Blessing of Water, Chalk, Candles, and Fire
The following are a set of rituals I use to prepare certain elements very common to me in my work: holy water, consecrated chalk, blessed candles, and exorcised fire. These rituals are based heavily on the Solomonic magical tradition as well as Catholic and Orthodox rites for blessing or preparing certain sacramentals. Having these elements on hand takes care of the vast majority of my day-to-day spiritual needs, with incenses, herbs, and decorations being used for other workings limited to certain circumstances. When in doubt, keep it simple, and what could be simpler than the divinity of water and fire?
Blessing of Water
The following is the ritual I use to create holy water, which I use in all sorts of projects and rituals from a daily cleansing of the self to creating complex solutions for later work. The water has the effect of driving off evil and suprressing pain while increasing virtue and well-being. Besides, they say that cleanliness is next to godliness. Water is a critical component of religion, magic, and spirituality across many cultures and time periods, and has been made or blessed in as many ways: some of the ancient Greeks dipped a torch of sacred fire into a vessel of water, while the rivers Jordan, Tigris, or Ganges have all been claimed to be holy entirely. I compiled the ritual below from three sources: the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 11), a Catholic ritual for using holy water, and a Greek Orthodox ritual for creating holy water (the Mikros Agiasmos, by way of Fr. Rufus Opus’ now-discontinued Red Work series of courses).
Holy water should be made in the day and hour of Mercury (especially if the water is to be used for magical purposes) or Jupiter (for religious and blessing purposes), though either is acceptable in addition to the day and hour of the Sun for general needs, when the Moon is waxing; I prefer the day and hour of Mercury generally. Holy water is made from fresh, clean water. Water from a spring or stream is ideal, but water from the tap will do fine so long as it is clean, clear, and tastes good. Salt is also needed, preferably uniodized white sea salt, one teaspoon for every cup of water.
Before making the holy water, being in a purified state is suggested. Banish, bathe, cleanse, fast, and pray to enter into a spiritually clean state before making holy water in this manner. Making holy water in other ways may not require this, but it may be difficult to engage in divine acts so to make something so completely clean with dirty hands.
Place the salt in a cup large enough to hold the needed amount. Bring the water in a pot to a rolling boil, and continue boiling for at least five minutes. Turn off the heat. Say the following over the salt to exorcise and bless it:
Tzabaoth, Messiah, Emmanuel, Elohim Gibor, Jehovah, O God, the Truth and the Life, deign to bless + and sanctify + this creature of salt, to serve unto us for help, protection, and assistance in all places and at all times, and may it be a succor unto us. Almighty God, we ask you to bless + this salt as once you blessed the salt scattered over the water by the prophet Elisha.
I exorcise you so that you may become a means of salvation for believers, that it may bring health of soul and body to all who make use of you, and that you may put to flight and drive away every apparition, villainy, turn of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit from the places where you are sprinkled, adjured by him who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
Wherever this salt and water are sprinkled, o Lord, drive away the power of evil and protect us always by the presence of your holy Spirit.
Pour the salt in a cross formation into the water. Say the following over the mixture to bless the water with the now-cleansed salt:
Lord God Almighty, creator of all life, of body, and of soul, we ask you to bless + purify + and sanctify + this water by your heavenly blessing. Grant it the grace and blessing of the Jordan and the power to cleanse all defilements, to heal all illnesses, and to drive out evil spirits and their deceits and snares. By the power, action, and grace of the all-holy Spirit, let this water be for the cleansing of the soul, the calming of passions, the expulsion of all evil, the increase of virtue, the healing of illnesses, the sanctification of homes and of all places, the driving out of all destructive and evil-doing spirits, and the reception of your grace for those who drink this water in faith, receive it, or are sprinkled with it. Lord, in your mercy give us living water, always springing up as a fountain of salvation; free us and our body, our soul, our spirit, our and mind from every danger, and admit us to your presence in purity of heart. As we use this water blessed by your grace in faith, forgive our sins and save us from all illness and the power of evil.
Recite Psalms 102, 54, 6, and 51 over the water while stirring it with a spoon in a clockwise direction:
Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.
In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears
because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.
For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory.
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
“The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem
when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.
In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days.
So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.
But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you.”
Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.
Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long…?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, o God, you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Finally, recite the following prayer over the water, while continuing to stir the water in a clockwise direction:
Lord, holy Father, look with kindness on your children, redeemed by your Word and born to a new life by water and the holy Spirit. Grant that those who are sprinkled with this water may be renewed in body and spirit and may make a pure offering of their service to you. Shine on it with the light of your kindness. Sanctify it by the dew of your love, so that, through the invocation of your holy name, wherever this water and salt is sprinkled, it may turn aside every attack of the unclean spirit, and dispel the terrors of the poisonous serpent. And wherever we may be, make the holy Spirit present to us, who now implore your mercy. Amen.
At this point, the salt will have completely dissolved in the water. Say a thanksgiving prayer (such as the Prayer of Thanksgiving). Bottle or store the water as desired. Light a candle and some incense (preferably frankincense) by the containers of water as an offering to God, and let the candle and incense burn out before using the holy water. So long as the bottles are kept sealed and free from contaminants, it should keep for a while without bacterial or fungal growth. If herbs such as hyssop or basil were used in the creation of the holy water, however, the mixture will eventually turn clouded on its own, at which point it should no longer be used.
As I first mentioned in this 2012 post, to use the water to cleanse myself, I will often take a small cupful of it with me to bathe with. After having showered normally, I will lift the cup of holy water above my head and pray:
With this water consecrated, sanctified, and blessed by the grace of God do I cleanse myself and free myself from all defilement, impurity, and filth. Grant, o Lord, with this holy living water that you have given mankind, that I may be made clean and cleansed in the eyes of God and men.
After that, I pour the holy water on my head, and wipe myself down with it in a continuous downward motion so that my entire body has been cleaned with the holy water. This done, I then pray the Asperges Me followed by the Glory Be:
Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor.
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere me, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper in secula seculorum. Amen.
Translated into English:
Sprinkle me, o Lord, with hyssop and I will be cleansed.
Wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow.
Pity me, o God, according to your great mercy.
Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Blessing of Chalk
With such consecrated water, I then use a blessing of chalk to consecrate and prepare the stuff for use in rituals and workings. This consecration could also equally be used for any writing instrument, like pens, pencils, or charcoals. Take chalk in a day and hour of Mercury, preferably when the Moon is waxing and in the sign of Virgo. Sprinkle the chalk with holy water and say the following over it.
O God, heavenly father, eternal spirit, fountain of light, present in all places and father of all things, who fashioned the world in the seven days of creation, bless this creature of chalk that it may be used for the aid, defense, and salvation of the human race. O Lord, through the invocation of Your holy name Elohim Tzabaoth, grant this chalk the power and blessing to preserve that which is just and true from losing its justice and truth. Just as you provided safety for your Word eternal, so too may this chalk provide the same for us and in all purposes that it shall serve us. Amen.
Blessing of Candles
Likewise, with the chalk, I use a the blessing ritual from the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 12) to preprare consecrated candles, as I described in this 2014 post. For this, in a day and hour of Mercury when the Moon is waxing and in a zodiac sign of Fire, I asperge the candle with the holy water, anoint it with holy oil, recite Psalms 150, 103, and 117 over it:
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
After the three Psalms, I suffumigate the candle with incense while and recite the following prayer over the candle:
O Lord God, who governs all things by thine almighty power, give unto me, a poor sinner, understanding and knowledge to do only that which is agreeable unto Thee; grant unto me to fear, adore, love, praise and give thanks unto Thee with true and sincere faith and perfect charity. Grant, o Lord, before I die, and descend into the realms beneath, and before the fiery flame shall devour me, that thy grace may not leave me, o Lord of my soul. Amen. +
I exorcise thee, o creature of wax, by him who alone hath created all things by his word, and by the virtue of him who is pure truth, that thou cast out from thee every phantasm, perversion, and deceit of the enemy, and may the virtue and power of God enter into thee, so that thou may give us light, and chase far from us all fear or terror. Amen.
Blessing of Fire
I typically reserve these consecrated candles for altar use or specific workings that call for them. For most purposes, however, I use unconsecrated candles. Whether I’m lighting a candle that’s previously been consecrated or not, so long as the candle is not being lit as a specific offering to a spirit, I recite the same exorcism over it:
I conjure thee, thou creature of fire, by him who created all things both in heaven and earth, and in the sea, and in every other place whatever, that thou cast away every phantasm from thee, that no hurt whatsoever shall be done in any thing. Bless, oh Lord, this creature of fire +, and sanctify it that it may be blessed +, and that it may burn for your honor and glory +, so neither the enemy nor any false imagination may enter into it, through the Most High and Holy Creator of All. Amen.
This exorcism of fire is based on the Trithemian ritual of conjuration, though it also has variations found in other Solomonic texts like the Heptameron. When the Sign of the Cross is made in this exorcism, I make the Sign over the lit flame instead of on myself.