Ritual Order and Ferrous Metals

We are often confused when we participate in someone else’s ritual at a festival. Many people seem to have little idea about what they’re doing, when, and why. When participants set out to begin a ritual, we should come to it with some sense of excitement; and that excitement can be enhanced in many ways: dancing, drumming, chanting, you name it. After the first phase, then, there has to be a release of the energy that has been raised. This is the time to do your magical work, which currently often consists of a healing or an attempt to change the path of history so that things get better. Alternatively, a very simple release of the energy is to send it into the ether or the earth : this is often called grounding. Grounding may not bring everyone down, so in a Frost ritual it is usually arranged that an orgasm occurs (in private outside the circle itself).
When we come back into circle, we’re relaxed. It is the obvious time for deep meditation. For some, this also involves astral travel; thus competent leaders will often arrange a talkout that helps facilitate detachment from the physical body. After this, some prayers of gratitude are in order. They are usually quite simple. The ritual closes with thanks to the elder ones.
In summary:
1. Get ‘up’ through excitement
2. Do ‘magic’
3. Ground
4. Meditate or astral travel
5. Close
The order of the ritual is very important: the sequence in which the steps we name are performed. The excitement at the beginning is mastered and used for what are termed magical purposes. This brings the participants down so that they can meditate and (if they wish) escape the body.
There are literally thousands of ways of completing such a ritual as this, but the order–the sequence of using the original excitement and then a complete grounding followed by deep meditation–should not be violated.

While I’m on this rant, a word about athames and swords and ferrous metals:
A young man of our acquaintance is actively looking for a spiritual path, investigating Wicca on his way to a commitment. On his quest he is reading very widely indeed. He informs us that many books now available talk positively about black-handled athames with blades of ferrous metal (metal responsive to a magnet).
When I heard his statement, my insides shrank and a silent shriek convulsed me.
Black-handled??! Magnetic??! Oh, my Goddess, why do I try?
Over 2,000 years ago Julius Caesar reported from northern Europe:
Before a ritual the Druids collect all ferrous metals and weapons in the village or town and remove them from the area.
When Gavin worked with a Cornish coven, he found that they followed the same ancient rule, in discussion with Sybil Leek and her mother, he learned that in their experience the same rule applied; that the only exception was surgical tools.
If a worker of hoodoos wants to do a magical or sorcery circle; wants to wear a robe of fabric printed with stars, comets, planets, and all manner of whiz-bangs; a robe of which the pointy sleeves touch the floor when he extends his arms; wants to summon spirits (oh gasp) from inside his black-draped chamber of horrors; wants to occasion sulfurous smells and blue balls of fire … well, you get the picture. If such a worker wants to deal with spirits that probably have negative intent on their agenda, such a worker is welcome to do just that–and to face the consequences.
But.
If a group of people want to meet in a spirit of reverence and gratitude, want to reach upward toward the realms of the Guides and Elder Ones while the group opens in a spirit of reverence and gratitude to the information they may receive, they will ensure (a) that no magnetic material is within their circle; (b) that their athames have handles formed of natural wood, (c) that ideally the wood of the casting wand comes from a tree that was once struck by lightning; (d) that–if they cannot be skyclad–their robes are made of all natural fabric without synthetics, cut to an utterly simple pattern not to impress the hoodoo entities but to provide covering and warmth.
Have I stated this thought clearly enough so that it cannot be mistaken? I encourage the visitors to this Site to examine their practices while they thoughtfully recall the Law of Attraction. Actions have consequences; not every discarnate entity has benign intent. Once you open that door, whether in a circle or through a ouija board or by some other means, shutting it may not be easy.
Blessed be those who seek. Yvonne