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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

               STANDING STONES
               BOOK OF SHADOWS
                                     by Scott Cunningham
           excerpted from:
           WICCA  A Guide For The Solitary Practioner
           PP. 111 - 187
           1989, Llewellyn Publications
           ISBN 0-87542-118-0
                                   WORDS TO THE WISE ....
                     O daughters andsons of theEarth, adore theGoddess and Godand
           be blessed with the fullness of life.
                     Know thatThey havebrought youto thesewritings, forherein lie
           our ways of the Craft, to serve and fulfill the keepers of wisdom, the
           tenders of the sacred flame of knowledge.  Run the rites with love and
           joy, and the Goddess  and God will bless  you with all that  you need.
           But those who practice dark magicks shall know Their greatest wrath.
                     Remember thatyou are ofthe Craft. No moredo you trodthe ways
           of doubt.   You walk the  path of light, ever climbing  from shadow to
           shadow to  the  highest realm  of  existence.   But  though we're  the
           bearers of  truths, others do not  wish to share our  knowledge, so we
           run our rites beneath moon filled  skies enwrapped in shadows.  But we
           are happy.
                     Live fully, forthat is the purpose of life. Refrain not from
           earthly existence.   From it  we grow to  learn and understand,  until
           such time that we are reborn to learn more, repeating this cycle 'till
           we have spiralled  up the path of perfection and  can finally call the
           Goddess and God our kin.
                     Walk the fields andforests; be refreshedby the cool windsand
           the touch of a  nodding flower.  The Moon and Sun  sing in the ancient
           wild places:   The deserted  seashore, the stark  desert, the  roaring
           waterfall.   We are  of the Earth  and should  revere Her,  so do  Her
                     Celebratethe riteson theappropriate daysand seasons,and call
           upon the Goddess and God when the time is meet, but use the Power only
           when necessary, never  for frivolous ends.  Know that  using the Power
           for harm is a Perversion of Life itself.
                     But for those who love and magnify love, the richness oflife
           shall be your reward.  Nature will celebrate.
                So love the Goddess and God, and harm none!
                                    THE NATURE OF OUR WAY
                     * As  often as possible, hold  the rites in  forests, by the
           seashore, on deserted mountaintops or near tranquil lakes.  If this is
           impossible, a garden  or some chamber shall suffice, if  it is readied
           with fumes of flowers.
                     *Seek outwisdom inbooks, rare manuscriptsand crypticpoems if
           you will, but seek it out also in simple stones and fragile herbs  and
           in the cries of wild birds.  Listen to the whisperings of the wind and
           the  roar of water if you  would discover magick, for  it is here that
           the old secrets are preserved.
                     * Books contain words;trees contain energies andwisdom books
           ne'er dreamt of.
                     *  Ever remember that the  Old Ways are constantly revealing
           themselves.  Therefore  be as the  river willow that  bends and  sways
           with  the wind.    That which  remains  changeless shall  outlive  its
           spirit, but that which evolves and grows will shine for centuries.
                     * Therecan be no monopolyon wisdom.  Thereforeshare what you
           will of our ways with  others who seek them, but hide mystic lore from
           the  eyes of those  who would destroy,  for to do  otherwise increases
           their destruction.
                     * Mock not the rituals or spells of another, for who can say
           yours are greater in power or wisdom?
                     *Ensure that your actions are honorable, for all that you do
           shall return to you three-fold, good or bane.
                     * Be waryof one who would dominate you,who would control and
           manipulate your  workings  and reverences.    True reverence  for  the
           Goddess  and God occurs within.  Look  with suspicion on any who would
           twist worship from you for their own gain and glory, but welcome those
           priestesses and priests who are suffused with love.
                     * Honorall living things,for we are ofthe bird, thefish, the
           bee.  Destroy not life save it be to preserve your own.
                * And this is the nature of our way.
                                       BEFORE TIME WAS
                     Beforetime was, therewas The One;The One was all,and all was
           The One.
                     Andthe vast expanseknown asthe universewas TheOne, all-wise,
           all-pervading, all-powerful, eternally changing.
                     And space moved.  The Onemolded energy into twin forms,equal
           but opposite, fashioning the Goddess  and God from The One and  of The
                     The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One,but
           darkness surrounded them.  They were alone, solitary save for The One.
                     So They formed energy  into gasses and gasses into  suns and
           planets and moons;  They sprinkled the  universe with whirling  globes
           and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God.
                     Light aroseand the sky wasilluminated by a billionsuns.  And
           the Goddess and God, satisfied by their works, rejoiced and loved, and
           were one.
                     From theirunion sprang the seedsof all life, andof the human
           race, so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth.
                     TheGoddess chose theMoon as Hersymbol, and theGod the Sun as
           His symbol, to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their fashioners.
                     All areborn, live, dieand are rebornbeneath the Sunand Moon;
           all things come  to pass thereunder, and all occurs with the blessings
           of The One, as has been the way of existence before time was.
                                     SONG OF THE GODDESS
                     I am the GreatMother, worshipped by all creationand existent
           prior to their consciousness.  I am the primal female force, boundless
           and eternal.
                     I am thechaste Goddessof the Moon,the Lady ofall magick. The
           winds and moving leaves sing  my name.  I wear the  crescent Moon upon
           my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens.  I am mysteries yet
           unsolved, a path  newly set upon.  I am a field untouched by the plow.
           Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth.
                     I amthe blessed Mother,the gracious Lady ofthe harvest. I am
           clothed with the  deep, cool wonder of the  Earth and the gold  of the
           fields heavy with grain.  By me the tides  of the Earth are ruled; all
           things  come to  fruition according  to my  reason.   I am  refuge and
           healing.  I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously fertile.
                     Worship me as theCrone, tender of the unbrokencycle of death
           and rebirth.   I am the  wheel, the shadow  of the Moon.   I rule  the
           tides of  women and men and  give release and renewal  to weary souls.
           Though the darkness  of death  is my domain,  the joy  of birth is  my
                     I amthe Goddess of theMoon, the Earth,the Seas.  Mynames and
           strengths are  manifold.   I pour  forth magick  and power, peace  and
           wisdom.    I am  the  eternal  Maiden, Mother  of  all,  and Crone  of
           darkness, and I send you blessings of limitless love.
                                       CALL OF THE GOD
                     I am the radiant King of the Heavens, floodingthe Earth with
           warmth and encouraging the hidden seed of creation to burst forth into
           manifestation.   I lift  my shining  spear to light  the lives  of all
           beings and  daily pour forth my gold upon the Earth, putting to flight
           the powers of darkness.
                     I am the master of the beasts wild and free.  I run with the
           swift stag  and soar as  a sacred falcon  against the shimmering  sky.
           The ancient woods and wild places  emanate my powers, and the birds of
           the air sing of my sanctity.
                     I amalso the lastharvest, offering upgrain andfruits beneath
           the sickle of time so that all may be nourished.  For without planting
           there can be no harvest; without winter, no spring.
                     Worshipme as the thousand-namedSun of creation,the spirit of
           the horned stag in the wild, the  endless harvest.  See in the  yearly
           cycle of festivals my birth, death and rebirth - and know that such is
           the destiny of all creation.
                     I am the sparkof life, the radiantSun, the giver of peaceand
           rest,  and  I  send  my  rays of  blessings  to  warm  the  hearts and
           strengthen the minds of all.
                                    THE CIRCLE OF STONES
                     The Circle of stonesis used during indoor rituals,for energy
           raising, meditation and so on.
                First cleanse the area with the ritual broom.
                     For this circle you willneed four large, flat stones. If you
           have none, candles can be used to mark the four cardinal points of the
           circle.  White or purple candles can be used, as can colors related to
           each direction - green for  the North, yellow for East, red  for South
           and blue for West.
                     Placethe first stone(or candle) tothe North, torepresent the
           Spirit of  the North Stone. In  ritual when you invoke  the Spirits of
           the  Stones  you're  actually  invoking  all  that  resides   in  that
           particular direction, including the elemental energies.
                     After setting theNorth Stone(or candle), placethe East,South
           and  West  Stones.   They  should  mark  out  a rough  square,  nearly
           encompassing the working  area.  This  square represents the  physical
           plane on which we exist - the Earth.
                     Nowtake a long purpleor white cordand lay it outin a circle,
           using  the four  stones or candles  to guide you.   It takes  a bit of
           practice to smoothly do this.   The cord should be placed so  that the
           stones remain inside the circle.  Now  you have a square and a circle,
           the circle  representing the spiritual  reality.   As such, this  is a
           squared circle;  the  place of  interpenetration of  the physical  and
           spiritual realms.
                     The  size of the  circle can be  anything from 5  to 20 feet
           depending on the room and your desires.
                Next, set up the altar.  The following tools are recommended:
                * A Goddess symbol (candle, holed stone, statue)
                * A God symbol (candle, horn, acorn, statue)
                * Athame 
                * Wand
                * Censer
                * Pentacle
                * A bowl of Water (spring, rain or tap)
                * A bowl of Sea Salt (it can also be placed on the pentacle)
                * Incense
                * Flowers and greens
                * One red candle in holder (if not using point candles)
                     * Anyother tools ormaterials requiredfor the ritual,spell or
                magickal working
                     Set upthe altar accordingto theplan shown hereor accordingto
           your own design.  Also be sure to have plenty of matches, as well as a
           small  heat-proof  container in  which  to place  them  when used.   A
           charcoal block is also necessary to burn the incense.
                Goddess                                                  God
                Symbol or                                              Symbol or
                 Candle                                                 Candle  
                Bowl of                     Red                        Bowl of
                 Water                     Candle                        Salt
                  Cup                                                  Incense
                                          or Spell
                Wand                      Materials                      Knife
                Bell                                                    Boline
                                   Suggested Altar Layout
                     Light thecandles. Set theincense smoking. Lift theathame and
           touch its blade to the water, saying:
                I consecrate and cleanse this water
                that it may be purified and fit to
                dwell within the sacred Circle of Stones.
                In the name of the Mother Goddess and Father          God,
                I consecrate this water.
                     As  you do  this, visualize  your athame  blasting away  all
           negativity from the water.
                     The salt is next touched with  the point of the athame while
                I bless this salt that it may be fit
                to dwell within the sacred Circle of Stones.
                In the name of the Mother Goddess and Father          God,
                I bless this salt.
                     Now stand facing North,at the edge of thecord-marked circle.
           Hold your athame point outward at waist level.  Walk slowly around the
           circle's perimeter clockwise, your feet just inside the cord, charging
           it  with your  words and  energy.   Create the  circle -  through your
           visualization - with the  power flowing out from your  athame's blade.
           As you walk,  stretch the energy out until it  forms a complete sphere
           around the working area, half above the ground, half below.  As you do
           this say:
                Here is the boundary of the Circle of Stones.
                Naught but love shall enter in,
                Naught but love shall emerge from within.
                Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones!
                     When youhave arrived backat the North,place the athameon the
           altar.   Take up the salt and sprinkle it around the circle, beginning
           and ending  in  the North,  and  moving clockwise.    Next, carry  the
           smoking censer from the  altar, and finally sprinkle water  around the
           circle.    Do more  than carrying  and  walking; sense  the substances
           purifying the circle.  The Circle of Stones is now sealed.
                     Holdaloft the wand atthe North, atthe edge ofthe circle, and
                O Spirit of the North Stone,
                Ancient One of the Earth,
                I call You to attend this circle.
                Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones!
                     As yousay this,visualize agreenish mistrising and writhingin
           the Northern quarter, over the stone.  This is the elemental energy of
           the Earth. When  the Spirit is  present, lower the  wand, move to  the
           East, raise it again and say:
                O Spirit of the East Stone,
                Ancient One of Air,
                I call You to attend this circle.
                Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones!
                     Visualize theyellowish mistof Airenergy.  Lowerthe wand,move
           to  the  South  and repeat  the  following  with  your upraised  wand,
           visualizing a crimson Fire mist:
                O Spirit of the South Stone,
                Ancient One of Fire,
                I call You to attend this circle.
                Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones!
                Finally, to the West, say with the wand held aloft:
                O Spirit of the West Stone,
                Ancient One of Water,
                I call You to attend this circle.
                Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones!
                Visualize the bluish mist, the essence of Water.
                     The circle breaths and lives around you.  The Spirits of the
           Stones are present.  Feel the  energies.  Visualize the circle glowing
           and growing in power.  Stand still, sensing for a moment.
                     The Circleof Stones is complete.  The Goddess and God may be
           called, and magick wrought.
                                      CUTTING A DOORWAY
                     At times you may have to leave the circle.  This is fine, of
           course,  but  as  previously  mentioned, passing  through  the  circle
           dissipates it.  To prevent this from occurring it's traditional to cut
           a doorway.
                     Todo this,face Northeast. Hold yourathame pointdownward near
           the ground.  See and sense the circle before  you.  Pierce its wall of
           energy with  the athame  and trace  an archway,  tall  enough to  walk
           through,  moving counter-clockwise  along the  circle for  about three
           feet.  Move the  point of the athame up at the  arch's center and down
           the other side until it is near the ground.
                     As you're doingthis, visualizethat area ofthe circle'senergy
           being sucked  back into  the athame.   This  creates a void,  allowing
           passage in and out of the circle.  Pull the athame out of the circle's
           wall.  You're free to walk outside.
                     Onceback inside, close the door by placing the athame at the
           lower North-Eastern point  of the archway.  With your athame trace the
           circle's perimeter  clockwise, as  if redrawing  that  portion of  the
           Circle  of Stones, again visualizing blue or purple energy flaring out
           from the  blade and converging  with the rest  of the  circle.  It  is
                                    RELEASING THE CIRCLE
                Once the rite is ended, face North, hold aloft the wand and say:
                Farewell, Spirit of the North Stone.
                I give thanks for your presence here.
                Go in power.
                     Repeat  this  same formula  to  the  East, South  and  West,
           substituting the proper direction  in the words.   Then return to  the
           North and hold the wand aloft for a few moments.
                     Lay the wandon the altar. Take up theathame.  Standingin the
           North,  pierce the circle's wall with the  blade at waist level.  Move
           clockwise around the circle, visualizing it's power being  sucked back
           into the  athame.  Literally pull  it back into the  blade and handle.
           Sense  the  circle dissolving,  shrinking;  the  outside world  slowly
           regaining its dominance in the area.
                When you arrive at the North again, the circle is no more.
                     If  you wish, you  can back up  the circle casting  with the
           following visualizations as you form the circle itself:
                     Prepare asusual.  Approachthe Northand set theNorth Stone(or
           the candle)  on the  ground.   Then, visualize  a stone  slab standing
           upright two feet to the left of and behind the North Stone.  Visualize
           this as  being bluish-grey, two feet wide, two feet thick and six feet
           tall.  This stone represents the Goddess.
                     When thestone is really there- in your visualization- create
           another stone of the same size and  color two feet to the right of and
           behind the North Stone.  This represents the God.
                     Now visualize a capstone  resting on top of the  two upright
           stones.   It  is about  two  feet  by two  feet  by six  feet.    This
           represents The One before the Goddess and God, the source of all power
           and magick.  The Northern Trilithon is now complete.
                     Thestones form anarchway, a symbolof the gatewayto the realm
           of the element of Earth.
                     Firmlyvisualize this, then gazethrough the archformed by the
           stones.  See the greenish haze of the Earth energy.
                     Repeat the  entire procedure  to the East,  South and  West.
           Visualize the appropriate elemental color within each trilithon.
                     Now purify salt and water,cast the circle as usual, andcarry
           around the salt, censer, candle and water.
                     As youapproach each quarterto callits Spirit ofthe Stone,see
           the  trilithon firmly  in your mind.   Visualize  it in  all its Pagan
           splendor.  See the  elemental hazes within them, boiling  and writhing
           in  unmanifestedness.   Stretch  out  with  your  feelings; sense  the
           arrival of the spirit of each stone, then go on to the next.
                     With practice this comes easily, but such visualizations are
           never necessary.
           The Blessing Chant can be said at  the beginning of any type of ritual
           as a general invocation.  Separate invocations of the  Goddess and God
           may follow.
                May the powers of The One,
                the source of all creation;
                all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal;
                may the Goddess,
                the Lady of the Moon;
                and the God,
                Horned Hunter of the Sun;
                may the powers of the Spirits of the Stones,
                rulers of the elemental realms;
                may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below,
                bless this place, and this time, and I who am         with you.
                     Hold up a Chalice of wine (or some other liquid) betweenyour
           hands to the sky, and say:
                Gracious Goddess of Abundance,
                Bless this wine and infuse it with your              love.
                In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God,
                I bless this wine (or brew, juice, etc.).
                     Hold upa plate ofcakes (bread,biscuits) with bothhands tothe
           sky and say:
                Powerful God of the Harvest,
                Bless these cakes and infuse them with your           love.
                In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God,
                I bless these cakes (or this bread).
                     Lightthe candles. Set the incensesmoking.  Castthe Circle of
           Stones.  Place the tool on the pentacle, or a plate of salt.  Touch it
           with the point of your athame (or your projective hand) and say:
                     Iconsecrate you, O Athame of steel(or wand of wood, etc.) to
           cleanse and purify  you to serve me within  the Circle of Stones.   In
           the names of the Mother Goddess and Father God, you are consecrated.
                     Send projective  energy into the  tool, cleansing it  of all
           negativity and past  associations.  Now pick  it up and  sprinkle with
           salt, pass it through the incense  smoke, through the candle flame and
           sprinkle  with  water,  calling upon  the  Spirits  of  the Stones  to
           consecrate it.
                Then hold the tool to the sky, saying:
                     I charge youby the OldOnes: By theomnipotent Goddess andGod:
           By the virtues of the Sun, Moon and Stars: By the powers of the Earth,
           Air,  Fire and Water,  that I shall  obtain all that  I desire through
           you.  Charge this by your power, Old Ones!
                     The toolshould immediately beput touse to strengthenand bind
           the consecration.  For  example, the athame can be used  to consecrate
           another  tool; a wand to invoke the Goddess;  the pentacle to act as a
           resting place for a tool during its consecration.
                     Perform this at night,in the view ofthe Moon if possible. It
           is appropriate  for crescents, white  flowers, silver and  other lunar
           symbols  to  be present  on the  altar for  this  ritual.   The quartz
           crystal sphere can be placed on the altar as well.  Or, if you prefer,
           use the cauldron (or a small  white or silver bowl) filled with water.
           Place a piece of silver into the water.
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones.
                     Stand beforethe altar andinvoke the Goddess andGod, with the
           Blessing Chant and/or  any other invocations (see  Prayers, Chants and
           Invocations in this Book of Shadows).
                     Now gaze at the Moon, ifpossible.  Feel its energies sinking
           into  your body.  Feel its cool Goddess energy wash you with power and
                Now say these or similar words:
                Wondrous Lady of the Moon
                You who greets the dusk with silvered kisses;
                Mistress of the night and of all magicks,
                who rides the clouds in blackened skies
                and spills light upon the cold Earth;
                O Lunar Goddess,
                Shadow maker and shadow breaker;
                Revealer of mysteries past and present;
                Puller of seas and ruler of women;
                All-wise Lunar Mother,
                I greet your celestial jewel
                at the waxing of its powers
                With a rite in Your honor.
                I pray by the Moon,
                I pray by the Moon,
                I pray by the Moon.
                     Continue chanting"I pray bythe Moon"  foras long asyou will.
           Visualize  the Goddess  if you so  desire, perhaps  as a  tall, robust
           woman  wearing silver jewelry and white, rippling, draped clothing.  A
           crescent  Moon may  rest upon  Her  brow, or  She may  toss a  glowing
           silvery white orb in Her  hands.  She treads the starfield  of eternal
           night  in  an eternal  round with  Her lover,  the Sun  God, spreading
           moonrays wherever  She goes.   Her eyes laugh,  Her skin is  white and
           translucent. She glows.
                     Nowis the timefor magick ofall types, forthe full ofthe Moon
           marks the  height of its powers, and all positive spells cast then are
                     FullMoons arealso excellenttimesfor meditation,mirror magick
           and  psychic workings, for such  are often more  successful within the
           circle.    Crystal-scrying  is  particularly  recommended;  flood  the
           crystal with  moonlight prior to the  ritual.  If you  have no crystal
           sphere, use  the cauldron filled  with water and the  piece of silver.
           Gaze at the  water (or at the  Moon glinting on the  silver) to awaken
           your psychic awareness.
                     Lunar  liquids such as lemonade,  milk or white  wine can be
           consumed during the  simple feast  that follows.   Crescent cakes  are
           traditional as well.
                Thank the Goddess and God and release the circle.  It is done.
           YULE (circa December 21) 
                     Thealtar isadorned withevergreens suchas pine,rosemary, bay,
           juniper and cedar,  and the  same can be  laid to mark  the Circle  of
           Stones.  Dried leaves can also be placed on the altar. 
                     The cauldron, resting onthe altar on a heat-proofsurface (or
           placed before it if too large), should be filled with ignitable spirit
           (alcohol), or a red candle can be placed within it.  At outdoor rites,
           lay a fire within the cauldron to be lit during ritual. 
                     Arrange the altar, lightthe candles and incense, andcast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                     Stand before the cauldron  and gaze within it. Say  these or
           similar words: 
                I sorrow not, 
                   though the world is wrapped in sleep. 
                I sorrow not, 
                   though the icy winds blast. 
                I sorrow not, 
                   though the snow falls hard and deep. 
                I sorrow not, 
                   this too shall soon be past. 
                     Ignitethe cauldron (or candle),using long matchesor a taper.
           As the flame(s) leap up say: 
                I light this fire in Your honor, 
                   Mother Goddess 
                You have created life from death; 
                   warmth from cold; 
                   The Sun lives once again; 
                   the time of light is waxing. 
                   ever-returning God of the Sun! 
                Hail Mother of All! 
                     Circle the altar andcauldron slowly, clockwise, watching the
           flames.  Say the following chant for some time: 
                The wheel turns; the power burns. 
                     Meditate upon the Sun,on the hidden energies lyingdormant in
           winter, not  only in the Earth  but within ourselves.   Think of birth
           not as the start  of life but as its continuance.   Welcome the return
           of the God. 
                     After a time cease and stand once again before the altar and
           flaming caldron.  Say: 
                Great God of the Sun, 
                   I welcome Your return. 
                May You shine brightly upon the Goddess; 
                   may You shine brightly upon the Earth, 
                   scattering seeds and fertilizing the land. 
                All blessings upon You, 
                   reborn One of the Sun! 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released.  
           YULE LORE 
                     Onetraditional Yuletidepractice isthe creationof aYule tree.
           This  can be a living,  potted tree which can later  be planter in the
           ground, or a cut one.  The choice is yours. 
                     Appropriate Pagandecorations are fun to make,from strings of
           dried rosebuds  and cinnamon sticks  (or popcorn and  cranberries) for
           garlands,  to  bags of  fragrant spices  which  are hung  from boughs.
           Quartz  crystals can  be wrapped  with shiny  wire and  suspended from
           sturdy  branches to  resemble  icicles.   Apples,  oranges and  lemons
           hanging from boughs are strikingly beautiful, natural decorations, and
           were customary in ancient times. 
                     Many enjoy the custom of  lighting the Yule log.  This  is a
           graphic representation of  the rebirth  of the God  within the  sacred
           fire of  the Mother  Goddess.   If you choose  to burn  one, select  a
           proper log (traditionally of oak or pine).  Carve or chalk a figure of
           the Sun (such as a rayed disc) or the God (a horned circle or a figure
           of a man) upon it, with the Boline, and set it alight in the fireplace
           at dusk on Yule.   As the log burns, visualize the  Sun shining within
           it and think of the coming warmer days. 
                     As to food, nuts,  fruits such as apples and pears, cakes of
           caraways  soaked   in  cider,  and  (for   non-vegetarians)  pork  are
           traditional fare.  Wassail, lambswool, hibiscus or ginger tea and fine
           drinks for the Simple Feast or Yule Meals. 
           IMBOLC (February 2) 
                     Asymbol ofthe season, suchas arepresentation ofa snow flake,
           a white  flower, or perhaps  some snow in  a crystal container  can be
           placed  on the altar.  An orange  candle anointed with musk, cinnamon,
           frankincense or rosemary  oil, unlit, should also be there.   Snow can
           be melted and used for the water during the circle casting. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                Say such words as the following: 
                This is the time of the feast of torches, 
                   when every lamp blazes and shines 
                   to welcome the rebirth of the God. 
                I celebrate the Goddess, 
                   I celebrate the God; 
                   all Earth celebrates 
                   Beneath its mantle of sleep. 
                     Light the orange taper fromthe red candle on the altar(or at
           the Southern point of the circle).  Slowly walk  the circle clockwise,
           bearing the candle before you.  Say these or similar words: 
                All the land is wrapped in winter. 
                The air is chilled and frost envelops the Earth. 
                But Lord of the Sun, 
                   Horned One of animals and wild places, 
                   unseen you have been reborn of the gracious Mother Goddess, 
                Lady of all fertility. 
                Hail Great God! 
                Hail and welcome! 
                     Stop before the altar, holding aloft the candle.  Gaze atits
           flame.  Visualize  your life blossoming with  creativity, with renewed
           energy and strength. 
                     If you need to look into the future or past, now is an ideal
                Works of magic, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
            IMBOLC LORE 
                     It istraditional uponImbolc, atsunset or justafter ritual,to
           light every lamp in the house - if only for a few moments.   Or, light
           candles in  each room  in honor  of the  Sun's rebirth.   Alternately,
           light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent
           part of the home or in a window. 
                     If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment,
           recalling the warmth  of summer.  With your projective  hand, trace an
           image of the Sun on the snow. 
                     Foods  appropriate to eat on this day include those from the
           dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving.   Sour cream dishes
           are fine.  Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally
           attuned.  Curries  and all  dishes made with  peppers, onions,  leeks,
           shallots, garlic or chives  are appropriate.  Spiced wines  and dishes
           containing  raisins  - all  foods  symbolic  of  the  Sun -  are  also
           OSTARA (circa March 21) 
                     Flowersshould belaid onthe altar,placed around thecircle and
           strewn on  the ground.  The  cauldron can be filled  with spring water
           and flowers,  and buds and  blossoms may  be worn  as well.   A  small
           potted plant should be placed on the altar. 
                     Arrange the altar, lightthe candles and incense, andcast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God in whatever words please you. 
                Stand before the altar and gaze upon the plant as you say: 
                O Great Goddess, 
                   you have freed yourself from the icy prison of winter. 
                Now is the greening, 
                   when the fragrance of flowers drifts on the breeze. 
                This is the  beginning. 
                Life renews itself by Your magick, 
                   the Earth Goddess. 
                The God stretches and rises, 
                  eager in His youth, 
                  and bursting with the promise of summer. 
                     Touch theplant. Connect with itsenergies and, throughit, all
           nature.  Travel inside its leaves and stems through your visualization
           -  from  the center  of your  consciousness out  through your  arm and
           fingers and  into the plant  itself.  Explore its  inner nature; sense
           the miraculous processes of life at work within it. 
                After a time, still touching the plant, say: 
                I walk the Earth in friendship, 
                   not in dominance. 
                Mother Goddess and Father God, 
                           instillwithinme throughthis plantawarmth forall living
                Teach me to revere the Earth and all its treasures. 
                May I never forget. 
                     Meditate uponthe changing of theseasons.  Feelthe rousing of
           energies around you in the Earth. 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
           EOSTRA LORE 
                     A traditional VernalEquinox pastime:go to afield andrandomly
           collect  wildflowers [Thank  the  flowers for  their sacrifice  before
           picking them, using a collection  formula such as can be found  in "An
           Herbal Grimoire" elsewhere in this Book of Shadows].  Or buy some from
           a  florist, taking one or two of those that appeal to you.  Then bring
           them home and divine their magickal meanings by the use of books, your
           own intuition,  a pendulum  or by  other  means.   The flowers  you've
           chosen reveal your inner thoughts and emotions. 
                     It isimportant at thistime ofrenewed life toplan a walk(or a
           ride)  through gardens,  a  park, woodlands,  forest  and other  green
           places.  This  is not simply exercise,  and you should be  on no other
           mission.  It  isn't even just  an appreciation of  nature.  Make  your
           walk celebratory, a ritual for nature itself. 
                     Other traditionalactivities include plantingseeds, workingon
           magickal gardens and  practicing all  forms of herb  work -  magickal,
           medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic. 
                     Foods intune with thisday (linkingyour meals withthe seasons
           is a  fine way of attuning  with nature) include those  made of seeds,
           such as  sunflower, pumpkin and  sesame seeds, as  well as  pine nuts.
           Sprouts  are  equally appropriate,  as  are  leafy, green  vegetables.
           Flower dishes such  as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation  cupcakes also
           find  their place here. [Find a book  of flower cooking or simply make
           spice cupcakes.   Ice with pink  frosting and place a  fresh carnation
           petal on each cupcake.  Stuff nasturtium blossoms  with a mixture made
           with cream cheese, chopped nuts, chives and watercress.] 
           BELTANE (April 30) 
                     If possible,celebrate Beltanein a forestor neara livingtree.
           If  this  is  impossible,  bring  a  small  tree  within  the  circle,
           preferably potted; it can be of any type. 
                     Create a small token or charm in honor of the wedding of the
           Goddess and  God to hang upon the  tree.  You can  make several if you
           desire.   These  tokens  can be  bags  filled with  fragrant  flowers,
           strings of  beads, carvings, flower  garlands - whatever  your talents
           and imagination can conjure. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised: 
                O Mother Goddess, 
                   Queen of the night and of the Earth; 
                O Father God, 
                   King of the day and of the forest, 
                           IcelebrateYour unionas naturerejoicesin ariotous blaze
           of color and life. 
                Accept my gift, 
                   Mother Goddess and Father God, 
                   in honor of Your union. 
                Place the token(s) on the tree. 
                From Your mating shall spring forth life anew; 
                   a profusion of living creatures shall cover the lands, 
                   and the winds will blow pure and sweet. 
                O Ancient Ones, 
                   I celebrate with You! 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
           BELTANE LORE 
                     Weavingand plaiting are traditionalarts at thistime of year,
           for the joining together  of two substances to form a third  is in the
           spirit of Beltane. 
                     Foods traditionally come from the dairy, and dishes such  as
           marigold custard (see recipes - food)  and vanilla ice cream are fine.
           Oatmeal cakes are also appropriate. 
           MIDSUMMER (circa June 21) 
                     Before the rite, make upa small cloth pouch filled withherbs
           such as  lavender, chamomile, St. John's Wort,  vervain, or any of the
           Midsummer herbs listed  in "An  Herbal Grimoire."   Mentally pour  all
           your troubles,  problems, pains, sorrows  and illnesses, if  any, into
           this petition as  you construct it.   Tie it  shut with a red  string.
           Place this on  the altar for use during the rite.  The cauldron should
           also  be  there or  nearby.   Even  if  you  use candles  to  mark the
           quarters, the red candle in a holder should also be on the altar.  For
           outdoor rituals,  light a fire  - however small  - and drop  the pouch
           into this. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised: 
                I celebrate the noon of summer with mystic rites. 
                O great Goddess and God, 
                           allnaturevibrateswith YourenergiesandtheEarth isbathed
           with warmth and life. 
                Now is the time of forgetting past cares and banes; 
                   O fiery Sun, 
                   burn away the unuseful, 
                   the hurtful, 
                   the bane, 
                   in Your omnipotent power. 
                Purify me! 
                Purify me! 
                Purify me! 
                     Lay thewand onthe altar. Take up theherbal petitionand light
           it in the red candle on the altar (or, if outdoors, the ritual fire). 
           When it is burning drop it into the cauldron (or some other heat-proof
           container) and say: 
                I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and         God! 
                I banish you by the powers of the Sun, 
                   Moon and Stars! 
                I banish you by the powers of the Earth, 
                   Fire and Water! 
                     Pause,seeing thehurts andpains burninginto nothingness. Then
                O Gracious Goddess, 
                   O Gracious God, 
                           onthis night of Midsummermagick I pray        that You
           charge my life with wonder and            joy. 
                     Help me in attuning with the energies adrift          on the
           enchanted night air. 
                I give thanks. 
                     Reflect  upon the purification you have undergone.  Feel the
           powers  of nature flowing through  you, washing you  clean with divine
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
           MIDSUMMER LORE 
                     Midsummeris practically theclassic time toperform magicks of
           all  kinds.   Healings,  love  magick and  protections  are especially
           suitable.    Herbs  can  be  dried  over  the ritual  fire  if  you're
           celebrating  outdoors.   Leap the  fire for  purification and  renewed
                Fresh fruits are standard fare for Midsummer. 
           LUGHNASADH (August 1) 
                     Placeupon the altarsheaves of wheat,barley or oats,fruit and
           breads, perhaps a  loaf fashioned in the figure of the Sun or a man to
           represent the  God.   Corn dollies,  symbolic of  the Goddess, can  be
           present there as well. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                     Stand before the altar, holding aloft the  sheaves of grain,
           saying these or similar words: 
                Now is the time of the First Harvest, 
                           when thebounties ofnaturegive ofthemselvesso thatwemay
                O God of the ripening fields, 
                   Lord of the Grain, 
                           grant methe understanding ofsacrifice as Youprepare to
           deliver Yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and journey to the   
                 lands of eternal summer. 
                O Goddess of the Dark Moon, 
                           teachmethe secretsofrebirth asthe Sunlosesits strength
           and the nights grow cold. 
                     Rub theheads of the wheatwith your fingers sothat the grains
           fall onto the altar.  Lift a piece of fruit and  bite it, savoring its
           flavour, and say: 
                I partake of the first harvest, 
                           mixing itsenergieswithmine thatImay continuemyquestfor
           the starry wisdom of perfection. 
                O Lady of the Moon and Lord of the Sun, 
                   gracious ones before Whom the stars halt their courses, 
                   I offer my thanks for the continuing fertility of the Earth. 
                     May the nodding grain  loose its seeds  to be buried in  the
           Mother's breast, 
                   ensuring rebirth in the warmth of the coming Spring. 
                Consume the rest of the fruit. 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
                     It is appropriate toplant the seedsfrom the fruit consumedin
           ritual.  If they sprout, grow the  plant with love and as a symbol  of
           your connection with the Goddess and God. 
                     Wheat  weaving (the  making  of corn  dollies,  etc.) is  an
           appropriate  activity for  Lughnasadh.   Visits  to fields,  orchards,
           lakes and wells are also traditional. 
                     The foods of Lughnasadh  include bread, blackberries and all
           berries,  acorns (leached  of their poisons  first), crab  apples, all
           grains and locally ripe produce.  A cake is sometimes baked, and cider
           is used in place of wine. 
                     If youdo make afigure of theGod from bread,it can beused for
           the Simple Feast. 
           MABON (circa September 21) 
                     Decorate the altar with acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress
           cones, ears  of corn, wheat  stalks and other  fruits and nuts.   Also
           place there a small rustic basket filled  with dried leaves of various
           colors and kinds. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                     Standbefore the altar, holdingaloft the basketof leaves, and
           slowly  scatter them  so that  they cascade to  the ground  within the
           circle.  Say such words as these: 
                Leaves fall, 
                   the days grow cold. 
                The Goddess pulls Her mantle of the Earth around Her as You, 
                   O Great Sun God, 
                   sail toward the West to the lands of 
                   Eternal Enchantment., 
                   wrapped in the coolness of night. 
                Fruits ripen, 
                   seeds drop, 
                   the hours of day and night are balanced. 
                Chill winds blow in from the North wailing laments. 
                In this seeming extinction of nature's power, 
                   O Blessed Goddess, 
                   I know that life continues. 
                For spring is impossible without the second harvest, 
                   as surely as life is impossible without death. 
                Blessings upon You, 
                   O Fallen God, 
                   as You journey into the lands of winter 
                   and into the Goddess' loving arms. 
                Place the basket down and say: 
                O Gracious Goddess of all fertility, 
                           Ihave sownandreapedthe fruitsofmy actions,goodandbane.
                     Grantme the courageto plantseeds of joyand lovein the coming
                   banishing misery and hate. 
                Teach me the secrets of wise existence upon this planet, 
                   O Luminous One of the Night! 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
           MABON LORE 
                     A  traditional practice is to  walk wild places and forests,
           gathering seed  pods and dried  plants. Some of  these can be  used to
           decorate the home; others saved for future herbal magick. 
                     The foods ofMabon consistof the secondharvest's gleanings,so
           grains, fruit and vegetables predominate, especially corn.  Corn bread
           is traditional fare, as are beans and baked squash. 
           Samhain (October 31) 
                     Placeupon thealtarapples, pomegranates,pumpkins, squashesand
           other  late autumn  fruits.   Autumn  flowers  such as  marigolds  and
           chrysanthemums are fine too.   Write on a piece of paper  an aspect of
           your life which  you may wish to  be free of; anger,  a baneful habit,
           misplaced feelings, disease.   The cauldron or some similar  tool must
           be present  before  the altar  as  well, on  a  trivet or  some  other
           heat-proof  surface (if the legs  aren't long enough).   A small, flat
           dish  marked with an eight-spoked  wheel symbol should  also be there.
           [This is just  what it sounds like. On  a flat plate or dish,  paint a
           large circle.  Put a dot in  the center of this circle and paint eight
           spokes radiating  out from the  dot to the  larger circle.   Thus, you
           have  a  wheel  symbol  -  a  symbol  of  the  Sabbats,  a  symbol  of
                     Prior toritual, sit quietlyand thinkof friends andloved ones
           who have passed away.  Do not despair.  Know that they have gone on to
           greater things.   Keep  firmly  in mind  that the  physical isn't  the
           absolute reality, and souls never die. 
                     Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the
           Circle of Stones. 
                Recite the Blessing Chant. 
                Invoke the Goddess and God. 
                     Lift one  of the pomegranates and,  with your freshly-washed
           Boline, pierce the skin of the  fruit.  Remove several seeds and place
           them on the wheel-marked dish. 
                Raise your wand, face the altar and say: 
                On this night of Samhain I mark Your passing, 
                   O Sun King, 
                   through the sunset into the Land of the            Young. 
                I mark also the passing of all who have gone          before, 
                   and all who will go after. 
                O Gracious Goddess, 
                   Eternal Mother, 
                   You who gives birth to the fallen, 
                           teach meto know that inthe time of the        greatest
           darkness there is the greatest            light. 
                     Taste the pomegranate seeds; burst them with your  teeth and
           savour   their  sharp,  bittersweet   flavour.    Look   down  as  the
           eight-spoked symbol on the plate; the Wheel of the Year,  the Cycle of
           the Seasons, the End and Beginning of all Creation. 
                     Light a firewithin the cauldron(a candle isfine).  Sitbefore
           it, holding the piece of paper, gazing at its flames.  Say: 
                Wise One of the Waning Moon, 
                   Goddess of the Starry Night, 
                           I createthis firewithin Your cauldronto      transform
           that which is plaguing me. 
                May the energies be reversed: 
                   From the darkness, light! 
                   From bane, good! 
                   From death, birth! 
                     Light thepaper in thecauldron's flames anddrop it inside. As
           it  burns, know that your  ill diminishes, lessens  and finally leaves
           you as it is consumed within the universal fires.  [The cauldron, seen
           as the Goddess.] 
                     If  you wish, you may attempt scrying  or some other form of
           divination, for  this is  a  perfect time  to look  into  the past  or
           future.  Try  to recall past lives  too, if you  will.  But leave  the
           dead in peace.  Honor  them with your memories but do not call them to
           you.    [Many Pagans  do attempt  to  communicate with  their deceased
           ancestors and friends  at this  time, but it  seems to  me that if  we
           accept  the  doctrine  of  reincarnation,  this  is a  rather  strange
           practice.  Perhaps the personalities that we  knew still exist, but if
           the soul is currently  incarnate in another body, communication  would
           be difficult, to say the least.   Thus, it seems best to remember them
           with peace and love - but do not call  them up.]  Release any pain and
           sense of loss you may feel into the cauldron's flames. 
                Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. 
                Celebrate the Simple Feast. 
                The circle is released. 
           SAMHAIN LORE 
                     It is traditional on Samhain night to leave a plate of  food
           outside the home  for the souls of  the dead.  A candle  placed in the
           window guides them to  the Lands of Eternal Summer, and burying apples
           in the hard-packed earth "feeds" the passed ones on their journey. 
                     Forfood, beets,turnips,apples, corn,nuts, gingerbread,cider,
           mulled  wines and pumpkin dishes  are appropriate, as  are meat dishes
           (once again,  if you're  not vegetarian.   If so, tofu  seems ritually
                     Stand in the ritualarea.  Stillyour thoughts.  Breathedeeply
           for half a  minute or so until composed  and calm.  Turn your  mind to
           our Deities. 
                     Face North. Lift bothhands to waistheight, palms down. Press
           your fingers  together,  creating  two  solid,  flat  planes.    Sense
           solidity,  foundation,  fertility.   Invoke  the powers  of  the Earth
           through the gesture. 
                     Moments Later, turn toward the East. Raise your hands a foot
           higher,  your palms facing away from  you (no longer parallel with the
           ground), and elbows slightly bent.  Spread your fingers and hold  this
           position, sensing movement  and communication.   Invoke the forces  of
           Air through the gesture. 
                     Face South. Lift your handsfully above yourhead.  Keepingthe
           elbows straight, grasp  your fingers  into tight fists.   Feel  force,
           power,  creation and destruction.   Invoke the forces  of Fire through
           the gesture. 
                     Turn to the West.  Lower your hands a  foot or so.  Bend the
           elbows,  turn  your palms  upward and  cup  them, pressing  the thumbs
           against  the  forefingers.    Sense fluidity,  the  ocean,  liquidity.
           Invoke the forces of Water through the gesture. 
                     Face Northagain.  Throw yourhead back and raiseboth hands to
           the  sky, palms up, fingers spread.   Drink in the essence of The One,
           the  unknowable,  unapproachable ultimate  source  of  all. Sense  the
           mysteries within the universe. 
                     Lower your projective hand (your writing hand) but keep your
           receptive  hand high.   Pressing  the third,  forth and  fifth fingers
           against the  palm, lift the  forefinger and  thumb to  create a  rough
           crescent shape.   Sense the reality  of the Goddess.   Sense Her love,
           Her fertility,  Her compassion.  Sense  the powers of the  Moon in the
           gesture; the force of the eternal seas - the presence of the Goddess. 
                     Lower your receptivehand; liftyour projective hand. Benddown
           the middle and  forth fingers toward the palm, and  trap them with the
           thumb.   Lift the forefinger and little finger up to the sky, creating
           a horned image.  Sense the reality of the God.  Sense the power of the
           Sun  in the  gesture; the  untamed  energies of  the  woodlands -  the
           presence of the God. 
                     Lower yourprojective hand. Laydown flat. Spread yourlegs and
           arms  until you've  created the  pattern  of a  pentagram.   Sense the
           powers  of the  elements running through  you; merging  and coalescing
           into your being.   Sense them as emanations from  The One, the Goddess
           and God. 
                Meditate.  Commune.  Communicate. 
                When finished, simply stand up.  Your rite of gestures is over. 
           THE LAW OF THE POWER 
                     1.  The Power shall not be used  to bring harm, to injure or
           control  others.  But  if the need  rises, the Power shall  be used to
           protect your life or the life of others. 
                2. The Power is used only as need dictates. 
                     3.The Power can be usedfor your own gain, aslong as by doing
           so you harm none. 
                     4.It is unwiseto accept money forthe use ofthe Power, for it
           quickly controls its taker.  Be not as those of other religions. 
                     5. Use not the Power forprideful gain, for such cheapens the
           mysteries of the Craft and magick. 
                     6. Everremember that the Poweris a sacred giftof the Goddess
           and God, and should never be misused or abused. 
                7. And this is the Law of the Power. 
           Air, Fire, Water, Earth, 
           Elements of Astral birth, 
           I call you now; attend to me! 
           In the circle, rightly cast, 
           Safe from psychic curse or blast, 
           I call you now, attend to me! 
           From cave and desert, sea and hill, 
           By blade and wand, cup and pentacle, 
           I call you now; attend to me! 
           This is my will, so mote it be! 
           [This invocation may  be chanted  while moving or  dancing around  the
           altar to raise elemental energy for magickal workings.] 
                               OF AND TO 
                          THE GODDESS AND GOD 
                     These prayers can be used toinvoke the Goddess and Godduring
           ritual,  just after  the circle  casting.   Of course,  any which  you
           compose or are inspired to say and be used as well. 
                     A fewchants arealso includedto raise energyor tocommune with
           the deities. 
                     Someof theseinvocations rhyme, andsome donot. But recall the
           power of  rhyme -  it link  our conscious mind  to the  unconscious or
           psychic mind, thereby producing ritual consciousness. 
                     Some of these are  related to specific deities but,  as Dion
           Fortune wrote:  "All the gods are  one god; and all  the goddesses are
           one goddess, and there is only one initiator." 
           Crescent One of the starry skies, Flowered One of the fertile plan, 
           Flowing One of the ocean's sighs, 
           Blessed One of the gentle rain; 
           Hear my chant 'midst the standing stones, 
           Open me to your mystic light; 
           Waken me to your silver tones, 
           Be with me in my sacred rite! 
           O Great God Pan, 
           Beast and man, 
           Shepherd of goats and Lord of the Land, 
           I call you to attend my rites 
           On this most magickal of nights. 
           God of the wine, 
           God of the vine, 
           God of the fields and God of the kine, 
           Attend my circle with your love 
           And send Your blessings from above. 
           Help me to heal; 
           Help me to feel; 
           Help me to bring forth love and weal. 
           Pan of the forests, Pan of the glade, 
           Be with me as my magick is made! 
           Isis of the Moon, 
           You who are all that ever was, 
           All that is, 
           And all that shall be: 
           Come, veiled Queen of Night! 
           Come as the scent of the sacred lotus 
           Charging my circle 
           With love and magick. 
           Do descend upon my circle, 
           I pray, 
           O Blessed Isis! 
           Horned One of the wilderness, 
           Winged One of the shining skies, 
           Rayed One of the spen'drous Sun, 
           Fallen One of the Samhain cries- 
           I call amidst the standing stones 
           Praying that You, O Ancient One, 
           Will deign to bless my mystic rites- 
           O fiery Lord of the Blazing Sun! 
           Waxing, waxing, growing, growing- 
           Diana's power is flowing, flowing. 
           CALL TO THE GOD 
           Ancient God of the forest deeps, 
           Master of beast and Sun; 
           Here where the world is hushed and sleeps 
           Now that the day is done. 
           I call You in the ancient way 
           Here in my circle round, 
           Asking that You will hear me pray 
           And send Your Sun force down. 
           Gracious Goddess, 
           You who are the Queen of the Gods, 
           The lamp of night, 
           the creator of all that is wild and free; 
           Mother of woman and man; 
           Lover of the Horned God and protectress of all the    Craft: 
           Descend, I pray, 
           With Your Lunar ray of power 
           Upon my circle here! 
           Blazing God,
           You who are the King of the Gods,
           Lord of the Sun,
           Master of all that is wild and free;
           Father of woman and man,
           Lover of the Moon Goddess and protector of all the    Craft:
           Descend I pray,
           With you Solar ray of power
           Upon my circle here!
           GODDESS CHANT
           Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana
           Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana
           Bless me, bless me, bless me, Diana,
           Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana
           Hail fair Sun,
           Ruler of day;
           Rise on the morn
           To light my way.
                      (to be said while watching the sunset)
           Hail fair Moon
           Ruler of night;
           Guard me and mine
           Until the light.
                      (to be said while Moon-gazing at night)
           GODDESS CHANT
           [These are obviously, the  vowels of the English language.   Pronounce
           them as: A-"Ah," O-"O," U-"Oo," E-"E," I-"Eye."  Extend the  vowels as
           you  vocalize  them,  stretch  the  sounds.    This  produces  Goddess
           awareness, and rouses the psychic mind]
                     To be used in ritual and magickal workings.  In general, odd
           numbers are related to  women, receptive energy and the  Goddess; even
           numbers to men, projective energy and the God.
           1.     The universe; The One; the source of all.
           2.        The  Goddess and  God; The  perfect duality;  projective and
           receptive   energy;   the   couple;   personal   union   with   deity;
           interpenetration of the physical and spiritual; balance.
           3.     The Triple Goddess; the Lunar phases;  the physical, mental and
           spiritual aspects of our species.
           4.        The elements;  the Spirits  of  the Stones;  the winds;  the
           5.     The senses;  the pentagram; the elements plus Akasha; a Goddess
           7.       The planets which  the ancients knew;  the time of  the Lunar
           phase; power; protection and magick.
           8.     The number of Sabbats; a number of the God.
           9.     A number of the Goddess.
           13.    The number of Esbats; a fortunate number.
           15.    A number of good fortune.
           21.    The number of Sabbats and Esbats in the Pagan year; a number of
           the Goddess.
           28.    A number of the Moon; a number of the goddess.
           101.   The number of fertility.
           The planets are numbered thus:
           Saturn      3           Venus       7
           Jupiter     4           Mercury     8
           Mars        5           Moon        9
           Sun         6
              I.   Know yourself
             II.   Know your Craft (Wicca)
            III.   Learn
             IV.   Apply knowledge with wisdom
              V.   Achieve balance
             VI.   Keep your words in good order
            VII.   Keep your thoughts in good order
           VIII.   Celebrate life
             IX.   Attune with the cycles of Terra
              X.   Breathe and eat correctly
             XI.   Exercise the body
            XII.   Meditate
           XIII.   Honor the Goddess and God
               1 cup firmly ground almonds
           1 1/4 cups flour
             1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
               2 drops almond extract
             1/2 cup butter, softened
               1 egg yolk
                     Combinealmonds, flour,sugarand extractuntil thoroughlymixed.
           with the hands, work in butter and egg yolk until well-blended.  Chill
           dough.  Preheat  oven to  325 degrees F.   Pinch  off pieces of  dough
           about the size of walnuts and  shape into crescents.  Place on greased
           sheets and  bake for  about 20  minutes.   Serve during Simple  Feast,
           especially at Esbats.
             2 cups milk
             1 cup unsprayed marigold petals
           1/4 tsp. salt
             3 tbsp. sugar
             1 to 2-inch piece vanilla bean
             3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
           1/8 tsp. allspice
           1/8 tsp. nutmeg
           1/2 tsp. rose water
               whipped cream
                     Using a cleanmortar and pestle reservedfor cooking purposes,
           pound marigold  petals.  Or, crush with a spoon.   Mix the salt, sugar
           and spices together.   Scald milk with the  marigolds and the  vanilla
           bean.  Remove the vanilla  bean and add the slightly beaten  yolks and
           dry ingredients.  Cook on low heat.   When the mixture  coats a spoon,
           add rose water and cool.
                Top with whipped cream, garnish with fresh marigold petals.
           SOFT MEAD
             1 quart water, preferably spring water
             1 cup honey
             1 sliced lemon
           1/2 tsp. nutmeg
                     Boil together  all ingredients in a non-metallic pot.  While
           boiling, scrape  off the rising "scum"  with a wooden spoon.   When no
           more rises add the following:
               pinch salt
               juice of 1/2 lemon
                     Strain andcool.  Drinkin placeof alcoholic meador wineduring
           the Simple Feast.
                     If you  wish to avoid the  use of wine, which  has long been
           utilized  in  religious  and  magickal rites,  there  are  many  other
           beverages  that  can be  used to  toast the  Goddess  and God.   These
           include (but certainly aren't limited to):
           Sabbats: apple juice, grape  juice, grapefruit                  juice,
           orange juice,  pineapple juice,                 black  tea, soft mead,
           guava nectar,                cinnamon coffee, ginger tea, hibiscus tea
           Esbats:  lemonade,  apricot nectar, mango  nectar,                pear
           nectar, papaya nectar, peach nectar,          jasmine tea,  peppermint
           tea, rosebud tea,          milk
                     To make incenses, simply grind the ingredients and mix  them
           together.  As you mix, sense  their energies.  Burn on charcoal blocks
           in the censer during ritual.
             4 parts Frankincense
             2 parts Myrrh
             2 parts Benzoin
             1 part Sandalwood
           1/2 part Cinnamon
           1/2 part Rose petals
           1/4 part Vervain
           1/4 part Rosemary
           1/4 part Bay
                     Burn  in the  circle for  all types  of rituals  and spells.
           Frankincense, myrrh and benzoin  should definitely constitute the bulk
           of the mixture.
           ALTAR INCENSE
           3 parts Frankincense
           2 parts Myrrh
           1 part Cinnamon
                     Burn  as a general incense on the  altar to purify it and to
           promote ritual consciousness during rituals.
             2 parts Sandalwood
             2 parts Frankincense
           1/2 part Gardenia petals
           1/4 part Rose petals
               a few drops Ambergris oil
                     Burn during Esbats or simply at the time of the Full Moon to
           attune with the Goddess.
           3 parts Frankincense
           2 parts Sandalwood
           1 part Benzoin
           1 part Cinnamon
             a few drops Patchouly oil
                Burn during spring and summer Sabbat rituals.
           3 parts Frankincense
           2 parts Myrrh
           1 part Rosemary
           1 part Cedar
           1 part Juniper
                Burn during fall and winter Sabbat rituals.
                     To create oils, simply mix themin a bottle.  Wear for ritual
           SABBAT OIL #1
           3 parts Patchouly
           2 parts Musk
           1 part Carnation
                Wear to the Sabbats to promote communion with the deities.
           SABBAT OIL #2
           2 parts Frankincense
           1 part Myrrh
           1 part Carnation
           1 part Allspice
                Use as the above formula.
           FULL MOON OIL #1
           4 parts Gardenia
           2 parts Lotus
           1 part Jasmine
                Anoint the body prior to Esbats to attune with Lunar energies.
           FULL MOON OIL #2
           3 parts Sandalwood
           2 parts Lemon
           1 part Rose
                Another like the above.
           GODDESS OIL
           3 parts Rose
           2 parts Gardenia
           1 part Lemon
           1 part Lotus
           1 part Ambergris
                Wear to honor the Goddess during rituals.
           HORNED GOD OIL
           2 parts Frankincense
           2 parts Cinnamon
           1 part Bay
           1 part rosemary
           1 part Musk
                Wear to honor the Horned God during rituals.
           ALTAR OIL
           4 parts Frankincense
           3 parts Myrrh
           1 part Galangal
           1 part Vervain
           1 part Lavender
                     Anoint thealtar withthis oilat regularintervals topurify and
           empower it.
                     Before cutting with the Boline, attune with the plantthrough
           visualization.  Feel  its energies.  As you cut,  say these or similar
                     Olittle plant of (name, such as hyssop,          etc.) I ask
           that you give of your bounty that      it may aid me in my work.  Grow
           stronger by        my  stroke, stronger and more powerful, O          
           plant of (name)!
                     If it isa tree, substitute theappropriate word (tree ofoak).
           Gently cut  only what you  need, and never  from very young  plants or
           more than twenty-five percent of the growth.  At the base of the plant
           leave  an offering: a  silver coin, a  bright jewel, a  bit of wine or
           milk, grain, a quartz crystal and so on.  Cover the offering and it is
           OF THE CIRCLE
                     The magick circle may be  fashioned with garlands of flowers
           sacred to the Goddess  and God. Alternately, flowers can  be scattered
           around the perimeter of the circle.
                     The  point stones may be ringed with fresh flowers and herbs
           suitable to the elements, such as:
               North: corn, cypress, fern, honeysuckle, wheat, vervain
                     East: acacia,bergamot,clover, dandelion,lavender,lemongrass,
                    mint, mistletoe, parsley, pine
                   South:basil, carnation, cedar,chrysanthemum, dill, ginger,    
                     heliotrope, holly, juniper, marigold, peppermint
                     West: apple blossoms,lemon balm,camellia, catnip,daffodil,  
                 elder, gardenia, grape, heather, hibiscus, jasmine, orchid
                     Fresh flowers  may be present on  the altar or,  if none are
           available, greens such as ferns may be used.
                     When casting the circle around a tree, youcan use the fruit,
           leaves,  nuts  or flowers  of that  tree to  mark  out the  circle, if
                All of these can be used in addition to the cord and stones.
           OF THE BALEFIRE:
                     If you wish to build a fire for an outdoor ritual, it can be
           composed of all or any combination of the following woods:
                Rowan              Dogwood
                Mesquite           Poplar
                Oak                Juniper
                Pine               Cedar
                     If these are unavailable, use native woods. Rites run on the
           seashore  can  be  illuminated   with  balefires  of  dried  driftwood
           collected prior to the rite.
           OF THE HOME CIRCLE:
                     Magickal plants growing outside the home incontainers can be
           placed around  the circle  or  on the  altar during  ritual.   If  you
           primarily  work indoors,  choose an  odd-numbered selection  of sacred
           plants  and  grow these  in  your  ritual area.    If  they need  more
           sunlight, simply move  them outdoors and  bring inside during  ritual.
           Give them  energy and love,  and they'll aid  you in your  worship and
                     Though anybut poisonousplants canbe used,such plantsas these
           are recommended:
                African Violets    Red Geraniums
                Cacti (all types   Rose
                Ferns (all types)  Rose Geranium
                Holly              Rosemary
                Hyssop             Ti (Cordyline terminalis)
                Palms (all types)  Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
           OF THE CELEBRANT:
                     Wearfresh flowers and herbs in yourhair and on your body, if
           you prefer, during the rites.  Crowns or caplets of flowers are always
           appropriate for spring and summer rites.  Wear oak and pine during the
           winter rituals.
                     You may wishto wear anecklace ofherbs and seeds,such astonka
           beans, whole nutmegs,  star anise,  acorns and other  seeds and  nuts,
           strung on a natural  fiber.  Strings of small  pine cones may also  be
                     For Full  Moon rituals  held at night,  wear night-blooming,
           fragrant flowers to suffuse yourself with Lunar energies.
           OF THE TOOLS:
                     These are suggestions for dedicating the tools prior totheir
           first use or formal consecration,  if any.  Perform these  with proper
           visualization and ritual intent.
           The Athame or Sword:
                     Rub the blade with  fresh basil, rosemary or oak  leaves, at
           sunrise, outdoors  where you will not  be disturbed or seen.   Lay the
           sword or  Athame on  the ground  with its  point to  the South.   Walk
           clockwise around  it thrice, scattering bay  leaves (preferably fresh)
           over it.   Take up the sword or Athame, stand facing East and, holding
           it upward  but with arms lowered, invoke the God to infuse your Athame
           or sword with His strength.  Point it to the sky, invoking the Goddess
           to charge your blade with Her love and power.
                     Wrap yourAthame or swordin red cloth andtake it home. It may
           be stored in the cloth, if desired.
           The Bolline:
                     Early in the morning, goto a forest (or park, garden,or your
           indoor garden).  Choose the most beautiful and vibrant  plants.  Touch
           the point of the Boline gently  to these in turn, forging a connection
           between your Boline and the plants (and, thusly, the Earth).
                     Next, siton the Earth. Ensuring thatyou are quitealone, draw
           a pentagram with the Boline's point on the ground.  It is done.
           The Wand:
                     If the wand is of wood, take it outdoors at sunsetand rub it
           with fresh lavender,  eucalyptus or mint leaves.  Raise  it in the air
           toward the East (or the Moon if it is visible) and invoke the Goddess.
           At sunrise, take it again outdoors, rub with the fresh fragrant leaves
           and invoke the God by raising it to the East.
           The Pentacle:
                     Place the pentacle on bare Earth.  Lay upon itdried parsley,
           patchouly, mistletoe, or  fresh jasmine or  honeysuckle flowers.   Sit
           before  it facing North for several  seconds, visualizing the pentacle
           absorbing the Earth's energies.  Then pick it up and scatter the herbs
           or flowers to the four quarters, beginning and ending in the North.
                     Ifthis must bedone indoors, filla small dishwith fresh Earth
           and place the pentacle on this.  Proceed as above, saving the herbs or
           flowers to be scattered outdoors at a latter time.
           The Censer:
                     Fume purerosemary, frankincenseorcopal withinthe censerprior
           to its first use.  Do this for about an hour.
           The Cauldron:
                     Takethe cauldron toa stream, river,lake or ocean. Gather the
           leaves  of some plants growing  nearby (at the  sea, perhaps seaweed).
           Dip the cauldron  into the water to fill it.   Place the leaves in the
           cauldron,  then set it on  the water's edge where  it is on both water
           and sand.   Place your  hands on the  cauldron and dedicate it  to the
           Goddess in any words you like.
                     Emptyand drythe cauldron, andreturn home. Thecharge has been
                     Ifperformed inside, placethe cauldronin alarge basinof water
           or the bathtub, in a candle-lit room.  Add a bit of salt to the water,
           which should be cold.  Proceed as above.
                     Salt water corrodes metal. Thoroughly wash the cauldronafter
           immersion in sea or salk water.
           The Chalice:
                     Anoint the base withgardenia, rose or violetoil and fillwith
           pure  spring water.  Then set  afloat a sprig of ivy,  a small rose, a
           fresh gardenia or some other appropriate flower or herb. Gaze into the
           Chalice and invoke the Goddess  to bless it.   You might also wish  to
           take  it outside  as night,  filled with water,  and catch  the Moon's
           reflection within it.
           The Broom:
                     It canbe fashioned from anash staff, birch twigsand a willow
           binding.  Brush the broom with chamomile, willow, lemon balm, elder or
           mallow  stalks and branches, then bury these  with due solemnity.  You
           might also wish to carve a crescent Moon upon its handle.
           The Crystal:
                     Onthe night ofa FullMoon, rub thesphere with fresh(or dried)
           mugwort, then take it outside.   Hold it up  so that it drinks in  the
           light and energies of the Moon.   Gaze at the Moon through the crystal
           by holding it before your eyes.  Repeat at least thrice yearly for the
           best benefits.
           The Book of Shadows:
                     Sewinto the cover of the Bookof Shadows leaves of the sacred
           herbs vervain, rue,  bay, willow or others, if you  wish.  They should
           be  well-dried and  secretly placed  by the  light of  the Moon.   The
           covers of the Book of Shadows should, of course, be covered with cloth
           for this purpose.
           The Robe:
                     If you choose to wear one, lay it among sachets filled  with
           lavender, vervain and cedar when not in use.  Sew a bit of rosemary or
           frankincense into the hem  while fashioning it, if desired (and if the
           resulting stains won't show after washing).
                     Tobe used asdecorations on thealtar, round thecircle, in the
                     Chrysanthemum,  wormwood,  apples,  pears,  hazel,  thistle,
           pomegranates,  all grains,  harvested  fruits and  nuts, the  pumpkin,
                     Holly,  mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, pine.
           Place offerings of apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons and whole cinnamon
           sticks on the Yule tree.
                Snowdrop, rowan, the first flowers of the year.
                     Daffodil,woodruff,violet, gorse,olive,peony,iris, narcissus,
           all spring flowers.
                Hawthorn, honeysuckle, St. John's wort, woodruff, all flowers.
                     Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy,
           yarrow, fern, elder, wild thyme, daisy, carnation.
                     All grains, grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crabapples,
                     Hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, oak sprigs, autumn leaves, wheat
           stalks, cypress cones, pine cones, harvest gleanings.
                     Placeupon thealtar allnocturnal, whiteor five-petaledflowers
           such as  the white rose, night-blooming  jasmine, carnation, gardenia,
           cereus, lily,  iris; all  pleasingly-scented flowers which  shall call
           forth the Goddess.  Camphor is also symbolic.
           OF OFFERINGS:
           To the Goddess:
                     Allwatery and earthy flowersand seeds suchas camellia, lily,
           water  lily, willow stalks; those  flowers used in  Full Moon rituals;
           white  or purple blooms such as hyacinth, magnolia, heather and lilac;
           sweet-scented  herbs and flowers; those  dedicated to Venus  or to the
           Moon; rue, vervain and olive; or others that seem suitable.
           To the God:
                     All  fiery  and  airy  herbs  and  flowers  such  as  basil,
           chrysanthemum, snapdragon, clover,  lavender, pine;  strongly-scented,
           clean or  citrusy herbs and flowers;  those ruled by Mars  or the Sun;
           yellow  or red  blooms such  as sunflower,  pine cones,  seeds, cacti,
           thistles and stinging herbs; orange, heliotrope, cedar, juniper and so
           Aphrodite: olive, cinnamon, daisy, cypress,             quince.  orris
           (iris), apple, myrtle
           Aradia: rue, vervain
           Artemis:  silver fir, amaranth, cypress, cedar,         hazel, myrtle,
           willow, daisy, mugwort, date        palm
           Astarte: alder, pine, cypress, myrtle, juniper
           Athena: olive, apple
           Bast: catnip, Vervain
           Bellona: belladonna
           Brigit: blackberry
           Cailleach: wheat
           Cardea: hawthorn, bean, arbutus
           Ceres: willow, wheat, bay, pomegranate, poppy,        leek, narcissus
           Cybele: oak, myrrh, pine
           Demeter: wheat,  barley, pennyroyal, myrrh,  rose,        pomegranate,
           bean, poppy, all cultivated crops
           Diana: birch,  willow, acacia, wormwood, dittany,        hazel, beech,
           fir, apple, mugwort, plane,          mulberry, rue
           Druantia: fir
           Freya:  cowslip,  daisy,  primrose, maidenhair,                 myrrh,
           strawberry, mistletoe
           Hathor: myrtle, sycamore, grape, mandrake,            coriander, rose
           Hecate: willow, henbane, aconite, yew, mandrake,       cyclamen, mint,
           cypress, date palm, sesame,        dandelion, garlic, oak, onion
           Hekat: cypress
           Hera: apple, willow, orris, pomegranate, myrrh
           Hina: bamboo
           Hulda: flax, rose, hellebore, elder
           Irene: olive
           Iris: wormwood, iris
           Ishtar: acacia, juniper, all grains
           Isis: fig,  heather, wheat, wormwood, barley,             myrrh, rose,
           palm, lotus, persea, onion, iris,     vervain
           Juno: lily, crocus, asphodel,  quince, pomegranate,     vervain, iris,
           lettuce, fig, mint
           Kerridwen: vervain, acorns
           Minerva: olive, mulberry, thistle
           Nefer-Tum: lotus
           Nepthys: myrrh, lily
           Nuit: sycamore
           Olwen: apple
           Persephone: parsley, narcissus, willow,               pomegranate
           Rhea: myrrh, oak
           Rowen: clover, rowen
           Venus: cinnamon,  daisy, elder, heather, anemone,        apple, poppy,
           violet, marjoram, maidenhair          fern, carnation, aster, vervain,
           myrtle,           orchid, cedar, lily, mistletoe, pine, quince
           Vesta: oak
           Adonis: myrrh, corn, rose, fennel, lettuce, white      heather
           Aesculapius: bay, mustard
           Ajax: delphinium
           Anu: tamarisk
           Apollo:  leek, hyacinth, heliotrope,  cornel, bay,       frankincense,
           date palm, cypress
           Attis: pine, almond
           Ares: buttercup
           Bacchus: grape, ivy, fig, beech, tamarisk
           Baldur: St. John's wort, daisy
           Bran: alder, all grains
           Cupid: cypress, sugar, white violet, red rose
           Dagda: oak
           Dianus: fig
           Dionysus: fig,  apple, ivy, grape, pine,  corn,           pomegranate,
           toadstools, mushrooms, fennel, all    wild and cultivated trees
           Dis: cypress
           Ea: cedar
           Eros: red rose
           Gwydion: ash
           Helios: oak
           Horus: horehound, lotus, persea
           Hypnos: poppy
           Jove: pine, cassia, houseleek, carnation, cypress
           Jupiter: aloe, agrimony, sage, oak, mullein,            acorn,  beech,
           cypress, houseleek,  date palm,          violet, gorse,  ox-eye daisy,
           Kernunnos: heliotrope, bay, sunflower, oak, orange
           Kanaloa: banana
           Mars: ash, aloe, dogwood, buttercup, witch grass,     vervain
           Mercury: cinnamon, mulberry, hazel, willow
           Mithras: cypress, violet
           Neptune: ash, bladderwrack, all seaweeds
           Odin: mistletoe, elm, yew, oak
           Osiris: acacia,  grape, ivy, tamarisk, cedar,             clover, date
           palm, all grains
           Pan: fig, pine, reed, oak, fern, all meadow           flowers
           Pluto: cypress, mint, pomegranate
           Poseidon: pine, ash, fig, bladderwrack, all            seaweeds
           Prometheus: fennel
           Ra: acacia, frankincense, myrrh, olive
           Saturn: fig, blackberry
           Sylvanus: pine
           Tammuz: wheat, pomegranate, all grains
           Thoth: almond
           Thor: thistle,  houseleek, vervain, hazel, ash,          birch, rowen,
           oak, pomegranate, burdock, beech
           Uranus: ash
           Woden: ash
           Zeus: oak, olive, pine, aloe, parsley, sage,          wheat, fig
                     Asthe Craft, wewill takeonly that whichwe need fromthe green
           and growing  things of the  Earth, never  failing to  attune with  the
           plant before harvesting, nor failing to leave a token of gratitude and
                     Visualizea triplecircle ofpurplish lightaround youbody while
                I am protected by your might,
                O gracious Goddess, day and night.
                Another of the same type: visualize a triple circle and chant:
                Thrice around the circle's bound,
                Evil sink into the ground.
                     Compose analtar: place acenser inthe center beforean imageof
           the  Goddess.  Have a twelve-inch (or  so) round mirror there as well.
           Ring the  altar with nine  white candles.   Burn a  protective incense
           (such as sandalwood, frankincense, copal or rosemary) in the censer.
                     Beginningwiththe candlemost directlybefore theGoddess image,
           say these or similar words:
                Lunar light protect me!
                Repeat as you light each candle until all are glowing.
                     Now,holding the mirror, invokethe Goddess inHer lunar aspect
           with these or similar words:
                Great Goddess of the Lunar Light
                   and Mistress of the Seas;
                Great Goddess of the Mystic Night
                   and of the Mysteries;
                Within this place of candles bright
                   and with Your mirror nigh;
                Protect me with Your awesome might
                   while ill vibrations fly!
                     Standing before thealtar, holdthe mirror facingthe candlesso
           that it reflects their flames.  Keeping the mirror toward the candles,
           move  slowly,  clockwise, around  the  altar,  watching the  reflected
           firelight bouncing off your surroundings.
                     Gradually increaseyour speed,mentally invoking theGoddess to
           protect you.  Move faster  and faster; watch the light  shattering the
           air, cleansing it,  burning away  all negativity and  all lines  along
           witch the ill energies have traveled into your home.
                     Charge your homewith the protectivelight of theGoddess. Race
           around  the candles until you've felt the atmosphere change, until you
           feel  that  your home  has  been  cleansed and  guarded  by the  Great
                     When finished, stand once again before the image.  Thank the
           Goddess in any words you wish.  Pinch out the candles one by one, bind
           them  together with white  cord and store  them in a  safe place until
           (and if) you need to use them again for this same purpose.
                     Ifyou believe that a spell hasbeen cast against you, place a
           large black candle in a cauldron (or a large  black bowl).  The candle
           must be tall enough to  extend a few inched above the  cauldron's rim.
           Affix the candle to the bottom of the cauldron with  warmed beeswax or
           the drippings of another black candle so that it will not tip over.
                     Fill the cauldron tothe rim with fresh water,without wetting
           the candle's wick.   An inch or two of the  candle should remain above
           the water.   Deep breathe,  meditate, clear  your mind, and  light the
           candle.   Visualize the suspected spell's power as residing within the
           candle's  flame.   Sit  in  quiet  contemplation  of  the  candle  and
           visualize the power flowing  and growing with the candle's  flame (yes
           the  power against  you).  As  the candle  burns down,  its flame will
           eventually sputter and go  out as it contacts  the water.  As soon  as
           the  flame has  been  extinguished by  the water,  the  spell will  be
                     Break your visualization of the spell's power;see it explode
           into dust, becoming impotent.
                     Pourthe water intoa hole inthe ground,a lake orstream.  Bury
           the candle.  It is done.
                     Withthe firstand middle fingers(or yourAthame, ifyou have it
           with  you), trace  a  pentagram  over  the  object  to  be  protected.
           Visualize electric-blue  or purple  flame streaming from  your fingers
           (Athame) to form the pentagram.  Say this as you trace:
                With this pentagram I do lay
                Protection here both night and day.
                And to the one who should not touch
                Let the fingers burn and twitch.
                I now invoke the Law of Three:
                This is my will, so mote it be!
                     Crystals andstones are gifts ofthe Goddess and God. They are
           sacred, magickal tools which can be used to enhance ritual and magick.
           Here are some of the ways of Earth magick.
                     The magick circlecan be laid out withcrystals and stones, if
           desired, rather than with herbs.
                     Beginning and ending in the North, lay 7, 9, 21 or 40 quarts
           crystals of any  size around the circle, either inside  the cord or in
           place of it.   If the ritual to be conducted within the circle is of a
           usual spiritual  or magickal  nature, place  the quartz crystals  with
           points outward.  If of a  protective nature, place with points  facing
                     If youuse candlesto markthe four quartersof themagick circle
           rather than  large stones, ring  each candle  with any or  all of  the
           following stones:
                North: Moss Agate, Emerald, Jet, Olivine, Salt, Black Tourmaline
                 East: Imperial Topaz, Citrine, Mica, Pumice
                South: Amber, Obsidian, Rhodochrosite, Ruby, Lava, Garnet
                       West:Aquamarine,Chalcedony, Jade,Lapis Lazuli,Moonstone,  
           A STONE ALTAR:
                     Tomake this altar, searchthrough dry riverbeds and seashores
           for a  variety of  smoothly-shaped stones.   Or  check rock  shops for
           appropriate pieces.
                     Create thealtar itself ofthree large stones. Two smallerones
           of even  size are  used as  the base,  while a  longer, flat  stone is
           placed on top  of these to form  the altar itself.  On  this place one
           stone to the left of the  altar to represent the Goddess.  This  might
           be a natural,  river-rounded stone,  a holed stone,  a quartz  crystal
           sphere,  or any of the stones related  to the Goddess which are listed
                     Tothe right of the altar, placea stone to represent the God.
           This might be a piece of lava, a quartz crystal point, a long, thin or
           club-shaped  rock or  a  God-symbolic stone  such  as those  presented
                     Between thesetwo stones placea smallerstone with ared candle
           affixed to it to represent the divine energy of the Goddess and God as
           well as the element of Fire.
                     Beforethis, place a flat stone to receive offerings of wine,
           honey, cakes, semi-precious stones, flowers and fruit.
                     A small,cupped stone (ifone can befound) should be setto the
           left of  the offering stone.   Fill this with water  to represent that
                     To theright of the offeringstone place aflat rock. Pour salt
           upon this to symbolize the element of Earth.
                     Additionally, another  flat stone  can be placed  before the
           offering stone to serve as an incense burner.
                     Use along, thin,terminated quartscrystal as awand anda flint
           or obsidian arrowhead for the Athame.
                     Any other tools which are needed can simply be placed on the
           altar.  Or, try to find stone alternatives to them.
                This can be used for all types of Craft rituals.
                     In general,all pink, greenand bluestones; thoserelated tothe
           Moon or Venus; Water and Earth-ruled stones, such as peridot, emerald,
           pink tourmaline, rose quartz,  blue quartz, aquamarine, beryl, kunzite
           and turquoise.
                Stones which are related to specific deities follow.
           Aphrodite: salt
           Ceres: emerald
           Coatlicue: Jade
           Cybele: jet
           Diana: amethyst, moonstone, pearl
           Freya: pearl
           The Great Mother: amber, coral, geodes, holed stones
           Hathor: turquoise
           Isis: coral, emerald, lapis lazuli, moonstone, pearl
           Kwan Yin: jade
           Lakshmi: pearl
           Maat: jade
           Mara: beryl, aquamarine
           Nuit: lapis lazuli
           Pele: lava, obsidian, peridot, olivine, pumice
           Selene: moonstone, selenite
           Tiamat: beryl
           Venus: emerald, lapis lazuli, pearl
           STONES OF THE GOD:
                     Generally,all orange and redstones; stones relatedto the Sun
           and  Mars; Fire and Air-ruled stones, such as carnelian, ruby, garnet,
           orange calcite, diamond, tiger's  eye, topaz, sunstone, bloodstone and
                Stones which are related to specific deities follow.
           Aesculapius: agate
           Apollo: sapphire
           Bacchus: amethyst
           Cupid: opal
           Dionysus: amethyst
           Mars: onyx, sardonyx
           Neptune: beryl
           Odin: holed stone
           Poseidon: beryl, pearl, aquamarine
           Ra: tiger's eye
           Tezcatlipoca: obsidian
           [Pearl  and coral  have  been mentioned  in  these lists  as  "stones"
           because they were anciently thought to be such.  Our knowledge of them
           as products of living creatures leaves us with the ethical question of
           whether or  not  to use  them in  ritual.   This  must be  a  personal
           decision.   Beach gathered coral and  shells (mother of pearl  is from
           shells)  can be  used  without conflicting  with  the above  statement
           because the  creature has already died by the time the item was found.
           If you decide not to use them, just remember leather is also a product
           of a living creature.]
                     Inearlier times, throughout the world,people built mounds or
           piles of stones.  These  were sometimes formed to mark the  passage of
           travelers,  or  to commemorate  some  historic even,  but  such cairns
           usually had ritual significance.
                     In  magickal  thought, cairns  are  places of  power.   They
           concentrate the  energies of the stones  used to create them.   Cairns
           are  rooted  in the  Earth but  lift upward  to the  sky, symbolically
           representing  the interconnectedness  of  the  physical and  spiritual
                     Duringoutdoor circles, a smallcairn, composed ofno more than
           nine or eleven rocks, can be fashioned as each point of the  Circle of
           Stones.  This can be done prior to creating the circle itself.
                     The nexttime you're insome wild, lonelyplace with aprofusion
           of  stones, clear a  place among them  and sit.   Visualize a magickal
           need.   As  you visualize,  grasp a  near-by stone.   Feel  the energy
           beating  within it  - the  power of  the Earth,  the power  of nature.
           Place it  on  the  cleared  ground.   Pick  up  another  stone,  still
           visualizing you need, and set it next to the first.
                     Stillvisualizing, continue toadd stones, buildingthem into a
           small pile.   Keep  adding stones  until you  feel them  vibrating and
           pulsating before you.   Place the last  rock on top of  the cairn with
           firm ritual  intent - affirm to  yourself, to the cairn  and the Earth
           that with this final magickal act you're manifesting your need.
                     Placeyour hands oneither sideof the pile. Giveit your energy
           through your visualization.  Nurse it.  Feed it strength  and see your
           need as being fulfilled.
                Then leave the cairn alone to do its work.
                     Have a candle of  the color symbolic of your  magickal need,
           according to the following list (or as your intuition tells you):
           WHITE       Protection, Peace, Purity, Truth, Sincerity, Spirituality
           RED         Strength, Health, Vigor, Sexual Love, Passion, Protection,
                                 Courage,Danger,Warning,Anger,Element ofFire,God 
                     oriented, Male aspects
           LIGHT BLUE  Tranquility, Happiness, Understanding, Patience, Health,  
                      Element of Water, Goddess oriented, Feminine aspects
           DARK BLUE   Impulsiveness, Depression, Changeability, psychism
           GREEN       Finance, Fertility, Luck, Growth, Employment, Element of  
                      Earth, Goddess oriented, Feminine aspects
           GOLD/YELLOW Attraction, Persuasion, Charm, Confidence, Intellect,     
                                 Study,Divination,ElementofAir,God oriented,Male 
                     aspects, (Gold) The Great God, The Sun
           BROWN       Hesitation, Uncertainty, Neutrality, Healing Animals,     
           PINK        Honor, Love, Morality, Friendship
           BLACK       Protection from, absorption Evil, loss, discord &         
                                 Confusion,Lackofcolorandvibrations, Neutrality, 
                    Element of Akasha, Spirituality, The Divine, The Void
           PURPLE      Relief from; Tension, Calming, Healing of severe Disease, 
                     Element of Akasha, The Divine
           SILVER/GRAY Cancellation, Neutrality, Stalemate,(Silver) The Great    
                      Goddess, The Moon
           ORANGE      Encouragement, Adaptability, Stimulation, Attraction,     
           GREENISH YELLOW     Sickness, Cowardice, Anger, Jealousy, Discord
                     With the tipof acleansed, terminated quartzcrystal, scratcha
           symbol of your  need onto the candle.  This might be a heart for love,
           a  dollar sign for  money, a fist  for strength.   Alternately, use an
           appropriate rune or write your need on the candle with the crystal.
                     As you scratchor draw,visualize your needwith crystalclarity
           as if it had already manifested.   Place the candle in a holder.   Set
           the crystal near it and light the wick.
                     As the flame shines, again strongly visualize.  The crystal,
           candle and symbol will do their work.
                Prepare yourself by doing the Ritual Bath and Self Blessing.
                     If you,reperforming this ritual at the sea or a river, bathe
           there if you so desire.
                     As  you bathe,  prepare  for the  coming  rite.   Open  your
           consciousness  to higher levels of  awareness.  Breath  deep.  Cleanse
           your mind as well as your body.
                     After bathing, dry and dressfor the journey. Go to aplace in
           the wild where you feel safe.   It should be a comfortable spot  where
           you won't  be disturbed  by others,  an area where  the powers  of the
           Earth and  the Elements  are evident.   It  may be  a mountain  top, a
           desert canyon or  cave, perhaps  a dense forest,  a rocky  outcropping
           over the sea,  a quiet island in the center of  a lake.  Even a lonely
           part  of a park or  garden can be  used.  Draw on  your imagination to
           find the place.
                     Youneed take nothingwith you buta vial ofrichly scented oil.
           Sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon or  any other scent is fine.   When
           you  arrive at  the place  of dedication,  remove your  shoes and  sit
           quietly for a few moments.  Calm your heart if you've exerted yourself
           during your travel.  Breathe deeply to return to normal, and keep your
           mind  free  of  cluttered thoughts.    Open  yourself  to the  natural
           energies around you.
                     When you're calm, riseand pivot slowly on onefoot, surveying
           the land  around you.  You're  seeking the ideal  spot.  Don't  try to
           find it; open your awareness to the place.  When  you've discovered it
           (and  you'll know when), sit,  kneel or lie flat on  your back.  Place
           the oil on the Earth beside you, Don't stand - contact the Earth.
                     Continue deep breathing. Feelthe energiesaround you. Callthe
           Goddess  and  God  in  any  words  you  like,  or  use  the  following
           invocation.   Memorize  these words  before the  rite so  that they'll
           spill effortlessly from you, or improvise:
                O Mother Goddess,
                O Father God,
                Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;
                In this place of power I open myself to Your Essence.
                In this place and in this time I am changed;
                From henceforth I walk the Paths of the Craft.
                I dedicate myself to you, Mother Goddess and Father God.
           (rest for a moment, silent, still.  Then continue:)
                     I breathe you energies intomy body,                         
                  commingling, blending,
                   mixing them with mine,
                   that I may see the divine in nature,
                   nature in the divine,
                   and divinity within myself and all else.
                O Great Goddess,
                O Great God,
                   Make me one with your essence
                   Make me one with your essence
                   Make me one with your essence.
                     You may feel bursting with power and  energy, or calm and at
           peace.   Your mind  might be in  a whirl.   The Earth  beneath you may
           throb  and undulate  with  energy.   Wild  animals, attracted  by  the
           psychic occurrence, might grace you with their presence.
                     Whatever occurs, knowthat youhave opened yourselfand thatthe
           Goddess and God have heard you.   You should feel different inside, at
           peace or simply powerful.
                     After the invocation, wet a finger with the oil and mark the
           symbols  of the Goddess  and God somewhere  on your body.   It doesn't
           matter where; you  can do this  on your  chest, forehead, arms,  legs,
           anywhere.   As you anoint,  visualize these symbols  sinking into your
           flesh,  glowing as  they  enter your  body  and then  dispersing  into
           millions of tiny points of light.
                     Theformal self-dedication is ended. Thank theGoddess and God
           for  Their attention.   Sit and meditate  before leaving  the place of
                Once home, celebrate in some special way.
           THE DAYS OF POWER
                     In the past, when peoplelived with Nature, the turningof the
           seasons  and the monthly  cycle of the  Moon had a  profound impact on
           religious ceremonies.   Because the Moon  was seen as a  symbol of the
           Goddess, ceremonies as adoration  and magick took place in  its light.
           The coming  of Winter, the first stirrings  of Spring, the warm Summer
           and the advent of Fall were also marked with rituals.
                     The Witches,heirsof thepre-Christian folkreligions ofEurope,
           still celebrate the Full Moon and observe the changing of the seasons.
           The Pagan  religious calendar contains  13 Full Moon  celebrations and
           eight Sabbats or days of power.
                     Four of thesedays (or,more properly, nights)are determinedby
           the  Solstices  and  Equinoxes,  the astronomical  beginnings  of  the
           seasons.   The  other four  ritual  occasions are  based on  old  folk
           festivals.  The  rituals give structure  and order to the  Pagan year,
           and also  remind us of the endless cycle that will continue long after
           we're gone.
                     Four of theSabbats - perhaps thosethat have been observedfor
           the longest time -  were probably associated with the  agriculture and
           the bearing cycles of animals.  These are Imbolc (February 2), Beltane
           (April 30), Lughnasadh  (August 1)  and Samhain (October  31).   These
           names  are  Celtic and  are quite  common  among Witches,  though many
           others exist.
                     When careful observationof theskies led tocommon knowledgeof
           the astronomical  year, the Solstices  and Equinoxes (circa  March 21,
           June 21, September 21 and December 21; the actual dates vary from year
           to year) were brought into this religious structure.
                     Who first beganworshipping and raising energy atthese times?
           That  question cannot  be answered.   However,  these sacred  days and
           nights are the origins of the 21 Craft ritual occasions.
                     Many of thesesurvive todayin both secularand religiousforms.
           May   Day   celebrations,   Hallowe'en,  Ground-hog   Day   and   even
           Thanksgiving, to  name some popular  North American holidays,  are all
           connected with ancient Pagan  worship.  Heavily Christianized versions
           of the Sabbats have also been preserved within the Catholic Church.
                     The Sabbats are Solarrituals, marking the points ofthe Sun's
           yearly  cycle, and are but half of the  Pagan ritual year.  The Esbats
           are  the Pagan  Full Moon  celebrations.   At this  time we  gather to
           worship She  Who Is.  Not that  Witches omit the God  at Esbats - both
           are usually revered on all ritual occasions.
                     There are 13 Full Moons yearly, orone every 28 1/4 days. The
           Moon is a symbol of the Goddess as well as a source of energy.   Thus,
           after  the religious  aspects of  the  Esbats, Witches  often practice
           magick, tapping into the larger amounts of energy which are thought to
           exist at these times.
                     Some of the oldCraft festivals, stripped of theironce sacred
           qualities by the dominance of Christianity, have degenerated.  Samhain
           seems to have been taken over by candy manufacturers in North America,
           while Yule has  been transformed from one of the  most holy Pagan days
           to  a  time of  gross  commercialism.   Even  the  later  echoes of  a
           Christian savior's birth are  hardly audible above the  electronic hum
           of cash registers.
                     But the old magick remains on these days and nights, and the
           Craft celebrate  them.   Rituals vary greatly,  but all relate  to the
           Goddess and God  and to our home, the  Earth.  Most rites are  held at
           night for  practical purposes as well  as to lend a  sense of mystery.
           The Sabbats,  being Solar-oriented,  are more naturally  celebrated at
           noon or at dawn, but this is rare today.
           THE SABBATS
                     TheSabbats tell osone ofthe stories ofthe Goddessand God, of
           their relationship and the effects this has on the fruitfulness of the
           Earth.   There are many variations on these myths, but here's a fairly
           common one, woven into the basic descriptions of the Sabbats.
                     The Goddess  gives birth to a  son, the God,  at Yule (circa
           December 21).  This  is in no way an adaptation  of Christianity.  The
           Winter  Solstice has  long been  viewed as  a time  of divine  births.
           Mithras  was said  to have  been born  at this  time.   The Christians
           simply adopted it for their use in 273 C.E. (Common Era).
                     Yule isa time of thegreatest darkness and isthe shortest day
           of the year.   Earlier peoples noticed such phenomena  and supplicated
           the forces of  nature to  lengthen the  days and  shorten the  nights.
           Witches  sometimes celebrate Yule just before dawn, then watch the Sun
           rise as a fitting finale to their efforts.
                     Sincethe God is also theSun, this marks thepoint of the year
           when the  Sun is reborn  as well.   Thus, the  Witches light  fires or
           candles to welcome the Sun's returning light.  The Goddess, slumbering
           through the Winter of Her labor, rests after Her delivery.
                     Yule is remnantof early rituals celebratedto hurry theend of
           Winter and  the bounty  of Spring,  when food  was once  again readily
           available.  To contemporary Witches it is a reminder that the ultimate
           product of  death is rebirth,  a comforting thought  in these  days of
                     Imbolc (February 2) marks the recovery of the Goddess  after
           giving birth to the God.  The lengthening periods of light awaken Her.
           The God  is a young, lusty  boy, but His  power is felt in  the longer
           days.  The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds
           to  germinate and sprout.   And so  the earliest  beginnings of Spring
                     This is a Sabbat  of purification after the shut-in  life of
           Winter, through the renewing power  of the Sun.  It is also a festival
           of light and  of fertility, once  marked in  Europe with huge  blazes,
           torches and  fire  in  every  form.   Fire  here  represents  our  own
           illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth.
                     Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches,Oimelc, Lupercalia,
           Feast  of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid's
           Day, and probably by many other names.  Some female Witches follow the
           old Scandinavian custom  of wearing  crowns of lit  candles, but  many
           more carry tapers during their invocations.
                     Thisis oneof thetraditional timesfor initiationsinto covens,
           and so self-dedication rituals, such as the  one outlined in this Book
           of Shadows, can be performed or renewed at this time.
                     Ostara (circa March  21), the Spring Equinox,  also known as
           Spring, Rites  of Spring and Eostra's Day, marks the first day of true
           Spring.  The energies of Nature subtly shift from the  sluggishness of
           Winter to the exuberant expansion of Spring.  The Goddess blankets the
           Earth  with fertility,  bursting  forth from  Her  sleep, as  the  God
           stretches and  grows to maturity.   He  walks the greening  fields and
           delights in the abundance of nature.
                     On Ostara  the hours of day  and night are equal.   Light is
           overtaking darkness; the Goddess  and God impel the wild  creatures of
           the Earth to reproduce.
                     Thisis a timeof beginnings, of action,of planting spells for
           future gains, and of tending the ritual gardens.
                     Beltane (April 30) marks the emergence of the young God into
           manhood.   Stirred by the energies  at work in Nature,  He desires the
           Goddess.  They fall in  love, lie among the grasses and  blossoms, and
           unite.   The Goddess becomes pregnant  of the God.   Witches celebrate
           the symbol of Her fertility in ritual.
                     Beltane (alsoknown as MayDay) has longbeen marked withfeasts
           and rituals.   May poles,  supremely phallic symbols,  were the  focal
           point of  Old English village rituals.   Many persons rose  at dawn to
           gather flowers and green  branches from the fields and  gardens, using
           them to decorate the May pole, their homes and themselves.
                     The flowers andgreenery symbolizethe Goddess; theMay polethe
           God.   Beltane  marks the  return of  vitality, of  passion  and hopes
                     May poles are sometimes used by Witches today during Beltane
           rituals,  but the cauldron is  a more common  focal point of ceremony.
           It represents, of  course, the Goddess - the essence of womanhood, the
           end of all desire, the equal but opposite of the May pole, symbolic of
           the God.
                     Midsummer, the SummerSolstice (circa June 21), also known as
           Litha,  arrives when the powers  of Nature reach  their highest point.
           The Earth is awash in the fertility of the Goddess and God.
                     In  the past,  bonfires were  leapt to  encourage fertility,
           purification, health and  love.   The fire once  again represents  the
           Sun, feted on this time of the longest daylight hours.
                Midsummer is a classic time for magick of all kinds.
                     Lughnasadh (August 1)is thetime of thefirst harvest, whenthe
           plants of  Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as
           well as to ensure future crops.   Mystically, so too does the God lose
           His strength as  the Sun rises farther in  the South each day  and the
           nights  grow longer.   The Goddess  watches in  sorrow and  joy as She
           realizes  that the God  is dying, and  yet lives on inside  Her as Her
                     Lughnasadh, also known as AugustEve, Feast of Bread, Harvest
           Home  and Lammas,  wasn't  necessarily  observed  on  this  day.    It
           originally coincided with the first reapings.
                     AsSummer passes, Witches rememberits warmth andbounty in the
           food we eat.  Every  meal is an act  of atunement with Nature, and  we
           are reminded that nothing in the universe is constant.
                     Mabon (circaSeptember 21),theAutumn Equinox,is thecompletion
           of the  harvest begun  as Lughnasadh.   Once again  day and  night are
           equal, poised as the God prepares to leave His physical body and begin
           the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the
                     Nature declines, drawsback its bounty,readying for Winterand
           its time of rest.  The Goddess nods in the weakening Sun, though  fire
           burns within Her womb.  She feels  the presence of the God even as  He
                     At Samhain(October 31),the Craftsay farewell tothe God. This
           is a  temporary farewell.  He  isn't wrapped in eternal  darkness, but
           readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule.
                     Samhain, alsoknown as NovemberEve, Feast ofthe Dead, Feastof
           Apples, Hallows, All Hallows  and Hallowe'en, once marked the  time of
           sacrifice.   In  some  places  this was  the  time  when animals  were
           slaughtered to ensure food throughout the depths of Winter.  The God -
           identified with  the animals -  fell as well to  ensure our continuing
                     Samhainis a time of reflection, oflooking back over the last
           year, of coming to terms with the one phenomenon of life over which we
           have no control - death.
                     The Craft feel that on this night the separation between the
           physical  and spiritual  realities is  thin.   Witches remember  their
           ancestors and all those who have gone before.
                     After Samhain, Witches celebrateYule, and so the Wheelof the
           Year is complete.
                     Surely thereare mysteries buried here. Why is theGod the son
           and then  the  lover of  the  Goddess?   This  isn't incest,  this  is
           symbolism.  In  this agricultural story (one of  many Craft myths) the
           everchanging  fertility of the Earth is represented by the Goddess and
           God.  This myth speaks  of the mysteries of birth, death  and rebirth.
           It  celebrates the wondrous aspects and beautiful effects of love, and
           honors women who perpetuate our species.   It also points out the very
           real dependence  that humans have on  the Earth, the Sun  and the Moon
           and of the effects of the seasons on our daily lives.
                     Toagricultural peoples, the majorthrust of thismyth cycle is
           the production of food  through the interplay between the  Goddess and
           God.   Food - without which we would all die - is intimately connected
           with  the  deities.     Indeed,  Witches  see  food  as   yet  another
           manifestation of divine energy.
                     And so, byobserving the Sabbats, Witches attunethemselves to
           the Earth  and  to the  deities.   They  reaffirm their  Earth  roots.
           Performing rituals on  the nights  of the Full  Moon also  strengthens
           their connections with the Goddess in particular.
                     It is thewise Witch who celebrates on theSabbats and Esbats,
           for these are times of real as well as symbolic power.  Honoring  them
           in some fashion is an integral part of Witchcraft.
           THE ESBATS
                     When our  earliest ancestors  first painted images  of their
           religious rituals on the walls  of sacred caves and understood all  of
           Nature to be inhabited by Spirit, there can be little  doubt that they
           first reckoned time by the waxing and waning of the Moon.  The primary
           reason for this  is that the monthly  cycles of the Moon  are far more
           visible  than the slow and subtle changes  in the position of the Sun,
           even to someone  who is  not especially looking  for repeated  cycles.
           One  of the  earliest  calendars known  (although its  use is  still a
           controversy that may  never be settled) is a  30,000 year-old piece of
           bone from  Europe.   It is  pierced with variously  shaped holes  in a
           series  of sevens,  suggesting the  quarters of  the Moon,  in  a loop
           design, which  represents the Lunar  cycle from  New Moon to  Full and
           back to the New or Dark of the Moon.  The artifact, just a  few inches
           across,  describes three  such  Lunar cycles  -  three months  or  one
                     Because there are 13 Lunar months in a year, and because the
           first New Moon does not necessarily coincide with the first day of the
           first Solar month, the Full Moon, midpoint of the lunar month, may not
           always fall in  the Solar month that is given here.  And because there
           are  13 Full  Moons in a  Solar year,  one month  will have two.   The
           second Full  Moon to occur  in a Solar  month is popularly  called the
           Blue Moon.
                     To each Lunar monththe ancients assigned a namein accordance
           with  the nature of  the activity that  took place at that  time.  The
           Moon of deepest Winter  is the Wolf Moon, and its name  recalls a time
           when  our ancestors  gathered  close around  the  hearth fire  as  the
           silence  of the falling  snow was  pierced by  the howling  of wolves.
           Driven by hunger,  wolves came closer  to villages than  at any  other
           time of  the year, and may  have occasionally killed a  human being in
           order to survive.
                     The wolf innorthern countries wasat one timeso feared thatit
           became  the   image  of  Fenris,  the  creature  of  destruction  that
           supposedly will  devour the world at  the end of time.   The Christian
           version of  the myth would leave  it at that, but  the myth continues.
           Like  the  wolf in  the fairy  tale  of Little  Red  Ridinghood, which
           preserves  the full  idea of  the myth  but is  used only  to frighten
           children, the wolf is slain;  and the grandmother, like the world,  is
           brought forth once more.
                     As the lightof the new-born yearslowly increases andthe Wolf
           Moon  waxes full, it is  a good time to look  back upon that which has
           just ended  and learn from our experiences.  Bid the past farewell and
           let  it go  in order  to receive  the year  that has  just  been born.
           Learning to  let go of  that which  we would  cling to is  one of  the
           greatest secrets of magick.
                     The Moon followingthe Wolf Moonis the StormMoon.  Whetheryou
           meet  with a  coven on  the night of  the Full  Moon, salute  Her in a
           solitary ritual, or simply blow Her a kiss, bear in mind the magick of
           this  night and  the nature  of the  storms of  February.   Unlike the
           boisterous storms of the light half of the year, which are accompanied
           by the  clashing of thunder  and the flinging of  lightning bolts, the
           storms  of  February  come in  silence.   They  blanket  the  world in
           coldness in  keeping with the nature of the  dark half of the Wheel of
           the  Year.  But  beneath the blanket  of cold and  silent snow, Nature
           rests, as we  do when in the realm of the Spirit that is called death;
           and like those in the world of Spirit, Nature prepares for life anew.
                     The Moon following the Storm Moon is the Chaste Moon.   Like
           Diana, chaste  Goddess of the  Moon, all of  Nature at this  moment is
           pure  potential waiting to be fulfilled.   The Goddess has many forms:
           The maiden  pure and  lovely as  the snow  of February,  the seductive
           enchantress  of the  night, or  the Crone  ancient and  wise.   As the
           Goddess can  change Her form according to the Moon or according to Her
           will,  ever renewing  Herself, ever  beginning again,  se can  we, Her
           children,  always  begin again  by  discovering  new potential  within
           ourselves.   When you cast  the Circle  of the Chaste  Moon, when  the
           candles  have  been  lit and  the  incense  burned,  look deep  within
           yourself  to discover  what  potential lies  there  waiting, like  the
           Maiden, to be fulfilled.
                       As it is the time forthe planting of seeds on the material
           plane, so may it  be time to do so on the psychic  planes as well.  On
           the night that  the Seed Moon  (another name for  the Chaste Moon)  of
           March is  full, cast  your magick  Circle.  Then  before the  rite has
           ended, select the spiritual seeds  you would like to plant.   They may
           be  seeds of  wisdom,  seeds of  understanding,  or seeds  of  certain
           magickal skills.   Then by an  act of will, plant  these seeds in  the
           fertile soil of your  subconscious mind with the firm  commitment that
           they will be nurtured and cultivated in the months that  lie ahead, so
           that they will grow and flower and bear fruit.
                     Asthe Hare Moonof Aprilwaxes full,observe therabbits leaping
           and playing,  carefree in their mating and  joyful in their games, and
           as you  cast your  Esbat Circle  and  joyfully dance  the round,  feel
           within your heart the carefree nature  of the wild creatures that  are
           also children of the Old Gods.
                     This time ofthe Sacred Marriage of the Godand Goddess is the
           Dyad Moon,  the time when  the two  become one, when  all things  meet
           their opposites  in perfect balance  and in  perfect harmony.   As you
           cast your  Circle this  night of  the Dyad Moon,  adorn it  with apple
           blossoms, and  light candles of white.  When the sacred round has been
           danced, sit a moment and reflect.  Seek harmony in all things.  As the
           dark  half of  the  Wheel of  the  Year balances  the  light, as  heat
           balances cold, recall  the words of the Goddess, "Let  there be beauty
           and  strength, power  and compassion,  honor and  humility,  mirth and
           reverence,  within you."  And then before the  rite is ended, if it is
           appropriate, become one with your working partner,  physically as well
           as spiritually.
                     Afterthe spectacular flowers of May have passed and the bees
           have gathered their pollen and nectar, the hives are filled with honey
           that is waiting to  be gathered.  In ancient times much  of this honey
           was made into a drink called mead by a fermentation process similar to
           that of making  wine.  The "Moon in June" is  the Mead Moon.  Mead has
           been considered to have magickal and even life-restoring properties in
           many of the countries of ancient Europe, and  it was the drink of many
           of the great heroes of legend.
                     Thelegendary figureRobin Hood, whois acceptedhistorically as
           being a composite of several peasant leaders during the  reign of King
           Richard I,  is also generally accepted  by Pagans as being  one of us.
           One reason is that Robin was a popular Witch name, and also because he
           was always described as  being dressed in green, symbolic of the Green
           Man of Sherwood Forest.   Lincoln green, which is made from  woad, the
           dyestuff   used  by  the  Picts  of  ancient  Britain  and  the  Druid
           priestesses, is also a color  that symbolizes, historically, the Pagan
           peasantry.   Among the articles robbed from the rich by Robin Hood are
           "met and met."  This  probably means "meat and mead."  In  the myth of
           Odin, one of  His quests is for the Poetic  Mead of Inspiration, which
           He returns to the realm of the Gods where  it belongs, but a few drops
           fall to Earth, and this may be had by anyone who can find them.
                     Onthe night thatthe Mead Moonwaxes full, afterthe Circle has
           been  cast and  dancing  done,  fill  the  cup with  mead  (if  it  is
           available), sweet wine, or an herb  tea sweetened with honey.  Sip the
           sweet drink  and  sit quietly  and  make yourself  a vessel  ready  to
           receive the inspiration of the higher realms.  Become a mead cup ready
           to be filled, not  with the brew of everyday life but  with the clear,
           bright liquid of illumination.   Every time this ritual  is performed,
           even  if there  are  no immediate  results, you  are  becoming a  more
           perfect vessel for divine inspiration.
                     If the  night of the Mead  Moon is very close  to the Summer
           Solstice, the results  of this exercise can be very  powerful.  If the
           Mead Moon is full on Midsummer Night, then the priestess into whom the
           Moon is Drawn should be prepared.
                     As the  Wort Moon of July  waxes full, this is  the time for
           gathering of  herbs.   The word  wort is  old Anglo-Saxon  for "herb."
           When  the magickal herbs have been gathered  and hung to dry, the time
           of the Wort Moon is the time  to give thanks to the spirits who  dwell
           in  the herb garden, and  to leave them  an offering.   Perhaps as you
           place an  offering in  the moonlit  garden, they will  whisper to  you
           other secrets of herbal magick.
                     One day atmid-month we realize that therobins and wrens that
           were nesting nearby  have simply  vanished.  Their  lovely songs  have
           been replaced  by the shrill calls of the bluejays, who were so silent
           during the nesting season.
                     As  August progresses the  days are still  hot but nighttime
           temperatures   are  beginning   to  cool,   and  the   late  afternoon
           thunderstorms  that bring the cooler air also bring about the ripening
           of tomatoes.
                     In thefields and meadowsand along roadsidesnow thereare wild
           herbs  to be gathered.   There are  goldenrod, Queen Anne's  lace, and
           milkweed  - all  awaiting the natural  dyer who can  extract from them
           tan, green, and bright  yellow respectively, for dyes and  for natural
           inks for talismans.  Among the medicinal herbs to be collected at this
           time is boneset,  which does not  help broken bones  to heal but  is a
           febrifuge that  was used  as  a remedy  for "Breakbone  Fever" in  the
           1840s.  Milkweed  pods with  their silken fluff,  goldenrod, and  wild
           grasses and grains  gathered now will  be dried in  time to adorn  the
           altar at the Autumnal Equinox.
                     As thearomatic herbs begin tofill the rafters inthe dry heat
           of  the attic,  and the  braids  of onions  and garlic  fill the  cool
           darkness of the root cellar, the golden grain and yellow corn ripen in
           the fields under the waning August Sun.
                     Tothe Ancients thiswas the Barley Moon,a time to contemplate
           the  eternalness of  life.  Just  as we  are descended  from the first
           woman  and the first man, who descended from the Gods, so is the grain
           of the bread that we eat descended from the first grain ever gathered.
           By ritually eating the Lammas bread we are participating in a chain of
           events that stretches back  through time to the Gods themselves.   And
           here before us in the ripening fields is the promise of the future.
                     Everywhere there is abundance -in herb garden, the vegetable
           garden, the field, and the orchard.  The pantry shelves are lined with
           glistening  glass  jars  that  are  filled  with  colorful  fruits and
           vegetables  preserved for  Winter  days;    quarts  of  red  tomatoes,
           cucumbers in slices or spears, dark red beets with cloves and cinnamon
           sticks, the yellow of  corn, the orange of  carrots - a feast for  the
           eyes  as well  as the  palate.   The house  is filled  with delightful
           aromas as  pickling spices  are added  to crocks  of brine  and exotic
           chutneys simmer on the stove.
                     But thetime of abundance isdrawing to a close. The fireflies
           of  June and July have given way  to katydids, whose scratchy calls to
           one another fill  the evening air of August with  the promise of frost
           in six weeks.
                     Sincewine was, and is, such asacred fluid, the Pagans of old
           naturally named this Lunar month the  Wine Moon.  As you celebrate the
           night  of  the Full  Wine Moon  and dance  the  magickal round  in the
           moonlit Circle, pour some white wine in a silver cup.  Before the rite
           is ended, if possible, catch Her reflection in the liquid, then take a
           sip.  As the Moon-blessed  wine casts its inner glow, sit  quietly and
           feel your own spirit, of  which the wine is a symbol.  As  the body is
           stilled and the spirit soars, feel on this night of magick a sense  of
           the kind  of  transformation that  takes place  during true  spiritual
                     Today the term HarvestMoon is appliedto the Full Moonnearest
           to the Autumnal Equinox.  This is because, it is said, in  other times
           when harvesting was  done by  hand, as the  days grew shorter  farmers
           were able to work into the night in the brightness of Her light.
                     Atthis timeof yearthe abundanceof fruit andvegetables begins
           to slow.  It is  a time when our ancient ancestors  gathered what they
           could store and then supplemented their Winter diets either by hunting
           wild animals or by slaughtering domestic ones.  So this Lunar month is
           called the Blood Moon.  As you  cast the Esbat Circle on this  moonlit
           Autumn night  and fill the cup with blood-red wine, know that you will
           be  joined in  the sacred  dance not  only by  the unseen  presence of
           departed friends and family so close at this time of year, but also by
           the  spirits of animals  as well, perhaps  of those that  have died so
           that  we may have food.  In  this age of assembly line slaughterhouses
           and meatpacking  plants, it  is especially  appropriate  that on  this
           night of the  Blood Moon we who are on the Pagan path ritually ask the
           understanding  of our animal sisters and brothers, bless them, and bid
           them merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
                     As theWinter Sun wanes andthe Snow Moon waxesfull, cast your
           Circle in the warm glow of candlelight.  Salute  the Moon in Her snowy
           whiteness and breathe in the  coolness of Her light.  Become  as still
           as this Winter  night, and know  that the activity  of the warm  light
           months  is behind us.   Ahead are  the dark months  of the year.   The
           Spirit is most active when the body is most still.
                     The Full Moon nearestthe Winter Solstice is the OakMoon, the
           Moon of the newborn year, the Divine Child.  Like the Divine Child who
           is born to  die and dies to  be reborn anew,  the ancient Oak has  its
           trunk and  branches in  the material  world of the  living, while  its
           roots, the  branches  in  reverse,  reach deep  into  the  Underworld,
           symbolic  land of the  Spirit.  As  the roots probe  downward into the
           grave-like darkness of the Earth, its branches grow ever upward toward
           the light, to  be crowned by sacred Mistletoe.   At this most magickal
           time of the year, as the light of the old dying year wanes and the Oak
           Moon waxes to full, cast your  Circle wearing Mistletoe in your  hair.
           Let  this  token   remind  you  that  like  the  Oak,   we  too  dwell
           simultaneously in two  worlds - the world  of physical matter and  the
           world of Spirit.  As you invoke the Goddess of the Moon, ask  that you
           become ever  more aware of  the other side  of reality and  the unseen
           forces and beings that are  always among us.

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