“I don’t know how much longer I can live in an apartment with those roommates,” my friend, Allen, said.
“Something happened?” I asked.
“I need to get into a situation where I’m around people who are okay with Wicca,” he said.
I know how difficult living with non-Wiccans can be. Especially if they are not Wiccan-friendly.
Certainly, you can’t have an altar set up permanently where they can see it.
So how can you follow your spiritual path and be discreet about it?
One way to hide a Wiccan altar is to use a small, hard-shelled suitcase. This is truly convenient because when you’re done, you just put your altar tools into the suitcase and put it away. Additionally, your tools are stored simply and easily for the next time you need them.
You can store your suitcase-altar out of the way in a closet or under a bed.
When you’re ready to do your ritual (with your door closed!), just pull out the suitcase and set your altar up.
You can even use the suitcase itself as the altar table.
Need to travel or do a ritual at a friend’s home? Just grab your suitcase-altar and go.
If you live with non-Wiccans, you can use your suitcase-altar as a simple way to disguise and store your altar until you’re ready to do your next ritual.
I placed the bowl of salt on the altar and then, gently, my mentor moved my hand to the left. Just then, I had the instinctive feeling that the bowl of salt was now in the right place.
I’ve found that having a mentor brings out an aspect of Wicca that one cannot find in a book.
Imagine trying to learn to swim without getting in the water.
Similarly, did you learn to ride a bicycle with no one next you? Learning to ride a bicycle is a good metaphor related to rising to higher levels of Wiccan practice.
You could read a book about a bicycle or watch other people riding bicycles, but that is not the same as having a mentor guide you.
When my dad taught me to ride a bicycle, he was there offering advice and helping me right the bicycle when I took a couple of spills.
Wicca is an experiential process. A mentor can guide you in a progression of experiences so that you learn at a good pace and have successful experiences along the way.
The idea of being a mentor means so much to me that I’m now completing a video in which I talk directly with the viewer and show the process of a number of meditations. I provide guided meditations—this is a prime example of when a mentor can provide an experience to help the viewer go deeper in his or her practice.
Consider ways to bring a mentor or mentors into your journey.
You’ll make progress faster and enjoy the journey more.
For more of Moonwater SilverClaw, consider some of her books:
I didn’t know what to do. When I first started on the Wiccan path, I read some books and it appeared that I needed a bunch of tools—which I could not afford! What was I to do? Like many young people at that time, I didn’t have a lot of money.
Many books don’t tell you something important: You probably already have all the tools you need. You don’t need all the fancy trappings and trimmings to practice the Craft. Using something simple is just as effective as employing some store-bought, fancy item. Tools encrusted with gems and other trimmings don’t make for a better tool.
In fact, the most powerful tools are ones we make ourselves.
Why? As you make the tool, the tool absorbs your energy and so holds more power.
But do not fear if you’re not skilled with arts and crafts. You will do just fine with simple things you gather from within your home.
Which household items can you use for your tools of Wicca?
Altar Cloth: A large square scarf (or even sarong) will work. Just remember that the altar cloth helps to keep wax from damaging the altar. So if you do not want wax on your cloth, find some other material.
Athame: You can use a butter knife. Generally an athame is a black-handled, double edged knife. But a butter knife will work just fine. An athame doesn’t need to be sharp. It cuts energy not material things.
Bell: Any bell will work. You can even use a utensil to strike a wine glass. The bell on a cat collar will also work.
Boline: The traditional boline is a white handled knife often with a curved blade, but a steak knife will work well. This knife, unlike the athame, is used for cutting physical things like herbs. You’ll also use the boline to carve runes and names on candles.
Candles: Any kind of candles will do. Further, any inexpensive tea lights would work.
Cauldron: Any fireproof container will do. A pot works well.
Censer: A simple bowl of sand will work just fine.
Goblet or chalice:Any glass will do. A wine glass will work well. Originally, the traditional goblet was made out of wood.
Incense: You could use fresh herbs from your garden if you don’t have regular incense.
Offering Dishes: The bowls from your kitchen cabinet will work just fine.
Pentacle: A simple plate painted with a pentagram works. Pentacles were often made out of carved wax, which could thrown in a fire and melt into nothing. That’s one way that witches employed to stay hidden from the wrath of persecutors.
Salt: It’s nice to have sea salt, but the table salt will do.
Wand: A branch from a tree in your garden will work. Make sure it does not touch the ground as this would cause the loss of the power the tree gave it.
Water: You don’t need to have spring water. Tap water works fine.
As you can see, most if not all of the tools you need reside in your home already. If you can make your own tools, that’s even better. However, most of us are not metalsmiths, nor do we have a forge handy. That’s okay, since I shared handy substitute-items above.
Wicca can be done on a budget. All you need is your imagination.
Casting a circle involves several steps. The following lays this out for you in detail. Please see the post on Alter Setup for the placement of the tools on your altar, also see what is a magick circle if you are wondering why you need to do this in the first place.
Before you begin, you will need:
1) A table for the altar.
2) Candles and candle holders for the four directions in the colors that represent each (red for south, blue for west, green for north, yellow for east.)
3) A red candle for the god and a green candle for the goddess. These candle colors are preferable but not mandatory. You may also use white candles if that is all you have.
12) An altar cloth to keep wax and the other things off the table.
13) Wine or juice and some sort of cake.
14) A lighter.
Next, locate the four directions. Place the quarter candles in their respective corners: green in the northern-most corner, yellow in the east, red in the south, and blue in the west. Below is a simple graphic to show you where to place the quarter candles.
Before you begin, ground and center. This will help to clean out and balance your energy. This step is important to help you get into the right frame of mind before you start.
Next, you need a script to cast a circle or temple for conducting harmonious rites. Don’t worry if the rites you perform don’t flow easily at first. You just need practice. Consider writing a script yourself to follow. This may make it less confusing for you.
The following is an example of a script you can use. The parts you say out loud are in bold. This makes it easier to be seen by candlelight.
Note: This script is written for someone who is casting alone.
Knockthree times on the altar. Ring the bell three times.
Light the working candle with the lighter.
Light the charcoal if you are using it from the working candle.
Take your athame and place its tip into the flame of the working candle. Say:
I exorcise you o creature of fire. And I consecrate and bless you in the names of the Goddess and the God that you are pure and clean.
5) Trace a pentacle over the flame. Pick up the candle and raise it up above you and imagine your energy and the gods’ energy filling the flame. Place the candle back on the altar.
6) Take your athame and place its tip into the bowl of water. Say:
I exorcise you, o creature of water. And I consecrate and bless you in the names of the Goddess and the God that you are pure and clean.
7) Trace a pentacle in the water. Pick up the bowl of water and raise it up above you and imagine your energy and the gods’ energy filling the water. Place the bowl back on the altar.
8) Take your athame and place its tip into the salt. Say:
I exorcise you, o creature of salt. And I consecrate and bless you in the names of the Goddess and the God that you are pure and clean.
9) Trace a pentacle in the salt. Pick up the bowl of salt and raise it up above you and imagine your energy and the gods’ energy filling the salt. Place the salt bowl back on the altar.
10) Take your athame and place its tip into the incense. Say:
I exorcise you, o creature of Air. And I consecrate and bless you in the names of the Goddess and the God that you are pure and clean.
11) Trace a pentacle over incense. Pick up the incense and raise it up above you and imagine your energy and the gods’ energy filling the incense. Place the incense on the lit charcoal.
12) Take your athame and scoop up three blades of the salt. You may also use your finger. Put the three pinches of salt into the water and mix it with the blade of your athame to make holy water. Pick up the bowl of holy water and raise it up above you and imagine your energy and the gods’ the energy filling it.
13) Take the holy water (the salt and water mixture) and dip your fingers into it. Dab some of it on your wrists and forehead. Say:
I bless myself with Earth and Water.
14) Take the censer filled with the burning incense and wave the smoke over you. Say:
I bless myself with Air and Fire.
15) Take the holy water (salt water mixture) and use your fingers to asperge (sprinkle with the holy water) the circle. Starting with north and moving clockwise, walk a complete circle around the parameter, asperging each corner as you go. When finished, place the bowl back on the altar.
16) Pick up the censer filled with the burning incense. Use your hand to wave the incense smoke around the circle. Starting with north and moving clockwise, walk a complete circle around the parameter, waving the smoke as you go. Be careful not to burn yourself or anything else. When finished, place the censer back on the altar.
(You have just cleansed the space and yourself. Now let’s continue by casting the circle.)
17) Take the sword/athame. Envision energy being channeled from you up from the earth or down from the sky and coming out the tip of your sword/athame. Starting with north and moving clockwise, walk a complete circle around the parameter. As you walk, say:
I conjure you, o circle of power, that you be a boundary between the seen mundane world and the spirit world. That you protect me and contain the magick that I shall raise within you! I consecrate and bless you in the names of the Goddess and the God. So mote it be!
18) Finish at the east quarter and trace a pentacle in the air with sword/athame.
(Now it’s time to call the quarters.)
19) Take the athame and the taper from the altar. Light the taper from the working candle. Go and stand in the east corner of where your circle boundary is. Starting with the east candle, say:
I summon, stir, and call you up, o mighty ones of the East, element of Air. Come guard my circle and witness my rite.
20) Trace a pentacle in the air with your athame. Then light the quarter candle for east. Say:
Hail and welcome!
21) Move clockwise to the south candle. Say:
I summon, stir, and call you up, o mighty ones of the South, element of Fire. Come guard my circle and witness my rite.
22) Trace a pentacle in the air with your athame. Then light the quarter candle for south. Say:
Hail and welcome!
23) Move clockwise to the west candle. Say:
I summon, stir, and call you up, o mighty ones of the West, element of Water. Come guard my circle and witness my rite.
24) Trace a pentacle in the air with your athame. Then light the quarter candle for west. Say:
Hail and welcome!
25) Move clockwise to the north candle. Say:
I summon, stir, and call you up, o mighty ones of the North, element of Earth. Come guard my circle and witness my rite.
26) Trace a pentacle in the air with your athame. Then light the quarter candle for north. Say:
Hail and welcome!
27) Using the taper, light the goddess candle, saying:
Welcome, my lady!
28) Using the taper, light the god candle, saying:
Welcome, my lord!
You have now completed casting your circle!
(At this time you can do any working you need or communicate with the gods through meditation.)
What is a cakes and wine ceremony? It is the process of using food and drink to replenish the energy spent doing the working or ritual. Food also helps you to ground. Why is grounding important? It helps you shed the extra energy that you may have accumulated during your working. We raise energy to do our workings and when we are finished we need to shed that energy. For that we use this ceremony, which also helps replenish your body of the energy it used to do the magick. So the ceremony has a dual purpose.
For this ceremony you first must bless the food and drink. You begin with the wine or juice.
1) Take the cup from your altar and pour the wine or juice into it. Then take the athame and dip its tip into the wine or juice. Say:
As the athame is the male, so the cup is the female, and so joined bring union and harmony.
2) Pour some of your blessed wine or juice into the offering bowl or plate on your altar. While doing this say:
To the Gods!
You can now partake in the beverage.
3) Take your athame and point it over the cake. Say:
Blessed be these cakes that they bestow health, peace, joy, strength, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual happiness.
4) Take one of the cakes (or just a piece of the cake) and place it in the offering bowl or plate. Say:
To the Gods!
You can now partake of the blessed cakes.
Note that this ritual was written for someone practicing alone. If it is conducted in a group, pass around the cup and the cakes, each person taking a sip and one of or part of the cake. As each person passes the wine and cake, they should say to the next person:
As you hand the cup to another say: May you never thirst.
The person replys to this: Blessed Be.
As you offer a cake say: May you never hunger.
When the cake(s) is offered to you reply: Blessed Be.