Everyone learns best by doing. The ritual described below is representative of the rituals worked in modern magic. It should be used as a general pattern indicating the essential elements and sequence of rituals, and will also, I hope, be of some value in awakening a magical perception of the world, which in no small measure consists of just being aware that it is possible to see the world in a new way. Because few people reading this essay will possess a full set of ritual tools, I have designed it so that it does not require any instruments except the flame. It can be worked in any private place where there is half an hour of quiet.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing of neutral colors. Take off your watch, jewelry, shoes, and anything that hinders a free circulation of blood or irritates the skin. It is best if, before beginning, you bathe, or at least wash your hands and face. Remember, you are invoking a spiritual awareness into the temple of your body.
Place a candle on a low table, such as a bedside table, a plant stand, or other support, so that the candle is just below waist level, and light the candle. Take a few minutes to collect your emotions. When you feel inner tranquility, stand facing the south with the candle in front of you. Raise your arms wide and lift up your head in the traditional posture of invocation. Look into infinity and focus your attention upon an imaginary distant star overhead. Speak this cleansing prayer to whatever is your concept of the highest divinity:
Have mercy upon me, O God.
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquities
And cleanse me from my sins.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be as white as snow.
Create in me a clean heart,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Thou, who art the Crown
(touch your forehead with your right index finger)
And the Kingdom,
(touch your groin)
(touch your left shoulder)
And the Glory,
(touch your right shoulder)
And the everlasting Law,
(touch your heart center)
(point at the flame)
As you speak this cleansing prayer, visualize a cascade of clear, sparkling water falling upon your head and body and refreshing you while washing away all your cares.
Turn sunwise on your own axis and mentally project from your extended right index finger a blazing circle of white light that hovers in the astral shadow of the place where the ritual is being conducted. Try to picture this circle clearly at the level of your heart, the energy that composes it growing out from your heart center down your right arm and out your fingertip. Be sure to join the end of the circle with the beginning in your mind. If necessary, mentally expand the circle as you project it to include the ritual place.
Speak these words as you project the circle: