I’ll never forget a full moon ritual that I led a few years ago. It was not a shining moment as a Wiccan leader, not in the least. To start off, I almost poked two coven members in the eye with my smudging feather before the ceremony began. I then proceeded to call the corners starting in the West, something I’d never done, not even in my early days. During the actual ritual, I tripped a few times and then my notes caught fire toward the end!Some purists would gasp at the imperfection of this full moon ritual. However, I’ve had several coven members tell me it was one of their favorite ones. We all had a good laugh and felt the celebration of the event, rather than the rigid formality that so many people focus on.
This somewhat embarrassing event reminds me of the idea that magick is made by the spirit of our workings, rather than the external events and tools. They do help a lot’they add energy to our workings and attract what we want with sympathetic magick. However, if our heart and soul is not in the ritual or spellwork, we aren’t going to get the results that we want.
When you work with a coven, you have at least 12 other members to rely on for energy (sometimes more if your coven is informal and grows past the standard 13 members). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bring your energy to the altar. But it does mean that if you are having an off day and your heart and soul just aren’t into it, then you can add what you can and rely on the rest of the members to supply enough energy for the working.
However, if you are a solitary witch, it is totally up to you to provide the energy for your magick. This is why a lot of solitaries are very focused on the external tools and getting correspondences right. While there is nothing wrong with knowing which herbs do what and so forth, don’t get so caught up in the process that you forget about the most important magickal ingredient, you!
Magick requires confidence. Educate yourself enough so you feel confident as you step into the circle to perform your ritual. Stack the deck in your favor by gathering your necessary supplies and understanding the reason for the ritual. Planning your rituals can go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable in your magickal skin.
Make time for ritual at an appropriate moon phase and appropriate day. In the previous days to your working, think about what you want to accomplish and visualize it coming to you after you perform the spell. Prepare your body and your mind immediately before your working by taking a ritual bath. This step is important magickally, physically and psychologically to preparing yourself for the coming work.
Personal timing is just as important as planetary timing. If you don’t feel up to the magick, don’t perform the spell. Wait until another time when you are feeling more energetically balanced and when you can actually give something to the working. If you are sleepy, upset or indifferent in your ritual, you won’t have enough power to create the magick you wish to.
Of course, you can prepare yourself in all of these ways and still have the kind of ritual that I told you about, where everything goes wrong. But that’s fine. We all had fun and we all honored the Goddess. My coven and I understood that since we came to the altar prepared on the inside, it didn’t matter that the external things went a bit haywire. Just like your mother always told you, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”