Basic Techniques

Personal/Space clearing and defenses

Personal Pre-ritual Preparation

Pre-ritual preparation is something that is will perhaps the part of this experience. This is about you, as a practitioner, purifying yourself, getting yourself into the right frame of mind and preparing yourself for the ritual. What you do will be the most personal part of this journey but there can be some comments made on methods that you can pick and choose from to get into the right frame of mind.

Many sources recommend some kind of ritual wash or bathing. This often includes using bath oils or herbs as a form of preparation. If you live in a small apartment or flat this may not be possible to have a bath you may find other ways of using these such as in a body wash or in a soap. Look below for a simple ritual cleansing that can be done in any bathroom with any materials. You can combine it with meditations, oils, and perfumes if you wish, or burning incense. A good one might be the elemental meditations below, or the anima and animus meditations in the meditation section below.

This is about getting rid of the mundane world, preparing yourself for the energies. This may be set by what you are doing and your group practices, or it could be a personal choice. There may be a product you like or you might make your own. Like clearing the area you use of energies this is clearing the self of energies. Doing this well means you don't bring the deterus of the world in with you and may be particularly important for group rituals. Either way this is about focusing through the scents of the herbs and oils, purifying yourself and your vibrations, preparing yourself for entering purified space as a being with clear energy.

There is then being prepared with any robes, clothing or accessories you are going to wear. Have them ready before you bathe ideally so you're not running around trying to find it and in a rush. Take your time, relax and as much as possible try to keep that purified energy from ritual bathing. It is also best to have your tools ready at that time, ready to go rather than having to find them at the time, rushing around. Organisation here is the key (as someone who hasn't done that and had to run around finding candles last minute) to ensuring that things run smoothly. Keep things together, cleansed as much as possible. If you wish you may  wish to burn incense and/or aromatic oils to keep your mind focussed both during cleansing and after, while you prepare yourself and your ritual space.

There are many sources on this and what you should use in either way. Some may use specific ideas from their own traditions, and others are instinctively attracted to a particular scent or oil combination. Some might use specific oils for different and specific rituals. This is very open and individual area. The correspondences below are basic correspondences from my memory of some common incenses and oils;

  • Sandalwood (Incense or oils) – Clarity, connection to higher beings.
  • Dragons Blood (Incense or oils) – Power
  • Rose (Incense or Oil) – Love, forgiveness, healing.
  • Sage (Herbs, incense or Oil) – Purity, cleansing
  • Lavender (Herb, Incense or Oil) – Healing, self love
  • Cedar (oil or incense) – Strength
  • Rosemary (Herb, Incense or oil) – Remembrance, memory

Obviously this list is colored by my use of these scents and what I think of them as so do some research, find some that resonate. For me this is more often than not Sandalwood and Dragons Blood, both scents I like a lot, bug Cedar and Lavender make their way in as well. This is an area there is a lot of information out there on this topic.

Remember, this preparation is for you personally to be ready and in a pure, clear state of mind without outside vibrations that might cause problems. The above methods are the most common, the idea of ritual bathing, of using plants for vibrations. I have read on them as should you but I have a tendency to use stones and direct energy more. This is the use of blessed cleansing stones (Clear Quartz and Amethyst) or white light energy cleansing. This simple idea of using the high vibration energy is the one I tend to use the most, a modified form of the bubble shield extended out from the Chakra points and downwards. This cleanses out the points and the energies within the self, cleansing the energetic and auric bodies and leaving them pure. To do this follow the instructions from last week on white light space cleansing, using on yourself drawing energy downwards through your Chakras. This is a simple method of cleansing that I tend to use, using incenses and oils for other purposes such as focus, concentration and bringing in specific meanings. You may work differently and use them, this is between you and your tradition.

However you do it, you should cleanse yourself and prepare yourself. This frames your state of mind, creates an intention in your mind and brings you into that neutral mood and space that you need to not contaminate a ritual site or ritual. This makes this step, being very organised and having clear intentions important. You do this you can do great things. You don't you won't get as good or clear results you want out of your rituals, especially in groups.

Kyshera Du'Skall Kre'Mashen Arkense

Everyday Personal Cleansing

This is a technique I came up with accidentally, and now use everyday. It is a simple technique that you can use everyday in any house, with any bath or shower. If you have a special soap, shampoo or other product then this will enhance the use of the technique, but it can be done quite effectively without it. I use this daily with just the soap or shampoo in the shower and it works quite well.

It is a simple cleansing technique that you can use as you bathe, cleansing the aura as you cleanse the body. This, especially if you are sensitive or work in healing modalities, can be a necessity due to the amount of negative energy that you can pick up. This is a good way of clearing it off daily and bringing yourself back to normal to face another day, or get a restful nights sleep without the deterus of others blocking your mind and energy, which can become quite damaging over time. By clearing it at the same time you clean your body you can keep yourself energetically clean as well as clean yourself physically.

Everyday Personal Cleansing
  • Step into shower or bath and consecrate space with a white light shield or equivalent (See below)
  • Open yourself right up in this safe and protected space, make your energies permeable.
  • Pick up your soap/shampoo/bodywash, touch to forehead.
  • Visualise a purple/pink light going through your item. This will then go through your body and show you each chakra. The longer the light, the more attention it needs. Do this for each different item you use as you use it e.g. Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner.
  • Wash, going up the chakras on each side of body first, along spine, then rest of body. The energy of the purple/white light called down will cleanse you as you do so. Pay special attention to blocked chakras and other energy blocks.
  • As your rinse off feel the negative and unwanted energy flow out with the water, rinsing yourself off. Take the time you need to this within reason.
  • After washing and drying either close off or do a series of meditations such as an elemental meditation or anima/animus meditations to further cleansing and healing (Detailed below). If not doing a meditation, get dressed and ready as usual.

Ritual Space Clearing

To be able to work in a ritual space it needs to be clean of any negative, harmful or blocking energies. This is why it is essential to clear your space. There are many ways of doing this but the three that I will be focusing on in this article are smudging, white light cleansing and crystal room clearing.

These simple ways of clearing a space can be used for normal space clearing as well as for ritual, but it is well worth doing so before a ritual, especially if using a commonly used space. This is because any use of a space carries energies with it. All these energies build up over time and if not cleansed and can ruin a spell or ceremony by their presence. Therefore while a space clearing is always useful if you feel uncomfortable in a psycic space, it is especially valuable pre-ceremony or ritual in order to ensure that the room is as energetically neutral as possible.


This is where a bundle of herbs, large enough to burn and not burn your hands is lit. The sacred smoke this produces is said to clear the room of any harmful, negative or problematic forces. This works to create a clean space for you to work in. Chants are often used and this can vary according to your personality and/or tradition. When Smudging be careful of two things – flammable items around and smoke alarms. Accidents to happen so be careful and take note of what is flammable, staying in the cleared areas of the room. As for smoke alarms, well... Nothing is more distracting than one or more high pitched squeals that you have to go and shut off. All because they’re picking up smoke you knew existed. If you have particularly touchy one make note of where it is and make contingency plans around it.

What your chant or hum will be will vary according to tradition and personal preference. Sage, Clary Sage and Eucalyptus (also associated with Aboriginal Smoking Ceremonies also using the same principles) are popular ones, though any dried herb bundle according to preference can be used. If a particular level of energy (ie. Base) is causing a problem, add herbs specific to that, same with an element using elemental correspondences. Personal preferences can also come in here as can traditions and what you would use for rituals in your tradition. Unless working to clear the space in a group this will be very much up to you and how you work.

  • Smudging bundle/Incense burner
  • Chant/ Prepared visualization  (can be simple or complex – an Om or a hum will do of using a chant.)
  • Centre yourself and ensure that you have enough defenses up against any negative energy, especially if there is any heavy negative energy present.
  • Light your bundle or incense in a carryable burner. Start your chant or visualization if you're using one as you start to walk around the room.
  • Walk around slowly, being careful of flammable materials and smoke alarms. Keep up any visualization or chant you have going till the end. When finished extinguish your bundle or incense, close up and thank the universe or any deities you may have invoked in your smudging.
  • Go onto your ritual or your normal activities, depending on what you are doing.
    White Light

    This one is one I used and at least reinvented for myself. This is a method of using pure white light from the 7th Evolutionary ladder to cleanse out the energies you don't want. It discorporates their forms, creates pure energy in their place and cleanses your ritual area in the process. This one requires no supplies other than yourself, centered and in a neutral, open frame of mind free of any Awareness or understanding level emotions or thoughts. If you do cleanse yourself before preceding as you will only replicate any negativity in yourself in your room.

    • Focus up through your chakras till you feel the clear and Violet energy of the Crown Chakra. This is pure light energy and what you want to work with.
    • Bring it into you, your aura, and create a field of ice crystals resonating out with this energy. Visualise the colours of the unwanted energies as it hits them, breaks them up into pure light like the crest of a wave and continue.
    • Once you have done this to the very edges of your room then bring this back in, sending out the pure energy to replace the old, then back into your aura. Close up, bring this back to the Crown Chakra, then close up and de-centre.
    • Thank the universe for the gift of the energy and bring yourself back to reality slowly – this is a very pure energy so might leave you light headed.
    Crystal Room Clearing

    This can be done two ways, stationery and permanent or as a one off. This is about using the crystal to absorb the energies you don't want in your space and getting rid of them through this conduit. The best crystal for this is a clear quartz point or terminator, but amethyst or other types of quartz will work just as well depending on the room and circumstances. Some might use decorated wands but remember, whatever you use has to go into salt water and be buried regularly so don't choose anything too elaborate or nice that cannot handle this without deteriorating. Think of your room and purpose when finding your crystals and you will find a good match to what you are doing with it.

    This is done by once again centering yourself as per the white light cleansing. Once again, also ensure that you are emotionally and mentally neutral because if not you will retain the rooms energies with your mood. A self cleansing might be a good idea if you cleansed yourself, especially if you were dealing with some very negative energies as you might be carrying them.

    Ritual Space Techniques and Altar Basics

    Ritual space and the altars attached to them are a basic part of most Pagan and Ritual Magick Rites. Ritial space can be defined as a set amount of space blessed or sanctified for a ritual and an altar as as special table or space used or the purpose of ritual. These two elements work together to form the basic part of most ritual Magick be that for ritual based spiritual orders or for many pagan groups.

    Ritual Space

    Ideally you will have this space set up and ready to go as an energetically clean space. If you do not already have this there were some quick space cleansing methods in last weeks article you can quickly use. Even if the first part of your formal ritual is to enclose the space then it is still a good idea to mark the space out in your head. As discussed in Pagan Mind it is good to have it working well with your altar, clear up or make as safe as possible any hazards such as trip hazards etc... Ensure that you have enough space for all of your group to work, especially if energetic movement or dancing is involved. Both of these may sound a little OH&S, but it is worth it. One of your group tripping up on a tree branch and needing a trip to hospital would not be good after all, and neither is going out of ritual space for lack of planning. So pay attention to this, as pedantic as it sounds. You can get an idea using some kind of marker e.g. Quartz pebbles outdoors, maybe small mats/carpet squares indoors. This just helps all the group, or yourself, keep an idea of the area you're working in. Note how your altar works with your ritual area, ensure it is harmonious, works well space wise and all that need access can do this easily without tripping each other up.

    Now comes to charging and defining energetically your ritual space. If you have a ritual such as in Wicca that includes this then use that. If you do not but have your own special way then use that. If you do not, however, look around. I have included four basic ones here that I developed for myself. Read them resonate with them use the or adapt them as you will.

    White Light Shield

    This is a simple visulsation based technique that sets up a white, or pure light shield around your space. It is best to have your space marked out for this one to help you visualise it. Works best in a dome but with visualisation you can make it any shape. A quartz crystal wand can help you focus. As with the white light cleansing you should be centred and in a neutral mood or this can affect the result.

    • Stand in the middle of the space, holding your crystal if you wish. Calm, neutral and centred close your eyes and open up to your top chakra.
    • Contact the pure white light (and a deity or entity if you wish) and bring that energy through you, channelling outwards into a shape you desire as a bubble.Once bubble is established seal off and if using crystal, place on altar or workspace.Go onto your ritual or rite as desired.
    • Once your rite or ritual is complete step back into the centre of the room, closing eyes. Thank any entities or deities you have invoked for their protection, bring energy back in, then through self, dispelling. This also has the advantage of ritually cleansing your space as you close off.
    Cone of Protection

    This one is a more sophisticated version of the white light shield, using a fractalled wall of white light instead of pure white light. Once again this is about visualisation as a tool. If you wish, once again a quartz crystal wand or terminator is also useful here. The same caution applies here to be in a calm, neutral mindset, because here too it will affect the result. The fractal nature of this is designed to ensure that any harm coming back is reflected back on the doer without any negative reactions on your part.

    • Stand in the middle of the space, holding your crystal if you wish. Calm, neutral and centred close eyes and focus on the crown chakra. Invoke a deity or entity if you wish here at this step to help you. Imagine a concentrated ball of pure white light come out, floating above your head.
    • Form this ball to dense pure energy, create a farie ring of the Chakra level correspondence 'Lights' – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet. Let dance around your ball of white light.
    • Elevate your ball of little white light and it's faerie ring as high as you can and fractal out like a wall of ice crystals, connecting the ball out as a cone to your faerie ring, which anchors it in the physical across your ritual space. Be generous with your sizing, ensure that you and your co-workers all have enough room without stepping out.
    • Carry out your ritual as normal. When ritual complete step back into the middle of the space and collapse the cone and faery lights back into the ball and the ring of faery lights. Thank any deity or entity you have invoked, dispel and recentre. This like the technique above should have the advantage it cleanse your space of any negative residue build-up at the same time.
    Fractal Dome

    This technique is more an emergency technique you can use to reinforce ritual space if you feel it invaded, or you are attacked or your psychic space invaded at any other time. More a supplement to the last two it is a very simple emergency response.

    • Close eyes, imagine a ball of pure, radiant white light coming out through the self. If you wish chant or invoke a deity or entity of protection (archangel Michael for instance) and let the ball of light grow out from your centre into a small domed shield around you.
    • Extend out to the area you want covered. This could be yourself, your friends and your altar, for instance. Slowly march out your wall of ice crystals, reflecting back and purifying any negative energy or malevolence in an attack, reflecting back on the attacker through the fractals.
    • When attach eases off either put around the self, or dispel and thank any entities or deities you have invoked.


    This is largely an area that will be mostly determined by your spell working tradition and the rite you are performing, so look to this for most of your guidance. One thing you should remember is to ensure that all items can be reached though. For instance, no use putting an item deep in the middle of a large altar table if a person without the arms reach to get it has to use it. Ergonomics and practicality has to bear into this for that reason. Between the needs for space, ease of use and the tradition and ritual requirements you should find something at works for all. A solo practitioner will need less space than a large group, for instance, and a Wiccan will have different ritual requirements than other forms of witchcraft or other pagan religions again. Look at all the factors and decide carefully how to do this.

    For me the centrepiece is at the moment a brass bowl with a candle in it, beside it two other candle plates. The centre candle is the power candle, the other two supporting. I have two toolboxes one each side with everything changing all the time around it as I go along, serving my needs at the time. My altar is permanent within a sanctuary room, a very highly shielded room. This suits me, other arrangements will suit others. I also tend to charge everyday items like my keys and wallet as well as sale items so I have enough room for that, as well as a burning bucket for burnt paper spells.

    If you are lucky enough to have a permanent altar like mine you can keep spells going, do little power raisings through the time, work with the energy around you constantly. If you are not you will want a safe space for your supplies between and a place to complete spells e.g. seven day candle burnings. Likewise if you are with a group have an agreement with all your members on how to do this. This is something you should look to your tradition and what you are doing for as this is so individual. You get this right you will enhance your ritual effort. 

    Combining Ritual Space

     As stated above they must work together, that is the highest requirement in a way. A good integration of the two in space will make your ritual that much better to work with. Get both right, get the mix right and you will have a very good ritual or rite. Good preparation may sometimes seem pedantic, but will pay off at the end. Put the effort in you will get the reward back in a very good ritual.

    Kyshera Du'skall Kre'Mashen

    Traveling Altars

    Having had to live out of bags at a friends place for a month, and facing having to do the same thing for a few more yet at my stepfathers (or at least limited goods), I've had to change the way I do things while I get myself together. I've gone from my own two and a half bedroom place to packing what I own up in storage and working my way through to see what I take with me to work as a semi-permanant altar that does the job during a heavy time to transiton, but packs up small enough to transport without the amount of storage space I had previously. To add to this, for various reasons candles and incense were likely to be out for a while.

    This is a daunting task. Perhaps by me having to go through it I can write about it for others, and it can be useful. Some may have their own method, but this is the way I found that suited me. Mind you, still uhmming and Ehhring on what I'm taking, one of those things. But with this I was able to get it down to what I needed to work with and pack it in a small enough space.

    Start with what you always are going to use. This can sometimes mean buying new items to consolidate tools counter- intuitively. This was especially true for me with three altars going that were needed to consolidate into one for not only carrying, but space when unpacked. This means priorities, starting with what is most personal and what you are going to use most, then working out. You might do and redo this process before you feel it is right, but it is important to get it right, especially if you are going to be living out of a bag or a small space for a while. The less you can take, the more important this process is going to be. Take your time, get what you need in as good a quality your budget can afford, and get it right, you will find yourself working as well as if you had a dream setup at home.

    The next thing is how are you going to transport it? This means a bag, jewellery roll or pouch to put it all in. You may buy one, or make one. Generally a large jewellery roll, jewellery pouch or toiletry bag should do the trick, being large enough to contain enough items but small enough to fit into a bag or case. A small handbag might also be a good idea, especially if you have a setup that needs compartments to be stored properly. If you have to buy one, get one, ensuring it is in your budget. Op shops and second hand shops are good for this as they have a lot of good items cheap. Then there is the packing of it with some kind of protection. This could mean having to bless the bag. It could also mean sewing or putting a talisman amulet onto the bag etc... Depending on how you want to do it. It will also depend on what you use and your skills, of course. Once you have chosen your altar and it is all set then you can pack it into your bag. This may take some fiddling to get it right, but when you do, worth it. If you will have to unpack and repack often get used to how to do it so you can do it quickly and properly if needed.

    Of course, there is one last note before a summary of useful steps – you can't always use candles. Here you have to get creative, really. Some places may allow you to use tealights, but this is not always going to be the case. If you can a white tea light candle is a good substitute, being white. If not you can get a small light – Torch, Electronic candle, small LED light to substitute. I used to use the little electronic candles for this, but lately a little three LED battery operated night light given to me by a friend at low has been the substitute. If you have to, well, this becomes more important. It is a challenge, especially if you were set as I was, but you can do it. It's not easy, or fun, but it's possible. And as personal as each magick worker.

    Summary of Useful Steps
    • Get the idea of what you want for a traveling altar clear in your mind.
    • Set your priorities on items from most important to the least.
    • Select and/or buy items to fulfill the priorities, from the most personal to least.
    • Find a suitable bag and consecrate in some way to protect your items.
    • Ensure that you know how to pack and repack your tools so you can do it quickly.
    • Keep a substitute light source for candles with you so you can perform rituals in all places.
    • Keep a track of items and ensure they are fully packed up as you are moving around.
    Kyshera Du'Skall Kre'Mashen Arkhene