So much planning goes into a ritual, but what happens afterward? Many people find that, once the work is complete, the circle is closed, and the candles are snuffed, they are at a loss for what to do. Coming down from energy raising and disposing of candles and other materials is just as important as performing the work itself.
For many paths, grounding is vital. Also known as earthing, grounding is a way for you to readjust after a spell, and realign your energy with your mind and body. Grounding does not have to be hard or take a lot of time, but it is a skill every spellworker should know how to do.
A few simple ways to ground are:
- Eating a bit of food
- Holding a stone, or placing your hands on the earth
- Visualizing yourself sending energy back into the earth
- Touch a tree or other plant that is rooted to the earth
- Submerge your feet into a pond or stream
- Bury your feet in sand or dirt
All of these will help you get back into the right energetic state after a spell.
Disposing of Ritual Materials
Many people feel that the items used during a work should not be simply thrown away. As spiritual tools, they should be treated with respect. Before crafting a spell, it is a good idea to know how you plan to dispose of the remains afterward.
Some workings involve burning items, which may not leave remains. Others may demand that the spell worker bring the remains to a crossroads, bury them, or toss them into running water.
Each disposal method has its own meaning -- burying something under your doorstep works for a protection spell, but burying something near an enemy's doorstep can help drive them out. Placing or tossing something to the east brings in blessings, while the west gets rid of unwanted things. Some spells are even designed to be kept in a freezer or other place within the home until the spell has had its effect.
Disposing of Offerings
When offerings are made to spirits or deities, the actual offering itself stays behind. While it might be good to leave a food offering on an altar to your ancestors, it is not as nice when fruit flies show up!
The easiest way to get rid of most offerings is by burying them. This is best done with food, drinks, or other organic material. Burning is another good way to get rid of things, particularly those with influences you want to be rid of.
Putting them in a moving body of water is also acceptable, but may not be good for the things living in the water. The same can be said of leaving them out for wildlife. It is important to use good judgment when you are putting any offering back into the environment.
Disposing of Negative Things
Sometimes, spellwork involves dealing with items that have a heavy negative influence. For example, a poppet made to do work against an enemy.
When the work is complete and it is time to dispose of the item, it does not necessarily have to be treated with respect. Tossing materials like this into a landfill is fine, and some people even prefer to flush them down the toilet. Just make sure that whatever you are flushing won't clog your pipes!
Dab a few drops of Pine Oil behind your ears and on your wrists. This essence helps to remove any negative energies and will assist in grounding you after your spell is completed. Carry some Red Jasper tumbled stones in your pocket. These stones are connected to your Root Chakra and will help you feel more centered at the conclusion of your ritual.
After spellwork, it is essential to move on with the absolute faith that what you have done is going to work. Do not fret over when or how. Since your work is complete, say a few words of thanks to the deities, spirits, ancestors, or other energies that have helped you. This can be as complex as a long prayer, or as simple as the words, "Thank you for hearing me." What is important is that they are said in faith and gratitude.
Even the most common of spells can leave behind candle stubs, offerings, petition papers, and other things that need to be taken care of. When deciding how to close a ritual and dispose of the leftovers, consider what the spell is trying to accomplish -- are you bringing blessings to you, or sending negative energy away? Are you performing this for yourself, or someone else? The answers to these questions will often tell you exactly how to dispose of your spell remnants.