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Class 5

To: (owl)
From: (Sherry Michael)
Subject: Class 5
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 1995 22:46:23 -0500 (EST)

> ****"Wicca 101" Magic 1 from the teaching coven of the Three Crescents****
>  **Please send all e-mail to this**
> ***** Please do not distribute in full or in part without this header*****
> I think a good definition of magic is this one from infamous
> ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley; "the Science and Art of causing Change
> to occur in conformity with Will."  As stated, magic is an action to cause
> a specific desired effect. 
> Magical energy is like a pool of water. Throw in a rock,
> and it ripples outwards from the source. By Working (Work with a capital
> "W" refers to magical work, spells, meditations, etc.) with this energy that
> is all around us, we cause these ripples, and hopefully, guide them to a
> specific goal. Various sorts of Workings, such as spellcasting and rituals,
> are just techniques to help us identify the intended goal, and help us to throw
> the proverbial rock into the pool.
> Okay, at about this point most intelligent people lift an eyebrow. The
> idea of "magical energies" and Working is hard to swallow in our culture. 
> Things you can't see are easy to doubt. You can feel these energies,
> however, and the longer you Work, the better you will except the concept. 
> For now, remember magnetism. Magnets were once considered enchantment until
> science unlocked the secrets it held.  Quantum physics may someday unlock
> magic's secrets. 
> Where you successful with the "sphere" and "tree" exercises given in the
> classes before? If so you have felt the energy already! the "tree" and
> "sphere" are basic lessons on how to draw and manipulate energy from the
> earth. Stop before you read on; how did you feel during these exercises?
> Did you have any sensations in your body? What was your emotional state?
> Living things are storehouses of magic, and are the best things for you to
> feel energy from. Pick a plant, a friend, an animal to feel energy from.
> Relax yourself, and place your open palm-out hand (the opposite of your
> dominant hand works the best. Ex: lefties use your right hand...) about 4
> inches from the living thing you have chosen. Close your eyes and think of
> a white stream of light moving from the thing to your hand and back again.
> Feel it? Take note of any sensations.
> Many people report magic energy feels like a warming, or a tingle in the
> body or hand. Occasionally coolness is also reported. What did you feel?
> (I turn fire-engine red when Working...the reaction is too consistent to
> be in my head or coincidence.)
> II. Magick? Magic? Magik?!
> If you notice, magic is spelled lots of ways. Magic with a "k" has been
> re-introduced from the old anglo-saxon spelling.  The modern reasoning for
> the "k" is to tell card tricks and illusionist from witches and mages (the
> original intention may have had something to do with Crowley splitting
> with an order called the Golden Dawn...just FYI). I speak modern English
> and use "magic", but if you want to use the "k", that's fine.
> If I teach you one thing about magic, I hope its this. Black magic is not
> evil. Yup, you read that right!  There is absolutely wrong with black
> magic, or the people who Work it.
> Black magic is actually just transformation and banishing magic. Removing
> negative thoughts and energy, healing by removing ills and cleansings are
> all black magics. Like a doctor's knife, sometimes things must be removed
> for healing to begin. Black magic is also death magic (did you celebrate
> Halloween and honor the dead?), because death is the
> ultimate transformation. But death is not evil, and just a necessary sever
> to start a new life in your next incarnation.
> (In contrast,"White" magic is creative and is used to summon things to you.)
> Working black magic is sometimes hard. It may mean facing fears,
> misunderstandings, skeletons in the closet, fear of change and putting
> yourself through pain. However, the results are usually beneficial..if you
> are ready for them. To learn more about "black" concepts, get to know the
> Goddesses Pele, Lilith or Hectate, or the Gods Anubis and Pluto. They will
> teach you many lessons if you can face them!
> Do we all remember the Wiccan rede? Magic should never be used to harm
> another person, or to twist their Will. Unethical mages don't have a very
> long carrer because they are "taken care of" by karma. Below is a list of
> guidelines to help you define ethics of magic:
> 	1) Never make anyone do anything against their Will. This includes
> 	love spells. If you want love, ask for love to come into your
> 	life, but don't imagine a specific person. (The ONLY exception to
> 	effecting someone's Will is when they are unable to think for
> 	themselves, like illnesses, addictions and suicidal behavior. 
> 	Even then, a simple prayer or general protection spell can be more 
> 	ethical.)
> 	2) Never intentionally cause anything harm.  If someone causes you
> 	ill will, protection spells and spells that "mirror" or bounce back
> 	bad energy send to you can be ethically used. Revenge is never an
>  	excuse, unless you want to be sacked by the threefold law.
> 	3) If in doubt, ask! If you wish to Work for someone with good
> 	intentions, but still wonder if you are doing something ethical,
> 	ask for their permission first. Usually its okay to Work something
> 	simple and general for someone without asking, like good luck,
> 	healing or protection. Just be careful you are not infringing on
> 	their free Will.
> 	4) Use your head. If something gives you an "icky" feeling, don't
> 	do it. Evaluate your "good intentions" and make sure your
> 	intentions are indeed what they appear to be and you are not hiding
> 	some sort of personal agenda.
> This is a basic outline and structure that should be used when making
> spells and performing all types of rituals. The steps are 1) define the
> goal 2) preparation 3) purification 4) grounding 5) Working 6) earthing.
> 1) Define the goal: Before you start your spell (or ritual celebration of
> a holiday, meditation, etc.) consider your goal or objective. Is it
> ethical?  Consider the desired and possible outcomes. Be careful, because we
> can at times ask for things we don't want. For example, you may want a
> spell to get a car. Be aware that the spell may hinder you from selling the
> car in the future once you get it. Its not a problem if you are aware of
> this possibility; you can always have a "sell the car" spell in the future.
> 2) Preparation: First you need to find or create a ritual or spell you
> plan to use.  Making your own ritual is usually best, but at first its
> helpful to use or modify ones in books, etc. After you know what your
> spell entails, you need to gather supplies or tools. Again lets use the
> car spell. In a book, I see that certain herbs and a certain stone or
> crystal is used for receiving wealth or gifts (the car). I decide to make
> a magical herb bag (sachet). I will need the herbs listed, the stone,
> cloth and string for the bag before I begin.
> You may also think about any seasonal greens and decorations for holiday
> circles.  Set up your altar (usually facing the north) and any ritual
> tools you want to use.
> You will also need to consider when you will Work your spell. The full
> moon and sabbats are always good times. The new to full moon (waxing) is a
> good time for white magic, and the full to new (waning) is good for black.
> Astrology and planet formations can also aid you. Can't  wait for the best
> time? Its okay, you magic will still work. The time just gives it a boost.
> 3) Purification: Before any ritual and magic, it is beneficial to cleanse
> yourself and your surroundings. Self purification can include bathing,
> meditation and any activity can help transport you from everyday. If you
> are performing inside ritual, incense, water, and the Hoover can cleanse
> your room. 
> 4) Grounding: To explain grounding, recall the tree exercise. Grounding
> very simply helps you to avoid drawing all your personal energy when
> Working. It also helps you achieve a point of stability. Take a moment
> before you start to use the tree exercise.
> 5) Working: Begin your planned or spontaneous ritual, usually by a circle
> casting.  The best rituals are meaningful to you, and therefore self made.
> The next class contains a sample of different rituals/spells you can use,
> and hopefully give you ideas for your own. 
> Actual Working consists of a building up of power, then a planned release.
> Anything that builds power; dance, meditation, symbolic triggers and music
> are excellent. Keep your goal in mind the entire time.  When you feel you
> have built enough power, release it toward your goals. Release can be done
> a variety of ways; a binding phase ("so mote it be"), burning of paper
> with a symbol of your need, collapsing from dance or screaming at the end
> of song. For our sachet in this example, I would visualize my goal every
> time I would add an item to the sachet. Tying the sachet string would be the
> release - as I bound the package and "bound" the spell.
> 6) Earthing: After you are done with your Working, close the ritual by
> returning any unused stored energy into the ground (as in the tree
> exercise). Unused energy can also be emptied into a ritual blade for later
> use. Earthing is very important because access energy may cause you to be
> hyperactive and testy. Another common earthing technique is eating. It
> brings you back into reality and restores any personal energy you may have
> used. The circle is broken at this time.
> As I have mentioned before, the circle is used to protect (shield), hold
> energy built up from your ritual until it is ready for release, and to
> provide a magical ritual area. It can be imagined as a globe with its
> diameter marking the boundaries on the floor/ground. It is said that if you
> leave the boundaries of the circle it will be dissipated, but I have found
> various opinions on this. I personally think its how its constructed. Test it
> and see how your circle reacts. I have included a rather simple casting
> for you to try at first. Practice until you can cast a circle second nature.
> Cleanse the area any way you see fit (I suggest walking around the room
> clockwise, imagining negative forces being driven away. Sprinkle water,
> carry a candle, use incense or sprinkle salt as you walk. You can make
> four passes and use all four if you wish). 
> Invoke the element of Air: Imagine where the boundaries of the circle would
> lie in the room. Face to the east and imagine a wave of yellow light rising
> above you in a 1/4 dome shape, feel a fresh breeze of Air enter the ritual
> area. 
> Invoke the element of Fire: Walk to the south (always move clockwise,
> called deosil,  when casting or building energy. Widdershins is
> counter-clockwise and is used when opening the circle or using banishing
> magic). Visualize another 1/4 dome of dark red, and feel the warmth of
> Fire enter the circle.
> Invoke the element of Water: Walk to the west. Imagine the same 1/4 dome,
> this time blue. Imagine the feel of cooling Water enter the circle.
> Invoke the element of Earth: Walk to the North. Join a green 1/4 dome to
> the rest, and feel the solidity of Earth. Now imagine the circle solid.
> let all the four colors merge together until you can visualize the circle
> as a light blue glowing dome.
> Welcome the God and Goddess to join your circle (DON'T have the audacity
> to demand them to come!) through simple prayer or an invocation or chant.
> Additions to this theme can be candles for each element placed at each
> direction and lighting candles on the altar for the God and Goddess, using the
> wand to "draw" the boundaries or hold aloft while doing invocations, dance,
> songs, chants to welcome the God/dess and the Elements.
> Here is a sample of a circle casting invocation by Ellen Cannon Reed:
> 			Circle, now we conjure thee
> 			That thou mayest a boundary be
> 			Between the world of men we know
> 			And what the Mighty Ones shall show.
> 			A guardian and protection be
> 			For power we shall raise in thee.
> 			Preserve, contain it in thy sphere
> 			To aid the work we shall do here.
> 			So we have consecrated thee.
> 			So may our circle Blessed be.
> 			{call the elements}
> 			Sky and sun and sea and earth,
> 			Teach us, give our wisdom birth.
> 			Sun and sea and earth and sky,
> 			With your powers gather nigh.
> 			Sea and earth and sky and sun,
> 			All together, four in one.
> 			Earth and sky and sun and sea,
> 			Join us as we call to thee.
> 			{Invoke the Lord and Lady}
> 			Loving Lady, Mighty Lord,
> 			By cup and shield and wand and sword,
> 			We ask your presence and your light
> 			To bless the work we do this night.
> After your work, remember to open the circle. Start at the North and
> imagine the green 1/4 dome being reabsorbed into the earth, continue
> to each element widdershins (counterclockwise). Thank the Goddess and God
> and the elements for blessing your circle.
> **************************
> 1) Try to cast a few circles. Feel what it is like to be inside it, feel the
> sphere around you. Note your reactions and feelings.
> 2) Take my sample circle casting and modify it. What would you like
> changed? Do you think casting would work better if the ritual is more
> simplistic or more ritualized? Do you think playing a tape of music, or
> dancing would help? Check out other castings available in many books and
> FTP sites for ideas.

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