A Small Ritual for Connecting with the Gods

So it’s been awhile since the last post, and the book review for Apocalyptic Witchcraft still isn’t ready to go. As such, I’ve decided to post a small ritual write up in the meantime, that some may find useful or insightful. For those of you who are sorely tempted, I can say its definetly worth picking up, so don’t wait around and grab it whilst you can. On to the topic at hand however.

Recently, it was the time of of Lammas/Lughnasadh, an important Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year adopted by several neopagan groups.  For the non-witches, it is the  first of the Autumnal Sabbats which revolve around the Harvest. As someone who mostly observes the cross quarter days rather than the equinoxes, being away from home, and being the poor individual that I am, meant that I had to celebrate it in a relatively low key way using a ritual I’ve come to incorporate into my regular practice after utilising it on several occasions.

For me the Sabbats, regardless of their seasonal component, the most important part for them to me, is communing with the Gods. This small ritual is designed to allow that, and is one that can be varied to what works for the practioner. It is a ritual that facilitates a growing connection with the God or Spirit in question, and can also be used as a tool for both communication and the giving of offering.  It can be relatively extravegant, or startlingly simple. I will include the more complicated and simple variants together.  Note that, the optional parts, although optional, will greatly assist in obtaining concrete results.  It is best done on a night, so the method will assume this is the case.

It is to be noted the following is  what works for me, from personal experience.Although it contains elements from Path of Flames teaching, it also incorporates elements from other sources, and of my own creation. As such, it contains my own experiences and inferences, which will contain some non-objective observations although I’ve tried to keep them at a minimum. Feel free to experiment and modify it to something which gives you the most consistent results, but please do so with caution and within reason.

NOTE: The following does use blood. Its not massively vital, but I highly recommend it as it will help empower the work and act as a potent offering.

Materials

You will need only the basics for this ritual, but the more you add to it, the more you will get out of it. The following are the basics.

– Paper or equivalent for drawing on. Should be burnable.

– Ink suitable for use on the Paper/Parchment.

– Drawing implement or small paintbrush (for drawing with the ink).

– Pen/Pencil (if above two not used, otherwise not needed).

– Glass of Water (if using blood).

– Salt (if using blood).

– Relatively Sharp Knife (if using blood). This does not have to be dedicated in anyway to this purpose, as long as its cleaned. If you are of Wiccan background or otherwise use an Athame or anything of the sort , it is probably not good to use it for multiple practical and occult reasons to draw blood. Use a seperate blade instead.

– Three candles (optional, again as an offering and practically so if done in a dark, quiet room you can see without bright distracting artificial light)

– Relevent incense blend (optional) . Can substitute with tobacco or similar.

– Relevent libation (optional).

Preparation

Optional prestep: If you wish, you can consecrate the inks / use magickal inks of your own formula and also consecrate / prepare the parchment if you so choose. I mostly just use a consecrated standard ink, although I wish to make my own in the future that should be much more potent. I usually use paper that has been coated with coffee as a form of  ‘pre’ libation . If you can’t do these steps, again it should be ok, just the link will be weaker.

Not-so-optional pre-step: Wash the knife, preferably with something antibiotic. If you are really paranoid, or your immune system is weak and you are prone to infections, boil it in a pan for five minutes before draining and retrieving the knife. Dry with paper towels.

+ Prepare the area in which you work to be a space in which you feel comfortable, and relaxed. Set all the tools out somewhere easily reachable, in front of the three candles. If you have any other suitable images or icons / fetishes of the spirit/god/goddess in question, these may also be laid out in a manner you deem fit.

+ Draw the sigil of the God / Spirit you wish to contact upon the paper, using the brush/pen/pencil you are using. Once done, light the candles in the name of the God/Spirit you wish to contact and turn off any sources of artificial light.

+ Add the salt to the water, and stir. Place the knife into the water. This will have the affect of helping to purify the blade of any residual spiritual energies within it. This can also be dedicated if you wish, but it is really not essential in my experience and just adds additional complexity.

Optional Step: Clearing the mind utilising meditation upon the breath

Before you begin, you may wish to attempt to clear the mind of the daily background noise and thoughts which could cause distraction going into the working. This doesn’t have to be a prolonged or powerful meditative stage / phase, and is not a strictly necessary component. However I found it can help.

To perform it, in its basic fashion, is simple.  Sit in a comfortable manner, in a position where you can maintain your balance without issue.  You don’t need to unnecessarily force yourself into a straight uncomfortable position, but you should avoid leaning forward, back, left or right. Close your eyes, and visualise the thoughts slowly dissipating. There are numerous visualisations you can do to achieve this – one is to concentrate on the darkness, and imagine the thoughts melting into it and disappearing. Another, is to see a white light filling up your vision and pushing them from your mind. Experiment with what works for youself, as this is highly individual.

Once you have cleared your head of the majority of thoughts and feel relaxed, bring your attention away from this visualisation and to the sensation of your breathing. Don’t try and force the breath in an unnatural manner, but instead just concentrate on the feeling. Focus on a spot in the body where the breathing is easy to notice and fixate on the sensation.

Note its natural for the mind to wander. If it wanders off the sensation of the breath simply bring it back. Let your sensations such as thoughts, emotions and physical feelings all flow over you in the background of concentrating on the breath. When ready, you can move onto the next phase with a clearer mind.

Step One: Preparation for Visualisation and Charging the Sigil

+ Make your intent known. This is simply using your voice to call to the spirit. This should first address it by name, followed by giving praise to it, and then asking for its assistance in the visualisation/opening the veils between you and its nature.  It is important it is actually spoken however, and not just thought.

+ Optional:  If you have incense, burn it, and pass the paper over and through it several times (a number associated with the spirit in question in some manner can assist).

+ Optional: If you have a libation, this should be added to the sigil. It can be added in several ways. One, several drops can be spattered onto the sigil, again respecting a number associated with said spirit or god/goddess, if it is applicable.  Second, an equidistant cross can be drawn across the it, in a top to bottom, right to left manner. This further represents charging and unlocking the non mundane within the Sigil. 

+ Optional: If you are using blood, it can now be drawn. It is drawn by cutting open or pinpricking the Index, Middle, or Ring finger of the non dominant hand (the left is prefered). THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A DEEP CUT.  Several drops of blood is all that is required, take great care in this. The blood is smeared onto the sigil. As with the libation, depending on the amount, this can be set amount of drops/smears, or done in a equidistant cross fashion.

logo2

Primary Sigil of Hecate, given to her practioners for those who walk the Path of Flames

Step Two: Visualisation

Sit comfortably in a similar position as the one you held for the breathing meditation.  Focus your attention entirely upon the sigil, and the marks of the libations and blood if you have used them.  Watch as the lines of the sigil become charged by not only the material elements, but also your concious will. Visualise the sigil glowing and flashing with light.

This light will often appear in a colour unique to the spirit and God/Goddess you are working with, and will not necessarily remain fixed. This can be due to the entity itself, or you mind settling in to the process before the primary type is fixated upom. For example. Hecates energy usually manifests as an emerald colour, but others can arise, such as a golden white light or a combination of both.  Keep gazing at the sigil until the shape seems burned into your eyes and mind.

Once you have reached this stage, close your eyes and fix your mind onto the shape. Watch as the colours of the lines of the sigil flow like it is alive in front of your eyes.  Meditate upon the sigil in a similar way to the breathing exercise, but instead with the sigil as a point of focus. Let the sigil change, take on new forms, and bring up images and memories rather than attempt to fight the process.

It is this process through which the gates and veils between yourself and the spirit in question will to some extent be opened. This in turn will allow messages to filter through to you and vice versa. It is both an active, and passive process, and one that has to be understood through practice. It is possible to experience dreamlike, lucid and visionary experiences from this alone.

If you feel yourself becoming less alert, bring your mind back to the sigillic shape. In case you lose the clear shape of the sigil, slowly open your eyes, reconcentrate on the sigil, and repeat the process.

Continue this cyclical process until it is time to stop. That will be an individual signal or feeling to the practioner. This could be a sign to stop entirely, or an invitation to continue, depending on the images/messages recieved. Again, this is down to your own experience.

BrightFullMoon

Step Three: Invocation

This next step is Optional, due to the inherent risks which can be associated with Invocation. Unlike evocation, with invocation the practioner becomes a medium for the spirit/god/goddess. This force will enter your body, and mind from within, and become one with you. For numerous reasons, this should be only attempted with spirits/gods/goddesses you have already had contact with and ascertained are suitable for working with in this manner. I have found this step will greatly enhance anything felt / encountered in the first section, and serves to turn the small dedicatory contact ritual into something quite powerful.  I present it here as a step to be done after the previous one, but it can actually be done at any point after the initial sigil work, and a connection made, even as its own seperate ritual. However, using it together with step two immediately after or on the following night has led to create good results for me.

I personally would only currently conduct this with the known spiritual teachers of the Path of Flames, and only generally after contact has been made through a successful evocation. I primarily show it here for those people who may have contacted a spirit/god/goddess they are comfortable with, and with to attempt it. I would only recommend it be done with Hecate to start with, but that is my own biases showing through.

The methodolgy listed is not entirely complete or comprehensive, but is still effective. To begin with, ensure a relaxed position. When ready, begin by stating outloud a prayer of Invocation. Usually this begins by calling to the spirit/god/goddess, giving it respect / praise, and then inviting it into ones body to energise and communicate with you. This call is not listed, as it will be specific to each individual spirit you wish to Invoke. This can be an individual one written, which is what I would recommend, unless you are following a particular current or tradition. In this case, it would be acceptable and appropriate to use that traditions formula of calling. Do not use a formula of calling of a tradition you do not belong to – usually these having specific uses, and can cause issues if you do use them.

Once the invocation has been made, close your eyes and visualise the spirit/god/goddess or its primary sigil/specific sigil. At this point, begin vibrating the name of the spirit/god/goddess you are invoking. To vibrate a word is something that has to be practiced and ‘felt’ to be effective. The basic method is to take a deep, prolonged breath, and then on exhalation, perform a prolonged chant of each syllable. Each syllable should have upwards of  several seconds devoted to stressig it. This is repeated alongside the visualisation. Ideally, for me, I find producing the chant from the abdomen and lower throat seems more effective, as I concentrate on building up each inhale to forcibly build the vibration on the exhale. The ideal, most resonant tone will be unique to the individual practitioner, and can also be different depending on the spirit/god/goddess you are working with. Slowly you should be able to feel the spirits presence growing.

The following effects can vary dramatically, and it must be remembered that we are not working within a circle to ensure reliable ensorcell/mediate but are instead working in direct contact. The possession can therefore range from mild to total. The beginning physical effects, for me when working with Hecate, is I feel a definite presence move from the top of the head along the spine, resulting in a pleasant, energising, and tingling sensation of the spinal nerves. This can get to the level of causing the spine to contract powerfully. This is accompanied with visions of Hecate, often to the point of near waking dreams. Communication can then be commenced, in multiple fashion, based on the intensity of the possession. Often this takes place within the vision, and is usually conducted in an externally or internally spoken manner. This is difficult to relate, and will only be really understood upon attemping it. At this point, if an additional offering is wanted to be made, or communion with the spirit/god/goddess driven to higher levels, sexual magickal union with the spirit can be attempted.

Eventually, after a period of time, the possessing force should of its own violition leave your body. If you wish to end the possesion early, the possessing force can be thanked for its presence and asked to leave. Once it has departed, the actual associated physical effects can take several hours to dissipate. In my case, the sensation of the spine being energised can be highly distracting, due to being on the border of both pleasurable and uncomfortable.  When this physical effect occurs in myself, it can take up to 6 hours to disperse and to return to pre invocation levels.

hecatedoll

Final Stage: Closing the Work

There is no need to officially close the work, as no circle or other working was performed that really needs to be closed, considering that the spirit/god/goddess in possession of your body will most likely have ‘left’ at the end of the preceeding phase. In addition, many of the spirits/gods/goddesses are invoked specifically to allow parts of themselves to remain within ourselves, increasing our connection to them and strengthening our subtle bodies.

This however, is the reason I warned against invoking potentially harmful spirits, as I have yet to come across any surefire way to remove this influence in my practices that would work for others. The best I could suggest were such a case was to arise, would  be to do a full invocation of Hecate asking for its removal combined with some other folk magickal techniques.

It is important to ground yourself afterwards, in order to bring your mind back to Earth and ensure that everything settles. I find this is best performed by eating and / or drinking something, which has the additional benefit of helping top up physical energy reserves which can be depleted during any work with the spirits/gods/goddesses which you could contact.

The candles themselves are offerings, so should be left to burn down entirely, and should not be extinguished early and/or removed.

The final step is to dispose of the sigil. This should be done with care and respect, as it is technically still activated and will possess an actual power until it is uncreated, despite weakening over time if not repeatedly strengthend. This can cause it to have continuing effects, until the work is fully complete.

To this end, the sigil is offered to the spirit, god, or goddess you are working with by name, whereupon it is set alight. This is ideally done sometime before the following sunrise.  I personally do this in front of a Holly Bush, and use the ashes to help fertilise the tree.

burning-paper

Conclusion

I hope this is a good introduction to some of the methodology I use within work. It’s what i’ve tried, and adapted, that seems to work for me, and with luck maybe someone else will be able to take something away from it and add it to their own practice.

If you have any questions, don’t hesistate to comment and I’ll try and answer to the best of my ability.

-S-

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