Cone of power is the raising and directing of a spiral of psychic energy in ritual and spellcraft.
Gerald B. Gardner described the cone of power as one of the “old ways” of witches; most likely, he borrowed the concept from the various magical sources he used in constructing his rituals and Book of Shadows. The raising of psychic energy is intrinsic to ritual and Magic in general, and many methods have been used since ancient times.
According to Gardner, witches raise a cone of power by dancing in a circle around a fire or candle, then linking hands and rushing toward the fire shouting the goal, until everyone is exhausted or someone faints, which indicates the energy has been sent off successfully. Wiccans use variations of this, chanting and dancing in a circle to an increasing tempo, perhaps accompanied by drumming and perhaps employing visualizations of psychic energy moving up through the chakras from the base of the spine to the crown.
The energy is projected over the group in a cone shape; it is visible to those with clairvoyant sight. The energy is controlled by the high priestess or high priest, who determines when the group should release it collectively for maximum effect. The cone shape has symbolic significance for Witches.
In parts of ancient Syria, the cone was the symbol of Astarte, the Phoenician goddess of motherhood, fertility and war. Tall, conical hats are associated with magicians and folk witches of old. The cone also is associated with the circle, symbol of the Sun, unity, eternity and rebirth, and with the triangle, which has associations with the elements and pyramids, and represents the upwards spiritual aspirations of all things. The triangle also represents the number three, which represents the energy of creation, and is associated with the Triple Goddess.
- Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium. Revised ed. London: Thorsons/Harper Collins, 1996.
- Starhawk. The Spiral Dance. Revised ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989.
- Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. 1973. Reprint, Custer, Wash.: Phoenix Publishing, 1986.
The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.