3.6   CEREMONIAL MAGIC (PREPARATIONS)

Before the incense is lit, before the circle is drawn, and before the prayers of invocation are uttered, the sorcerer must do much to prepare.   Those who think success or failure of the ritual is determined solely by the short time spent in the summoning circle are fools.  The time spent researching and planning will determine if the sorcerer has even a remote chance of attaining his goals.   While the preparation process varies from sorcerer to sorcerer, all acknowledge that it is necessary.

There is no consensus among even the most venerable practitioners as to what aspects of preparation are necessary and which ones are frivolous actions stemming only out of tradition.   Additionally, while some agree on a concept (such as fasting) the duration of a practice may vary from opinion to opinion.  What is offered below is simply a listing of the most common preparations taken by sorcerers.

The sorcerer must have a clear objective in mind, and to this end must pick the correct celestials player (either demon or angel) to accomplish it.  The celestial target must be associated to a power that will help accomplish this end (this usually concerns an angel's providence or a demon's dominion).  The sorcerer must know the name of the celestial to be summoned, along with the planet that governs him, and any offices the child of fire holds.

 Choosing the right place to perform the ceremony is also another important aspect of preparation.  Beyond the mere consideration of privacy (for sorcery can only be accomplished without disturbance), there is another important aspect to consider.   The location should fit the nature of the celestial being summoned and the task for which it is being called.  Hence, if a sorcerer was attempting to enlist the help of a demon to smash a boat with waves, the ceremony would be best performed near or on the ocean.   Though the correct location can be a great help to a sorcerer, in and of itself it does not guarantee success or failure.

Before the ceremony, the sorcerer's body must be cleansed of impurity.   He must fast and remain celibate for a predetermined time before the ritual begins.   In some cases this cleansing extends to isolation from all human contact, and bloodletting is occasionally utilized to rid the body of impurities.  The length of time sorcerers cleanse their bodies varies.  Some espouse days of fasting and weeks of celibacy, while others limit these thing to only a few hours prior to the ceremony.

As the body is cleansed, so to must the implements of sorcery.  Those items used in the ritual must be forged from the right material (there is disagreement on what materials those are, though).  Additionally the items must be kept from impurities and wiped with special oils and perfumes.  The cleansing of these instruments is usually done a day prior to the invocation.


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