Wicca is a tradition of pagan witchcraft that reveres a number of gods and goddesses closely connected with nature. While witchcraft tradition varies considerably, Wiccan rituals or spells generally follow a particular pattern. When a Wiccan performs a blessing, an altar should first be constructed. He then beseeches the gods to purify the object and accept it into their honored service. A Wiccan spell can be performed by a solitary practitioner or by a group called a coven.
An altar generally includes a god and goddess candle with another altar candle in between; two bowls, one filled with water and the other with salt; and burning incense placed at the center of the arrangement. These are the most basic elements of a Wiccan altar -- there are endless possibilities for objects that can be used in altar-making.
Wiccan rituals almost always start by "casting the circle." The circle marks out the area in front of the altar where the blessing will take place. Often the star-shaped pentagram, the most common Wiccan symbol, is inscribed inside the circle with chalk or another material as the spell's focal point. The circle may be marked by a coven's high priest or priestess by using a hand, a staff or an athame, a blunt blade used in Wiccan rituals.
A common Wiccan blessing for an object is a "consecration" ritual. The object is first raised in the air toward the gods and then placed in front of the altar. Writer Gary Cantrell suggests the following blessing: "May the essence of earth, air, fire and water cleanse and purify . . . so that it may be used in your service. So mote it be." Salt and water are sprinkled around the object and then it is waved through the smoke from the incense. The blessing concludes by thanking the gods and marking the circle once more.
There are numerous prayers that can be recited in a Wiccan blessing for an object. Consult a spell book like "The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You'll Ever Need," a modern compendium of spells and information for Wicca beginners. Witchcraft practitioner Raymond Buckland, author of several guides to Wicca including "Wicca For Life," emphasizes the importance of choosing objects with a personal significance when deciding how to construct an altar in performing rituals.
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