I FINALLY did the first rite three nights ago. I didn’t do it on Halloween because I had to do it on the full moon.
First of all, my bruised ego would like to acknowledge that I have never really done rituals according to a certain structure. I’ve always taken the bare essentials of a rite and added flesh to it however I intuitively saw fit. But this ritual (and the three are still to come) have a specific, formal structure; what to do and when to do it.
So, with that in mind…
I performed it on the roof of my apartment building. The moon was out and there were scattered clouds. As I began, I called down energy from Belnara (Lord of nocturnal magick). Just as I began, I looked up to the sky and all of the clouds North (from my vantage point) of the moon, had completely changed form. They were shaped into a bunch of individual, elongated blobs. And the clouds themselves looked like smoke under glass.
I took this as a good sign that the Lords of Maergzjirah were with me.
As I went through the first few incantations, I fumbled at one point with what I was supposed to say (not with the words so much as the intent) but recovered and kept going. After that, I did as prescribed and splashed some concecrated water around my circle and altar area.
And after that, I brain-farted.
I sat there trying to remember what came next in the ritual, but… nothing. After a few moments I got out my book (The Black Scriptures) to find my place. I did, and continued, but my concentration wasn’t 100%. I was distracted by the fact that I had dropped the ball and I could feel the Maergzjiran Lords watch me do it.
Soon after, I signed my name in blood on a piece of parchment (actually it was a blank flash card). But as I tried to burn it in the candle’s flame… it wouldn’t light. I tried the corner of the card and the edge but it didn’t even turn black from soot. Weird.
And then the candle went out. I felt like Illkeserod (the entity who presides over this part of the ritual) was telling me something. I tried to light the candle again but it wouldn’t light. So I picked it up to try again and the melted candle wax splashed on my forearm, burning me. This got my attention, as I took this as a proverbial smack upside the head, and I received Illkeserod’s message:
“You have not prepared adequately for this ritual. Your execution is clumsy. This will not due. You must do better than this.”
The next time I attempted to light the candle it ignited right away and I burned the card… or most of it anyway. There was a small part of the card that didn’t want to burn. So I ended up resting it on top of the candle and it finally - slowly - burned.
But something happened then that I had never seen before. The entire top of the candle burned - not just the wick - and the ashen edges of the piece of flash card glowed a silver-ish white. And it didn’t go out! The whole top of the candle just kept burning, spilling a river of wax down onto my altar. So I sat there gazing into this magickal flame for as long as i could hold my focus. I don’t know how much time passed before I blew the candle out, but after I did I felt like I should have been more patient and let it burn longer while I stared into it.
The next day I beat myself up quite a bit for being so ill prepared. That night, as I was about to meditate before going to bed, Lady Astrael came to me and counseled me. She helped (and is still helping) me to learn everything I could from my mistakes, without judgement. This is difficult for me sometimes but she is very patient and kind. It is especially challenging for me right now because, as I am also learning the Way of Fire, I am coming face-to-face with my inner Demon. And he is one powerful, brutal, rage monster.