Rituals for Inner Changes
Before performing any ritual, a major consideration is who is likely to be impacted by the possible effects, and in what way. If it will have bad effects on others, or is likely to, the bottom line is don't do it.

The purposes for these rituals are going to be to have some effect on yourself. These rituals will not have direct effects on others. But, there are always indirect effects. It's a consideration of how likely these bad effects are to occur, and what their effect will be. At the same time, if the person will be hurt or upset because you are likely to change yourself in some way that you want to change, it's not your responsibility to care for them or simply make them more comfortable at the expense of hurting or continuing to hurt yourself. It might be a choice for you to consider though. No one likes anything to change. It's a matter of who is likely to be upset or thrown off balance by it and what their reaction is likely to be, how much you think you can either minimize the problem by showing the good things, and how important they are to you.

Threefold law comes into play when you're doing any magickal act. That is, that you'll get back threefold whatever you do to someone else. Strict karma says that it's a direct cause and effect. I am not sure it makes a difference though. No matter, everyone would prefer good things over bad! For more information, see the discussion of Karma on the Samkhya page. The importance of ethics cannot be stressed too highly!

The suggested rituals for change I am going to give are general guidelines. You need to tailor the ritual to yourself and your own needs and wants. You'll need to use your own symbols. It is useless to use someone else's symbols. This is not some sort of "one size fits all" ritual, or set of rituals. I am not going to give you a book of "101 easy spells that anyone can learn". I'm not going to tell you that some magic is better given or more effective is you find or pay someone well known to do it for you. The effects are not going to be to "wow" you or anyone else. No matter what happens, there will almost surely be a mundane explanation for it.

Magick is subtle. It doesn't make huge changes happen, and it won't make them happen overnight. It might do something like that once in awhile, but that's very much the exception. Nothing here is going to "prove" to you or anyone else that magick will work or that it doesn't.

I am not going to waste your time, energy, electrons, or paper by giving you some specific "spells" which may have worked for somebody at some time for some situation that may be similar to yours in some ways. Quite frankly, that sort of "witchcrap" does not work. If that is what you are looking for, there is plenty of it in bookstores and the Internet now. It probably will have no effect whatsoever. It may give some undesired and unintended result. Your feelings and symbols are unique to yours. Anybody else who has ever performed magick has had feelings and symbols which are or were unique to them. The same symbols will produce a different effect in every person, and even the same person over time. For instance, a color which may produce a feeling of being "fresh", "new" and "happy" for one person may produce an effect of "hostility" "anxiety" or "disgust" in another person who detests that particular color. If one person were trying to produce happiness with a spell, and it worked very well, if the other person tried that exact spell it would likely produce nothing or produce a lot of anxiety in the second person.

Besides that, this religion has a great deal of "newness" and "life". A ritual or spell that worked nicely last year on a situation may have no effect this year on a different, though similar situation. Even if the situation was identical, the feelings of the ritual or spell being "new" and "different" no longer exist. If it is a very "ancient" spell, realities of life may be very different. 100 years ago, someone may have had an abundance of some particular herb or plant on her farm in Ireland she used in some ritual or spell. She considered it "common" and "mundane". You are living in a much different time, place, and circumstance. You may be living in Phoenix or Tokyo, in an urban environment, without much that is or can grow around you. This herb or plant is "exotic" to you, and you must search for months to obtain it at some out of the way herbalist. Your thoughts and feelings about it are MUCH different, so it evokes a much different symbolism. In other cases, the underlying problem may be different. For instance, three different women may wish to become pregnant. The first may have a medical condition which may respond to conventional medical treatment. She would need to consult her doctor. A second may be living or working around chemicals or herbal substances which induce early miscarriage. She needs to avoid those substances or alter her living or working environment. A third may need divine aid to give her a baby for whatever reason. In this case, there are three people with what look to be the same problem, but the causes and solutions are all very different. It could be the same person at three different times also.

My "Book of Shadows" contains NOTHING about any particular spell for any specific purpose, other than will effect some changes in respect to a person and the divine. Magick is not a "science" based on precise formulas, such as could be given with chemistry or physics. All possible situations are different, all possible people are different, and all possible times are different.
Before you can make any change occur, you've got to consider what the benefits are of the change and how important those benefits are, what is bad about making the change, and consider then how badly you want the change. If the "costs" of the change outweigh the "benefits" to you, you don't want that change. Attempts to do it are going to fail and lead you to frustration. Is this something that someone else thinks you should do, and for what reason? If it is, ask yourself what business this person has to have any opinion on the matter for you. Perhaps you should verbally or mentally tell that person to mind their own business. Sometimes this other person really does have your best interest at heart. They may be ill-informed, or perhaps you are. However, if you think the change does have benefits, but the costs outweigh those benefits, and especially if you feel they are unlikely to work, it's still not going to work.

If it's something you don't really want or believe in, any and all attempts to change things are going to be very likely to fail. This is true whether you are attempting the change by magickal or ordinary means.

If you decide that it is some change in yourself that is worth doing, that you want to do, will give you numerous benefits, and will not hurt anything or anyone including yourself, then it's time to start working on it. It's probably going to work best to use both magickal and mundane means to effect the change, however those may be. That varies from desired change to desired change, person to person, and situation to situation.
Define and Create the Change
The first thing to consider is what sort of changes you would like to make in yourself. The other thing is to identify what is stopping you from having that change, or how it might effect you, your habits, or anything else. You have to decisively determine that you want the change. If you are at all unsure or ambivalent about the change, it will not occur, or it will not occur the way you want it. What you may have to do is to take a piece of paper, divide it into two columns, and on one side put the header "Reasons I want (this change)". On the top of the other column put the header "Reasons I do not want (this change". Then, under each column, write the reasons you do or do not want the change, as each comes to mind. Do not pre-judge them or think about them too far. This is just for yourself, no one will see it without your permission, and it is by far best to let your thoughts and feelings out unedited. When you get done, put it away and do something else for a few hours or a day or two. Then, come back to it and objectively read it over. From what you read, should you make the change or not? If the answer is "no", stop here. There is no point in trying that change. You will certainly sabotage making this change, whether mundanely or magickally. It does not matter how much someone else might think you need to make that particular change in your life or yourself. You might want to rethink the change and make it so that it's more palatable for yourself, or find a way to work around things as they are.

If you do decide you want the change, you have to clearly define the change. How will things be different? How will you feel different? How will things look different, both to you and to the outside? How will this effect other portions of your life, including but not limited to your relationships, your job, your family, your friendships, your living situation, your financial status, or anything and everything else that might be effected by this proposed change. You might want to write a future story about your life as you think it will be after you make the change, or write poetry, or draw a picture, or write some music, according to whatever artistic or literary strengths you have. The greater the detail you have about this, the better. Do several of these in different media to get a very clear picture of what this will be. If, at any point, you do not like what it looks or feels like, go back, modify the change you propose for yourself, and re-evaluate. No matter what, do not skimp on this step.

Next comes the magickal work. Look at whatever "pictures" you have of your life afterward. Put energy[1] into it. Imagine yourself already in the situation. As best you can, project your consciousness into this.

It may be helpful to put this into a definite "spell" or "symbol" or set of symbols. Define what symbols represent this change and desired effects. Gather or create things with those symbols. They may include symbolic representations, pictures of the change or results of the change, drawings, flowers, colors, scents, or anything else. Then, write a poem or "jingle" that you can recite. Keep this for use in your ritual.

Writing and Performing the Ritual
Next comes the "formal" ritual work. The day or time should match the purpose and type of change. If you are trying to create something new, for instance, to get yourself more knowledgeable or educated on something, this ritual should be done during the waxing, or "increasing" moon, between the new moon and the full moon. If you are trying to get rid of something about yourself that you view as harmful, such as stopping a bad habit, do it during the waning, or "decreasing" moon, between the full moon and a day before the new moon.

Cast your circle and perform the basic, "Everyday" ritual discussed on the Worship page. During that ritual, in the step of offering formal prayers, recite your jingle. As you recite it, include the use of energy[1] in the action. The more energy you can use or produce, the better it will work. Repeat the ritual every day as you can throughout the appropriate lunar cycle. If it has not yet come to pass by the next waxing or waning lunar cycle, as appropriate, repeat it.
Practical Magick
Rituals and magickal work are all well and good, but it's usually for naught unless you back it up with some practical work as well. That must mean that there is a real commitment you have made to yourself to make the change, and make it happen. As has been said many times by many people, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." To cause a change, you have to change something in your own thoughts and actions. If you are trying to create something, such as to increase your knowledge in some area, do something. Depending on what you want or need to know, or how you need to show anyone that you have gotten that knowledge or maybe some credential, you can choose to read books or other literature on the topic, find sites on the Internet discussing such information, talking to people who are known to be "experts" on the topic you are interested in, or you can take a formal course or scholastic program on the subject. This could be as simple as taking a class at your library or from your local school district or community college, or as complex as entering a degree program in a particular field. If you need to take a formal class, investigate such classes, their costs, their start dates, enrollment, and anything else you need to enter that program. You must do the legwork. Goddess is not going to come down some day and hand you a P.H.D. because of just doing the ritual work! She may make it easier for you to do it or get what you need to do it though. If you're trying to stop a bad habit, you've got to stop doing it. For instance, let's say your issue is that you think you are drinking too much. You have identified that it is having negative effects, how it is harming you, and how your life would improve if you drank less. If you are in the habit of having a beer when you come home in the evening, Goddess is NOT going to stop you from doing it. She does not stock the fridge, She does not force you to open the door, She does not pour it down your throat, nor will She pull it out of your hand. If you want or need outside help or support, there are any number of self-help programs and therapists that may all help you. That is true whether the issue is drinking, being too critical of yourself or others, smoking, or watching too much TV.

If you need outside help to aid you in gaining or ridding yourself of something, it is up to you to identify, find, and enlist the aid of such help that may be available. There is no shame in asking for help.
Using Energies
Raising energy is by necessity a topic beyond this or any web page or book. That is simply because it must be experienced. It cannot just be intellectually taught.

There are two types of energy which can be used. They are called raised and drawn down.

Drawn down energy is the simplest and safest to use. Simply, it is asking a deity to provide the energy for you for the intended purpose. This is safer because if the desired change would not be beneficial to you or to someone else for some reason you may not have thought about, the deity will often refuse to grant your request, or may modify it so that it is beneficial. However, leaving the magickal component of any proposed change to the whim of a deity has its own problems. You may not call upon the deity properly, or in the right frame of mind, or for many other reasons the deity may choose to ignore your request. You may need to show some personal willingness to at least try to make the change yourself before you will be given aid. The Gods respect free will too. As the Christians often say, "The Lord helps those who help themselves."

Raised energy comes from yourself, or from your environment. It must be said that to obtain this energy from another person or entity who does NOT offer the energy is psychic vampirism, and carries with it huge consequences! Do not even THINK about doing this! It is much different to get energy from a rock or the sea than it is from another human being. Raised energy has no internal safeguards. If the magick works, it works just as you say - for good or ill. If it does have some effect on someone else, the energy has your "energy signature" on it. Anything you do wrong can be sent back to you, three times over if you believe in the "Threefold Law". It's YOUR doing and YOU will bear the consequences - whether good or bad. At the same time, it does not involve invoking any other entity and may be done at the spur of the moment if need be. The fact that raised energy can be used at a moments notice is why there is the Law, "Never boast, never threaten, and never wish ill of anyone". You CAN, if you're not VERY CAREFUL, "accidentally" send negative energy toward someone in a quick bout of anger. Still, this being able to use it at a moment's notice has benefits. For instance, if you are suddenly faced with someone who is severely bleeding, you can work energy to stop the bleeding until medical help arrives. It would be useless to have to spend an hour on a ritual to invoke a deity in a case like this!
Copyright 2004, 2007 by Elizabeth Harper
All Rights Reserved
No part of this page may be copied as a whole or in part, except in brief citations under the "Fair Use" provision of US and International Copyright Law without written permission of the author.