Full Moon in Virgo

The moons progress through the signs has edged us into Virgo just in time for the full moon, a moon which is great for building on of any goals during the previous moons. For the full moon in Leo, I suggested a goal setting spell and it just so happens that Virgo’s association with career development and ensuring good outcomes from existing projects dovetails nicely with my Leonine goal. I’m also going to include a more general quick right for self-purification for those who may be more interested in this aspect and association.

Sun Sign Pisces
Common Names – Snow Moon, Ice Moon or Wild Moon
Element – Earth
Colour – Grey, green, black.
Insense – Bergamot, dill, mint, marjoram.

Spell /Ritual Themes

  • Health
  • Healing
  • Cleansing / Purification
  • Personal development
  • Ensuring a good ‘harvest’ from a project

Personal Purification Ritual

Rituals of purification can be performed at any time bit the full moon in Virgo is a good time to be undertaking them in terms of resonant energy. You can do this ritual in a bath but I always prefer showers as the dirt, both real and spiritual, can be carried away almost immediately.

You Will Need

  • Blue candle
  • A large jug of water, preferably warmish but if you want it bracing go right ahead
  • At least a tablespoon of salt in a bowl (preferably natron (link) but sea and Epsom salt will also do)
  • Bath/shower products – preferably mint based

Prepare for your shower by gathering all your items either in your bathroom or bedroom. Nakedness is optional at this point but you are going to need to dress down for the bath eventually.

Light the candle and set the water and salt to either side of the candle. Using your finger bless and consecrate the salt and water using these or similar words.

Salt/Water, I purify and consecrate you, removing all impurities and inequities from your being so only good mat remain. I dedicate you as a tool of healing and purification, infused with the healing light of the purity.”

Hold salt over the candle and visualise it being infused with a blue healing light. Next add the salt to the water, adding a degree of ceremony if you want to invoke something particularly wish to purify at this time, and visualise the blue light spreading through the water as the salt is mixed in.

Now it’s time for your bath. Ideally, if you have a shower that doesn’t take much to warm up then get in without turning the water on, if not try and stay out of the mainstream for this first section.

Pour the water over your head. Visualise the water flowing over you and slowly turning from blue to black, picking up the negative energy. Try to achieve head to toe coverage.

Now it’s time to get under the water. See the black wash away down the drain, leaving behind a healthy, blueish glow as the negativity is cleansed away. Now wash up with your mind based wash product, the tinglier the better. If you really don’t want to wash in mint then use something you prefer but I really recommend you apply mint to yourself as soon as possible after your shower, be that by drinking a mint tea or anointing your pulse points with mint oil of one kind or another. Metaphysical mint raises vibrations and will help protect against any returning negativity by replacing anything removed by the cleansing process with all those good feels. Mint is also a herb associated with Virgo and its ruling planet Mercury so it is defiantly relevant to a ritual purification performed during the full moon in Virgo.

Seal Magic with Full Moon in Virgo

I’ve been wanting to experiment with a cute little technique I spotted on Tumblr some time ago and now seems to be the perfect time to do it.

Using the wax left over from my full moon in Leo spell I have drawn my step one sigil on a piece of paper, charged it and some appropriate herbs and before making a series of envelope folds to fold it all together. I then sealed it using the leftover goal wax with a little step one was for good measure and a wax stamp.

The sealed envelope will sit in a little charging box until it is joined by steps two and three. I haven’t decided if I will charge and add a step each moon, regardless of the appropriateness of moon sign, if I will wait for an auspicious moon, or I will wait until stage 1 has fully manifested. At this stage, my aim is to reinforce the original spell so time will tell.

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Watchers of the Craft

I would say “it’s amazing when coincidences happen” but given this post is about how there are very few coincidences when you are a Witch I will restrain myself.

I was discussing the nature of being a witch with a colleague at work and whilst I was talking I thought back to my post I’ll Second That – Witchcraft is Not Safe. In it I talk about how, as a Witch, one becomes visible to the worlds of God’s and Spirits in a way that most people are not and how we can protect ourselves against negative experience. Not long after Sarah Anne Lawless was working through some of her more divisive posts, amongst which she included a post entitled They’re Watching You. A lot of what Sarah said in the post rang instantly true for me and I decided to jot some of my own thoughts down on my own blog.


The Watchers

Sarah opens her post with a quote from Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft which reads

“Don’t delude yourself. The minute you set foot upon the path of witchcraft, a call rings out in the unseen world announcing the fact of your arrival.”


She’s right, that sounds as creepy as any horror movie plot, but it reflects the true experience of many who practice witchcraft. It doesn’t really matter is your practice involves belief in deities and spirits, of if you are an atheist, the universe has a way of lining itself up around Witches so that when one domino falls, all its companion pieces fall into place as well.


This is in no small part because of the way we “shine” when stood within the crowd of humanity.

Okay, that does sound a little spechul (sic) if we’re not careful, but I always liken the awakening process that a witch undergoes upon setting themselves within the Circle as being like turning on the high beam in a lighthouse. Until the light is on we are indistinguishable from the rest of and the Gods and Spirits, far out in the distant and dark sea, are unable to identify us just as we are likely unaware of them. The moment we make that conscious step towards the Craft the light goes on. We might only gain a limited view of what is out there as it falls under our light but we are far more visible to them, and those that are intrigued and interested will gravitate towards us.

The moment we become visible we find attention follows and that is when things start to get interesting, and not just within a ritual setting. If something takes and interest then they are likely to remain interested and start to influence your more mundane life, seeking to find out more about you, test you, cause you to grow in ways you may not have expected, or indeed intended. Meetings, conversation, coincidences; suddenly become much more prevalent, and evident, to the Witch.

That’s not to say it’s all easy and the Universe / God’s are creating a smooth path for you. Sometimes those domino’s look like insurmountable barriers, and the gods are not adverse to testing people. It’s only when we push through the pattern that results from other things falling into place to reveal the wider pattern.

Kindness to a Stranger

Greek and Norse mythology both contain examples of the Gods walking amongst mortals in the guise of a stranger in order to test the hospitality and kindness of mortals. The rules and expectations around hospitality were sacred in both cultures and woe betide anyone who broke these codes, forth they may indeed be drawing the wrath of the Gods themselves upon their heads.

A clear example from the Norse tradition can be found in Havamal, in which Odin lays out the expectations of host and guest. Although written about the home and hearth many of the expectations translate into a general expectation of the kindness that is due a stranger.

Fire is needful for someone who’s come in
and who’s chilled up to the knees;
food and clothing are needed for the man
who’s journeyed over the mountains.

The Greeks also held fast to such traditions, with the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and The Odyssey being two clear examples of such.

The purpose of such things may be varied but often these tales can be interpreted as a morality play, reminding the reader of their societal responsibilities and the consequences (both physical and spiritual) should they fail in them. From a modern perspective the that meaning is just as relevant but from the perspective of the Witch there is another takeaway – beware the stranger and be on your best behaviour, you might not know which God you are talking to!

Evaluating our Experience

But how do we fit this into our own experience. Whilst I am hesitant to say that to God’s no longer walk amongst us I do feel that their influence is not that direct. Rather than physically walking amongst us I tend to view as their influence being more of an indirect effect, such as inspiring certain people to cross our paths and perhaps say certain things. A comment made at the right time, in the right place, has just as much influence as angels descending from heaven  if truth be told.

This means that as Witches we need an awareness of our world that perhaps the majority lacks, an insight into meetings which may at first glance appear to be blind chance but we need to be careful. This has the potential to set us into a do-loop of questioning our experiences over and over again, which if done to an impossible degree could lead us down some uncomfortable rabbit holes. Critical thinking, requesting confirmation after the fact and a healthy level of scepticism are definitely required to avoid any descents.

My Experience

I’m sure we’ve all had that experience of running across a stranger as part of our day to day life who did, or said, something that gave us pause. For me it is usually little old ladies in the street who need a helping hand, which I have gladly provided, who have reassured me that I am doing the right thing or warned me that I need to watch for the behaviour of others. Their words may be general, and not explicitly about the magical aspects of my life, but they have resonated on thoughts and feelings very relevant to that moment.

Such things are not limited to person to person contact and it is useful to keep in mind that the Gods do not test us through people alone. I’ve blogged before about my experiences with Red Kites as messengers of Hekate and the God’s also use wider scenarios as a method of testing our resolve or communicating some meaning or lesson. Conversations, art, images and one research topic leading to another are all catalysts which Hekate has sent my way, and it is a phase that I am going through at the moment. Add to that my personal demon requests and things are getting a little interesting at the moment.

That doesn’t even begin to cover the dreams I’ve had, the guided meditations I’ve been yanked out and taken somewhere else to do/learn my own thing, inadvertently invoking the presence of deity because I’ve been writing a little chant in my head and then suddenly *boom* they are there.

These experiences are always surprising, but not at the same time. Yes I suppose I have come to accept that these things can and do happen, and that sometimes I am even going to be aware of them, but I am always in awe of the fact that something greater than I has bothered to take the time to have interest in me.

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Mournful Cries: Of Sorcerers & Spirits

The Boukoleon


The Sorcerer

The professional practice of Goetia primarily arises out of the late archaic age of Greece, gaining momentum around 500 – 400 BCE. The word means “lamenting,” or “wailing,” and describes the actions of the professional (known as the Goes, which is commonly glossed as “sorcerer”) who was employed to deal with restless ghosts. Morton Smith writes of it:

“The common Greek word for ‘magician’ in Jesus’ time was goes (plural goetes). […] Here goetia (what goetes do) is one special technique like others named, a recognized and legitimate function. It seems to have been a sort of Greek shamanism, a form of mourning for the dead in which the goetes became ecstatic and were thought to accompany the dead on their journey to the underworld.”i

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Timing Hekate

In one of the various groups I frequent a member posted a question about when it was best to perform ritual to Hekate. The question was somewhat vague as to the purpose of the ritual, magical or devotional, so my thoughts inevitably wandered to different timing methods one might employ when considering a ritual involving Hekate.

Really the answer to the question depends on what you are attempting to achieve.  Of course, there are particular times in the lunar cycles associated with devotion to Hekate, as well as ancient and modern celebrations to her honour, but there are other timing structures which can be used to perform magic and ritual such as planetary days and hours and as a Goddess of Witchcraft and a Goddess with varying levels of association with other Greek deities their part days where Hekate’s influence may be perceived as being somewhat stronger.

These musings are not exhaustive, and ultimately can only be a guide as the complexities of planetary timings are such that an argument could be made that any day, combined with an appropriately complementing hour, could be used to hang a ritual addressed to Hekate off.


Hekate by OlivosARTstudio

The Luna Cycles

The Dark Moon – Depinon

It is easiest to start with Depinon as a tradition time to honour Hekate because it is something that I have already touched on. The dark moon was perceived as the end of the lunar month and a day/night of expedition in preparation for the new month ahead.  Houses and shrines were cleaned and the miasma of the household was washed away by one method or another. I have previously posted in more detail about Depinon and you can learn more about the history of the practice here and an example of a modern ritual here.

The New Moon – Noumenia

After Depinon comes Noumenia in many devotees’ calendars, in no small part because in this was the case in the Athenian calendar. Noumenia is the first day of the lunar month and like Depinon no social activities or business were performed on this day, and no other ritual activities were scheduled to fall at this time, as it was considered too sacred for such things. Although it is from the Athenians that we know most about the festival there are indications that is was significant across Greece, being referenced both in Hesiod’s Work and Days and Homer’s Odysseus.

Following on from the cleansing of Depinon the purpose of Noumenia was the re-dedication of the household shrines. There were particular rites to honour the goddesses Selene, Hestia and other household deities both on a public and private level. Hekate is included in Noumenia rites as it immediately follows Depinon on the last day of the preceding lunar cycle and her shrine was one of those rededicated to the Goddess on this day.

A private household would make offerings of frankincense and flowers, wine and barley cakes to the freshly re-consecrated shrines. With public business suspended it is likely that the focus was on the home and family members with time set aside for rest and religious observation.

In the Hellenic calendar Depinon and Noumenia were celebrated one after the other however not all modern devotees will replicate this practice, prefer ignore to wait instead for the first single of the crescent moon. Re-consecration and energetic renewal are the focus of modern rituals, with altars decorated with seasonal flora and offerings made to both Hekate and any other relevant deities.

The Full Moon

Whilst there are few ancient sources to draw an association between Hekate and the full moon directly her association with this phase of this moon is a strong one. Her links to other luna deities such as Selene and Artemis and her various light bringing and saviour roles within the Chaldean Oracles are the aspect that many modern devotees draw upon when celebrating their devotion to Her.

I like to drawn upon Hekate’s connection with the Thessalian Witches, and their ritual known as Drawing Down the Moon. I am sure many readers are familiar with the term in is Wicca concept of drawing the presence of the Goddess into a Priestess and / or its solitary adaptations. The Witches of Thessaly were practitioners of a form of necromantic Craft and they were revered and feared across the ancient world. Their association with Hekate, a Goddess of Witchcraft and Magic, is therefore a given.

“If I command the moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, night will linger over my head; and again, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if I wish to fly through the air, I am free from my weight.”

Hekate is associated with the full moon in other ways as well, in no small part through her triumvirate with Artemis and Selene. The formation of this triad begins with the association of Hekate and Artemis in early classical literature. Aristophanes and Aeschylus, both writing in the 4th Century BCE. Both men refer to the two goddesses in the same breath, often speaking of the two goddesses as being equal. Their shared iconography of being torch bearing goddesses of the hunt, accompanied by hunting dogs and garbed in Thracian hunting clothes are just some of the reasons for their association. As time progressed this association expanded to include the true lunar goddess, Selene, with whom both shared a genealogy. Once formed the triumvirate of Hekate, Artemis and Selene began to appear in the work of late classical writers such as Seneca and Nonnus.

“[The witch Medea summons the power of Hekate:] `I see Trivia’s [Hekate-Selene-Artemis] swift gliding car, not as when, radiant, with full face [i.e. the moon], she drives the livelong night, but as when, ghastly, with mournful aspect, harried by Thessalian threats, she skirts with nearer rein the edge of heaven. So, do thou wanly shed form thy torch a gloomy light through air; terrify the peoples with new dread, and let precious Corinthian bronzes resound, Dictynna [Artemis-Selene], to thy aid. To thee on the altar’s bloody turf we perform thy solemn rites.” – Seneca, Medea 787

It is in the PGM that we see this union put in to practice. There are four separate instances of where Hekate, Artemis and Selene are hailed as one or in conjunction with each other. Of these three are hymns to the moon, with specific reference to the full and waning moon.

“To you, wherefore they call you Hekate, Many-named, Mene, cleaving air just like Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone, Shooter of deer, night shining, triple-sounding, Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene” Prayer to Selene for any spell – PGM IV.2785-2890

Through her role as the Cosmic World Soul Hekate also finds connection with the full moon. In many modern observations it is as the Soteria of the Chaldean Oracle’s that she is most frequently called up in a full moon setting. Although I am unaware as to whether or not she is mentioned in the Oracles in relation to the moon the World Soul of the Neo-Platonist, whom is also identified as being personified by Hekate, is. The Goddess could translate spirits from one world to another, according to the Neoplatonists at least, and resided in the intermediary realm of the Moon from where she maintained control over mediating spirits known by the Greek terms Daimon (Latin Daemon meaning spirit) and Angelos (meaning messenger).

It is through the control of and communication with these divine, or semi-divine, spirits that the Theurgist is able to ascend and communicate across the realms of existence. By calling upon Hekate the Theurgist is able to exert a level of control over the spirits as, according to Neo-Platonists and the Chaldean Oracles, She rules over them. By extension Hekate has become associated with this realm of the Moon and the celestial object itself.

The form in which modern rites take does vary from group to group and person to person. Devotees will incorporate common ritual actions such as the making of offerings, such as meat, grains and other foods associated with Hekate, along with the burning of incense and offering of praise. Many devotees will commit to certain activities or actions, such as donating time or money to charity, or will undertake some form of creative act in Her honour.

Of particular note is the full moon that takes place during the month of May. The rite known as The Rites of Her Sacred Fires is often cited as an important modern ritual, noting the inception of the book Rites of Her Sacred Fires (from which the ritual takes its name) and the community that arose from it. Although the May full moon has its own, public full moon ritual the Covenant has a standard private ritual for the rest of the year.

The Waxing / Waning Moon

Although the waxing and waning moon are not traditionally or particularly associated with Hekate as a time of devotion they have their magical uses. During the waxing moon it is traditional to perform spells on increase and drawing, be that love, wealth or abundance spells whilst in the other hand the dark moon is associated with banishing and reduction. Here Hekate can still have a role in the guise presented by Hesiod’s Hymn to Hekate in that she is credited as having the ability to bring increase and (failure) in equal measure according to her own will. Combining the appropriate lunar aspect with an appropriate planetary day and hour increase the efficacy of a magical operation. Combining such timings with an invocation to Hekate using the most relevant or appropriate epithet can equally help your cause.


There are many ways to rime ritual, and one of the most straightforward ways is through planetary associations of the day and hour. Each of the seven classical heavenly bodies is associated with a day of the week and within each day the seven planets represent approximately one hour in a sequence predicted by the presiding planet of the day.

From there is can become as simple or as complicated as one may wish to make it. If you are interested in complex planetary timings then I heartily recommend you sign up for Gordon White Rune Soup membership courses and complete his sigils course. For my part today I am going to keep things relatively simple and share with you the three days I particularly associated with Hekate, dictated by her association with the various deities and influences represented by that day.

Monday – Luna / Selene

Monday as a magical day is associated with lunar deities a such as Selene and Artemis / Diana and Persephone, all goddesses which have a strong association with Hekate which I have touched upon above so I am not going to bore you with a repetition.

The themes associated with the day are of the inner realm, of intuition, second sight and divination and as a chthonic goddess associated with various Mystery traditions and the revealing of hidden knowledge Hekate is more than relevant. Workings to receive messages from spiritual realms, of divination and to explore Her mysteries would be relevant on this day.


Wednesday – Mercury / Hermes

Wednesday is associated with the messenger planet of Mercury, his Greek counterpart being Hermes. Hermes is a chthonic god in his own right, freely travelling between high airy Olympus and deep dark Hades at will in his role of messenger of the Gods. He is often patterned with Hekate, notably in the Rape of Persephone where both deities pass between realms to escorts the Vernal Goddess and Queen of the Underworld too and from her seats of power. Hekate and Hermes are also associated together within the Hesiodic Hymn to Hekate, where both are credited the ability to bring increase or lack to the herds of men according to their will.

The themes of the day are those of commerce, wealth and abundance as well as well communication in all its forms. Workings to promote abundance of material belongings as well as to promote communication between real world bodies, particularly those in positions of power or in control of a financial decisions or situation would be appropriate this day and Hekate has her place in such matters. Divination is also performed to great effect on a Wednesday so invoking Hekate in the role of a divine messenger would also be appropriate.

Saturday – Saturn / Cronus

Saturday is associated with the mysterious planet of Saturn, whose Greek counterpart is Chronos. The rules of the Titans and father to Zeus and the other Olympians Cronus is associated with the passing of time, a destructive and consuming force which is reflected in the nativity of the Olympians. Hekate does not have any firm connection with him in terms of mythology beyond their shared blood as Titans and through his son Zeus and a lot of the connections I draw between Hekate and this day of the week are based on the themes and practices associated with it.

The themes of the day relate to endings and beginnings, becoming free of things which do not serve us to allow new growth. Boundaries, banishment and other forms of spirit work are all things associated with Hekate and she is a Goddess who can be worked with the shadow side of life, the self and magical workings. This is also a time when work for overcoming obstacles are best performed and invoking Hekate at such times as a guide of keeper of keys is very appropriate.

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The Magician

The Magician

Le Bateleur, The Trickster, The Teacher

Upright – Power, Skill, Control, Concentration, the ability to turn knowledge and resources into action.

Reverse – Manipulation, poor planning, latent abilities being misused / not used effectively.

The Magician of Rider-Waite-Smith

The Magician stands before the table, the tools of his trade laid out before him; the Sword, the Pentacle, the Cup and the Stave. Crowned with the symbol of infinite possibility and power he raises a wand in his dominant right hand and gestures to the earth with his left hand. He stands at the centre of creation, uniting heaven and earth, and represents the divine potential that lies within all of us. He is a man of ability and power, able to transform all the resources available to him into the desired reality.

The Magician has another side, however. He is the Trickster, filled with guile. He has so much skill that he can “fake it to make it”. He doesn’t always plan ahead, and he doesn’t mind if his success comes at the expense of others because the ends justify the means.

Key Symbols

The Suits

The Magician stands before a table on which three of the four minor arcana suites rest. Before him are the cup, sword, staff and pentacle. He is the master of these powers and can use each of them with equal ability to achieve his goal.

The Wand

Whereas the Fool carried his pack on a staff the Magician holds in his hand a wand. This is a symbol of the power and authority with which the Magician moulds the energies of the card into something recognisable as a goal.

The Infinity Symbol

The looping figure of eight that represents the never-ending flow of energy and divine power is an ancient one the Infinity Symbol not only represents the divine power and potential inherent in all men it further emphasises the connection of the heavenly and an early realms in this case with the Magician in the centre creating a bridge between the two.

The Magician of the Arcana

In the Arcana deck, The Magician is represented by the violet-eyed fox. This animal symbolises both sides of the card, the Magician and the Trickster, and reminds us that guides to the realms of mystery and magic can be both teach us and beguile us. Around him are the four suites

Only the four suites are retained from the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck, all hints of the cards airy associations of the colour yellow and the divine element of the Infinity Symbol are both absent. That being said, the linking of above and below is hinted at in the position of the hands whilst the mystic blue fire is a reminder of the power and guile which lies behind the meaning of the card.

The Magician is one of six cards within the deck to be directly related to the main characters within the story. In this case, the Magician is associated with Asra, a magic user and apparent teacher and guide to the Apprentice. Asra is the person who guides the Apprentice through their recovery from illness and amnesia and is often on hand to offer mystical advice regardless of story route. The Magician is also made manifest within the game within a magical and illusionary realm and the interactions highlight the cards references to the Trickster as well as the ability to offer guidance and advice.

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Full Moon in Leo

For 2019 the moon kicks us into high gear with the first full moon occurring in the star sign of Leo. This gives us the perfect opportunity to think and plan big and back up those plans with the confidence-boosting energy of Leo the Lion. Not sure that you have will power to achieve your goals? Leo is a good sign to work with to help build your self-confidence and self-belief.

Sun Sign – Aquarius

Dates – Jan. 21 – Fb. 19

Common Names – Wolf Moon, Quiet Moon or Chaste Moon.

Element – Fire

Colour – Gold, deep yellow, bright orange

Incense – Frankincense, lemon balm, chamomile, cinnamon, orange

Spell /Ritual Themes

  • Personal goals
  • Personal development
  • taking risks
  • self-confidence
  • self-expression
  • manifesting / taking advantage of opportunities

Spell to Achieve a Goal

This spell can either be performed over the three days of the visible full moon or as part of a single ritual accord to your situation. Just allow sufficient time and safe space to allow the candles to burn down.

  • One orange candle / tea light
  • Three white candle / tea lights
  • Incense associated with Leo
  • Something to carve candles (pin)
  • Pen and paper.


Before start your ritual take a moment to write down your goal and three steps you need to take or three things that need to occur in order to achieve it. You then either need go identify a rune to represent these concepts, or create reduction sigil if you prefer. Now turn your goal and your three actions/steps into an affirmation for the spell itself..

Gather your items and set them out before you and create a ritual space if required. If you wish to invoke patron deity then so; Sol Invictus and Nike/Victory would also be appropriate to your purpose. If invoking deity include an offering as part of your ritual.

With your pin or other tool carve the goal symbol into the orange candle and the three action sigils one in to each of the white tealights. Set the goal candle in the centre of your space and the action candles before it.


© Vicky Newton

Step One

After setting up your working and sacred space light the goal candle and the first action candle stating your goal and step one affirmations. Visualise taking that first step, or what it would be like for that first need to be realised. There should be an energy to the visualisation which grows within you.  Meditate on this for about 5 mins. When the meditation ends see the energy raised by your joy and anticipation flow into the orange candle. This will be stored within the candle until the next step.

Step Two

Light the second step candle with the goal and appropriate step affirmation. Again, visualise the thing that needs to occur made manifest and how this will change your life for the achievement of your goal for about 5 mins and then transfer the energy and emotion into the goal candle which you should visualise as glowing.

Step Three

Light the third step candle saying the goal and appropriate step affirmation. Now, as well as visualisation the final step include the final goal complete and how this will impact your life. Hold the visualisation for 5 mins, longer if possible, before transferring the joy and energy into the goal candle a final time. Visualise the goal candle shining with energy and intent

Now repeat your goal affirmation with purpose and conviction, invoking the aid of deity if you have chosen to do so. Now would also

be the time to make offerings to them. Gaze into the flame of the goal candle and see it being fed by your stored energy and intent. As it burns your purpose is being made manifest. It doesn’t hurt to repeat the visualisation of your goal whilst your candle burns down.

Either stay and with everything burn down or deconstruct your working space, thanking any entity that has been asked to be present and provide aid, and leave all three candles to burn down if it is safe to do so. Dispose of the candle remains in a responsible manner.

Dong forget to keep working toward your goal in the real world, making space for the magic to take effect or taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

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The Role of Intent in Witchcraft

When people start asking for reasons that their spell hasn’t worked as intended it is important to get them to breakdown their magical operation to help in the diagnostic process. More often than not (assuming an explanation is forthcoming at least) the seeker relays a process which kind of goes;

“I lit a candle with the intent that x would occur”

That’s it. That is all they have really done. If you’re really lucky that will say they invoked a deity but usually find it is an unnamed concept i.e The Goddess.

“I lit it with intent…”

This kind of thing sets me howling to the wind and cursing whichever idiot decided publishing The Secret (TM) was a good idea. Put it out there and if you’re worthy will happen.

That isn’t Witchcraft, not even slightly.

Don’t get me wrong, intent is an important element of the Craft. Intent provides purpose, a sense of outcome and direction, but in of itself, it does not constitute a magical act.

In the Mundane

Let’s break it down with an example from the mundane world. You might “intend” to lose weight or get in shape yet to do so requires a degree of real-world activities such as dieting or going to the gym. You can’t just go to the gym with the intention that you are going to get fit but all you do is sit in the cafe drink a smoothie. That isn’t going to achieve the desired results. Such things take time and energy. In this mundane activity, it is the energy you expand on the treadmill or torture device of your choice and magical operations are not as different as you may think because intent should propel you into action which in turn will bring about results


Energy and Intent

Our intent must be paired up with energy for a magical operation to be a success. We want to effect a change in the world around us so we need to provide some energy as part of our work to get things started.

Where that energy comes from is up to you. You can raise it through ecstatic methods such as movement and song or draw it from the up from the earth itself. Pre-prepared crystals and amulets can also be used to empower spells if properly empowered. You can even request energy and support from a patron deity or one suitable to your purpose, an option I will go into a little more detail about in a moment.

Just as magical operations only containing intent will not work those that lack clear intent but have an abundance of energy are also likely to go awry. The intent we bring gives the energy directionality otherwise the energy we bring is either goalless and will dissipate. This is why it is also important to ensure that intent is effective directing energy and it is always best to go keep spells simple, with single goals. Energy sent out with a complex or not clearly stated intent will become confused leading to results which are indirect, diffused or unintended. More complex situations can be broken into individual workings but a single spell with a series of “and then…” requests tacked on will lead to a defused result.

Prayer and Intent

People often equate spell-casting with a prayer because the widest understanding of prayer is as a form of a petition for something on behalf of yourself. In the hierarchy of prayer, this is sometime referred to as the lowest form that prayer because it is focuses on the self. Higher levels of prayer include intercession on behalf of others and the highest being adoration or worship if the divine, both of which are possible in the context of pagan practice.

Prayer in the form of petition and intercession are, at their core, passive acts of surrender rather than an active forms of magic. The act of prayer places the manifestation of the desired outcome into the hands of the divine and there are always issues associated with this.


Prayer can work – just remember to energise the intent

Firstly it is important to be clear as to who you are beseeching for aid. Clearly calling deity by name and title is necessary to ensure that the petition or intersession is heard by the intended deity.  Requests to broad concepts such as the “god” or “goddess” can either be ignored by all or are open to any entity that may see fit to respond. That could be anything from a deity with no association with the subject at hand, a trickster deity or some other form of entity neither divine or mortal in origin (depending on the relationships you may have already purposely, or accidentally, developed).

The fact that by offering an issue to the divine to resolve is a passive act of surrender leads to the second issue with prayer; comprehension. You are not dealing with human minds, with the mortal ability to judge what lies between the lines of our words and know what is best for the mortal condition; mind, body and soul. Equally, the will look at the whole of the request and if they feel they wish to fulfil it in a particular way they will do so without much regard for what you may have actually had in mind. Which is why it is important to…

… Be specific

For example, you may petition Hermes “bring me a new car”, intending that it be a full-sized car to get you to work and back but you fail to actually state that important fact. Don’t be surprised in the next day you don’t find a find a matchbox car in the street. You asked for a car so you got one. Hermes’ job is done, remember to say thank you for his good works. It might not have been as you intended but that isn’t because Hermes doesn’t like you, you just weren’t specific enough but decided it was a good idea to surrender the matter up to him.

This goes for requests for non-corporal effects and healing. If you are requesting that healing be effected or an entity drawn to or driven from your presence be sure to be specific about what you want to happen. For example, if you request healing of a physical pain ensure that you specify that the pain be removed from the household as well as the person afflicted otherwise you are likely to bounce the affection from one person to another.

As well as being specific it is also a good idea for Pagans to present such requests as a quid pro quo arrangement by either making offerings of incense, food, drink etc at the time of ritual, upon delivery of results or at an agreed time regardless of the outcome. These things get the attention of the ancient Gods and are practices that they are familiar with and are often willing to respond to. That being said there is no substitute for building an active relationship with a deity and directing offerings to them on a regular basis in addition to as a response to particular requests.

I took my main points and posted them to Tumblr and they have been getting a good response. Unfortunately, I know know how to make my posts “pretty” when using Tumblr so I’ve them into an info-graphic to help capture my individual points.

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