Bad Ritual

Last Friday I went to a group called “A Sacred Place” in London which was supposedly not for beginners and was supposedly to utilise ritual for magic in a group setting.  I thought I could learn something from them and it would be interesting.

I came in and was given a refund on my money because of the Tsunami.  I asked why we were being given a refund as I would have been okay with my money going to help the survivors and the person manning the desk didn’t know why.

We then went downstairs and after introducing ourselves we split into groups to discuss why the Tsunami happened.  The leader is a nature worshipper and couldn’t make sense of why it had happened and was upset because of it.  I later learned that the Shinto monks in Japan had campaigned against nuclear power on those sites as it was against the land spirits.  When we reformed into one big group the idea put forward was that “it happened because of the planet’s karma”.  One of these days I’m going to have to learn about karma just so I can tell people why they’re speaking absolute rubbish.

The leader called for a break so that they could smoke and get the room ready.  Candles of colours representing north, south, east and west were placed in the corners of the room.  Since we would be casting a circle of some sort I wondered why we were putting candles in the corners which delineate a square.  I would have moved them forward till they weren’t in the corners, but still standing at the compass point they represented.

Then we stood in a circle and the circle was cast by the leader pointing a wand at us and every time he pointed the wand we had to say “I cast this circle with care and compassion”.  It’s a basic tenet of every type of witchcraft or paganism I have come across that when you cast a circle you are inside the circle.  This was setting us up to be the circle, which is so not a good idea.

The wand went faster and faster around until we could go no faster.  It was a good way of building up power, but there was so much power already in the room that we didn’t need to build anymore up, we could have used the power that was in the room.  We also chanted “earth, water, fire and air” to build power up.  That worked, but the ecstatic dancing around the room (everyone was left to their own devices as to which dance to do) dispered the power somewhat and broke the circle.  After which the ritual just ended.  I didn’t dance as half-way through the ritual I had wondered why there was so much power in the room and then I realised it was because they weren’t doing anything with the power they had built up.  When I realised this I hastily protected myself and stood outside the ritual as all that they were doing was turning themselves into one huge, blaring lighthouse for anything out there and I really didn’t want to be in the firing line when anything out there noticed them.

This was a ritual to help the tsunami.  I’m very glad they didn’t do anything with the power because as I understand it a tsunami is the water which has been displaced by an undersea earthquake and therefore has more than enough power of it’s own.  If these people had sent out all the power to the tsunami the power would just have fuelled it on.  Plus the chant for raising power should have been something appropriate, not “earth, water, fire and air”.  The tsunami was fuelled by earth and water and I hate to think what a mix of power raised by chanting these elements would do.

I’m glad these people were too inexperienced to know what to do as otherwise it would have been a prime example of the amount of damage that can be done by a little information in the hands of people who can’t think through what they’re doing.



  1. erinkestrel said,

    March 20, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Wow! That’s all I have to say….I was really struck by this line: “The leader is a nature worshipper and couldn’t make sense of why it had happened and was upset because of it.” Wow.

  2. April 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I know I’m late in responding to this, but I had to – this horrifies me! I’ve seen it too often in group rituals as well – circles cast and power raised… for nothing. Or worse, with a target! Imagine being very ill and suddenly have a whole group sending you the energy they raised in ritual in one big whammy. It always does more harm than good.

    They invoke the gods to be present in their ritual, but do not give them offering or even ask for anything. If I were a god I wouldn’t bother attending all the rites where I was only asked to “watch”.

    The ritual sounds really sloppy and poorly thought out. If this is advanced then modern witchcraft is in a sad place. If laypagans stopped trying to practice witchcraft we’d both be better for it.

    • April 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      No worries about the late reply, Sarah. The ritual was appalling, I wanted to leave a lot sooner and in hindsight I wished I had just walked out. I only realised how bad it was when I was telling my non-pagan bloke about it and he started criticising the ritual – and the only magic he knows is what he’s picked up from being around me and occasionally coming to my rituals, so he would definately be a beginner.

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