Nimue, sometimes called Nineve, Vivien,The Lady of the Lake or Niniane,is best known as the woman who seals Merlin in a cave or a tree. Despite foreseeing his fate, Merlin is unable to prevent being captivated and captured by the woman Richard Wilbur has called "a creature to bewitch a sorcerer." Some descriptions of Nimue and her translation of her various names lead other scholars to believe she was one of the nine muses in charge of weaponry, thus the title of The Lady of the Lake. While most interpretations of Nimue's role in the stories of Camelot put her in a negative light, Caitlin and John Matthews see Nimue as a woman who studies under Merlin because he sees her as a gifted student. During the time she is with Merlin, they become lovers. Nimue eventually takes over Merlin's role as a shaman and king's adviser. The Matthews interpretation is that Merlin will return at a later date and his entombment by his lover was a natural sequence in Nimue's development as his protege. The Matthews go to describe Nimue as a Priestess of Avalon.
Taking into consideration the various descriptions of Nimue, I created this ritual. Since Nimue is associated with weapons this could be used for dedicating an athame or wand made of metal. The main focus of this spell will be to ask for guidance in your training in magick. This should be done during the Dark Moon/New Moon, Samhain or Beltaine Full Moon when the veils are thin. Materials: Four brown candles, one white candle, your journal or BOS and a pen, Rue incense or the herb, and a fire safe container for the incense. Take a ritual bath or shower and/or sage yourself prior to the ceremony.
One each candle write the direction/element/diety and on the white candle write your name or magickal name.
Cleanse and consecrate your circle, with the calling of each direction light your candle for that element. Standing in the center of the circle, light your rue herb or incense. Let it fill the air, when you feel grounded and centered, invite Nimue into your circle.

Tell her what you would like to learn; asking her guidance. If at this time you would like to dedicate a tool do so, being sure to cleanse the item with sage prior to it's consecration. You might want to name your athame or wand. Say it aloud When you have finished, light the white candle, meditating on Nimue and your studies. Let the candle burn down. When you have finished thank Nimue for her guidance. Write in your journal what you have learned. Open your circle.

Take the melted candles and the incense ash and bury it under a tree. Be sure to thank the tree. This can be done on a regular basis, when you need guidance, at the beginning or end of shamanic or priestess training as Nimue was both.
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Cited work: The Camelot Project, The University of Rochester (
Alan Lupack and Barbara Tepa Lupack. All original material in the project, unless otherwise indicated, is copyright Alan Lupack.

The Ladies of the Lake ~ Caitlin and John Matthews.

First attached artwork:
H. J. Ford (1860-1941), "Merlin and Vivien" from: King
Arthur: The Tales of the Round Table. Ed. Andrew Lang.
New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1902.

Second attached artwork:
Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). "Merlin and Nimue. How by her Subtle Working she Made Merlin to Go Under the Stone to Let her Wit of the Marvels There: and she Wrought so There for him That he Came Never Out for All Craft he Could Do" from: The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. Abridged from Malory's Morte D'Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard. New
York: The Macmillan Company, 1917.