Witchcraft is like Cooking

Learning witchcraft is like learning to cook. In both cases, people look up spells or recipes in a book, perform them, then get them right or try and find out where they are going wrong.

Both are easier with a teacher to advise or to tell you where you went wrong. In both you may panic because you haven’t got an ingredient, then work out if you can get it now, or if you can substitute something else that you already have, or just give up and do it later.

The only difference is with spells you should always write your own. With cookery you can go your whole life using someone else’s recipes.

The Actual Wedding

The Wedding

The offering I did to the lake for good weather on my wedding day didn’t work at all. We had high winds and the venue had to be moved from Stourhead Gardens to Stourhead House. I suspect that offerings to bodies of water only work immediately or not at all, but more experimentation will have to be done to find out.

I did make offerings to the deities I’d originally missed out: one to Dionysus for a good wedding reception and the second to Venus for love in our marriage. The one to Dionysus certainly worked as everyone had a good time on the day, whereas the offering to Venus will take longer to determine if it worked.

As for the Autumn Equinox, I am once again doing a short ritual made up on the spot as I just haven’t had time to plan. Samhain will be different…

Why I Make a New Ritual Each Time

In subject matter my rituals stay more or less the same. It’s in the details they change.

As the daughter of a Church of Scotland minister, I have been to more services than I’ve had hot dinners. Most of them were good services, but since they had a set format, I felt that a lot of people just went through the motions. I don’t want to fall into the trap of doing that, or of doing something because “we’ve always done it that way”. I feel that this is when religion stagnates.

I want to do a ritual and think “X was good” or “Y was not so good – I made mistakes there”. I usually have a read through what I’ve done before to inspire me, and then put it aside. So I have something similar to what I’ve done before but not the same. This year I’m introducing some major changes to the way I do things, but if I looked back most of the changes would be minor but would build up so today I would be doing a very different ritual to one done five years ago.

I bet if you went to a Lughnsadh recon ritual in each of the States of America, despite the fact that they would all have the same subject matter, each ritual would be different.

I just don’t want to get into the mindset that I sing songs here, do dances there. I want to try new things. Some of which are going to be terrible and some of them are going to be brilliant. I want to do the best ritual I can at the time and I think that at the moment there is a lot of room for improvement.

If you want your rituals to have all the same structure then that’s fine by me, but it’s not what floats my boat. Except for the setting up of the circle at the beginning and winding it down at the end, everything else can change.

If I was doing rituals within a group setting, then they would change slowly because it would need a majority verdict to effect change. But it’s just me doing them, so I am free to make changes as I like.

I want to do rituals that have meaning, and I do that by writing a new ritual from scratch.

The traditional meaning of a ritual is that we do certain things at certain times. But how much of that is actually necessary?