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Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice Paperback – September 8, 2015
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About the Author
Deborah Blake is the award-winning author of The Goddess is in the Details, Everyday Witchcraft, and numerous other books from Llewellyn, along with her Everyday Witchcraft tarot deck. She has published articles in Llewellyn annuals, and her ongoing column, “Everyday Witchcraft,” is featured in Witches & Pagans.
When not writing, Deborah runs the Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with various cats who supervise all her activities, magickal and mundane. She can be found online at Facebook, Twitter, and www.deborahblakeauthor.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
how to use this book
The simple answer, of course, is: "Any way you want to." This is Wicca, after all. As long as you
harm none, do as ye will.
A better answer, though, might be: "Whichever way works best for you."
The book is set up so that you can start with January, and work straight through to the end of
December. But what if you dont get the book until March? Do you have to wait until next January to start using it? Of course not. Like the Wheel of the Year itself, this book is set up to be used in a circular fashion, starting wherever you happen to be.
Or some people might choose to start with Samhain, which many Witches use to mark the start
of the pagan year. Thats fine, too. Whatever suits your needs.
What about when youve worked through the entire book, and the Wheel has rolled around to
another year? Well, you could start all over and do it again. Or, if you feel more comfortable with
group rituals, and you want to try your hand at writing your own, there is a section at the end of each months chapter for you to write in changes, or new rituals that you have created for yourself. (And who knows? Maybe Ill have written A Magickal Year II by then. Anything is possible.)
Do you have to use the rituals exactly as they are written?
Certainly not. Feel free to make whatever changes suit your practice. For instance, I have written most of the rituals to be led by one person, be it a High Priestess or High Priest, because that is the way most of the groups I know are set up. If your group is lucky enough to have both, just distribute the speaking parts accordingly. And if your group doesnt have any one "leader," you can simply choose one person to act as High Priestess (or Priest) for that ritual, or share the parts.
Can a solitary Witch use this book?
Yes, absolutely. Even though I designed it primarily with group practice in mind, the individual Witch can use many of the rituals, too. Most of the New Moon and Full Moon rituals can be used almost exactly as written, and even the larger sabbat rituals are, with a few changes, suitable for one. Again, just do whatever works for you. Thats what this book is all about-making your practice as a Witch easier, more powerful, and more fun.
Do you have to perform the rituals in the months theyre set in?
Not really. In some cases, such as the April Full Moon "rebirthing" ritual, that moon is particularly well suited for such work, and it might be best to do it then. On the other hand, if your group feels a real need for rebirthing in November, and the ritual feels right for you to do at that time, by all means go ahead and use it then. It is always best to trust your instincts, and the gods are pretty flexible.
Some rituals, like prosperity work, can be done during any Full Moon (or even a New Moon, if you change your approach to "banishing poverty"), and can be done more than once if you have the need.
Use your own judgment. Like an athame or a chalice, this book is intended to be a tool. It is really
up to you to decide how you want to combine its use with the rest of your practice.
Of course, the easiest way to use this book is simply to start at the beginning, and to go through it
until the end. Just remember that if you are new to the Craft, or are unaccustomed to group work, it is best to read the chapters about group practice and Wicca basics, and the appendix section on ritual etiquette, before proceeding with any rituals.
Like a doctor, a Witchs first rule is: do no harm. Make sure you have a clear idea of what youre
doing before you practice any magick. Magick is powerful stuff.
And then, just do it. Practice, learn, live. And enjoy!
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Some of the rituals in the book are based upon others that may or may not have occurred, as such, it would be good to read what is suggested for the month and adapt to what is actually happening in the month.