The Loving

As the title of this section indicates, one of the main witch implements you will be employing in the traditional, romantic approach will be the chalice, so far only used in consecrations. The Athame is never used in this branch of witchcraft, being an instrument of defence or aggression. Many of the lesser love spells make use of philters and potions for the raising and transmission of magical power; it is the chalice that contains them at their compounding which provides the focus for the invoked force.

Should you or a friend wish to cast a love spell to gain the attentions of another person, it will be well to remember the general witch principle of the transmission of power, which brings me to another big rule of practical witchcraft. A magical operation will always enjoy a greater chance of success if you "complete the circuit." Extremely powerful witches can indeed work without the aid of object links or power objects with the person or entity they are attempting to influence; they simply locate him or her with their fully activated deep minds and work their will directly. Those of lesser ability, and that of course includes all beginners, must make use of an object link so-called, such as was employed in the ritual of necromancy in the form of a photograph. That is, an object intimately linked, or belonging to, the person on whom the effect is being worked.

The alternative to this is the employment of what is often referred to as a power object, that is, some object manufactured by the witch as charged with her own will and magnetism, which is physically conveyed into the presence of the designated victim; in fact a form of talisman, whether for good or ill as the case may be, which acts as a kind of battery or condenser of magical power.

The loving cup Most philters partake of this second definition.

The Puppet Spell given later in the chapter provides at excellent example of total completion of the circuit, using both object link and power object.

The chalice is dedicated to certain of the subtler powers of the unseen, which are considered feminine in relation to the more violent nature of those invoked in works of, say, wrath and chastisement; the chalice powers are invoked by means of a symbolism somewhat similar to that of the classical divinities of love, such as Venus and Amor. Indeed the chalice is obviously sexual in its implication of receptive passivity, as opposed to the more thrusting aggressiveness of wand and the Athame.

It would be truer to say that the witch symbolism of the chalice was rather more akin to that surrounding the elven-folk, the fays, and enchantresses of medieval legend, Vivian, Brisen, Nimue,

Lady of the Lake, Morgan le Fay, and of course Melusine. The May queens and corn maidens of European folklore are all partakers of the same symbolism along with Greek Persephone and Euridice, retracing their steps to the underworld during the cold winter months when the sun has grown dark and the days short; the Lord of the Dead holds rule over the land for the first three months of the witches' year beginning on the first day of November, the Feast of All Hallows.

The Lady of Delight is known by many names among witches, some of them classical in inspiration like Diana or Hecate, or Celtic like Rhiannon; she is also known as Habondia, Hulda, and Herodias, and sometimes by other versions of the last name, Aradia, Ariadne, or Arianne. She is Mistress of the Moon as well as the realm of Venus.

In all your operations of romantic love it is her presence you must invoke, by any of the aforesaid names you may find significant—again a little mythological research will help you here. You should strive to contact the goddess before your spells of romantic love, by visualizing her clad in silvery garments, mantled in darkness wherein the stars dimly gleam, and with long streaming hair. She is crowned with a wreath of flowers and corn, while above her brow shines the lunar disk on either side of which rise two rearing serpents. On her right hand perches her symbolic bird, the white dove.

All flowers and blossoms, particularly those with a perfume, are sacred to the Lady, and before beginning the more complex operations of love it is as well to strew your altar with them. Apart from the associative symbolism of flowers, they also give off a subtle magnetism which is peculiarly in accord with works of this nature. No magical circle is necessary for these operations either, for the force invoked is benevolent rather than a hostile one, and as such need neither the sharp magical focusing nor the quality of incisive delineation provided by the Athame's traced boundary line No demonic entities or unfriendly departed shades are summoned in this type of witchcraft. All that is required is the purification of the place of working, and the spell itself.

Now all of these processes in this chapter are best per formed on a Friday around eight in the morning, three in the afternoon or ten at night, when the moon is waxing. Some truly astrologically minded witches claim that the moon should be passing through the first ten degrees of Taurus or Virgo and well aspected to Venus and Saturn as well, This, however, is not strictly necessary, although fully in accord with principles of medieval witchcraft. The observance of the correct moon's phase, suitable day of the week, and time of day, along with a firmly resolved intention, is all that is really necessary.

Among the first love spells you should acquaint yourself with as a beginner should be those classed under the heading "Philters."

This is the way they should be compounded:

Having observed the correct time of day, as indicated above, you must seal your place of working from all intrusion. In its usual, central position should stand your alt table, topped with its triangle cover; one angle pointing east as always. In the centre of the triangle should stand your cup, flanked with your lamps. The thurible should also be present on the altar, together with a box of suitable incense (the composition of which will be given at the end of this chapter). Finally the materials for your philter, a pestle and mortar such as is sold by any good kitchenware shop, and, of course, your workbook in which the spell has been previously written out.

Finally, surround the altar triangle with a circle of fresh flowers, preferably sweet smelling. These may be any that please you; freesias, narcissus or lilac, jasmine or carnations, anything you like, depending on your location and the time of year. The choice is yours. To a lot of witches, the rose seems a very good choice, as this blossom has always been considered most germane to matters of love, and a symbolic attribute of the Lady. Cabalistic legend has it that Balkis, Queen of Sheba, was a witch, and that the wisdom she came to question Solomon, King of Israel, about was magical in content.

... I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys, as the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters...

The rose has been preserved as the Lady's emblem in the annals of courtly love and among the symbols of alchemy. The lily, however, passed directly into Christian Catholicism and became an attribute of the Madonna, which is only right and proper, as the Virgin Mary is but a Christian echo of an aspect of the Lady herself. However, due to this association, it is more to be considered a symbol of cool chastity rather than love or passion.

Having seen to your initial preparations, illumine the lamps and kindle the appropriate incense, chanting as you do such words of consecration as:

"In thy name, Habondia, and that of thy Ministers of Love, do I proceed in this work of Love."

Summon up the Lady's image in your mind's eye, also recalling such memories of past love as will serve to "turn you on" to the right wave length. What sort of memories can do this must be left to the reader's own discretion. You know your own past best. Having thus dedicated your operation and brought your deep mind to attention, you may now proceed with the composition of the philter.

The first, and simplest, love charm you should learn is one used for centuries by witches.

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