The three principles of magical practice are Ritual, Divination, and Meditation.
When I first read this concept my mind immediately railed against it. The problem wasn’t the concept but how we, as a community, have created new understandings and definitions for these words. How these words are used in current society has changed somewhat from what the primal meanings are, in relation to magical and spiritual practice. These differences have to be critically looked at especially when reading older texts.
For me to make these concepts understandable in how they are the foundations of magical practice, as well as spiritualism, along with their importance, I had to look beyond the words themselves and more at the concepts they were portraying in these practices. Then I had to assess it against my own personal experience and practice.
We will be going through each one individually so you have time to absorb my perspective on them and find your own. Keeping in mind my words should be viewed as an inspiration or guide, but how you interpret and use the information will be personal to you.
At the heart of it, Ritual is the physical practice and is about altering our mindset. When we do any action over and over again, we are not just training our muscles and brain, we are actually creating changes within our brain, building new nuero-pathways, so we easily move through this new action and thought process. The more we work those new pathways, the stronger and more connected they become.
When looking through the lens of an esoteric system, it is creating new connections within the soul and to the larger universal energy web. This allows the soul, or energy, to move more swiftly and effectively along that energy web. It is through that energy that we are able to manipulate and manifest real effects on the physical world around us and within ourselves. In essence, creating magic.
Through ritual we are creating the base, or foundation, for our magic. We are altering the connections within ourselves, preparing them for real applications. We are learning specific movements and words in order to build and strengthen those connection, so that later we can focus on the energy behind them as we move into the stages of Divination and Meditation (manifestation).
Although this approach can be applied to any area, one common example of this is casting a circle or field of protection. When we are casting a field of protection we are drawing up energy and shaping it around us. The motion and words are a grounding focus, but the shaping of the energy is the end result we want. It is through that energy that the field is actually created. If you are having to constantly focus on saying the right words or doing the right actions, your attention is split and thus what you create will be weaker. However, if you have spent the time to memorize and training your brain and body to go through these motions they become an extension of that energy instead of a distraction. Through your previous work you have already built a framework for that energy to flow through, so at that point your main focus will be on that energy and shaping it.
To accomplish the physical and energy goals of Ritual though, means you will need to dedicate yourself to practice. I personally recommend starting with one ritual at a time and practicing it daily. You can choose anything you like, that fits with your practice, and aligns with your magical goals.
For those who may need a starting point, I will walk you through a simple casting of a protection shield. This requires no tools and can be done anywhere.
Sphere of Light
The three rays of light that make up the sphere: Light, Virtue, and Harmony
- Stand with your feet slightly apart and arms hanging loosely at your sides. Take about a minute to relax, focusing on your breath in and out. Then start to imagine a bright stream of light coming from above you and pointing down to the middle of your head.
- Turn your palms face up and slowly raise them, arms staying parallel to the body, above your head until your hands come together over the beam of light.
- Holding the stream of light between your hands, pull your arms down in front of your body in an arcing motion until they are pointing below your feet. Invision the beam of light in the shape of the arc you created. (Light)
- Keeping your hands in the same downward position, turn 180 degrees so your front is facing the opposite direction but you are still in the same spot. Imagine that the beam of light is still connected to your hands and this time pull them upwards in an arcing motion back above your head. (Virtue)
- At this point the beam of light should be in a circular line around your body, going down the middle of your back and up the middle of your front. Focus on that circular line of light, it’s color, does it shimmer, does it emminat warmth?
- Now with the beam of light still in your hands bring it down to your waist, with arms staying outstretched away from the body. Slowly walk clockwise making a complete circle.
- Invision the two lines bleeding together and then expanding into a full sphere around your body. Transforming into a shield, blocking any unwanted energy. What does the sphere feel like, look like, sound like?
The more you do this exercise the more it will take on a specific shape, look and feel to you. This will become your own personal shield or protected space. With time and consistent practice you will be able to summon it quickly with just thought.
Remember, in the Ritual phase you are more focused on the actions. When we move into the Divination and Meditation phases we will be more focused on the energy and creation aspects.
Now it is time for you to reflect on these concepts and how they can apply to your current practice and where you want it to go. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, and good luck with your path!