Saturday, January 06, 2007

Jewitch Shabbat Ritual

Here is the first formal Friday evening shabbat ritual I have written for the solitary Jewitch. It may tweaked and refined as time goes by. This is the basic format from which I will build:

1. Take a bath or shower. Visualize washing away physical, emotional and spiritual impurity, letting all negativity flow down the drain with the water. Dress in ritual attire. Put on Jewitch pentacle (pentacle + magen David), saying:

Blessed is this Unity. Her Glorious Name is One. So mote it be.

2. "Sweep" (counterclockwise-"widdershins" and out) ritual space with besom. Visualize removing all negative energy from it, saying:

From this place, I banish all negativity and evil. So mote it be.

3. Perform ritual bath. Add herbs and oil of choice [1] to ritual bowl containing warm water.

Relax. Breathe. Stand facing north (Gevurah, fire) in front of bath bowl. Purify and consecrate the water mixture, placing tip of athame into the water, saying:

Out from you I cast all that is impure and unclean. Blessed are you, with the heart of the Shechinah. You are Holy. So mote it be.

Lay athame upon empty altar "place" (where altar will be or is permanently located). Face north/ritual bath bowl. Hold palms facing upward, saying:

Shechinah, fierce and intense, gentle and mild, blessed are You, and I am Your beloved child.

Dip finger of choice [2] in bath, close eyes. Anoint eyelids by drawing a small pentagram (invoking air [3]) on each with your finger, saying:

Open my eyes to see, my mind to understand and my perception to clarity.

Open your eyes. Dip finger of choice in bath, anointing lips in same fashion, saying:

Open my lips to speak the truth.

Similarly, anoint your breast, saying:

Open my heart to beat with compassion.

Similarly, anoint the palms of your hands, saying:

Open the strength of my hands to do rightly.

Similarly, anoint your loins, saying:

Open my lifeforce to flow with the Source of Peace.

Similarly, anoint your knees, saying:

Open me to be a revealed blessing.

Similarly, anoint the tops of both feet, saying:

Open the path to all good and guard my way upon it.

4. Cleanse the ritual space.

Sprinkle salt-herb water from ritual bowl, starting from the north and turning clockwise ("deosil", pronounced "jess-el", also called "sunwise" and the "holy round"); i.e. north to east to south to west. Repeat by carrying a representative of each of the four elements [4, 5], working with one element at a time.

5. Set up your altar.

Faced north, located on the eastern side of the room/space. Sprinkle salt-herb water over altar area. Set up table or other surface. Cover with black altar cloth. Individualize set up of altar space. Place candle trays upon the altar cloth now if you are going to use them. Place "circle" quarter candle (black anointed and consecrated tea candles in clear crystal circle holders) on each side of the altar north to east to south to west.

Generally, and in this order [3], place fire element (main illuminator black candle anointed, consecrated and inscribed using athame) and athame on the northern side of the altar. Place air element (incense in cauldron censor) and witch's wand (symbolizes "order from chaos") on the eastern side. Place water element (bowl of water) and chalice/kiddush cup on the southern side. Place earth element (stone or piece of wood) and pentacle on the western side.

Place besom on eastern corner (on or near the altar). Place other objects pertaining to your ritual intent upon the altar if desired [6]. Note, the only steel or iron item upon your altar should be your athame.

6. Call the quarters or watchtowers.

Pick up athame. With projecting hand (right), hold it point up parallel to your heart. Face north, raise up athame, drawing a pentagram in space with your athame in the manner invoking fire [3], saying:

Blessed is She, the Eternal Flame and the Essence of Truth.

Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the north, element of the fire, I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be.

Point athame into (toward) the earth, walk/turn the circle clockwise (deosil), then return athame to the altar. Face the east, light incense, raising it and drawing a pentagram in space in the manner invoking air [3], saying:

Blessed is She, Mistress of the mysteries of spices and perfumes, the One over Death, and She who loves me.

Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the east, element of the air. I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be.

Holding censor, turning a complete circle (or walk the circle) deosil, reface the altar. Return censor to the eastern quarter of the altar. Pick up water bowl on the southern quarter.

Repeat with south-water, west-earth.

Blessing over water element:

Blessed is She who bestows Wisdom.

Blessing over earth element:

Blessed is She who sustains Life.

7. Cast your circle, pick up athame, extend it outward and down toward the earth, walking deosil starting from the north, saying:

I conjure you, O Circle, to establish in this place sacred ground, with the Brilliance of the Shechinah surround, Her Power within it found.

No place or time or barrier may there be, between Her, my word and me. So mote it be.

Baruch shem kevod malchutah leolam va'ed, amen.

ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן
Translation: Blessed is the Glorious Name, Her Kingdom stands forever and ever, amen.

8. Light the illuminator-shabbat candle(s), (covering eyes) saying:

Blessed are You Shabbat, Goddess of all life, Who transforms darkness into light.

Uncover eyes and circle flame 3 times with hands (starting and ending over your heart), each time drawing light toward you.

9. Pour and bless wine, saying:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Goddess of all life, Who guides me to wise understanding, proper compassion and right action.

Take a drink.

10. Blessing over bread:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Who nourishes me with all goodness.

Take a bite.

11. Perform other specific observances, shabbat spellwork, meditative study, etc.

12. Release quarters and open circle [8] following havdalah.


[1] Dragon's blood, frankincence, myrrh, pinch of salt, drop of vanilla oil, drop of olive oil, drop of red wine (may vary according to intent of ritualwork). Ritual bath general reference: The Craft (Dorothy Morrison).

[2] See Ari's chiromancy correspondences.

[3] Pentagram invocations and banishings according to correspondences of the Zohar (hat-tip to Jack Nathanson for Zohar reference).

[4] Examples of elemental representatives: earth (stone, small piece of wood, bowl of salt, pentacle), fire (small lit candle, athame), air (lit incense stick or feather, wand), water (bowl of water, seashell, chalice).

[5] Elemental correspondences according to the Zohar: north-fire, east-air, south-water, west-earth.

[6] Book of Shadows (BOS), cauldron, tarot cards, dream journal, ritual jewelry, cakes/cookies/challah, kosher wine or grapejuice.

[7] "Hail, Guardians ... so mote it be" - standard quarter call revised from Solitary Witch (Silver RavenWolf).

[8] Walking and moving widdershins (counterclockwise), using pentagram "banishing" formations at the quarters to return the energies from whence they came.

2 comments: said...

Hi there Liorah,

I was just wondering if you can expand a little on the elemental
correspondences you have placed around the pentagram that
you say come from the zohar. Can you give me any reference
or guide to where I can find them? Also, after you have found
the correspondences, how have you attributed them to the pentagram?

I know traditional Golden Dawn switches around your North and
South on the bottom two points, but I was wondering how your
attributions came about?

Thanks for any help,


Liorah Lleucu said...

The Zohar on Shemot, parashat Va'Era, are one way to assign elemental correspondences of the pentagram. There are other ways as well, equally as valid.