Weeks 16 - 18
Dreamweaver's Page Wicca 101 Wk 1 Site contents
Wicca 101 - Week 16 Rituals Part 1
This is one of the major parts of Wicca - how we worship. There are many different kinds of rituals, but they have one thing in common - they are all done within the Circle. Whenever you do ritual you must construct a place of worship and creating the Circle does this.
Ritual by yourself
The books will give you many rituals you can perform solo. But what really needs to be in these rituals? You and the Goddess and God. Plan what you want to do...and do it. It can be anything from a very complex ritual with tools and candles and inscents or it can just be you - talking to the Goddess...
Adapting rituals for your use
When you first start using rituals you will find many that you want to use, but!! The "but" being there are things that just don't fit what you want to do or the amount of people that are going to be in the ritual. If the ritual is going to be a Sabbat read up on what the Sabbat is about. Then look at rituals written by others for that Sabbat. Knowing the people that are going to be present - start adapting the ritual to fit your needs. At first you will just rewrite an existing ritual, latter when you get better at it you will take things you like from other rituals and incorporate them into your own rituals. Just make sure when you write out a ritual that you make sure to credit where you got your information.
It is the Full Moon or a New Moon and we are going to do our monthly ritual. This ritual is called an Esbat. What is it? It has several functions and the main one is the one most think less about. It is the Covens business meeting. This is where all-important decisions are made. This is were voting takes place. This is when new information is given out (Even when everyone already knows the information - this makes it legal) Now if there is a lot of business, you might want to use another night to go over the business so when it comes up for vote there is not a lot of debate.
Because of this the Esbat should be on either the New Moon or the Full Moon and on the same one month after month. And if for any reason the Esbat is held the nearest Saturday to the Moon this should be common knowledge. This way when something becomes law, a Covener can't say it was voted in without him knowing about it -, as it is his responsibility to make it to the Esbat. (If it changes from Full to New Moon and other changes that can give a Covener reason to feel he had no control on the changes)
Since they are held on either the Full or New Moon they are a great time for Magick! Most Magick can be performed at either of these Moons. (If its held on a weekend - check your Moon phase - more about this when we get to our section on Magick)
And this is the time of inviting in the Goddess with the Drawing Down of the MOON. She will speak to the Coven through the HPS or another Covener. (She picks who she wants to speak through).
The order for an Esbat is:
There is much more that is included in the Esbat ritual, and can be plugged in anyplace between creating the sacred space and cakes and ale. Does anyone not see the reasons for this order?? If there is no Magick it can be removed - the same with Business - as the only business of the month may be the Coven getting together.
Again we are looking for feedback. Questions?
Next week read pages 111-118 To Ride a Silver Broomstick.
Wicca 101 - Week 17 Book Of Shadows
What is the most important book that a Witch can have?
What is the most important tool that a Witch can have?
The answer to both questions is the same - their Book Of Shadows.... This is their bible. It should have all the information they need in it. Where do you buy this book, you ask or which one should I buy - since there are several on the market. This not a book to buy - it is a book to create.
How do I create a Book Of Shadows?? This is where it can get fun.
In some Trads once you become a member of a Coven you are shown the Covens Book Of Shadows - which you must hand copy into your Book Of Shadows. You are also told the lineage of the Book Usually going all the way back to the founder of the Trad. Knowing the lineage will help you if you join another Coven within the Trad that has a Book with another lineage.
But what if you are not part of a Trad that does this - where does it come from?? YOU.. If you are in a ritual - place it in you BOS. If copies are given out, use this (or copy it). Or at worse write it as you remember it. You are writing this for you - so don't worry about how other people view it - just can you redo the ritual with what you have written. Within time you will have rituals for many different events. You can also place in it rituals that you write yourself - just notate if you have done them or not.
The same thing with any spells you do. Put a copy of them in here and have a note if they worked or not and if they didn't why you feel they didn't. Again you can write the spell or it can be a spell written for the group to us.
One thing it is not is a spell collectable book. You don't go on the Internet finding spells to fill your BOS. Besides being a waste of time - it makes your BOS into something cheap. (This doesn't mean if you see someplace a spell you really like leaving it out - put it in and make a note of who wrote it and where you found it.)
**Every so often on a mailing list you will see a post where someone is upset - they lost there BOS. But the reason they are upset is all the spells in it that they copied off the Internet - all this time it's going to take looking them back up!!!.... My message to them is, take the hint, start over and this time make it YOU not a stranger that writes the spells**
Another thing you will want in your BOS and that is the LAWS. Now this will very from person to person. All should have the REDE and Three-Fold Law - but beyond this it's going to change from person to person. There are many laws within Wicca and besides the Rede and Three Fold Law not all are followed. There are also laws governing Magick. Make sure you find which ones you feel you are going to follow and include it in you BOS. Don't put a law in, if you are not going to follow it, just because you found it and it says its a Wiccan Law.
Now you can also have poems and recipes in your BOS. Information on Herbs, Stones, Color, Moon Phases, inscents, candles and so on. You can have information on how to make tools, robes, jewelry, brews, candles and so on. Anything you feel you may need if it was the only book you had. You can have your history as a Witch or of your Coven. Information on dreams. As you can see, there can be a lot of information in it. Include drawings and photos. Whenever you get something from an outside source and you know what it is - make a note of it.
From your reading you can see there are more than just the BOS you can have that you write yourself. You can have you dream journal and a personal journal or it can all be put into your BOS.
One last thing - Don't make it into a game. It is not to see who can get the most into a BOS. Make it into your most important tool. Something you will grab for when you are planning on doing something. It has spells that have worked for you in the past in it. It has the information you need.
Read pages 7 - 102 Witches Bible part 2
Wicca 101 - Week 18 Rituals Part 2
Writing a Ritual
OK, you are in a Coven and they tell you to write the ritual for the next Sabbat... What do you do? You can't say forget it. You could ask that someone else do it. But you don't.
The first thing you do is pull out your BOS. Is there a ritual in there for the next Sabbat? AH, Yes there is - you quickly copy it and you are finished!!
You read over it. Will it work with this group (it may have been done with this group). Next you read up on the Sabbat. Now you know what the Sabbat is about... What do you thinks needs to be said by the ritual? Now check a book or two and read the rituals they have for the Sabbat.
Now you are ready to start. Lets say, for the sake of this lesson this is your first time writing a ritual that's going to be performed. First make an outline of what you want done and in what order it should be done. Now you have the bones, you need to add the flesh. Being a Sabbat you are going to want a mystery play of some kind. Do you have enough people in the Coven to have people take parts and act out a small play or would it be better to just have one or a few people tell a story relating to the Sabbat. Then, are there any games or songs that go along with the Sabbat? If so figure out where you want to put them.
Now that you have the flesh on it, its time to clothe it. Is there anything needed that is not part of the normal circle setup? Any props needed? Blessing oil? What color candles, what flavor inscents. Plan all this out, so when you are doing the ritual something will not come up missing.
Pros and Cons of precasting a Ritual.
When you are planning a ritual it is always nice to have an idea of how many people are going to be there. And even better is to know who is going to be there. Then you can write the ritual with HouseFly doing a certain part that only he can do.
But the day of the ritual comes - HouseFly has the flu and can't make it. And you wrote the part in such a way that ONLY HouseFly could do it... Because of this it is nice to write with someone in mind, but have it written so you can replace the person if they don't show. If there are going to be 13 people and you write it for 13 have some of the parts that can be doubled up with out problems. And its always nice to have some parts for ALL this way if 14 shows up they will at least have a little to do.
USING OLD RITUALS
If you have a ritual that you like, and the Coven likes, it can be used over and over again. These rituals usually have no set amount of people needed and do not need any certain person. An Esbat can become just an outline ritual - it's done every month the same - with just changes in the Magick and Business. Inserting new members when needed.
Because of this some BOS will only have one ritual per Sabbat, one for Full Moon Esbat, New Moon Esbat, and special occasions. While others will have several for each event.
How would you write a ritual?
Read pages 67-74 Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
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