How to Construct Elemental Spells & Rituals
“There are countless candles, charms, spells, and rituals that rely upon the power of the Elements for their efficacy…What I will offer is a pattern that will make it easier to design your own or modify existing workings. There are seven questions; in answering them, you will have a good plan of action or will have refined an existing plan.”
~Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Most of this text is pulled straight from Dominguez’s book (ref at end). If you like it, consider purchasing his book!
1. What is the desired outcome?
Being clear on what your intentions are for any given spell or working is a valuable part of the process of analyzing your situation. However, knowing your desired, tangible outcomes gives information that will have a more direct effect on your planning. It has been my experience that giving more weight to outcomes than intentions produces more results.
2. Which Element is most linked to the outcome?
Linked is a neutral word that holds many possibilities. The Element that is most linked to the desired outcome may be sympathetic to it or its opposite. To create, modify, or transform circumstances to produce the desired outcome, should the linkage be supportive, adversarial, moderating, et cetera? There may be more than one viable approach; in which case, the choice may hinge on which Element you find it is easier to work with.
3. How will you gather the power?
Several modes for accessing power were presented in this chapter, and you may choose to use one or more of these, but how exactly will you use them? Will you be chanting, dancing, visualizing, concentrating, speaking words of power, and so on? Planning means figuring out the details to implement the working. Does the approach you wish to use complement the type of linkage you’ve identified? If it does not, change it to match the linkage and the desired outcome.
4. How will the power be held and directed?
Frequently, all or most of the energy is gathered, temporarily stored, and sent forth with the physical and subtle bodies of the practitioner. This may or may not be the best option. Are there tools, crystals, pouches with herbs, candles, or other implements that could augment one or more of the energy management tasks?
In the case of a spell or working that is anchored in a physical object, such as a candle, a jar, a pouch, et cetera, consider using other materials to assist in gathering and depositing the power. Also, think through how the anchor object will project or send for its influence when it is in use.
5. Engines of creation or soil of creation?
There are other mechanisms of action that lead to a successful magickal working, but I often categorize them as either arising from the engines of creation or the soil of creation.
If your efforts create an energetic blueprint that can be given to the unseen artificers, guided by the laws of magick, then you are using the engines of creation. You can use the machinery of the universe, with you as the artificer, and do the shaping, assembly, and deployment yourself.
Another approach is to shape the intentions and the desired outcomes into a polished and perfect seed that is planted in the soil of creation. There it is left to sprout, grow, and be shaped by the conditions to which it must adapt to thrive.
Both approaches have their merits and their problems. The engines are more likely to give you what you want in a reasonable time frame. The soil can give you better than you could have imagined or miss the mark or the timing completely. It is also possible to do a working that is a bit of both.
6. What should the duration, duty cycle, and endpoint be?
Is your working a one and done, or is it an ongoing effort? Some goals are best achieved using a strong magickal effort followed by a timely mundane follow-up. Others are best accomplished using small, incremental gains and repetition. This determines whether you will need to do multiple energy raisings and workings.
Is your design one that lends itself to ease in recharging or repetition?If it is a tool, amulet, talisman, or charm, what serves as its repository for the elemental energies and patterns? Does it match the duration or duty cycle of its use? You may need to adjust your plan, because not all materials hold up as well as others.
When the spell has done its work, or an enchanted object is no longer needed, how will you drain the remaining energy and decommission the working? Unwanted outcomes are more likely when you do not have a clear ending for a working.
7. How will you rebalance, give thanks, and make real offerings?
As your desired outcomes develop, and especially when they’ve been realized, make sure that you offer thanks to the Elements. This is a continuation of the process of releasing any excess energy and a good starting point for making sure that your Elements are in balance.
If it seems appropriate to the working that you’ve done, make some physical offerings. For example, pour a libation of water so that it may carry a blessing to the Element of Water. You could use a candle or a match for Fire. A sprinkle of soil would work for Earth. A deep breath blown into the wind for Air is a good offering.
Remember, the Elements also learn and grow by contact with human energy and consciousness.
“Once you’ve internalized these ideas and practices, quick and simple magick becomes more effective not just more elaborate…The best responses for any given situation fall somewhere on the continuum of simple to elaborate. It is good to be able to enact the full range of possibilities. Neither simple nor elaborate is better, it is a matter of what is right for the circumstances.”
Ref: The Four Elements of the Wise: Working with Magickal Powers of Earth, Air, Fire, Water (Ivo Dominguez Jr.)