So I saw MiraLai’s idea for a series of spells based on the friendship lessons from MLP:FIM and I thought, “Self, That’s a great idea! It seems like a bigger project than what I want to bit off, but here’s something. You could come up with a single spell that could be adapted to any friendship lesson”.
The spell’s different from what I usually come up with and I blame my twin’s influence as he helped me come up with it. It’s devotional in nature, and like most devotional rituals the intended object of change is the operator. I took the approach of trying to mimick the show and putting meaning into it along the way. The general structure can be loosely divided into three parts, a declaration of the friendship problem meant to give the struggle context and order (life isn’t usually neat and tidy like a story but isn’t that the whole reason why one uses symbolism?), a symbolic closing of that chapter in our lives in which one declares what they’ve learned from the problem, and an affirmation to the self and Celestia that they’ve learned a lesson.
For the ritual you’ll want a candle, something to record with, and whatever else you choose to use if you like altars and such. The first step is a declaration of struggles. I like my brother’s idea on it, that it should be similar in concept to a nordic boast. That’s not in the modern sense of being boastful, but that it should require total honesty of struggles, pain, and truimph because anything other than complete honesty is an affront to the gods. This causes one to relive the pain and struggle. However, it simutaneously distances one from the struggle by putting it into a narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end. The emphasis should be on the emotions and experience associated with the problem.
Next is a step my brother suggested, connecting with a pony guide. He suggests connecting with whichever pony you feel could deal with the problem the best astrally. Personally, I’m a tad headblind and inexperienced with the astral, so I prefer the idea of symbol contemplation associated with a pony. Either method is intended to connect the problem with something beyond you, something universal and archetypal. This gives new insight into the issue and allows one to see the problem as something that isn’t limited to yourself or your friends, but reflected in the universe.
The next step is a dictation or writing down the friendship problem. This should be something brief in a manner after the ending of an episode. This is dictated to Spike who represents a spiritual or magical assistant and messenger here. I really like the idea of using voice recognition software and printing off the sheet. You could even get to correct exasperatingly correct “Spike’s” mistakes in transcription. It just seems like a super cute image to me. Keep in mind to dictate the problem the way the ponies do, in more general terms while keeping responsibility. This isn’t about emotional release (that’s step one),it’s meant as a missive to a respected teacher. Next is to send the scroll to Celestia. This is pretty simple, just burn stuff like in most fun and good rituals ;P
A few things about the assumptions that I use in the spell. By using Spike as a messenger, the implication is that Celestia is seperated from the operator. I went with Spike as a messenger both because that is the pattern generally followed in the show, and I really like Spike.
As for Celestia, There is no explicit response from her. One sends the message anyway, with faith that it will arrive. This is a setup that is rare in Paganism but common in Christian Mysticism. I understand that many people may want to alter the ritual to a more Wiccan or Neo Pagan paradigm, but I would advise that just because a concept is utilized in christianity, doesn’t make it not powerful.
It seems to fit in nicely with the show and Twilight’s approach to the friendship lessons. She is manic about getting them in, and worries that if she doesn’t she’ll be forced to move away from Ponyville. I don’t advocate such a high level of neuroticism but the implication is that she proves herself to Celestia by learning friendship. As ponytheists this seems like a stance we could adopt. So there you have it, my long rambly spell based on friendship lessons!