I am deciding to post some of these exercises on my blog so that you can follow my progress and even try it out for yourself! I don't want to say that this is my Book of Shadows--as my Book of Shadows is in a notebook next to my bed--but that it is rather a little peak at it. I'll be writing some of this post (and probably a bit more) into my Book of Shadows after the Ritual is completed. I highly recommend purchasing this book and joining me in this spiritual journey. It offers an abundance of information that I can't possibly post here. It's written slightly with a Wiccan slant although the author does say it is important for the individual to choose what they practice whether it's Wicca, Paganism, or something else! There are all various types of Witchcraft. I found this wonderful as I'm not Wiccan and just about every other book on the shelf was written in a "this is the Wiccan way so follow it" type of attitude (and, trust me, I took a look at just about every book there). For those of you wondering, I consider myself a Solitary Eclectic Christian Witch. This is something very complicated to explain so I'll save it for another post down the line. But, to make it short, I'll break it apart as such:
- Solitary - I practice alone; I don't belong to a coven.
- Eclectic - I don't practice just Wiccan, Pagan, Alexandrian, Celtic or any other type of Witchcraft; I take what I want from one branch of Witchcraft and throw away what I don't want.
- Christian - I'm a Christian (have been a Catholic since I was a baby) and do believe in Father God, Mother Mary, Jesus, archangels, angels, saints, and so on; I incorporate these beliefs in with some Pagan beliefs and use it in my Craft.
- Witch - I practice Witchcraft as a way of life, not a Religion; there is a difference.
Like I said, I'm not going to get into this too much because it would take a book to explain it. But, to make it short, I practice Witchcraft as a way of life instead of as a Religion. A lot of people use Wicca and Witchcraft to mean the same thing but they are different. Wicca is a religion; Witchcraft is not. I use Witchcraft to connect me with God and any other Higher Beings of the Universe. I pray but also cast spells. To me they are just about one in the same. The difference is that in a spell, you use symbols to help manifest that which you want. For example, colors, moon phases, and objects help symbolize different things. What makes spells--and even prayer--work is energy. If you put your energy and want into a spell, it will make its way to the Universe and will stick out with a big "hey, this person really needs some help" note! A lot of people aimlessly pray the rosary, not understanding why their prayers aren't being answered but the same thing goes; if you aren't putting your heart and soul into it, God may not see your prayer. I would love to think that God has time to answer every prayer, but I just can't see that being so; I imagine God is a very busy person! So without trying to explain that and taking an hour doing so, let me ask you something!
Why are you interested in Witchcraft? For me it's to be able to achieve goals/dreams if it's meant to be; to put my energy out there; to work with God, the saints, the angels, and the archangels; to communicate more with my Spirit Guides; to be close to the Divine and nature.
If this is something that you are interested in--whether for the same or different reasons--then I highly recommend researching Witchcraft. Look up the different types of Witchcraft. Do you want to practice it as a religion or a way of life? Does Celtic Witchcraft interest you? What about Alexandrian? Wicca or Paganism? Or do you want to be Eclectic? Do you want an emphasis on Ceremonial Magick? Or maybe Druidism is your thing! Do your research to know what feels right for you. Just because almost all the books out there and sites are focused on Paganism (more particularly Wicca) doesn't mean it's right for you. For example, you'll find barely anything out there on Christian Witchcraft. But keep looking and piece together what you'd like. Do you want to be part of a coven or do you want to be solitary? Before doing anything, you need to figure this out!
Still interested? Great! Now do some research on Witchcraft. How was it treated in the past? Is it still outlawed in some countries today? Where do you think it will go in the future? One reason I highly suggest this book is because it gives you a brief history and such! If you feel you're ready, then you can perform this Intention Ritual. Since the author is Wiccan, he uses the "one year and a day" method of studying for one year and using the last day to reflect on the past year and then be initiated. Personally, I don't feel a year and a day is necessary but rather dedication, knowledge, and experience. By practicing and being educated in your Craft (whatever it may be), you'll know whether or not you're ready to move on whether it's 3 months or 3 years. If a year and a day feels right to you, go for it! It's all about what you are comfortable with!
Next, it's time to get your materials together. This is what you'll need:
- A blank sheet of paper.
- A black thread or string.
- A black pen.
- A new white candle.
- A lighter or match to light the candle.
- Peace and quiet.
- Yourself is also a nice touch.
- The black thread and pen, to me, symbolize making something permanent.
- The white candle is for spiritually and pure intentions as well as beginnings. Because it's new, it also implies new beginnings and even a "rebirth" you could say; the newness of it will also make sure the energies of the candle are new and that it hasn't been used for other intentions.
- 10/10/10 - Apparently this is a great time for beginnings, for things to become known, for spiritual journeying, and for fate to take over.
- Sunday - This is a great day for new things, self-improvement, and Spirituality.
- Waxing Moon - A good time for new things, growth, Spirituality, and change.
- Night - I'll be performing this at night (once it's dark out) which is supposedly a good time for Rituals and Spell-Casting.
- 10:10 PM - For the above reason of being nighttime and under the 10 theme.
- Get together your objects. Make sure you have a new white candle, matches or a lighter, blank sheet of paper, a black pen, and some black thread. Be sure to include any other important items although it is not necessary. I'll be using some statues and incense! Don't light your candle or incense at this time.
- Find a quiet area to work where others won't disturb you. Get your area set up but don't light anything yet. Take a moment to clear your mind and prepare for the Ritual.
- This is taken directly from the book: "On a small piece of paper, write out your intentions for this work. Do you seek to be a witch, learn witchcraft, or just know more? If you are comfortable calling on the Goddess and the God, do so. If not, you can address it to whatever divine force you are comfortable using, such as God, Great Spirit, the Tao, or the Universe. Here is an example: "I, (state your name), ask in the name of the Goddess and God for aid in my studies of witchcraft. I intend to complete this work successfully within one year and become a witch if this is correct and for my highest good. I ask to be open to all experiences and understand all lessons given to me. So mote it be." ("So mote it be" means "it is so." It is a common affirmation in witchcraft.)" Mine will be a bit different than this, although similar. I will post it later after I complete the Ritual. Look for another post named "Book of Shadows: Intention Ritual" or something similar.
- Hold the candle. As my personal touch to this step, I will be "charging" the candle with my "energy." While holding the candle, you are to think about spirituality, divinity, your Higher Power that you wrote to (God, Goddess, etc.) and invite them into your life. You are then to light the candle and incense if you choose to use some.
- Spend a few moments thinking about witchcraft. Where has it been? Where do you hope to go with it? What does it mean to be a witch? What's the history? What do you want it to do for you? Think about this as the candle burns.
- Read what you wrote aloud. Roll it up like a scroll and tie it with the black thread, binding it together and sealing your intentions.Put the scroll somewhere where you won't lose it! You'll be using it at a later date.
Although the day of the week, moon phase, date, and time of day aren't necessary in doing this Intention Ritual, it can help to get an extra boost. To learn the best day and time (based on the day of the week, moon phase, date, and time of day) to do this Ritual, let me know. I can do the research for you based off of what I know to see when is a good time. I will tell you a few different dates and times and you can ask if a specific date and time would be a good idea, too. We'll work together until you perform the Intention Ritual. For this service I do charge $5 for my time that it takes to research and explain why a date and time is better than another. =] So if you would like an extra bit of energy, you can hire me to help. Like I said, it isn't necessary. You can even do your own bit of research online to get the extra bit of energy and save $5. =P