Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Modern Vs Tradition on Samhain

Samhain is the traditional name for Halloween. It origionated from the Celts, but the Celts by no means had license on days celebrating and honoring the dead.

The Encyclopedia of Religion says, "Halloween, or Allhallows Eve, is a festival celebrated on 31 October, the evening prior to the Christian Feast of All Saints (All Saints' Day). Halloween is the name for the eve of Samhain, a celebration marking the beginning of winter as well as the first day of the New Year within the ancient Celtic culture of the British Isles. The time of Samhain consisted of the eve of the feast and the day itself (31 October and 1 November)" (1987, p. 176, "Halloween").

Concerning Halloween The Encyclopedia of Religion continues:

"On this occasion, it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. The eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken. Otherworldly entities, such as the souls of the dead, were able to visit earthly inhabitants, and humans could take the opportunity to penetrate the domains of the gods and supernatural creatures.

"Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land . . . Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during the period" (pp. 176-177).

On this holiday "huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits . . . The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. IV, p. 862, "Halloween").

In most regions, once Christianity moved into town they assimilated many of the traditions so as to not alienate the common folk. This is true for almost every Celtic Holiday: Besides Halloween, the Celts observed the winter solstice or Yule which was later transformed into Christmas; the spring fertility rites of Ostara which became Easter; Feb. 2 as Candlemas, was assimilated into the supposed day of Jesus' presentation in the temple and the purification of Mary - In the United States Candlemas persists in Groundhog Day; and others.

In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First made it so that we have no written records of our ancestors celebrations and traditions. Only in abstract can we extrapolate what was done and why. Pope Gregory, wrote is now famous edict - telling his Christian missionaries to try to assimilate as much of the 'common' beliefs as possible. The Celtic Underwords became the Catholic Hell. Our male deities, who are often represented with animal extensions - we transformed into demons. The Druids who worshipped nature were condemed as Devil or Satan worshippers...which in a way is true....since the Christian vision of Satan came from our Herne the Hunter. The common people were given a choice - follow the slightly modified new traditions and forget the old, or die. "Samhain remained a popular festival among the Celtic people throughout the christianization of Great Britain. The British church attempted to divert this interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as Samhain. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the known and unknown saints of the Christian religion just as Samhain had acknowledged and paid tribute to the Celtic deities" (The Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 177, "Halloween")

Many of the traditional celebrations for Samhain are still carried on today -

The bobbing of apples was a form of divination, for example. The first person to bite the apple would be the next to marry (like catching the bouquet). The peeling of the apple was a way of measuring lifespan - the longer the single strand of peel the longer the life.

Origionally the Celts would carve turnips and place candles in them to guide family spirits to them and guard against negative spirits. When Irish Immegtrants came to America and discovered the bog orange turnip - the Pumpkin - they started using these for their carvings. ********

Jack The Turnip - The origin of the term Jack O'Lantern

Trick Or Treating:
Since the spirits roamed the countryside on Samhain or All Hallows Eve. The people left cakes and treats for the spirits of their loved ones. If a spirit came to your home though, and was not one of your dearly departed....would you really send them off hungry? Of course not. And neither did the ancients. Of couse how are you to know if the beast at your door is a boy from a nearby town or if it is a dark spirit? Better to give them a treat than to suffer the consequences. It is debated whether this is the source of trick-or-treating. It could also be attributed to beggers going to the homes of the rich and threatening with evil spirits if they were not fed.

The Witch:
Not surprisingly, Witches were associated with this Sabbat. Of course ancient practitioners and Druids would perform seasonal rites on this High Holy Day, but when Christianity transformed the Celtic Wheel of the Year (holidays) they vilified the practices of magick as well. Many went into hiding but could be seen on the Sabbats performing the ancient rites. So, the Church convinced the huddled masses, who were already forgetting their own Pagan roots, that the evil spirits they remembered being taught about on Samhain were in the control ofthese evil witches.

The Black Cat & The Full Moon:
As with above, the black cat and the full moon are both utilized by many Pagans when performing rites as they associated with strong links to the Goddess. Therefore in the advent of Christianity, what had once been viewed as a supreme blessing became evil incarnat. The black cat working as the witch's familiar - sort of true, but any cat or animal can be a familiar. But the color black is asociated with the banishment of negativity, so it can be surmised these ancient praticiioners performed banishments on Samhain to help protect the masses, and this was the sourse of the rumors.
Witch Flying on The Broom:
Witches have utilized straw brooms for centuries, as a means of banishing negativity. Somehow over the ages, this association was confused with the Norse myths on Hallowe'en. "Historically, beliefs about mythic Norse spirits and deities who flew through the air to gather souls and reward heroes influenced the Celtic fairy lore and witch lore that became a part of Halloween, and they also contributed to the development of the flying Father Christmas figure we know as Santa Claus, with his furs and his northern European reindeer" (Jack Santino, All Around the Year: Holidays & Celebrations in American Life, 1994, p. 26).

Costumes, Masks, Oh My...The Celtic Mardi Gras?
There were many reasons the ancient Celts were believed to have worn costumes. One of which was to celebrate life. Dress-up and have a huge party. The harvest is finally, fully complete with food stored for Winter. The nights are growing longer and the days already getting much cooler. Shortly the masses would be huddled in their homes just trying to srvive. So, why not one last hurahh - wear bright colors and be merry? This span of several days (From Oct 31 - Nov 2 the Celtic New Year) made all the hum-drum of ancient life tolerable. Just imagine - working from dawn to dusk only to be so exhausted you immediately pass out, only to repeat the process every day. On Samhain, the people cast off their ordinary live and kicked-up their heels. Celebrating life, making wishes for the new year, honoring their fallen bretheren, etc.

Another reason for wearing masks and costumes, goes toward honoring the Deities, Guardians and the Dead. As the veil between the realms is believed to be thinned only a couple of times a year - there is no better time to show one and all your deep affection for someone not of this realm. Some owuld dress up as their Patron - thus honoring them by enacting feats of bravery. Others would make a face and call it by the name of a past loved one - hoping all the love in their heart woudl call out to their spirit for a visit. People would also wear costumes of the animals slain that Sabbat as a form of thanks. The animals gave their lives so the villagers might live, what greater honor than to have the villigers dress as them and honor their life.

The most bizarre costumes and masks are also based on tradition. Remember, with the veil thin, not only the good spirits roam the countryside. It was believed one could not be bespelled by dark forces if their texture was unexpected. Think of it this way - when casting a spell, its strength comes from our belief in the outcome. If you're unsure of any piece of the ritual it has lost its strength. This was the basis for wearing the bizarre. Dark forces could not entrap your spirit if they could not first make a spell guaranteeing what they would encounter. If they expected a young woman and instead encountered a strange beast, the spell for the young woman would not touch her. Its a bit convoluted but in its essense it is correct. This same basis was used during the plagues. Many people would wear hideous masks in the hopes of scaring off the cause of the disease.

Sooo, when you go to celebrate with your family. Think about the origins of the traditions you are celebrating. Are you honoring your heritage or insulting it? Don't be afraid to create your own traditions.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Samhain: History & Lore

DATE: October 31, November 2, November 4 or when the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio

PLANET: Moon*, Mars

DEITIES: Crone Goddesses, Dying/Aging Gods, Sacrificial Gods, Death & Otherworld Deities, All Gods & Goddesses of Fate, Death & the Underworld, Guides & Psychopomps, Judges, Hunters


COLOR: Black, Orange , Violet*, Silver*

SYMBOLS: Cauldron, Jack o'Lantern, Mask, Balefire, Besom (broom)

ENERGY CENTER*: Brow Center: center of the head, behind the bridge of the nose - 3rd Eye


*PRIMARY FOCUS: Transformation, regeneration, honoring / communicating with the dead, divination, honoring / celebrating the harvest, preparing for Winter.

Alternate Festival Names & Translations

English : Halloween, Hallowmas
Irish Gaelic : Samhain (sow-ihn)
Oiche Shamna {Samhain Eve} (ee-huh how-nuh)

Scottish Gaelic : Samhuinn Oidhche Shamhna {Samhuinn Eve}
(sah-vin uh-ee-hyuh how-nuh)
Manx : Sauin Oie Houney {Sauin Eve} (sow-in oh-ee how-nee)
Welsh : Nox Calan Gaeaf {First Day of Winter} (noss cal-ahn gie-ahv)
Cornish : Nox Kalann-Gwav (noss cal-ahn gwahv)
Breton : Noz Kala-Goanv (noz cal-a-gwah)


In ancient times the Celts tended their herds on the hillsides and celebrated or recognized only 2 seasons - Winter & Summer. Summer was recognized as the time of toil - tending to the crops and sheep. At the end of Summer came the harvest festivals Lughnasadh, Mabon & Samhain. By the time Samhain came around the weather was starting to get much colder. Therefore there were many ways the ancient Celts were believed to have celebrated this time of transition.

The 3rd Harvest

As the crops have been completely reaped by this time, the Celts turned their attention to the livestock. So, while the first two harvest festivals focused on crops this festival focuses on the animals. There were 3 reasons for this:

1) Slaughtering Livestock. This was the accumulation of bringing the cattle down from higher pastures. Any livestock that didn't look fat enough to survive the harshness of winter would be slaughtered. So, the weaker would be sacrifices - which would feed the family throughout the winter. And with less mouths to feed, the healthier cattle had a better Chance of surviving through winter as well. Keep in mind, these were harsh times. Many people died each winter of disease or exposure. So, much of the Sabbats were focused on achieving blessings to maintain a healthy life. Therefore, the Sabbat blesses the meat and the sacrifice of the weaker animals that the stronger animals and the families could survive.

2) Purifying the living livestock. This is part of the reason for the Sabbat Fires on Samhain. The livestock that was not to be slaughtered would be lead between two huge fires. This would bless the beasts and purify them of disease. This will bolster their health and give the Gods blessings on the animals lasting through the winter. Also for the poorer farmers, it was not uncommon to have the livestock live in the home with the farmers family. In which case the Samhain fires were doubly needed to keep the family from becoming ill. {On Beltaine, the animals are again led through the fires - this time sloughing off the effects of winter}

3) The Wild Hunt. The Tenth//Eleventh moon of the year was often referred to by Native Americans (East Coast) as the Hunting Moon. Appalachian Folklore & American Wiccan and Eclectic Wiccans refer to it as the Blood Moon - based on the amount of blood spilled during the hunting season. Aside from killing off weaker livestock, this is also the traditional time common for tribes, the world round, to send out their hunting forces to stock up on food for the winter. Wild animals such as Elk & Deer are fat and fully grown, so it was the perfect time to bring home food for winter.

Thinning of the Veil

Most present day Pagans, as well as the ancients, believe the Otherworld (Spiritual Realm, Astral Planes, etc) is just beyond our perception of the world in which we live. There isn't really a wall there. (I have never found a belief system that believed that...except for the Christians Pearly Gates was the closest I've ever found) Instead of a read barrier, most humans are distracted easily. Our vision of the mundane world would be disrupted by our vision of Otherworld, so our minds tend to shy away from it - and many never consciously realize it even exists. But, our understanding of the cycle of Life and Death is very much in-your face on Samhain and Beltaine.

The hunt and harvest "death" is an in-your-face reminder of the cycle of life, it should be no surprise that the veil between the realms is celebrated as being at its weakest from October 31 - Nov 2. It could be argued that the veil is thin due to the amount of animal souls trying to cross over on a single night. But, if you take a step back from the literal, and look at the world around us as the ancient Celts must have - you'll realize it is much more difficult to differentiate between Blooming Life and Death. The leaves are 'dying', branches look more brittle and aged, migratory animals have left already - changing the landscape as well as sounds of the wilderness. Even the strength and "Life" of the Sun seems to be dying, as the sun is at its lowest and doesn't give off much warmth.

This recognition of the cycle of life is enough for the conscious mind to disregard the slight-of-hand that normally blocks the Otherworld from our mortal eyes. Therefore, it is common for present day and ancient pagans to honor their dead loved ones. As this was the closest they would get to communicating with those that had gone on before.

Ironically this is also where wearing costumes, or masks with clothing inside out first originated. As the veil is thin enough for you to communicate with ancestors, so too it must be thin for evil spirits. The ancient Celts didn't define "good and evil" but once Christianity set in, and the thinning of the veil was acknowledged by those who now believed in such beings as the devil - they became terrified of having their soul carried away by evil forces against their will. So, ironically like many of our other Sabbats, one of our most precious holidays has been transformed into fear (and commercialism) by the old misnomer of Good vs Evil.

Why was it considered the Celtic New Year?

If you think of our modern New Years celebrations, one of the most universal activities is to make New Years Resolutions. These are, presumably, based off of looking into our selves for things we would like to change. The dark half of the year (Winter) is a time for hibernation. What else is there to do but to reflect upon your life and determine things you want to improve or change. The ancients were overwhelmed with work throughout summer, so Winter was the time for introspection.

Furthermore death is but another step, a doorway leading to transformation. Winter is the greatest representation of this in the whole Wheel of the Year. That while the landscape is 'dead' the wheel will continue to turn and Spring will come bringing new 'life'. You can't get the new life of Spring without having the death of winter. You see, time is circular rather than linear - darkness is the end of the light, but it also comes before the light...the Celts love a good circular argument. Therefore, the ancients considered this the Start of the new Wheel of the Year. Now that death has occurred - all things are possible.


This is a great time for sitting around the Sabbat Fire and telling old Myth & Legends.

Obviously with the thinning if the Veil tales of mortals stumbling out of the Fae's clutches after hundreds of years are popular. As well as Ghost stories, as the spirits travel more freely on this eve.

Some wonderfully magickal stories for Samhain:

* Descent of the Goddess
* Rhiannon & Pwyll (Rhiannon was queen of the Underworld had birds whose songs restored the dead)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Invocations vs. Evocations

It can be difficult in the beginning to differentiate between Invocations and Evocations. Here's my little trick - Evocation is External; Invocation is Internal. HUH?

I know these are a little hard concepts - some of the hardest those in the first years must comprehend. So, close your eyes and visualize the power of ritual.
  • We call up within ourselves that "Power Person " that part of us we may have given a power name, that part of us that is intrinsically entwined with Mother Nature and Deity. This part of us is always there, just not always at the forefront of our consciousness.
  • We also ask Deity, and the Elementals to enter our circles - to lend their own unique powers and protections to our rites. We cut a door into our circle so that their ethereal energies might come inside.

The first is an example of an Invocation, the second is an Evocation.

Now we can take it a step further.....

Invocation: Since our Power Self is always intertwined with deity and the Elements, we can call upon a Specific Deity or Elemental to help us - they can help bring forth specific characteristics in our Power Self....this is where it can get confusing. Lets say for Yule you call upon Brigit - you want to make protection amulets for the upcoming year - so you call her into your circle (evocation) but when your trying to imbue the power into the amulet you need to be able to 'see' that protective energy. As you may recall Brigit is Goddess of the Forge, but she is also a mother and poet. So be Invoking her you bring those specific qualities (of yours) to the forefront - maternal, protector, strength, beauty. You can then use this energy in spell and ritual work.

This is a great debate - some believe to Invoke is to invite the Spirit into yourself - and that's how you can utilize the specific energy. While others (like myself) believe it is you Associating specific traits to one Deity or another or one Elemental or another - once you've associated certain traits - it becomes like using certain herbs, thinking of them, inviting them into your circle helps you focus your mind and your Power Self on those specific qualities. We're all complicated beings - Invocation just helps you cut away the excesses in your personality -so that your Power is funnelled down into a tiny specific purpose!

Evocation: When you cut that door in your circle you should be visualizing an ethereal (spiritual) entity entering your circle. They are separate entities - you are just inviting them in to be guides and protectors. If your mind digresses and you go off track their energy can help to keep you focused -also they are much more powerful than we are - as you utilize your own Power Energy in magickal workings - so those entities in your circle are also contributing energy - this is why we do communion, to help replenish their energy after we used some of it.

Of course its not gonna end there (that would be too simple wouldn't it?)

The power of Prayer Invoking is also the power of prayer to a specific deity. Why wouldn't it be evocation? Well - we are utilizing that internal connection to deity to communicate - think of it like an old phone cord between the heart of your Power Self to the heart of your Patron Deity (or the deity you're calling upon in this prayer). If you are praying to any deity or to Spirit in general you are Evoking - you can't focus your power energy specifically so you can not wholly use the internal wire directly to the gods, you must instead use your voice and mind - the wind to cary your prayer, etc.

Think of it like this: When you pray to a specific deity, when you call their name, your Power Self and your Mind go through rapid associations - Who is this being your calling to? - so in effect, you call those traits within yourself to the forefront in order to better focus your mind. If there are millions of deities out there you need to power your prayer with a specific taste - that taste relates it to the deity the message is intended for - so in effect you invoke the Deity in order to send a prayer to them.BUT, if the prayer is just a general plea, not to anyone in specific, than you are evoking the etheral, making the taste of the message be palatable to anyone who can aide you.


When you ground and center, and/or begin to meditate you clear your consciousness of all the hoopla of the daily grind. Then you access that part of you that is connected to Power - be it nature, Spirit, Diety, whatever. At first, when you try to work a ritual or any magick at all, you work with this all encompassing Power from within. BUT - over time you will learn the different "Taste" of Power. . . .

Meaning, the power that is connected to a specific deity will have traits of that deity. What do you think of when you think of that deity. The same can be said for your magickal tools, or the elements. So.....we're gonna start differentiating in the simplest manner possible.

LEVEL I: Power Self & Magickal Tools:

Power Self - this is to help you become better aquainted with the Powerful part of you. If you have already chosen a Power Name simply naming yourself out loud should help you feel this Self emerging. In the begining you'll still have to ground and center first.

  1. Sit in a quiet spot(or lay - I prefer to lay; but if you're gonna fall asleep you'd better sit). Make sure you'll be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes
  2. Either hold your tool in your hand or else Have the tool right next to you - so you wont have to open your eyes to locate it.
  3. Take a few deep breathes. Clear your mind of everything.
  4. Start at your feet - relax your toes, then your arches, then your ankles. Work up to your calves, the knees, than the thighs. Relax your womb and belly, your Pelvis and abdomen. Feel your lungs expand and expel your tension. Your shoulders relax, then your neck. Your jaw is loose as is your tongue. Your sinus' and temples, and finally the crown of your head relaxes.
  5. Search deep within yourself for that Power Center. Get a taste for the general Power within you. If you are a visual person - it may writhe with many colors, constantly changing shape, form & color. I usually see my Power Self as a "Glowing Me" Like I have a phantom overlaid on my physical form - that is colorful and soft.
  6. Feel how your Self is different - don't try to focus too much on the physical (like how your skin feels) at first, or you may lose the Power Self. If you like using visuals - what color does your power hand change to? How about the other Power Centers - the Womb, Heart, Third Eye, etc? If you're not using visuals, how does your hand feel. Does any other part of you feel different.
  7. To come out of the meditation trance - start at the crown of your hear and become again aware of physical sensation - work backwards from step 4.
  8. Once you've recovered your physical form, write tdown all of your observations. From now on, each time you use your tool - you should Try to regain the same (or more powerful) feelings.

Magickal Tools: {athame, sword, bosom, cauldron,etc.} (Picks up from step 5 of the Power Self Exercise)

  1. Now, hold the Magickal Tool in your Power Hand (the hand you write with usually).
  2. Feel how your Power changes and focus'. If you like using visuals - what color does your power hand change to? How high up your arm do the colors go? If you're not using visuals, how does your arm feel. Does any other part of you feel different.
  3. To come out of the meditation trance - start at the crown of your hear and become again aware of physical sensation - work backwards from step 4 (from the Power Self Exercise).
  4. Once you've recovered your physical form, write tdown all of your observations. From now on, each time you use your tool - you should Try to regain the same (or more powerful) feelings.

Digression: Some Wiccans have a permanent Magickal Space set up in their homes or yards. I do not. I keep my tools in a Rubbermaid container so that I can bring it with me. Nature is my Magickal Space - and it exists outside of my yard..lol.

LEVEL II: Deity & Elementals: {Fire, Earth, Air, Water} (Picks up from Step 5 of the Power Self Meditation)

Elementals: This is a whole lot harder than doing the basic Power Self or Tools exercise. Mainly this is true beause the elementals are less and more than simple substances. We will each associate different things with each element.

Furthermore - to really connect deeply with an Element - You need to hold the element both Physically and Metaphysically - this means hold a candle, or a bit of salt (thought I like dirt better) or pour some water in your hand, etc) Thats physical. But also visualize all those personal associations. What do you think of when you visualize Fire? Hot, Powerful, Variations? Culmination? Whatever, its totally personal. So, while holding the Physical Representation in your power hand, you want to list as many associations - SLOWLY - as you can. The Druids very much believe in the power of Word. Each word that your mind links with something will make that something more powerful within you. So, if you list many things that you associate with fire - than the power of Fire will be that much greater within your Power Self.

NOTE: We each usually have 1 or 2 elementals that we strongly connect with and 1 or 2 that we have a much harder time connecting with. This is part of the importance of performing these exercises - otherwise you may try utilizing the power of an element that your physiology simply can not understand.

  1. Now (after Steps 1 - 5 of Power Self), Physically hold a representation fo the elemental in your power hand - this means hold a candle, or a bit of salt (thought I like dirt better) or pour some water in your hand, etc) Thats physical.
  2. Then Metaphysically Draw in the power of the Element. List in your mind all the things that the element make you think of (see below for one of my lists)
  3. Feel how your Power changes and focus'. If you like using visuals - what color does your power hand change to? How high up your arm do the colors go? If you're not using visuals, how does your arm feel. Does any other part of you feel different. Do you feel more or less powerful? Do you feel in control or out of control? Etc.
  4. To come out of the meditation trance - start at the crown of your hear and become again aware of physical sensation - work backwards from step 4 (from the Power Self Exercise).
  5. Once you've recovered your physical form, write tdown all of your observations. From now on, each time you use your tool - you should Try to regain the same (or more powerful) feelings.

FIRE: Hot, Powerful, Variations, Culmination, Fast Transformation, Volitile, Hard To Control, etc

WATER: Soothing, Calm to Fierce, Slow Transformation, Moon, etc,

AIR: Movement, Astral, Psychie, Wisdom, Inspiration,

EARTH: Solid, Cycle of Life, Science, Inevetable, etc.

Deity: {Specific}This can only be accomplished if you feel drawn to 1 or more Deities. If you do not yet feel such a connection - Thats OK!! Some of us have felt a calling from a specific deity for some time (and being an instrument for a deity isn't always fun or soothing)

This exercise is extremely similar to Elementals. Its important to list your associations NOT the associations found in a book but what YOU think of when you think of a specific Deity. I also like to hold a Physical Representation of my Deity in my power hand to help keep me grounded. Then I Metaphysically connect.

I have heard of this connection working in two ways.

  1. There is a part of the Deity deep within you - your Power Self is inactuality only 80% You and 20% Deity. In which case when working the meditation you should visualize the Deity superemposed over your Power Self or Sharing your Power Self. (This so doesn't work for me)
  2. This is the basic connection between you and Deity. A thick metaphysical cord that links the two of you. It can run from a few different body parts....
  • Female Invoking Female Deity : Womb, heart or 3rd Eye
  • Female Invoking Male Deity: 3rd Eye, Crown
  • Male Invoking Female Deity: Genitals, Solar Plexus, Heart
  • Male Invoking Male Deity: Throat, 3rd Eye

Now what makes this connection different from Evocation is 1 thing: Energy and Power flows both ways down the connection - so that you feed yoru Deity energy and They feed you energy - so this "Cord" should pulse with Power.

Otherwise follow the same steps as for the Elementals.


To write your own Evocations is a very personal choice. Again you always want to work with Power that you can physiologically and metaphysically manipulate toward your purposes - if you invite "Spirit" Into your circle, and a male deity enters...but you are not strong in working with Male Energy than you've wasted the whole ritual. So you need to try to be as specific as possible - both in your words and your visualization.

Things to remember when writing your own evocations:

  1. What is the porpose? Why are you attempting to perform this ritual? Par down all the frivolous and look deeply into yourself. This should be answered as honestly as possible or you will fail. {Meaning - its easy to say - I'm performing a Samhain Rite. But why are you performing it? To help the earth move toward fall? To better connect with nature? To also perform meditations and spells? ou need the Sabbat connection to deity for your mental happiness? BE HONEST}
  2. Who are you targeting to assist you? Include all "Energies" - the Fae, Elementals, Deities, Ancestors, whatever. Again you're trying to only include the ones you CONNECT with - you and verbally thank the ones you must leave out of the ritual.
  3. What will you use to help you? List all tools, herbs, incense, etc.
  4. Once you have these three lists - you need to take each thing individually. Write a short list of everything you associate to it (ie. What we did for Elementals & Deity Invocation).
  5. Once you have multiple lists, make sure they are similar, or at least complimentary. Meaning - if you are performing a Mabon Rite - and you invoke Fire..this wont work, as Water is the element for Fall and Mabon - so you'll be putt ing a dampner on all magick you perform within the circle.
  6. Sit back and clear your mind a moment.
  7. The list you made in step 4 is your Evocation Qualities - your Associations. If you make an amulet this is what energy will go into it. You will ask Spirit to please imbue the amulet with protection and the Spirit will lay a metaphysical hand over the amulet and send the protective enery into it. The energy just doesn't need to pass through you.
  8. Now you're ready to write your own Evocations.

Here's an example for Mabon....

  1. Mabon, honoring my accomplishments, recognizing what I must still work on, meditating for aid in conquering my personal flaws, making amulets for winter.
  2. Elementals (I'll be invoking Air and Brigit); Green Man
  3. My main altar tools: Athame, chalice, cauldron, tools to make the amulets (leather, premade pendants), icon, incense (cinnamon), elementals,
  4. Air: spirituality, flowing, breathing, change / Green Man: dieing, wilting, end of the season / Brigit: Mother, protector / etc
  5. Write Invocations and Invocations (my invocations I say mentally, as I'm calling on the power from within - BUT - I'll also evoke Brigit my Patron Goddess to always witness my circles)

INVOCATION (sample):
Hail Brigit, Goddess and Mother of my Soul. Please fill me up with your great blessings. Guide my mind and soul in all I do - that it may honor you as my Mother and Guide. Welcome and Blessings!

{NOTE: On a Sabbat, you'll also want to Invoke the Power of the Holy Day. }

EVOCATION (sample)

Seasons Change, Wheels turn. On this Sabbat Morning I call to Brigit. Great Mother, Protector, Craftswoman. My Guide, My Goddess. Blessings! I beseach you to enter my Mabon circle this morn that I may always follow you in all my magickal practices. Bless me and honor me, Great Mother on this most Holy Day. Welcome!