This section is comprised of different rituals that have occurred to me. I’m not much at writing out dialogue, invocations, and the like. I feel that a ritual done out of a book or word for word is not going to mean very much to the participants. Instead, feel free to steal these and make them your own. Write your own flowery words to go along with them, or no words at all because some times none are needed.
Threshing the Corn Mother (or Maiden or even John Barley Corn)
I find wheat fields (and corn fields to a lesser extent) extremely sexy and primal. There’s nothing like walking through a wheat field just before harvest with shorts or a skirt on. The heat and humidity that rises up from the earth and radiates off of the plants, the wonderful golden color of bounty, the life abounding within the field, the wheat reaching out to caress and scratch the smooth skin of your inner thighs leaving behind thin crimson souvenirs to be enjoyed for the rest of the week—there’s just nothing else like it.
This is a harvest time ritual that’s appropriate any time from the end of July through the full moon in November. There’s two ways to view the intent of this ritual: 1) the harvesting and subsequent sowing of bounty and fertility for the coming year (i.e. interaction between the Earth and Humans); 2) the interaction between plants and the Earth and the Animal side of things (i.e. a Holy mating of the two main primal energies).
Before we go further, we need to cover some terms:
Corn: The prominent grain used by a culture. It could be wheat, barley, maize (what we call corn), etc.
Corn Mother/Maiden/John Barley Corn: In their most basic form these figures range from simple personifications of the spirit of the grain and harvest to representations of deities, like Demeter.
Thresh: To separate the grain from the rest of the plant material by using a flail to beat it out (It’s interesting to note that there’s only one letter’s different between “thresh” and “thrash”.)
Flail: A tool that consists of a stick for the handle and then another stick swinging from the handle or other materials, like leather thongs.
Winnow: To separate the plant material (chaff) from the threshed grain by a flow of air, usually from a fan or fork.
Plow: To turn over the ground with a bladed implement and create furrows for planting.
Harrow: A tool with teeth that is dragged over plowed ground to break up clods of dirt.
Furrow: A long narrow trench made for sowing (planting) seeds.
It should be no surprise that our ancestors, as well as many of us, can see explicit connections between the act of farm a field and loving a partner. This ritual is written for the female representing corn, but it can easily be switched around so that the male can represent corn.
The ritual: Prepare your rituals space in the way that you normally do. The corn mamma, if she chooses, may want to dress in corn colors, or clothes with fringes, or braid her hair. Body paint would be a good addition. Anything that she wants to use to help invoke the spirit of the harvest is good.
Both participants (or the main players if this is in a group setting) should invoke the deities that they will be representing in this drama. That can be as light as asking them into your ritual to be silent observers or it can more complex by meditating on the deities before hand and offering yourself up to them for aspecting (when a deity “inhabits” you for a bit).
From here, it’s all up to you. The ritual can be as formal or as free form as you wish. The object is to enact the threshing and the subsequent plowing and sowing. Obviously, you do not want to use a farm flail on your partner, but you can use anything from feathered cat toy (if the Corn Mother is not a masochist) to something more substantial like a flogger, belt, or switches.
If the Corn Mother is into bondage, you could tress her up like a sheaf of wheat. A very meaningful thing to use in bondage of this kind would be any cords given to her for different magical achievements, like an initiation cord or clergy cord.
You could also work in any magical work here that you want dealing with harvests and abundance or a meditation during the threshing. Another interesting twist that you could add in is winnowing away with a nice fan anything that the Corn Mother may want to let go out of her life.
If you choose to incorporate cakes and ale, bread of any sort is a good choice and beer, whiskey, or corn squeezings are good too.
Of course, once you’re done, close down things in the way that you normally do and dissipate any lingering spiritual peeping Toms.
As with any sort of S&M and or sex ritual, be responsible. Use safe words and condoms and respect boundaries. No under aged participants or spectators. Outdoor sex should be on private property. Bondage should allow for blood flow. If you break skin, use first aid to treat it and clean your equipment properly. And for heaven’s sake, avoid the spine and kidney area!
Four Element Ritual (Or Element of Ritual)
This 2-person exercise can be used as a stand alone ritual or in place of invoking the elements. It can also be used as a meditation to gain a better understanding of the elements. Because of the pain involved, this would be good used as an ordeal in an initiation.
Materials: ice, a light candle (no beeswax, preferably not colored wax), a manuel hand fan (think Scarlet O'Hara), and rock salt.
Have the person experiencing the elements lie down either face up or face down. Tell them to close their eyes or blind fold them. Taking away the sense of sight allows them to focus more on the sensations. Fan the person slowly and rythmically at first, slowly building up the amount of wind so that the skin is chilled. Then drizzle hot wax onto the person. You can control the amount of pain the person feels by the height the wax falls from. Then ice the waxed area down, leaving the ice on the area. Now, sprinkle salt onto the iced area. After a moment, you can slowly rub the salt into the skin some. Finish the ritual off by fanning the area again. In case it's not obvious, the fan is air, the candle wax is fire, the ice is water, and the salt is earth.
"Cut Me a Switch, Bitch!" or Ritual Ideas for Connecting With Wood
I like switches! They’re lots of fun for me.
For those of you who did not grow up in the South, a switch is a thin straight tree branch or sapling used to beat people and animals. The best switches are the diameter of a woman’s pinkie finger or thinner; straight, green, flexible, and devoid of leaves and knots. Sometimes this involves stripping the bark from the switch.
The term “switch” is most likely onomatopoeic in origin, referring to the “swish” and whistle the stick makes as it slices through the air. It may also refer to the switching or flicking motion that most people use when wielding a switch. Thicker switches produce more of a “thud” sensation and bruising. Thinner switches have a higher swish factor and produce a sting and welts with occasional cutting.
Using switches in ritual can be a good way to connect with the energy of different trees and to magically use their correspondences. One popular tree correspondence tradition is the Celtic tree calendar. Oghams, the Celtic tree alphabet, could also be inscribed on your switch for an added magical boost. Other correspondence traditions exist too. Ellen Dugan's books often include magical correspondence charts as well as information about the Victorian language of flowers, another correspondence tradition. The actual medicinal properties of the wood used for the switch can be incorporated too. For example, if you wanted to do a spell to banish emotional pain, willow switches could be used since willow bark contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. Physical pain medication (in this sense) can be sympathetically translated to emotional pain medication.
Switches can be used in banishing, attracting, purification, ordeal, and stimulating magic. Switch magic also doesn’t have to be painful. Switches applied lightly but rapidly to the skin can be very invigorating. If a light switching is being applied, the leaves can be left on the switch for soft tickles. A ritual where the leaves are essential to the spell would be a pine spell for prosperity.
Pine is often associated with money, and either a banishing of money troubles or a ritual of attraction could be performed by lightly switching the participants with pine boughs. Pine incense and oil can also be used for a holistic approach. Money can even be stuck on the participants with pine resin.
A rain attraction ritual can be done with large fern fronds since ferns are associated in some correspondence systems with rain. The rhythmic patter of the fronds on skin is representative of falling raindrops.
For a more complex magical working, switches from more than one type of tree can be used either singly or in a bundle. Traditionally, a bundle of switches is know as a “birch” regardless of whether the sticks come from a birch tree (it’s like Coca-cola being used as a catch-all soda name in the South). Birch rods have a unique combination of both a thud and a sting. To create a birch, cut thin sticks of roughly the same length and bind them on the “fat” end to create a handle. It’s hard to have effective control if you have to focus on holding onto a bunch of sticks.
Switches are usually used on the ass and the back of the thighs, however thinner switches are sometimes used on the upper back. Please don’t be like the folks in Jane Eyre and switch someone on the neck. That’s just too dangerous. If used by someone with excellent skills and judgment, switches can be used on the palms and soles. This adds an interesting twist to dedication rituals. If an extremely light hand is used, switches can be used to open and cleanse the chakras.
Like all ritual tools, a switch is the most effective when the people using it cut it. In some households, the person being switched was expected to cut their own implement of doom. As with any type of nature collecting, throwing out your intentions of use to the area is a good idea. If you wish, you can leave a small offering for the tree that you’re cutting the switch from or you can offer up the sensations that you’ll be feeling to it as an offering or reciprocal sacrifice.
As with any sort of S&M and or sex ritual, be responsible. Use safe words and condoms and respect boundaries. No under aged participants or spectators. Outdoor sex should be on private property. Bondage should allow for blood flow. If you break skin, use first aid to treat it and clean your equipment properly. And for heaven’s sake, avoid the spine and kidney area! Now, go have fun and see if you can make a true switch ritual by being switches and switching roles with your partner.
Hot Wax Rituals
What can I say? I like this song for fire play.
There are so many different ways that hot wax play can be integrated into Pagan practice. If I sat for a year, and jotted down every idea that came to mind about melting the two, I still wouldn't have thought up all the possibilities. So, as you read through my ideas, let your mind roam and come up with some of your own. If you'd like, feel free to email them to email@example.com. I'll include them here with your by line.
Wax play is neat because it's something that can be done as a solitary, with partners, or in a group setting. It's also ideal for people who want pain but without impact.
Before we get started, safety should be covered first. Erotic Sensations, not only has a wonderful selection of candles safe for wax play, but they also have a wonderful safety section that needs to be read now.
The easiest way to integrate wax play into ritual is to use somebody as a human altar. The chosen candidate should be experienced in wax play, bound, and physically able to stay still for long periods of time. Other easy candle ideas can be found in the Candlemas 2012 entry.
Since there are so many different colors of candles on the market, color magic is another obvious way to use hot wax. Orange and yellow are good for people in college since orange is a color of confidence, and yellow is a color of learning. If you can only afford one candle, go for the white or clear candle. White or clear can be used to represent any color, and it will give you more bang for your buck. Another easy idea is to use the melted wax as a canvas for carving sigils and words onto the skin. For this, pour wax over a large area of the body, like the back, thighs, or stomach. Then while the wax is still soft, use a pin or other stylus type object to lightly carve your signs. Make sure not to scratch into the skin itself (that's a different type of play with other safety requirements). For added oomph, combine sigil work with color work.
Hot wax will open your chakras up in a whole new way! Chakras and colors have historically been linked, so doing a chakra ritual is a great way for two experienced wax players to broaden their horizons. www.therapycolor.com and www.chakra-colors.com are both very informative and helpful. Purple can be used for the crown chakra, royal blue for the third eye, sky blue for the throat, green for the heart, yellow for the solar plexus, orange for the spleen/sexual chakra, and red for the root chakra. When drizzling wax on these areas, the wax should be drizzled in a spiral since that's how the energy moves along the chakras, or if you're really deft, you can make the symbol that is associated with each chakra.
Calling in the Elements
Although different traditions have different elemental color correspondences, hot wax can be poured on the quarter caller as they welcome the element, or it can be poured on the human altar or each participant in the ritual.
Five Fold Blessing
"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways. Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be. Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty. Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names."
"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways. Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar Blessed be thy phallus, without which we would not be. Blessed be thy breasts, formed in strength. Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names."
This blessing, sometimes called the "five fold kiss" because traditionally kissing is done, is given at initiations and other important milestones. Instead of your lips kissing the supplicant, have a bit of hot wax do the smooching. It covers both the ordeal aspect of initiation and the blessing all at once. The blessing can be done with just one color or with many. An interesting pre-initiation exercise for the supplicant to do would be for him/her to come up with colors that represent each section of the blessing. If you decide to to this, I would suggest dipping your finger in the wax and applying it to the lips instead of pouring it directly.
God/Goddess Balance Exercise
From time to time, everybody finds themselves out of balance. In magical practice, it's very easy to get off balance by only working with male or female energy. Everybody has both energies in them, and from time to time, we need to be reminded of that. In Wicca, the male is typically depicted as being on the right and the female on the left. For this exercise, hot pink wax can be drizzled on the left side and royal blue on the right. As you drizzle the wax (if you're doing this as a solitary practitioner), think about the Goddess and the God growing inside of you in balance.
Ceromancy is divining with drizzled candle wax. While it's usually done by gazing at swirling wax as it cools in a cup of water, it can also be done on skin. Images that are seen in splash patterns can be interpreted to have certain meanings. The Falaka Entry has more information and helpful links for reading the images.
As with any sort of S&M and or sex ritual, be responsible. Use safe words and condoms and respect boundaries. No under aged participants or spectators. Outdoor sex should be on private property. Bondage should allow for blood flow. Treat burns with aloe and ice.
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