Number 8 in my series on Folk Witchery
Although spells and rituals can be entirely spontaneous, there is a lot to be said for making some special efforts to prepare yourself, and your ritual area, for the working you wish to carry out.
Your preparations can awaken your Witchy senses, start the build up of the special atmosphere and 'tune' the energies so that you are in a heightened state of magical awareness before you step into your temple area.
If you are going to go in for ritual magic there are a whole set of rules concerning how you should conduct yourself and what you should eat or drink (or not) before your ritual. But as we are dealing with Folk Witchery, our preparations do not need to be so elaborate.
The main things to think about from a practical point of view are:
Don't have a huge meal and drink loads of alcohol immediately before a ritual.
Simply because food helps to ground and close down psychic centres (one of the reasons that having cakes and drink comes after spell casting) and if you are tipsy you will make mistakes in your spells. Drunkenness also attracts the wrong kinds of energies - unless you are wanting to give yourself nightmares and call up lower astral entities, as they are known.
The best form of ritual preparation is to have a shower or a soak in a special bath infused with oils, salts or even charmed bubble bath. You can have a scented candle and appropriate joss stick or incense burning while you have your bath too.
Before you get in, pass your hands over the surface of the water and imagine blue Witchfire enlivening the bath with the power of purification and awakening in your soul and spirit the special energies you will need for your spell or ritual. Soak in the bath and think abut your ritual and the kind of magic you will be using, this will all help get you into the right frame of mind for your working and help increase your success rate too.
It is a nice idea to wear something special for your rituals (if you have a nice warm house you might choose to work skyclad - naked). A robe is not difficult to make: measure from your shoulder to your ankles then go buy some plain fabric twice this length. Fold the fabric in half and cut a hole in the fold line to poke your head through. Sew the sides of the fabric up, leaving gaps near the fold to stick your arms out. Or simply fasten the sides with pieces of ribbon, or just tie a sash or cord around your waist.
It is actually so simple you might end up with a drawer full of different coloured robes.
The colour you pick for your robe is up to you, but obviously black is traditional.
However, if you haven't got a robe, don't worry, you can wear your ordinary clothes.
Never let the fact that you haven't got exactly the right piece of equipment stop you from practising your magic. None of us ever has exactly the most perfect items we would like (unless you are multi-millionaire with bottomless pockets) and Folk Witchery in particular is about being adaptable and using what you have to hand,
Next time we shall look the Folk Witchery approach to the Full Moon