If you practice ritual or magic, or intend to, then spend a few moments deliberating on your chosen correspondences…
What are ‘correspondences’? These are your ritual ‘ingredients’, the items that are going to help you work a successful ritual, and many things fall under this category. A few examples are colour, incense, crystals and herbs…
~ Why are correspondences so important? ~
Let’s use the analogy of cake-baking. A simple Victoria Sponge recipe: 4oz butter, 4oz sugar, 4oz self-raising flour, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence. What would happen if you decided to omit any of the ingredients? Without the eggs, all you would have is a biscuit-like dough; perhaps it might taste nice, but it is not the intended outcome. If you miss out the sugar, you will end up with a pastry; again, could be useful another time but it’s not what you are after at the moment. To ensure you make the perfect sponge, you cannot miss off any of the ingredients in the list.
It is the same when working ritual. Using correspondences helps us to tailor what ever magickal working we are doing to the final outcome we want. The more correspondences we use, the more likely (in theory) it is that what we want will comes to pass.*
* 2 notes on this point:
1) I have said “in theory” here because some things are just not meant to be and no amount of ritual or magic will make them change.
2) We use the number of correspondences that we need in ritual, we do not gather every single one that is associated with the type of ritual we are going to work. This is unnecessary but also can have an adverse affect on the ritual itself. Correspondences have more than one association, so you may find that one ingredient could negate the properties of another.
~ Using Correspondences ~
If you are working a ritual or spell that another person has written, then they should have done all the hard work for you and outlined the correspondences that you will need to work it.* If you are writing your own rituals then do your own research into correspondences. However, you should remember one thing: if you personally associate a particular correspondence with a particular function, that ‘definition’ trumps what others tell you it is used for. This is because we all work differently and interact differently with magickal energies. Please bear in mind that if you do not trust your own intuition to guide you in the allocating of functions to ritual ingredients, it is all right to use other peoples lists. In fact, you will find many lists of correspondences online, outlining details, descriptions and functions; all you have to do is decide whether or not you trust the information on the site and if it corrolates with your individual practice.
*What if you don’t have a correspondence on the list? It is possible to substitute correspondences for other ingredients, but do your research first and use the one that most closely resembles your intended outcome and the original correspondence.