Whenever a friend talks about some difficulty they are facing in life I ask “can we remember you in circle?” Here’s what that means.
Coven of the Mystical Merkabah has been a member of Covenant of the Goddess since 1987. Every sabbat, eight times a year, we go into our temple to perform a ritual which we have written. The template draws from Gardnerian style Witchcraft, Golden Dawn, Aurum Solis and Thelemic sources to make a circle that is our own unique blend of Ceremonial and Craft forms. We call on the Goddess, God, and Spirit with several group gestures and names.
Within that circle we perform a seasonal-specific working. The first intended outcome of the ritual is to turn the wheel. We believe this has always been the most important function of spiritual magic. From the Egyptian/Kemetic temple rituals to reinforce order and bind chaos, to Buddhist sand mandalas, Shinto ceremonies, Native rituals acknowledging the powers of the earth, all perform the vital task of reinforcing the life-giving cosmos.
The second most important function of the ritual is to heal. For our money this is what magic workers do! We follow in the footsteps of the wise women of the village who provided physical and spiritual cures, and of alchemist healers like Paracelsus with his devotion to tending the ill.
Here’s what we do. When we have performed the seasonal-specific ritual that turns the wheel we sit in a circle and direct the energy. We work for ourselves, for our families, and for former coven-mates and their families. Then we address the wishes of the people who have asked us to work for them.
Since we’ve been doing this for a while now the list can get long! It is most helpful to us if people tell us what the context is and what outcome they want. For a job, daytime hours and a living wage. For surgery, a successful outcome and quick healing. For chronic illness, ongoing strength and alleviation of pain. For depression, support and a lightening of spirit. We speak the outcome and leave the cosmos to work out the method the outcome will be achieved.
We can trace the state of the community through the seasonal and yearly themes of the reuests. When the world economy took a nose-dive in 2008 there were a lot of requests for jobs. Just now local people are looking for an affordable place to live, which highlights to the displacement of gentrification and the general pressures of an ever-increasing population. Also, parents perennially wish for their kids to make good choices.
This magic works best in the long term. It can take a while for an illness to heal, for the right job or place to live come by, for the heart to make itself whole. We only meet once every six weeks or so, and the energies we work with are stable and cumulative. They’re less well suited for quick fixes. Sometimes we get an urgent request – my daughter is missing! My son is in the emergency room! Then we do our work individually, sending out an alert to the coven and lighting a candle on our private altars.
There are always requests for healing. The fibromyalgia support requests stay on the list permanently. Cancer is the opposite; it generally resolves quickly, in life or in death. We have also learned that a remission of cancer is a reprieve that may not be permanent, so it is wise to use the time to do what you most want and need to do.
We cheer the successes, sympathize with the losses, fervently work for the best. We’re not miracle workers and we make no guarantees. Our primary contribution is to care. We are a place to turn for people in the magical communities living outside the web of church or mosque or synagogue support. When life hits hard, it helps to know that someone somewhere is putting energy into working for your well-being.
Wherever you live, whatever your need, we wish you well.