This method of healing is one of the oldest in traditional folk magick, using the equivalent of the ceremonial elemental substances that I wrote of in Chapter 6. Folk magick was originally based on substances that have comprised the diet of ordinary people for thousands of years. They are all infused symbolically as well as actually with the life force.
* Empower your water, if you wish, and pour it into the chosen coloured bottle. Close your bottle and surround it with a circle of fruits, unprocessed food, flowers or crystals of the colour to be used. Leave space between the bottle and the edge of the circle.
* Inside the circle, to the North of the bottle, place a large golden, white or orange vegetable, preferably grown under or close to the ground. This represents the fruits of the Earth, born of the Earth Mother.
* In the East of the circle, place some seeds or nuts that represent the source of new life and potential.
* In the South, set a small dish of honey, which is considered as sacred as salt in many traditions and is especially associated with healing.
* Finally, in the West, place a seed roll or bread, representing the cutting down of the corn, so completing the cycle.
* Take a twig or a wand from a healing tree, such as ash, or a long frond of greenery and walk round the circle deosil. Infuse each of the magical foods in turn with circles of the wand deosil, saying:
Fruits of the Earth, born from the womb of the land, give life and healing, health and joy from your ever-replenishing store.
* Touch the vegetable with the wand and then lift the wand in a high arc before lowering it to touch the bottle of water in the centre.
* Now move to the East and circle the wand deosil over the seeds, saying:
Seeds of potential, from the loins of the Father, give growth and power, possibility and regeneration from your limitless treasury.
* Touch the seeds with the wand and raising it in a high arc as before, project the energy into the bottle.
* Go now to the South and circle the wand deosil over the honey, saying:
Melissa, Mother Bee, bring abundance, warmth, sweetness and nourishment from your ever-
Touch the dish and transfer the energies as before to the water.
* Finally, go to the West and circle the wand over the bread, saying:
Corn Father, willing offering of the life-sustaining bread, bring an ease to sorrow and suffering and the peace and fulfilment of healing harvest home.
* Touch the bread with the wand and transfer the energies as before to the water.
* Finally, pass the bottle of water over the vegetable, seeds, honey and bread, saying:
Fruit and seed, nectar and corn, enrich, empower and endow this water with your healing powers and the life force that flows though our lives and through all creation.
Eat the empowered food to boost your own energies and to spread calm or healing.
10 - Ritual Magick
Ritual magick is no different from any other activity that you may carry out in a systematic way. Yes, it is true, it is more formal than folk magick: you are using special tools and following a series of preordained steps based on traditional practice. But this does not mean that it has to be so complicated as to be beyond the capabilities of any normal person. You do not need special powers; and the preparation is just the same as you would do if you were redecorating a room, servicing your car or preparing your annual accounts.
When you decide to do any of these tasks, you set out the necessary equipment in advance, so you are not constantly dashing off to find what you need. You check that it is all in working order and you probably consult a reliable reference book, computer software or calculator to clarify the necessary stages and finer points of the method. And that is exactly what preparing for ritual magick is like.
First, you need to collect any relevant information; for example, you must find out which tools, herbs, candle colours, etc. you may require. Then you must check that your magical tools are charged with power. You must check whether the hour and the day are well chosen to benefit from the energies and are most aligned to the focus. If you are working with a group, you must decide in advance who is to carry the salt and other elemental substances round the circle, who will perform particular parts of the ritual, such as welcoming the Spirit Guardians.
This preparation is important, although, as I have previously said, many of the words and actions in the best rituals remain spontaneous within the basic framework. You do not even need to belong to a coven to create beautiful rituals. Indeed, practising alone, you will find that as you increase in confidence, the natural rhythm of the ritual cycle will amplify your own innate powers and you will feel angelic or devic forces joining with you as you walk around the circle and hear their voices mingling with your chants.
You should not allow yourself to be overawed, as I have been in the past and still occasionally am, by books and practitioners who vaunt their knowledge of obscure magical phrases, measure their circles down to the last millimetre and insist that only their form of working is authentic.
What matters is the actual connection you make in your ritual with the storehouse of natural and higher energies - and that can be done with a kitchen candle if the need is great and the intention pure. Ultimately, the power is within you, and as you become skilled with magick, you may find that the external form becomes less important.
However, formal magick does have its place, for a special need or for raising spiritual awareness, or for focusing magical energies through the accumulated power of tools charged and regularly used for positive purpose. Some people believe also that in ritual you tap into the energies of all those before you who have created circles of power and protection, and within them have raised and called upon the elemental qualities to bring desires and needs from the thought to the material plane.
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