Preparing yourself for worship:
This is things like taking a relaxing ritual bath with candles and incense. While you're doing this focus on the deities and the ritual you are going to perform. You can annoint yourself with a purifying oil like frankincense or sandalwood. Playing a soothing and relaxing kind of music. It is also good to meditate. The idea is to leave all the stesses of life behind and focus on worship.
Preparing you worship area:
Cleanse the area with the ritual broom by sweeping away the negativity and psychic clutter out of the area. You do this by sweeping lightly, barely touching the ground and visualizing the nagativity leaving the area.
Next is the physical the setup of the circle. You will need four candles to mark the quarters and something to mark and outline of a circle. Place the quarter candles in the appropriate positions (see the ritual tools page for colors and positions). Make the physical circle around the four candles. Make your space big enough for you altar to be in the middle and for you to easily walk around the altar without tripping over the candles. I like to use little polished stones to make my circle but you can use about anything.
The next step is to setup the altar. Place the altar in the center facing the North or the East preferably. I like to cover my altar with a cloth before I set the tools upon it.
This is basically how I setup my altar:
I place the Goddess candle and statue on the top left center. I place the God candle and statue on the top right center. I place the cauldron top center directly below the deity candles and statues. I place the censer center directly below the cauldron. I place the red candle directly below the censer. This makes up the very top and center of the altar.
Next on the very left-hand side of the altar, I place my wand. Beside this, at the top left I place the chalice. Below this I place the water bowl and the asperger. Below these I place the libation dish and the plate of food (crescent cakes, cookies, nuts, fruit, etc.). Below these I place the bell and my matches and used matches cup. Usually somewhere between the left and center items I place the candle used in rituals and spells.
Next on the top right-hand side, I place my musical instuments ( if these are too big for the altar, just place them somewhere in the circle near the altar). Below these, I place my pen of arts and my Book of Shadows.
Between the center and the right, at the top I place a stick incense holder. Below this, I place the salt bowl. Below this, I place the pentacle. Below this, I place the athame and the bolline.
Finally, any herbs, oils, or other ritual or spellcraft items needed, I place these any where on the altar where I have a space to put it.
Casting the circle:
When you finally have everything physically setup, light the candles and incense.
Take your athame and touch the water bowl with it and say something like the following:
I purify this water that it may be fit to dwell within this circle of power in the name of my lady and lord, I purify thee.
Next touch the athame to the salt and say:
I purify this salt that it may be fit to dwell within this circle of power in the name of my lady and lord, I purify thee.
Next, at the North candle, hold the athame at waist-level pointing outward. Walk slowly clockwise around the circle (make sure that your feet are within the physically marked circle). As you do this visualize a wall of energy forming(see the energy pouring forth from the athame) and say :
Charge this circle by Your powers, wise ones! Only love shall dwell within this sacred place.
When you come back to the North point, lay the athame back on the altar.
Then take the wand and hold it up at the North quarter candle. As you say the following, visualize the spirit of Earth entering into the circle:
I call upon thee, O Spirit of Earth, may you enter this circle and charge it with thy power.
Then do the same at the East-Air, South-Fire, and West-Water in that order.
Lay the wand back on the altar and stand before the altar. Stop and let yourself feel the energy of the circle pulsating around you. Feel it's power. (Note: the circle is actually a sphere of power, so the energy of the circle flows completely around you.)
Now your circle is cast. You may now go on to invoking the goddess and god and performing rituals, spells, and divinations.
Cutting a Doorway and Releasing the Circle:
Upon occassion you might need to leave the circle before you're done with your ritual, you can do this by cutting a doorway.
Face Northeast and take your athame pointed downward, pierce the wall of energy and cut a doorway (big enough for you to go through) moving the athame in a counter-clockwise direction. Visualize a doorway being made. Then you can leave and come back when you are ready to finish.
When you return to the circle, enter through the doorway. Then take the athame and starting at the bottom point where you ended when you cut the door, redraw the doorway visualizing the energy filling the doorway and connecting with the rest of the circle.
When you have completed all of your ritual, spells, and divinations; take the wand and hold it up at the North. Say the following:
O, Spirit of the Earth, I give thee thanks, go in peace.
Do the same for the East-Air, South-Fire, and West-Water in that order. When you return to the North, hold the wand up for a moment, then place it back on the altar.
Next, take the athame and hold it at waist-level at the North point of the circle. Pierce the wall of energy and as you walk slowly in a clock-wise direction, visualize the the energy being drawn back into the athame. When you get back to the North point, the circle has been released. Then it is time to put things away and clean up.
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