Witch's Broom

This ritual came from Kate West's book The Real Witch's Book of Spells and Rituals. Can you tell I REALLY like her work?


The following Ritual is called "The Night of the Crone". Its central focus lies around the Goddess changing her robes to those of the Crone and Wise One, and reflects the fact that, not only is this a resting time, but it is also a time for Divination. During the Ritual people will go, one by one, from the Sacred Space to visit the Crone in another location.


In advance, prepare an incense for Divination from:

  • 2 parts Sandalwood
  • 2 parts Poppy seed
  • 1 part Myrrh
  • 1 part dried Orange Peel
  • 1 part Mace
  • ½ part cloves

Grind and mix together thoroughly and leave for one month in a cool, dark place to allow the ingredients to blend. During that month, on the nights of the Full Moon and the nights of the Dark of the Moon, the incense should be placed on an indoor windowsill in the light and the dark of the Moon.

For Your Ritual You Will Need:

  • A cauldron, or large bowl
  • Water
  • Black ink
  • A stick to stir the waters, preferably of willow
  • Black Candle
  • The above incense, a thurible and self-igniting charcoal
  • Matches
  • A dark cloak with a hood, or a dark cloth which can be used to cover the crone

Prior to the Ritual, and preferably before anyone arrives, set aside a room or screened-off area. This is to be the House of the Crone and should be separate to the place where your Sacred Space is to be created. Try to choose somewhere you can make very dark and colder than other areas. It should not be possible for those in the Sacred Space to hear what happens in this other location. In this area place the cauldron on the floor with a cushion behind it. Place the candle on one side and the Thurible on the other. Ensure that the charcoal, incense and matches are ready to hand. Fill the cauldron with water and place enough ink in it to produce a black reflective surface. As my cauldron is iron and can rust, I place a glass bowl within it. This is one form of a Dark Mirror and for Witches is a very traditional form of Scrying, or Divination. In this Ritual a Circle should be Cast, not because you will be working magick but to define clearly the difference between the Circle and the area of the Crone.

Sabbat Ritual

The High Priestess stands before the Altar and the High Priest gives her the Five-Fold Kiss. He then invokes the spirit and wisdom of the Crone into her, in a similar way to Drawing Down the Moon.

The High Priestess stands with her hands slightly away from her sides until they are at the 5 and 7 points of the clock with her palms facing forward. Whilst he continues she should look over his head and focus on the Goddess as Crone and on allowing the spirit of the Goddess to enter her.

With the forefinger of his strong hand the Priest then touches the Priestess in the sigil of the First Degree; right breast, left breast, womb and right breast, whilst saying:

Invoke thee and call upon thee Wise Mother of us all, bringer of all knowledge, wisdom and understanding. By seed and root, by stem and bud, by flower and fruit do I invoke thee to descend upon this the body of thy servant and Priestess.

He then kneels and, spreading his arms outwards and downwards, says:

Hail Hecate, from the realms of Old. Pour forth thy store of wisdom. I lowly bend before thee, I adore thee to the end. With loving sacrifice thy shrine adorn. Thy foot is to my lip.

He kisses her feet and continues:

My prayer upborn upon the rising incense. Then spend thine ancient love O Mighty One, descend to aid me who without thee am forlorn.

The High Priest then rises and faces the group. He calls upon one of the other Coveners to bring him the cloak and wraps the High Priestess in it, if it has a hood he pulls this down to screen her face, and says:

Bow your heads and make way, for one walks before you who is in the care of the Wise One, the Dark Mother who gives the knowledge of life and death and rebirth, and who knows all, even that which we would hide in our hearts.

He then precedes the High Priestess to a point in the Circle where he opens a doorway for her. She leaves the Circle and goes to the House of the Crone.

The High Priest then closes the doorway in the Circle and says:

Tonight we will each have the chance to visit with the Crone and ask wisdom of her. May our hearts be open and our minds be strong enough to listen and accept her words. Let us now prepare ourselves. Blessed Be.

He leads the others in some chanting suitable to the occasion. One of the chants used by our groups is:

Hecate, Ceridwyn,
Dark Mother take us.
Hecate, Ceridwyn
Let us be reborn.

Where there are a large number of people you might also want to have people take turns to tell tales of the Goddess and God, and of the season, whilst they await their turn to visit the Crone.

Meanwhile, the High Priestess should complete the preparations in the House of the Crone by lighting the candle and incense, turning off all other lights and making herself as comfortable as possible on the cushion.

Back in the Circle the High Priest will wait a few moments and then send the first person to visit the Crone. He makes a doorway in the Circle to let them out saying:

Go forth and seek the wisdom of the Crone. May the Goddess guide you in knowledge and understanding. Blessed Be.

He closes the doorway after them. The individual then goes to the House of the Crone and stands before her until acknowledged by the High Priestess. The High Priestess will ask the person to kneel and to gaze into the Dark Mirror. At this point it is up to the individual whether they have a question they want to ask, or whether they will simply wait to hear what is said. The High Priestess will stir the water with the stick, and when she is ready, tell the person what she sees, or feels, within her heart for that person. When the interview is over that person returns to the Circle where they wait to be re-admitted by the High Priest, who will then send the next person. They should not speak about their visit with the Crone until after the Ritual. This continues until everyone who wishes to has visited the Crone. After the last person, usually the High Priest himself, has visited, the High Priestess will put out the candle and incense and will return to the Circle.

The High Priest admits her and once again gives her the Five-Fold Kiss. He next removes her cloak, and kissing her on each cheek, says:

We welcome back to us our High Priestess who has traveled in the care of the Crone through the dark lands to bring us knowledge. May the Goddess watch over her, and over us all. Blessed Be.

Some people have quite profound experiences during this Ritual. For others, messages and interpretations come later.

Sabbat Blessing

After the Rite of Wine and Cakes, the High Priest steps forward to give the Blessing:

I call upon the Old Gods, upon the Hunter and the Crone who preside at this the dark part of the year. May they watch over each and every one of us, may they guard, guide and protect us in all that we do. Within their care we know that although the days continue to darken the light will yet return to us. And so the Wheel turns. Blessed Be.

After the Ritual an extra place is laid at the feast in order that we might remember those who have gone before.