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Ceremonial Basics - Year 1 in Wicca


Ceremonial Basics

Copyright 2015 BWC

Published by Black Witch S

License Notes

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Table of Contents



The Opening of the Temple: Preparation

The Opening of the Temple: Ceremony

Consecration of Wine & Cakes

Taking down the Temple

The Opening of the Temple: For Coven

Research Project


End Blessing


About BWS

Other books by BWS

Connect with BWS


Reading List


A huge debt of gratitude goes to Lady Hannah who extremely generously volunteered to read and edit the entire course. She made many grammatical corrections, a number of changes to cumbersome phrases, some factual corrections and suggestions on how to make some of the sections clearer. She has had a consistently keen eye for all these things that have slipped past my attention.

I would also like to acknowledge those students at BWC School Of Witchcraft who have written to me from time to time, pointing out inconsistencies and things that were unclear in the On-line course of BWC Year 1 in the craft.

Great thanks go as well to my coven sisters & brothers, with whom I discussed many of the ideas within the book.


Black Witch Silvava



The Ceremonial Framework of Wicca

As you are beginning to learn, Wiccans have a program of regular meetings and festivities throughout the course of a year. Esbats are regular monthly gatherings at the Full Moon, whilst the eight Sabbats (four Greater and four Lesser) are celebrations that mark the stages of the year and are based on the cycles of agriculture and the Sun.

There are a number of ceremonial practices that form the basis of these events. Moreover, some of these, like the casting of the circle, are also used on other occasions such as when magic is practiced. They are fundamental to the whole notion of the Craft, and this is the reason why they are presented to you at such an early stage in your studies.


The Opening of the Temple – Preparation

The Opening of the Temple is the key ritual of Wicca as, with the proper preparation of sacred space, Witches set up the environment within which they work, whether this be within a room in their house, beneath the trees of a forest, or underneath the elements and the sky.

The temple takes the form of a circle. This classic shape has always been used in Wicca for magical work as it is believed that it contains and intensifies energies, as well as having the added benefit of providing psychic protection. How this came to be, as opposed to say a square, is a debatable point and there are a number of theories. Some think that the circle is a shape engrained into the psyche of humankind through the eons spent round the campfire and that it is natural that we should return to such a primordial shape when practicing magic. Others see that it is the most natural layout to use when working with a number of individuals in something that requires direct participation from all concerned.

Whatever its origins, those practicing magic have for many centuries used the circle, and it is perhaps to be expected that it should be used in Wicca.



Before beginning, space needs to be cleared for the casting of the circle. How large it will be depends on how many people are intending to take part.

Traditionally, a circle is five feet in diameter for one person and nine feet in diameter for a thirteen-member coven. In reality, though, not every solitary has five feet of spare space and not every coven has thirteen members. When working with others one of the most effective ways to judge space is to get members to hold hands in a ring, with arms half outstretched, before the circle is cast. This will indicate a comfortable amount of distance between individuals.

One of the essential features of the circle are the Quarters or cardinal compass point directions of East, South, North and West. Many Witches believe that the energy of the Earth should be brought into proper alignment with their ceremonies and use a compass to know where these points are to be found.

Others feel that symbolic directions are fine. All, though, make use of the cardinal directions (real or symbolic) when laying out ritual tools and for certain key movements and words.

These points have a variety of correspondences that the novice Witch should familiarize themselves with. Please note that such correspondences are never an exact science and you will find a number of variants as you continue your studies.

As you learn more about witchcraft, you may make observations about other elements such as in the table below. You will create your own chart as time progresses, and as you develop your own interests.

For the sake of convenience some of the main ones have been summarized in the table below:



p={color:#FFF;}. East
p={color:#FFF;}. South
p={color:#FFF;}. West
p={color:#FFF;}. North


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Ceremonial Basics - Year 1 in Wicca

Before you can cast your first Circle, or chant your first spell, you need to have an understanding of tools that are used, and how to consecrate those tools. Some of these tools are not as obvious as a knife. They include things like an altar, robes, and salt. Once you have cast the Circle, and created your Sacred Space, you call to the Quarters or Elements, to protect that space. These Guardians are powerful, and must be properly controlled if you hope to use them in ritual. Properly casting your Circle for the first time is where you find out that you really do have the power to change reality. A Cast Circle is a place that is not a place, and a time that is not a time. It is an odd feeling knowing that the world outside still exists, but not being able to sense it. Now you can invoke the Gods, and ask them to join you. Unlike the Quarters, you cannot command the Gods, you simply invite them. As Witches, we talk to our Gods, and listen to them, on a regular basis. Most who are new to Witchcraft, think that hearing voices is a sign of insanity, but really, what good is a God that never answers your prayers? In reality, you are simply communicating with that part of yourself that has the power to change your life. Once your Circle is complete, and your Temple erected, you begin the Working. I capitalize the word because your Working is the entire purpose for the ritual. This is where you celebrate the holiday, or cast your magick. It is called a Working because it is just that, work. 3_Ceremonial Basics_2D This can be a celebrational working such as a Sabbat, or the magickal Working of an Esbat. After completing whatever ritual Working you need, it’s time to relax with cakes and ale. If done correctly, the Working will have depleted your energy significantly. By sitting down with food and drink (alcoholic or not) you can ground and center yourself, replenish your energy, and begin the journey back to the real world. The last step in returning to the here and now, is opening the Circle. You thank the Gods for their presence, dismiss the Quarters, and cut the Circle. The Circle is now open, but remains unbroken. While the ritual is now over, it remains with you. As you practice your Craft more, you will find that there are times when you need a ritual. You will feel it. For the same reasons some people find comfort in going to church, you will find that ritual can comfort and soothe you. When it’s done right, you come out of ritual more alert, and refreshed than when you started. You feel a power that is indescribable. You have talked to your Gods and listened to their wisdom. You have reconnected with the Divine within you, and confirmed that you can deal with whatever life decides to throw at you. Are you ready to learn? Let’s begin.

  • ISBN: 9781310694042
  • Author: BWS
  • Published: 2015-11-12 01:50:08
  • Words: 11690
Ceremonial Basics - Year 1 in Wicca Ceremonial Basics - Year 1 in Wicca