[Lady Sheherazahde's Wiccan Ways : The Braided Wheel Tradition]
Purification of Ritual Space
It is common practice in Wiccan based Rituals to purify
everyone and everything in the Ritual area at the beginning of the
Ritual. Because our religion is an earth centered one we do not
believe that we are inherently dirty. But we do believe that it is
possible for us to pick up unhealthy or destructive energies in our
daily lives. The ritual purification is our opportunity to wash
away the negative influences we wish to banish from our lives.
Now we call upon the elemental spirits
to carry away our fears and anxieties
that blind and inhibit us.
As we call each elemental
let us give it a gift of our energy
to thank it for it's help.
The ritual purification is usually done in two parts: first
the salt and water (Asperges), then the fire and air (Incensing).This is sometimes
called the Soak and Smoke.
We start with the Salt consecration in the north. The
purification is done counter clockwise to banish negative influences.
© 1998 Sheherazahde, Braided Wheel Tradition
- The first part of the purification consists of: a call to the earth elementals,
honor and consecrate them, call to the water elementals, honor and purify them,
establish unity between them, and purify the
participants and the ritual space.
- In our tradition the salt and water Purifications are usually
done by a woman because Earth and Water are feminine elements. But that is just
as good a reason to have it done by a man.
- Salt is kept in a cauldron in the north because it represents
the element Earth. Salt has long been used as a preservative
because it does prevent spoilage, it is considered pure because it
prevents corruption. Because salt is considered magically pure to
use it in ritual you need only ask it politely, and charge it with
energy you draw up from the Earth.
Spirit of Earth we charge and consecrate you
that you will free our bodies from injury.
- The next step is the Water purification. Water, of course,
represents water. Historically water is used as a cleansing agent
but it is also a carrier of disease. It is not considered
magically pure so it must be purified as well as charged before it
can be used magically.
Spirit of Water we charge and purify you
that you will free our emotions from inhibition.
- Then comes the joining of the Salt and Water. We usually pour
the salt into the water while saying something like:
Salt and Water, outer and inner, body and soul, be cleansed,
cast out all that is bad and hurtful take in all that is good and healing.
So mote it be
- Swirl the water with your fingers or wand while talking and as you say
"...cast out..." flick some of the water out of the circle.
- When the salt and water are joined the bowl then contains the
saline solution that represents the oceans, the womb of life on
earth. This is the Holy Water the sacred blood of the Goddess
which cleanses and purifies.
- The consecrated Saltwater is used to purify (asperges) the
space and everyone present. The charged and consecrated salt water
is passed or carried around the Circle and everyone and everything is aspersed.
- The person who did the charging can carry it around the group
sprinkling liberally or it can be passed from hand to hand everyone
aspersing themselves or the person next to them. I once attended
a ritual where everyone purified the next person in line. It was a
wonderful group building touch.
By the Earth that sustains us
and the water that renews us,
we bless and consecrate this Circle.
With gentle waters and sustaining earth
I bless and purify this circle.
With strong Earth and gentle Waters
I bless and purify this Circle.
- The second part of the purification consists of: a call to the
fire elementals, honor and consecrate them, call to the air
elementals, honor and purify them, establish unity between them,
and purify the participants and the space.
- In our Circle the Fire and Air purification is usually done by
a man because fire and air are masculine elements. (See notes on
Earth and Water.)
- First the Fire consecration. Light the South Candle from the
Center Candle. You may use a taper. Lighting all subsequent
candles from the center candle is very symbolic of how everything
arises out of the first spark and it is more gracefull than pulling
out a lighter every time.
Spirit of Fire, we charge and consecrate you
that you will enlighten our spirits.
- The Incense is used to purify the room and everyone in it. In
Native American traditions this is called smudging. Smudge is a European
word with a Middle English root meaning "to suffocate".
The traditional word for the European practice of purification by
smoke is Incense meaning "to offer incense" or "to arouse passion"
which I think is much more appropriate. Charge and purify your incense.
Spirit of air, we charge and purify you
that you will inspire our intellects.
- Light the incense from the South Candle to join fire and air.
Fire and Air, breath and spark,
intellect and spirit, be cleansed,
cast out all that is bad and hurtful,
take in all that is good and healing
So mote it be.
- Pass or carry the incense around the circle until it comes
back to the starting place. Sometimes the smoke is visualized as
purifying the auras of the participants to this end the smoke is
wafted over the whole body of the participants including the soles
of the feet. The smoke can be wafted by a ritual fan of feathers,
sometimes a whole dried wing is used. Some Native American and
African traditions use a horse hair whisk for this purpose.
- As everyone and everything is being Incensed say:
By the fires of spirit
and the winds of inspiration
we bless and purify this Circle.
With sweet air and sacred fire
I bless and purify this circle
(Blue Star traditional from Zippora.)
This completes the purification.
- When you feel a particular need for purification try this.
Clean your bathroom in preparation for the spell. Set up a
shrine with the incense of your choice and between 1 and 5 white
candles Fill the Bathtub with water as hot as you can take it. Add 1
cup of salt and 1 cup of baking soda.
- Invoke whoever or whatever you feel necessary. Turn off all
electric light. Light the candles and incense.
- Soak in the tub as long as you can, adding hot water as necessary.
- When you are done rinse off the salt water. Thank the spirits you invoked and clean up.
For more information contact:
Lady Sheherazahde's Wiccan Ways
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