“Intimacy becomes a path−an unfolding process of personal and spiritual development.”
Many beliefs and superstitions around love remained undeterred throughout history. Eventually, they have filtered into the way we seek out and secure love. Weddings illustrate this filtering process, with superstitions sprinkled throughout their planning and execution.
Enacting a personalized ritual gives you one more active way of fulfilling your love quest. Don’t let preconceived ideas of ritual put you off. You already perform rituals every day, by repeating your morning routine, making a meal in a specific way, or by taking the same route to work.
In magical traditions, rituals act as prolonged spells, giving more definition and direction to the energy generated.
Magic Love Ritual #1: Finding the God Within
Find four God images you relate to strongly. Place one in each of the four directions of your sacred space and set up an altar in the center. Place a glass of wine and a red candle on the altar, representing masculinity, fertile fire, and life’s blood. Also, put an athame (ritual knife) or a wand on the altar as a phallic representation.
Choose an incense suitable for the Sacred Masculine, and ignite it in a fireproof container. Carry this around the circle. Start in the east, holding the burning incense, and recite the following, moving clockwise (fill in the blanks with the names of the god images chosen):
“_____, I honor you in my sacred space.
Bring with you the winds of change and power.
Help me hear your voice within myself.”
“_____, I honor you in my sacred space.
Bring with you the fires of transformation.
Help me see you within myself.”
“_____, I honor you in my sacred space.
Bring with you the waters of progress.
Let me feel you within myself.”
“_____, I honor you in my sacred space.
Bring with you the soils of growth and evolution.
Let me find you within myself.”
Next, go to the center of the circle. Put down the incense and light the candle to acknowledge the presence of the divine. Take the wine in one hand and the athame in the other, and close your eyes. Visualize yourself in this circle with each of the God images superimposed over your heart, one at a time. See each image absorb into you, feeling its energy and power growing in your heart.
While you work, add a chant such as:
“The spark of God lies within.
I am divine; I am God.”
Allow the chant to grow louder until it reaches a peak. At that point, dip the athame into your cup (to represent the unity of male and female within you). Remove it and drink half of the wine, then pour the rest out as an offering to the divine beings who lent their assistance to the rite. Spend some time in the sacred space afterward, contemplating the masculine attributes you already have, and those you hope to accentuate.
Close the circle by going to each of the four quarters in reverse order (counterclockwise) and dismissing the divine energies there. Again, fill in the blanks with the names of the gods represented at those points.
“_____, thank you for grounding this ritual and empowering me with _____ (name an attribute known to that god that you wish to integrate). Hail and farewell.”
“_____, thank you for helping energies to flow within and around this space and empowering me with _____. Hail and farewell.”:
“_____, thank you for your power and for kindling the characteristics of _____ within me. Hail and farewell.”
“_____, thank you for your fresh perspectives and the winds of change. Breathe within me, and ring in my heart. Hail and farewell.”
Blow out the central candle and note any impressions from the ritual in a journal so you can refer back to it later.
Magick Love Ritual #2: Finding the Goddess Within
This ritual reconnects you with universal feminine energy. It can help you recognize and empower the goddess within to increase your sensitivity, intuition, and nurturing capacity. Additionally, it improves your understanding of the women in your life.
Exceptions: Use goddess images in the four directions and a white candle and wine to represent her presence on the altar. Prepare goddess incense. Your ritual cup is a symbol of the womb. Change the word “God” in the chant to the word “Goddess.” Finally, make a list of feminine attributes you hope to acquire or improve. Keep the list with you during the quiet, meditative time after the libation.
Magick Ritual for Love #3: The Call for a Soul Mate
Karmic units form to create specific mini-classrooms for our soul’s learning. Within that group, certain souls migrate toward each other again and again, creating strong emotional ties that death cannot break. When you meet a person from that karmic unit, something within you recognizes them immediately. The emotional response can be astounding and disturbing. It can easily be mistaken for a meeting with your soulmate. It may be, but that is only one possibility.
The term soulmate may be a misnomer. To say your soul is tied to one, and only one, other person’s soul throughout time sounds very romantic, but it doesn’t fit into the ultimate goals of reincarnation: to change, learn, grow, and move on. It seems more likely that several members of your karmic unit have the potential to be life partners, while other people become friends, parents, teachers, and even adversaries. No matter what your views are on this theory, there seems to be a nearly universal desire to seek out that special someone.
The following ritual serves two purposes: It encourages a romantic aura around your life for drawing and welcoming love, and it gives you peace of mind, knowing you have extended loving energy through the right person. It takes time and patience to experience results from this ritual, so repeat it whenever you feel the need. Love is a finicky creature which, like a cat, moves in its own time and manner.
Inscribe a red or pink candle with your name, using a pin or knife. Put it at eye level in the sacred space where it can stay at eye level when you sit down. Fill a bowl with rose petals and a stick of sandalwood incense.
If possible, perform this ritual outdoors. Take the bowl in hand, and walk clockwise around the sacred space, sprinkling the petals on the ground, saying:
“To the eastern winds I call. Hear my wish. Let these petals reach one with a like mind and soul with whom I can communicate. Bring us together. So mote it be.”
“To the southern winds I call. Hear my wish. Let these petals reach one that I can embrace with passion, and who can return that fervor. Bring us together. So mote it be.”
“To the western winds, I call. Hear my wish. Let these petals reach one whose heart is open to give and receive love. Bring us together. So mote it be.”
“To the northern winds, I call. Hear my wish. Let these petals reach one with whom a balanced relationship can grow. Bring us together. So mote it be.”
Center: Light the candle. Say:
“Spirit, whose light is truth and wholeness, bless this effort. Open the path for love in my life if it is for the greatest good and harms none. So mote it be.”
Sit comfortably before the candle. Breathe in a slow, rhythmic manner until you feel at ease with your environment. Next, think about someone who makes you feel loved, allowing these emotions to fill you to overflowing. Direct this loving energy toward your candle (you can visualize this as a pink light pouring out from your heart and enveloping the candle with love and joy). It is an important expression of love for yourself.
Now mentally list the attributes of a good life partner. Be detailed, but try not to limit fate to these restrictions. Formulate a verbal or silent prayer about these characteristics to the divine, and light the incense from the candle’s flame. The smoke from the incense carries your prayers to Spirit.
Finally, take a deep breath. As you release it, blow the candle out. Visualize the pink light around the flame being dispersed by your breath in all directions. As you see the energy moving away, whisper your wish for love, and welcome the individual(s) whom this energy finds. Close the ritual by dismissing the quarters while walking counter-clockwise around the sacred space.
“Northern winds, I thank you for your power and for granting levelheadedness on love’s quest. Guide my magic safely to its mark as you leave this place.”
“Western winds, I thank you for your power and for granting pure emotions on love’s quest. Guide my magic safely to its mark as you leave this place.”
“Southern winds, I thank you for your power and for granting romantic energy to love’s quest. Guide my energy to its mark as you leave this place.”
“Eastern winds, I thank you for your power and for granting refreshed hope on love’s quest. Guide my energy safely to its mark as you leave this place.”
“Spirit of creation, I thank you for your presence and for granting your blessing on my magic. Guide my spell and my path until love’s quest is fulfilled. Farewell.”
In a journal make notes of your experience and any ways in which you personalized the ritual, for future reference. Keep the candle and repeat the rite when you feel the need. Carry some of the melted wax with you as a love-drawing charm until the magic manifests.
Love Ritual #4: Releasing Expectations
Every generation has different concepts of the perfect relationship. Until recently, it was common to see relationships portrayed in the media as blissfully happy, with love as the binding tie that conquered anything. And while contemporary portraits are somewhat more realistic, many depictions are still idealistic.
Relationships can be happy and strong, but difficult to achieve if one or both partners assume love conquers all. Love is but one ingredient in a complex recipe. The others include trust, communication, respect, perseverance, tolerance, and a heaping spoonful of patience.
There is no such thing as a flawless mate or relationship, and our magical expectations should reflect this. By accepting others-and ourselves-as we are, we can move forward on even footing.
For this ritual, you need a small doll to represent each person participating in the exercise, 12 strands of yarn or ribbon tied to each doll, a pair of scissors for each person, a white candle to represent truth and pure intentions, and a container to burn the ribbons in.
If possible, you should share the job of calling the quarters: One person invoking the east and south, another invoking the west and north.
“Winds of wisdom, insight, and change, come bless us with your breath and help manifest our magic.”
“Fires of energy and perfect love, come bless us with your warmth and help empower our magic.”
“Waters of healing and peace, come bless us with your gentle truth and help our magic to flow.”
“Soils of foundation and growth, come bless us with your security and help our magic mature.”
“Light the white candle and say together, Only the light of truth and love shall shine here.”
It exacts a promise you will be honest and compassionate with one another in the sight of the Sacred. Remember, this isn’t a time to complain about negative habits, but to release each other from unhealthy expectations which hinder your relationship’s growth.
Next, each person, in turn, cuts one ribbon on the other’s doll, verbally acknowledging a released expectation. For example, if a friend, partner, or mate tends to be tardy, you might say, “I release you from my personal concept of timeliness.” Another fitting application for this ritual is releasing each other from outward imperfections, such as being overweight.
Focusing on the external takes away from spiritual connections, especially in long-term, intimate relationships. You could use a positive phrase instead, such as, “I love you the way you are.” By releasing your criticism of the loved one, you are actually reinforcing (on a subconscious level) a healthy alternative and decreasing tension tremendously.
Continue this exercise until you cut all the ribbons. It disconnects all the expectation tethers. Ignite the ribbons in the candle’s flame and let them burn so you can’t reattach them. Keep the freed image of your loved one where you can see it regularly, as a reminder of your promises.
This exercise can also be used to release yourself from unreasonable goals, ideals, and so on.
Magick Ritual for Compassionate Love #5: Forgiveness
We all make mistakes. When those mistakes hurt someone close to us, an apology helps, and a ritual also promotes emotional healing. Each person should find a disposable symbol of one’s anger. Cather two red candles, one white candle, a twenty-one-inch length of white ribbon, and lavender incense.
If you use an athame in your magic, use extra white ribbon to “peace bond” the blade (tie it so it can’t come out of the sheath). It represents your desires to maintain a truce and work toward harmony. I also suggest sharing the responsibility for calling the quarters, since forgiveness and accord require mutual effort.
Put the ribbon and white candle on a central table or altar, unlit. Light the lavender incense. Carry your personal red candles (lit) while calling the quarters. Begin in the north and move counterclockwise (to banish anger).
“Concordia, goddess of peace and harmony, quell the anger in our hearts, and replace it with renewed understanding and love so healing can begin.”
“Goddess of Truth, bless this sacred space with honest, gentle words so healing may begin.”
“Anu, God of Fairness and Mediation, come and oversee our rite. Let us both accept our responsibility to this relationship, its sorrows, and joys so that healing can begin.”
“Forseti, God of Justice, let your fairness and balance be our guide in this sacred space so healing can begin. So be it.”
Take your individual candles and place them on each side of the white one. Take your partner’s hand, look into his or her eyes and say, “I’m sorry.” In unison, light the central white candle with the red ones saying, “We accept forgiveness and peace into our hearts.” Blow out the candles of anger and bind them tightly with the white ribbon. Spend time in the sacred space talking things out calmly.
When you’re ready, dismiss the quarters, moving clockwise to maintain the positive energy you’ve created.
“Forseti, thank you for blessing this time with balanced judgment and equity. Go in peace and keep peace between us.”
“Anu, thank you for helping us negotiate, using love as a guide. Go in peace, and keep peace between us.”
“Aleitheia, thank you for the honesty necessary to put our relationship back on track. Go in peace, and keep peace between us.”
“Concordia, thank you for the harmony established in this sacred space this day. Go now in peace, and keep peace between us. Farewell.”
After the ritual, put away the anger candles in a safe spot where you can find them again if needed. Light the peace candle daily until it burns out completely to remind you of your mutual commitment.
Love Ritual for Happiness #6: Healing a Broken Heart
Unlike the reed, which can bend in every wind, the human heart finds it hard to accept difficult changes in a relationship. You can help integrate change and begin healing through ritual.
This ritual requires a poppet (a small cloth figurine) filled with lavender (for peace), dried apple peel (for emotional health), pine needles (for cleansing negativity), and a carnelian (for renewed self-confidence). The poppet represents you, so, if possible, fashion it from a piece of personal clothing and dab it with a bit of your perfume.
Take this into your sacred space along with a white candle, a cup of dry (not sweet) wine, and seven sticks of violet incense (to promote self-love). Call the quarters, saying,
“Winds of change, move away from my pain, teach me to free what cannot be grasped. Cool my anger, my frustration. Refresh my soul; make me whole.”
“Fires of cleansing, burn away my sadness, teach me to release what cannot be held. Energize my faith, my self-confidence. Burn anew in my soul; make me whole.”
“Waters of healing, wash away my wounds, teach me to flow with what cannot be stopped. Cleanse me with tears. Crest with hope in my soul, make me whole.”
“Earth of foundations, re-root me in your soil, teach me to stand so I cannot be shaken. Ground me in reality…in conscious awareness. Revitalize my soul, make me whole.”
Light a stick of incense from the flame of the white candle and set it aside. Take the cup in hand, saying:
“Timeless, wise Spirit. I have tasted bitter sadness recently (sip from the cup and dab some wine on the poppet’s heart) but the time for sorrow is passed. I release it to you and the earth, and ask for joy in its place.”
Pour the remnants of the cup out as a libation to the earth. If you can’t do this in the sacred space, do so outside afterward. Put your hands over the doll, visualizing it filled with pink-white light until it overflows with energy. As you do so, chant, “As to thee, so to me, let love begin within.”
Leave the doll in the path of the smoke until the incense burns out. Use this time to cry, laugh, dance, or whatever it takes to release your pain.
Close the circle, beginning in the north, saying:
“Mother, hold me close to your breast until I meet with you again. Thank you for being here to help my heart mend.”
“Sister, let me sleep on waves of comforting until I meet with you again. Thank you for being here to help my heart mend.”
“Father, let my spirit ignite again with hope until I meet with you again. Thank you for being here to help my heart mend.”
“Brother, let my soul rejoice in your whimsical winds until I meet with you again. Thank you for being here to help my heart mend. Hail and farewell.”
For the next week, burn a stick of the violet incense before you go to bed, and repeat, “As to thee, so to me, let love begin within.”
Hold the doll close to you while you sleep to extend love to yourself. Ritually burn or bury the doll when you feel whole again.
Commitment Love Ritual #7: Engagement
An engagement ritual symbolizes the promise and pledge of love without the legally binding paperwork. Afterward, the couple has time to review their relationship seriously and make or break future plans. You should enter engagement rituals with as much sobriety as a marriage.
Perform this ritual in the light of a waxing moon, to emphasize the growth of the relationship. For an engagement empowered by magic, each person should choose a token to give to the other. Have a cup of water, two lit candles, and two unlit candles on an altar central to the sacred space. Each person should take turns calling the quarters to emphasize equality. Recite the invocation to Spirit together.
“In the place of a rising sun, we make our pledge to each other and the ancients. Let a fresh wind wrap around us with conscious awareness of what our promises mean.”
“In the place of a noonday sun, we make our pledge to each other and the ancients. Let a warm fire wrap around us with constant love and passion for kindling the longevity of our promise.”
“In the place of a setting sun, we make our pledge to each other and the ancients. Let waves of emotion wrap around us, keeping our promise fresh and full.”
“In the place of a dark sun, we make our pledge to each other and the ancients. Let rich soil provide ground within which our promise shall grow to fullness.”
“In the place beyond space and time, we make our pledge to each other and the ancients. Let Spirit and the ancients witness our promise and bless it with their presence.”
Stand together before the altar. Each person, in turn, should take one of the lit candles and ignite one of the unlit ones, saying:
“This flame was my being before I met you. Today I become someone new because of our promise to each other. Today I accept a place in your heart, like a seed that will grow into the tomorrows.”
Extinguish the flame of the first candle in the cup in turn, saying:
“The past is behind me. It has shaped me and what I have become, but it does not restrict the possibilities our love gives to the future. Let any bad memories die here today and let devotion be born with our pledge.”
Turn to one another and place the palm of your strong hand over your partner’s heart, saying in turn:
“I am part of your heart, and you are part of mine. Today I pledge my love to you so that over the next ____ (number of weeks, months, or years until the wedding) we can grow in unity toward whatever the future holds. Do you accept my pledge?”
Each partner replies, adding anything they feel they need to say. Then give the tokens you’ve brought, explaining their significance your presence and blessing. These tokens should be carried as often as possible as charms to inspire your love and strengthen your pledges.
Close the circle, beginning in the north saying:
“Powers of the North, we thank you for your presence and blessing. Your sky, dark as the soil, but filled with stars, represents our hearts filled with hope and possibilities.”
“Powers of the West, we thank you for your presence and blessing. Your waters, blue as the sky, and brimming with life, represent our desire to flow with one another into the future.”
“Powers of the South, we thank you for your presence and blessing. Your fires, red as the sun, and filled with energy, represent our passion and warmth.”
“Powers of the East, we thank you for your presence and blessing. Your winds, invisible as breath, yet as vital, represent our love which cannot be seen, but is known deep within.”
To close the ritual, I suggest writing and reciting a prayer together that expresses your feelings at this moment.
Magick Wedding Ritual #8: Marriage or Handfasting
The magic of unity comes from ritual marriage, the blessings of the divine and kin. A marriage or handfasting celebrates everything about love and all its possibilities.
Marriage is a very personal observance. Both people’s culture, spiritual beliefs, tastes, and families figure heavily into the creation of the ceremony. I’ve provided an outline here specifically for a couple whose magical path is known to their guests. This outline offers ideas, not edicts. Fill out the rest by following your heart and vision.
Begin by decorating the sacred space to reflect the occasion. Knot magic neatly ties the wishes for your relationship into each bow. Bells announce the union to others and chase away evil influences. Anything white or silver symbolizes purity and the presence of Spirit to bless the gathering. Add significant flowers aromatics and anything else that feels right. Put colored balloons, candles, or other tokens at the four quarter points to prepare the sacred space.
Calling the quarters depends on the couple’s spiritual path. Consider invoking gods and goddesses from your pantheon to witness and bless the rite, or use an invocation that everyone present can understand. Some couples have a priest or priestess invoke the guardians before the guests arrive if family members are uncomfortable with magic.
Once inside the sacred space, the ritual can be as diverse and unique as the couple. Some magical traditions you might want to use are:
- Drinking from one cup to symbolize your united destiny. It is an ancient pagan and gypsy custom.
- Lighting a central candle together to represent the sacred energy that binds two people in love.
- Binding your hands together with cloth or flowers representing oneness and accord. It is how the word handfasting originated.
- Jumping over a broom handle or sword blade to mark your transition into a new life together.
- When you jump the broom, it also brings figurative or literal fertility, depending on the couple’s wishes.
After the ritual, gift exchanges, toasts, cake cutting, and showers of confetti are all common and have vestiges of magic within them. In earlier times, the people gave symbolic gifts such as bread so that the couple would never want for food. Toasts were a type of invocation and offering to the divine initially.
Cakes began in Rome where they were crumbled over the heads of the couple and eaten for fertility, abundance, and Providence. Lastly, as the couple leaves the celebration, a shower of rice or breadcrumbs ensures prosperity and fertility and inspires a shower of blessings.
Magick Love-ending Ritual #9: Separation
When a marriage or long-term relationship doesn’t work out, it takes a lot of effort to keep the separation process peaceful and constructive. By enacting a mutually agreed upon rite, you can release each other and possibly maintain a friendship.
You need scissors, a fire source like a brazier or small cauldron, a small amount of salve, and a photograph of the two of you together. Each should take turns calling the quarters. It took two people to make this relationship, and it takes two to disperse that energy. Begin in the north as a symbol of termination.
“Ancient Powers of the Earth, hear us all;
Hearken to our urgent call.
Help us weather the storm in our hearts.
Help us to heal as we part.”
“Ancient Powers of the Water, hear us all;
Hearken to our urgent call.
Help us ride the wave of shifting tides.
While we part, stand by our sides.”
“Ancient Powers of the Fire, hear us all;
Hearken to our urgent call.
Help us govern the flames of wrath.
Help us walk a peaceful path.”
“Ancient Powers of the Air, hear us all;
Hearken to our urgent call.
Help us abide by the winds of change.
Help us forgive, and our lives rearrange.”
Go together before the altar. One person should hold the photograph while the other cuts it halfway apart, separating your two images. Then switch, cutting the photo completely in half. Now take the image of your partner and dab a little salve on it, saying, “I wish you wellness and wholeness, and release you without malice. While our intimacy wanes, may friendship remain.”
Burn the images to complete the release process and send your prayers to the divine. Share with each other any parting thought you may have, then close the circle starting in the east (to mark a new beginning), and moving clockwise to keep positive energy with both of you.
“Powers of the east, thank you for attending this rite. Help us move from this place in peace with renewed confidence as our guide.
“Powers of the south, thank you for attending this rite. Help us move from this place cleansed of anger, with light as our guide.”
“Powers of the west, thank you for attending this rite. Help us move from this place in wholeness, with forgiveness as our guide.”
“Powers of the north, thank you for attending this rite. Help us move from this place founded in love, with hope as our guide.”
If possible, leave the sacred space by two separate exits.
Renewing Love and Vows Ritual #10: Rededication (Vow Renewal)
There are times when two people drift apart, when circumstances pressure the joy right out of a relationship, or when we forget just how precious it is. Re-dedication brings refreshment and a renewed appreciation of our partner.
Rededication is as personal as marriage, perhaps even more intimate. Many people use elements from their marriage or handfasting rite for this ritual, but do not necessarily invite guests. Other people can support the magic through communal love and blessing while enacting the ritual alone allows for more uninhibited tenderness.
As with the marriage ritual, many details are up to you. Decorations should reflect your relationship and its growth. Bring pictures of major moments in your lives and special gifts given to each other.
Wear each other’s favorite outfit and scent. Make a list of the things you love about each other.
Call the quarters according to your personal tradition. Keep the atmosphere as cozy as possible, possibly with candlelight or a roaring fire. Spend time with the ancients and each other, recalling the reasons you came together in the first place.
When the time seems right, recite your vows again, or any new promises beneath the gaze of the Sacred. At the end of the ritual, spend the rest of the day or night together reminiscing and rejoicing.
Rituals are important, but how you express, give, and receive love every day carries even more power. Without the daily practice of love, spells, and rituals, charms and chants amount to nothing more than going through the motions. Love must come through consistent word and deed. This consistency and dedication is a part of spirituality, and it is the fuel sparking your magic to miraculous results.
Based on the “Little Book of Love Magic,” by Patricia Telesco. All rights reserved.