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Coming Out of the Broom Closet
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Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
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Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
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The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
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October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
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September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
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August 31st. 2014 ...
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August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
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A Ritual Magick Perspective
Article ID: 10703
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,736
Times Read: 2,532
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Author: Rev Bill Duvendack
Posted: May 7th. 2006
Times Viewed: 2,532
Ritual magick is possibly the most dangerous of any work that can be done in the name of the “Pagan” path. Why? If done incorrectly, too much karma can be incurred, which would hinder spiritual growth. For example, if one is to do a love ritual that targets an individual, then the progenitor of the ritual is in for a different dose of karma than if one were to do a ritual just to bring love. The former is forcing Will against Will; the latter is making a statement of intent. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough karma to work through in this lifetime without incurring more, intentionally or accidentally!
It can also be one of the most rewarding of all events since a successful ritual can have very positive affirming effects. There is nothing quite like when a ritual goes off as it has been conceived. Those successes can boost confidence and personal power in a way very few others can!
And away we go! The first point to consider when contemplating ritual magick is forethought. Forethought in the context of such questions as “Why am I doing this?” and “To what ends?” There are many other questions to consider, but part of the growth process is learning what questions should be asked. It has been my experience that not everyone should be doing ceremonial magick, but everyone is comfortable doing ritual magick. However, most don’t realize they are doing ritual magick every day! So props to those of you that know that every day is ritual magick in motion. And to those of you that don’t see this, allow me to elucidate.
Anything that is done repeatedly is a ritual. If one takes a shower every day in the morning, then that can be considered a ritual. How is that so? By having these repeated instances, there is energy associated with that. If you take a shower every morning and skip a morning, there could follow a feeling of “not quite with it” that would affect the rest of the day. See?
The second point worth considering is protection. This can be looked at from at least two perspectives, and probably more, if contemplated thoroughly enough. I’m going to address the two angles, and let the meal digest from there. The first is self-protection. Word of warning: If a ritual doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it! No matter what peer pressure says! Intuition is the best guide any of us have on our respective paths. After all, at the end of the day, we have only ourselves to thank or blame for where we are and what we’re doing. Listening to intuition is the first step towards protecting yourself from who knows what. Once one learns to trust and work with the intuition, one can then develop techniques to make defenses easier to use, and more personal.
The second is lesser known, which is protection from unintentional backlash. For example, would one really choose to stand in a healing ritual with someone whose path is mostly violence and conflict? While one may be comfortable with that, the disparaging energies would not be helpful towards healing. A by-product of that is that when that circle is entered, all present are intertwined on an energetic level, so everyone leaves with a piece of everyone else. While this can be cleansed later, if desired, it can persist if one is not aware, and complicate the path. The best rule of thumb I’ve found is that the circle, and thereby the ritual, is only as strong as its weakest link.
Now to fully address the topic. From here on out is opinion and personal experience condensed. Ritual magick is easiest learned from someone, combined with book learning. One can learn ritual magick on their own, but the path is longer and harder, for without someone to discuss common circumstances, one cannot see what is “normal”, and what is “unique”.
A few years ago in my life I went through a very intense magickal growth stage, and only later, after I talked to more experienced Will-workers, did I discover that it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but rather just growing pains! They had gone through the same things in their paths. Boy did I feel relieved! Shortly thereafter, I found similar examples in books that I was reading, that the other person didn’t know I had read, nor had they read the books themselves! Talk about vindication and validation! I felt exceptionally empowered after that.
One can learn ritual magick on their own without books or mentors, but take it from one who’s been there: the lessons are harder, and it takes longer to grow. So, in short, here’s my two cents and food for thought:
Formal training doesn’t inhibit freedom of thought any more than specialized training inhibits the rest of life. In a brief analogy, if one goes to a tech school to learn heating and cooling systems to compliment their real world mechanic skills, does that mean they are any less of a mechanic? No, it means that they are just better in a given field than they were before the training. Once the principles of ritual magick are understood, one can tailor them to their own tastes.
In my humble opinion, here’s the straight shooting real deal: If one wants to learn ritual magick by book alone, good for them. Just be prepared for it to take longer. If one wants to learn ritual magick solely from a mentor, good for them. Just keep in mind that a mentor has faults just like anyone in physical form, so there will always be that limit. If one wants to learn from a combination of books and mentor(s), this is even better since it leads to a decent check and balance system. If one wants to learn from books, a mentor, and a specialized training system that has been proven successful, this is a very good way to go. In my opinion, it is also the quickest!
Rev Bill Duvendack
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
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