stilled our tongues, but no more! We rejoice at the season to come, the warmth, the crops that will be planted, and the beasts in the field that will return from their slumber! The Horned One, Goat God of the witches, observes the shifting of the balance and watches over Lugh as he makes his way back toward the mortal world and prepares to crack open the gates. The Maiden Bridgit feels the flush of heat in her thighs and cheeks and smiles at the carnal rituals to come. The Crone Morrígan secretly revels in the knowledge that our Sun God is bound to return to her again.

Opening Invocation

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos,
I utter your name into the darkness.
Giver of knowledge, Goat God of the witches, I invoke thee,
By standing stone, and twisted tree.
By fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still.
Come to the tone of chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Come to us from dark depths below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow. (1)

– Prayers and invocations can be offered to the individual Gods and Goddesses at this time.

Sacrifice

Offer a sacrifice of holly wood and bones to The Gods, laying them upon a plate on the altar. Other offerings can also be made if desired. After the circle is opened, the sacrifice can be burned in the bonfire or buried beneath a tree.

Samhain Rite

-Cast the Ritual Circle.

-Perform The Sacrament.

Declaration

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

We stand between the old year and the new. The veil between our land and the Underworld is thin, and it is a time when those who have died and await rebirth can return briefly between dusk and dawn. Therefore, we set an extra place at our table… and we remember. The Great Goddess Morrígan has granted this reprieve.

Our Great God Lugh, who has sacrificed much that we may continue, has reached the Underworld to await his rebirth, his long journey from the mortal world now complete. The Horned One has watched over his travels on the Low Road, even as he watches over ours. Morrígan the Crone greets him, welcomes him, and walks with him in darkness. The Mother Danu weeps at his absence, and the land becomes cold and barren. The Maiden Bridgit sequesters herself away from man and beast, the fires of desire smoldering low like ashes on the late evening hearth.

Opening Invocation

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos,
I utter your name into the darkness.
Giver of knowledge, Goat God of the witches I invoke thee,
By standing stone, and twisted tree.
By fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still.
Come to the tone of chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Come to us from dark depths below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow. (1)

– Prayers and invocations can be offered to the individual Gods and Goddesses at this time.

Sacrifice

Offer a sacrifice of bones and ash to The Gods, laying them upon a plate on the altar. After the circle is opened, the sacrifice can be burned in the bonfire or buried beneath a tree.

The Ritual Circle

The ritual area is prepared with candles and decorations appropriate to the time of the year. Atmosphere is an important component and prepares the mind and spirit for magical works. Appropriate symbolism aids in altering the consciousness. The Godstang should be set in the northern perimeter of the working area, and in a pot of earth if the circle is cast indoors. It is a representation of the Horned God Cernnunos.

The circle diagram should be drawn prior to the actual casting. Ritual Circles can be permanently scribed, etched, or painted on concrete or other surface areas, but the tracing of the drawing with the tip of the Ritual Knife is done prior to every arcane endeavor. This charges the diagram and readies it for use.

Ritual Circles create consecrated space, provide protection for conjuring and summoning, act as a conduit and reservoir to collect and focus energy for greater magical casting, and provide greater power for specific spells, charms, or curses. Keep in mind, a circle is not necessary for the working of all magic though. Magic can be successfully cast to great effect without a circle.

The casting of a Ritual Circle is much more though… it is a mystery representing death and rebirth, in itself worthy of contemplation. By entering the Ritual Circle you have left the normal outside world and have stepped into the Underworld. The Altar is oriented towards the north, the direction ruled by the element earth, the Great Goddess Morrígan, and from where the Horned God watches the Low Road. The Underworld is the womb of the Mother Danu, all comes from it, and all must return to it to await rebirth. When the ritual is complete and you leave the Circle you are born again into the world above. Therefore, the casting and closing of every Ritual Circle is a symbolic death and rebirth. Ritual circles can be used at any time of the day or night, but any magical working completed during hours of darkness, preferable within the confines of “the witching hours” will have greater affect. Midnight to 3AM, being the aforementioned time frame.

The ritual circle I most commonly use is constructed of three concentric circles. Depending on the purpose, I will then inscribe within the two enclosed rings that these three lines create. Although the circle should ideally be 9 feet across, as that is a sacred number, it is no less effective if it is smaller or larger. Do not get too caught up on measurements.

Casting the Ritual Circle

Facing North with the ritual knife in your left hand, eyes steadfast upon the Godstang say:

In ancient times the Horned God Cerrnunnos came to man in the form of a serpent and offered light and knowledge. Man accepted his gift and received the fire of creation and knowledge of the craft. He taught that divinity is a path that any may embark upon. For this we thank you, Lord Of All Witches. Watch over my rite, lend it power, and provide your protection. I have cast the circle thrice about.

Step to the northern quarter, whisper while tracing the outside perimeter of the circle with the Ritual Knife held in the left hand in the deosil direction:

I conjure thee, Circle.
Here at the crossroads, a world within a world,
Under the watchful eyes of the horned God of the Witches.

Take a small portion of Cross Road Earth from a container on the altar and sprinkle it around the base of the candle in the northern elemental circle and say:

Morrígan, Mistress of the Underworld, hear my call. I beseech thee to watch over my rite, lend it power, and provide your protection. –Light the candle.

Pick up the candle in the eastern elemental circle, blow upon it and say:

Lugh, Sun God, trickster, and sacrificial lord, hear my call. I beseech thee to watch over my rite, lend it power, and provide your protection. –Light the candle.

Pick up the candle in the southern elemental circle, light the candle and say:

Bridgit, Fire and Inspiration, hear my call. I beseech thee to watch over my rite, lend it power, and provide your protection.

Take a small bottle containing water from the altar and sprinkle it around the base of the candle in the western elemental circle and say:

Mother Danu, from you all-that-is was given birth, hear my call. I beseech thee to watch over my rite, lend it power, and provide your protection.  -Light the candle.

The Circle is rightly cast and the Gods are present. This space is blessed and hallowed. So Mote It Be.

After casting the circle and completion of all of the rites and rituals for which it was created, disbanding the binding magic is fairly simple. Thank the Gods, declare the Ritual circle open, and allow your Will to let go of the binding power. The energies will dissolve and flow into the surrounding area. No formal ritual is required for this.

Great Gods and Goddesses, you have my thanks, and I ask for your blessings before you depart. The Ritual Circle is now open. So Mote It Be.

The Sacrament

The Sacrament Ritual is performed during the Sabbat ceremonies. It is a rite that through deep symbolism connects us more intimately to Deity. Within the confines of a ritual circle and consecrated space we invoke, we intone prayer, and we offer thanks for life, will, and power.

The energy that flows forth from the Greater Gods and Goddesses infuse everything. We consume food, which is in turn broken down and transformed into energy for our bodies. The symbolism here cannot be ignored in the Sacrament. Our Great God Lugh gives his life each Autumn to provide for the growing season the following year, therefore the stalks of grain also hold great significance. His flesh is ground and he is consumed in body and blood as bread and ale, so that by his sacrifice we may live on. We rejoice at his rebirth and the continuation of the great cycle. We take the essence of the Gods into ourselves, and we celebrate and contemplate this during the Sacrament.

The cup that holds the ale also has great symbolic meaning. When being blessed it accepts the ritual knife as the woman accepts the phallus, the male form attracted and bewitched by the wiles of Bridgit. When filled with ale it is ripe like the womb of the Mother Danu, holding life-giving substance within it. When empty it represents the underworld and Morrígan, waiting to receive the souls of the dead on the journey from the Low Road. It represents both procreation and death… the cycle of life.

– Cast The Circle.

– Upon the alter place a wooden bowl holding a piece of whole grain bread, an empty cup, and a bottle of dark ale.

-Kneel on both knees and bow before the alter and say:

Great God Lugh, you thrust yourself upon Areadbhar each cycle and your lifeless body returns to the ground to ensure the fields are fertile. You warm us and deliver us from darkness. I thank you for your sacrifice.

-Raise yourself up and remain in a kneeling position before the alter. Pick up the ritual knife and touch the tip of the blade to the bread and say:

I consecrate this bread, symbol of your body, and by consuming it I take within me your essence. You warm us and deliver us from darkness. I thank you for your sacrifice.

-Place the ritual knife on the altar. Take a piece of the bread and eat it, taking a few moments to ponder the meaning of sacrifice. When done, pick up the ritual knife again and dip the tip into the cup and say:

Great God Lugh, you thrust yourself upon Areadbhar each cycle and your blood flows into the ground to ensure the fields are fertile. You warm us and deliver us from darkness. I thank you for your sacrifice.

-Place the ritual knife on the altar. Pour the ale into the cup and consume about half of the contents in one long draught, taking a few moments to ponder the meaning of birth, life, and death. When done, place the cup back on the altar, reserve the leftover bread and ale for the Fey, and say:

Gods and Goddesses, witness this holy sacrament taken in remembrance of the sacrifice of Lugh. Bless me and mine, empower my art, and be with me this sacred night.

-After the Sabbat Ceremony is complete and the circle has been opened, an offering of the remains of the Sacrament is put outside for the Fey.

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