Welcoming the Night - A Ritual to do in the Dark
By: The Witches of Green Moon Apothecary, Vanessa Neshevich & Amanda Tamane
As autumn approaches darkness overtakes the light, the sun pulls away from us, and the night becomes longer than the day. There is a chill in the air and magick is especially powerful. It is truly the “Season of the Witch”, a powerful time as energies converge and the veil between worlds is thinned, allowing us to make contact with and draw power from those who have gone before as well as receive glimpses into the past and future.
The dark side of the wheel of the year is a time of introspection when the flaming colours of the changing leaves remind us that life burns brightest just before it is extinguished from this world. We reap what we have sown throughout the year, reflect on past obstacles, and plant new desires for our futures.
A witch is as comfortable on the dark side as the light. Sometimes even more so, depending on the witch! We must recognize the dynamic balance of the duality. The dark is nothing to fear and whether you believe in “magick” or not, you can still participate in your own rituals in the dark to make the best use of the power of this very special season.
Nighttime rituals that invoke and honour land spirits, ancestors, and chosen deities are incredibly powerful. This ritual, from the witches of Green Moon Apothecary, focuses on giving thanks and cultivating positive abundance.
For this ritual you will need the following:
White chalk or salt
Knife or dagger
Paper cut in the shape of your hand
Offering of corn
Create Your Altar
The best rituals are those that are personalized, so adjust and change the ritual as you choose. A great way to start is to update your altar to reflect the energies of the season, by including items such as skulls or bones, root vegetables, dried corn, pumpkins, fallen leaves, feathers, or crystals such as onyx and carnelian. These items will bestow positive earth energy to your altar space. Decorate your altar slowly and thoughtfully. You should feel relaxed, satisfied, and at ease by the end of this process.
Cleansing with Cannabis
Once your altar is prepared, indulge in some cannabis if you plan to do so. We recommend rolling a joint and using the smoke to cleanse your space and self of negative energy. Select a strain that helps balance yourself, and that will deliver a buzz that allows your mind and body to be at ease. Look for strains that will help you focus on taking deep, intentional breaths, and building positive energies. An indica heavy strain, such as Northern Lights or Kosher Kush, are excellent choices. There is great power behind the cannabis plant and it is a great way to enhance your powers and intentions. Be sure to treat it with reverence, like the rest of nature.
Step by Step
Turn off all your lights and let the darkness swallow you. Let your eyes adjust and begin the ritual.
Cast a circle with your white chalk or salt. It needs to be large enough for you, or your group, to fit inside. A circle is cast to create sacred space during your ritual.
Place your bowl at the centre of the altar.
Light the black candle for protection. As you light it, name those who have gone before and invite them to bring their energies forth. Give thanks for all they have done and how they have touched your life. Place the candle on the right side of your altar.
Take your piece of paper and think of an obstacle you were unable to tackle this year. Write it on the paper and place your hand on top of it. Visualize those you are honouring on the other side of the paper, holding your hand and guiding you. What would they say if they were next to you? What advice would they give you? Once you are satisfied with their answers, take the paper and light it with the black candle. Place in your fire-proof bowl and watch it burn to ash, releasing you from its hold.
Next, take your corn and hold it in your hand. Reflect on those you are honouring and the lessons they taught you. How will you use those lessons in your life to achieve your goals? Take one kernel and eat it, then place the rest of your corn in your offering bowl to bring good luck and protection to your honourees beyond this world.
Take your apple and hold it in your hands. Think of the abundance you want to attract and reflect on this. Carve a symbol or word that represents your desire into the apple, and place it in your offering bowl.
Finally, light your green candle. As you do, ask for blessings of abundance for those you love. Place it on the left side of your altar.
Hold your bowl with your offerings with both hands and say out loud or silently to yourself:
I offer this food, as a symbol of the abundance the Earth has provided this year.
As the wheel of the year turns
As this candle burns
I honour those who have gone past
and the bounties we have amassed
Extinguish your candles when you feel the ritual is complete. The next day, after the sun goes down, take out your offerings into nature. If you still have some of the same cannabis strain, smoke a little bit before you head outside to place your mind in a similar state as your ritual.
Choose a special place to bury your apple. Leave the corn above ground as an offering to the spirits of nature. As you bury your apple, reflect on your abundance ask and the advice your ancestors would give you in achieving that goal.