RavenWings' Book Of Shadows

What Is Wicca? - Why Am I A Witch? - Altars & Sacred Spaces - Magick for Protection - Three-Fold Returns - Blessed Yule!

Before you do magick, you need to have an altar and make a space sacred.

Lots of witches have a permanent altar set up, but I can't do that because Mum and Dad will ask questions. So I keep my Altar stuff in my suitcase, under the bed, carefully wrapped up. But when Mum and Dad are out, or late at night if I really need to reach out to the Divine, I get it all out. Sometimes I go outside to the woods to do stuff, but normally I just do it in my room.

I keep everything wrapped up in my altar cloth, a black silk scarf I got at a charity shop. I buy LOTS at charity shops, they're cheap and when you find the right thing it feels special, like the universe is trying to give it to you? So when I'm assembling my altar, first I get the cloth out, and unwrap the bundle on my bedroom floor.

It's important to have something on your altar for each element, and you also use them for marking out the compass points when you're doing a ritual. For Earth, to the North, I've got this marble pestle and mortar from a charity shop, with salt in it. The salt's useful for warding as well, so it does double-duty. As I get it out, I think about what Earth means to me, that stable and solid connection, something grounding you to the whole world. Then I go to the north wall of the room and then walk clockwise around the whole space, carrying the pestle and mortar and sprinkling a (very little!) bit of the salt. Then in my mind (if it's at night) or out loud (if Mum & Dad aren't in) I'll say:

"I cleanse and consecrate this space with the element of Earth. So mote it be!"

Then I do Air, in the East. Lots of people use incense for Air, and I do that sometimes if Mum and Dad are out or I'm outside or it's a particularly important ritual. But I love feathers, they remind me how I got into this, and so I always collect interesting ones when I find them. I found a huge black feather recently, dunno if it's a raven or a rook but it feels special. So often I'll get out my bundle of feathers, or my current fav. I think about what Air means, that idea of wisdom and change. Then I take it around the space, cleansing and consecrating it to Air.

Then it's time for Fire, to the South. I've got a candle-holder, which I can put different colours of tealights in for doing different types of spells. I'll light a candle and think about Fire, about power and destruction and creation. Then I'll take the candle-holder around the room - being careful not to blow it out! If I'm working outside, I've got a little red lantern.

And finally it's Water, in the West. I used to just use a glass, with water or alcohol from the drinks cabinet in it. But then the other day I found a hag-stone, a stone with a hole through it, at the seaside. I really like that, it reminds me of how water can be powerful. So even through the thing itself is Stone, so quite Earth-y, I think it works really well for Water? It's just a little one, so I put the stone in my glass along with the liquid. Water is about soothing, and calming, and emotion: healing after the Fire. Then I'll take that around the room.

Finally I get out my symbols of the Lord and Lady. I've got a bunch of different classical statues, and also random nik-naks that remind me of different Gods and Goddesses. I keep them on my bookcases, so they're always looking after me, and for each ritual I'll bring down a pair of them, whichever are relevant to the magick I want to do. Mum and Dad just think I have them because I'm doing ClassCiv at school...

"In the name of the Lord and Lady, (then I say these two's particular names), I cleanse and consecrate this space with the element of Spirit. So mote it be!"

Now I've made the space sacred! Sometimes that's all I'll do, then just sit there and meditate a bit, and then at the end thank them all individually and put them away (in the opposite order). Or sometimes I do more, actually cast a circle and do magick, but I'll talk about that another time.

What Is Wicca? - Why Am I A Witch? - Altars & Sacred Spaces - Magick for Protection - Three-Fold Returns - Blessed Yule!