The Grove of the Druids
The Practice of Druid Magic
The Sphere of Protection ritual forms the foundation of the system of Druid magic taught in this book. Once you can do all the phases of that ritual from memory, many other dimensions of ritual work can be added to it. The first step in this direction is the use of the Sphere of Protection itself as a basic ritual for practical magic. One of the advantages of the Sphere is that this takes nothing more than a change in the words and intentions in the Calling of the Elements.
Before you take this step, however, you may want to take another look at the material on magic, intentionality, and ethics in the first chapter of this book. Like any other form of power, magic can be misused and mishandled, and it can also blow up in your face. Since the magical movements of nwyfre follow your intentionality, the best way to get good results is to be sure your intentionality will create a world you can live with over the long term.
Several useful guidelines can help you do this more effectively. First, before you perform a working, be careful in choosing the goal you hope to achieve. You should be able to express it clearly in a word, a phrase, or at most a single short sentence, without the least bit of ambiguity. Like the man in the joke who told the genie, “Make me a milkshake,” and got turned into a milkshake, those who express their intentions in magic sloppily often get results they neither want nor expect.
When choosing an intention for magic, it is important to be sure that what you intend is actually what you want. It is equally important to aim for your goal, not for something you think will get you to your goal. Plenty of people who have no idea they practice magic fall into the trap of pursuing means rather than ends, and get what they ask for but not what they actually want. If you want self-respect but your intention focuses on money, or you want love but your intention focuses on getting a particular person's sexual favors, or you want a meaningful life but your intention focuses on success symbols, you're going to be disappointed, because you'll get the thing you ask for rather than the thing you really want.
For this reason, before you perform a magical working, it's wise to meditate on it at least three times. Use your intention as the theme for these meditations. As you explore it, think about what your intention will mean to you when you achieve it. Turn a cold eye on your fantasies, whatever those happen to be, and seek a sense of the real effects of the change you want in your life. If you end up deciding that your intention isn't what you want, scrap it and work out something better.
Another essential step is casting a divination before you perform any working. Your question should be along the lines of, “What do I most need to understand about the magical working I am considering?” The simple three-few reading given in chapter 3 (Figure 3-3) can be used for this purpose, with the first few standing for the situation, the second for the working you have in mind, and the third for the results. Pay careful attention to the results you get, and let yourself be guided by it. If you get an unfavorable reading, don't ignore it and go blindly ahead anyway!
Once you have done these preliminary steps, proceed to the magical work. Two examples show how this kind of work can be done. Experiment with both of them, and then work out your own variations on the Sphere of Protection ritual.