Ritual for Inspiration using the Ace of Swords

The full moon is coming up! As some of you may have noticed, this month’s full moon falls on Valentines. Let me take a moment to repeat my public service announcements about why you should not do “love spells” because they’re generally ethically contemptible and they also often go awry.

Ritual for inspiration

The ritual for inspiration centers on the Ace of Swords card from the Tarot. Swords are the suit associated with Air, which represents ideas, information, communication, and choices. Since aces represent the gift of a new infusion of that suit’s energy, for this ritual we’re going to call on the Muses to gift us with inspiration in the form of writing. We’ll use a pen instead of a sword – remember the old saying – and give ourselves an opportunity to express any and all ideas that come to us.

Specifically, for this ritual we’ll engage in free writing. You’ll need a pen or pencil that you like and can write with quickly and smoothly. Make sure you have plenty of ink or that you have a backup; the point is to keep writing, so you don’t want to be interrupted by breaking a pencil point or a pen running dry. You’ll also need plenty of blank paper. I suggest regular unlined printer paper, at least ten sheets or so. You’ll write more than you think, and you may start writing in larger handwriting in order to keep up with the speed of your thoughts. Don’t worry about how it looks, and don’t try to keep it neat, straight, or beautiful. Plan to do your writing in ritual space, so pre-position a book or lap desk to write on, along with a comfortable place to sit. You can use a desk or your altar, as long as there’s no computer on the desk to distract you, and you can sit comfortably. The focus is the writing!

You’ll also want to have a timer to encourage you to keep writing. You can use a regular kitchen timer or any kind of digital timer as long as it won’t distract you. You want to be able to keep writing until you hear the timer go off; you don’t want to be checking the timer or clock every few seconds, because that disrupts the flow of writing. Set the timer for two to five minutes.

Writing during this ritual is like brainstorming: nothing is out of bounds. You can write about your day, your dog, your dinner, or even start writing “I don’t know what to write…” as long as you keep going from there. Let go and let the words flow.

You may want to have the Ace of Swords from your favorite deck on your altar as a visual inspiration. You may also want to listen to the song “Musa venit carmine” by the Mediaeval Baebes and consider using that line as a chant to invoke the Muses:

Ritual:

Use your pen as a magical tool to cast your circle.

Call the Quarters using these words or your own:

Powers of the East, Element of Air, source of new beginnings, I call you to blow through me with inspiration. Hail and welcome!

Powers of the South, Element of Fire, our motive force, I call you to fuel the energy to engage my inspiration. Hail and welcome!

Powers of the West, Element of Water, feelings that run deep, I call you to flow through my inspiration. Hail and welcome!

Powers of the North, Element of Earth, our grounding and stability, I call you to help me capture a form of my inspiration. Hail and welcome!

Invoke the Muses. You might concentrate on the image of the Ace of Swords, and imagine the sword opening a pathway for the Muses to come to you. You might chant “Musa venit carmine,” meaning “The Muses inspire our song.” Or you might simply breathe deeply, engaging the Element of Air in your own body, and say:

Muses, goddesses of inspiration, breathe into my mind and into my pen

Then free write for two to five minutes!

After the timer goes off, keep writing to finish your current thought. Then breathe again, grounding yourself. How do you feel inside yourself after doing this? Excited? Drained? Something else?

Take a few minutes to go back through your writing and circle anything you may want to work with after ritual. Don’t try to reorganize it into a complete piece; just pull out the ideas, phrases, or words that represent ideas you should work with more in the coming month.

When you are finished, put your writing on your altar or in front of your altar and bow to the card, bow to the Muses, and bow to your writing, the product of their inspiration in you.

Muses, goddesses of inspiration, thank you for the fresh breath of these ideas.

Dismiss the Quarters using these words or your own:

Powers of the North, Element of Earth, I give thanks for your help recording my inspiration into a stable form. Go now with my thanks and praise. Hail and farewell!

Powers of the West, Element of Water, I give thanks for the deep swells of emotion that interact with my inspiration. Go now with my thanks and praise. Hail and farewell!

Powers of the South, Element of Fire, I give thanks for the energy that drives my inspiration. Go now with my thanks and praise. Hail and farewell!

Powers of the East, Element of Air, I give thanks for the fresh breath of inspiration and the words to express it. Go now with my thanks and praise. Hail and farewell!

Open your circle using your pen.

Ground yourself again.

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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