Rituals are the traditions we use to perpetuate aspects of our culture or practice. They help us celebrate and recognize important things in our lives. They are performed in sequence using prescribed tools and mannerisms. The location of the ritual, as well as the words used, clothing worn and many other aspects of the activity are also important.
Rituals can be a very integral aspect of witchcraft, and for me they are the general process that I use to work magick. In my practice, I use an altar, set up within a circle. I also focus on common preparatory activities, cleansing, using certain tools and particular words and phrases.
I adjust my practice into a ritual that works for me, depending on my intent and the magick I’m working. I’ll briefly go over my method, then go into greater detail in subsequent posts.
First, I mentally map out the ritual, using a reverse-engineering process, working back from the desired result. I imagine how I will conduct the ritual, the steps I will take and what wording, spells or chants I will use. I sketch out the setup of the altar and other physical components of the ritual, including tools. I visualize the non-physical, such as the circle, the elements, and the energies I will call upon. And then I determine the prep work, cleansing, banishing and timing. Once I’ve determined all of these things mentally, I work my way forward through the steps below:
- Intention – determine the desired end result of your ritual, what outcome do you wish to achieve?
- Mental Map – run through the ritual in your head to help you determine the requirements for the subsequent steps.
- Planning – your mental map will allow you to make a list of everything you need for your ritual, do any research necessary to prepare and write any spells or chants. I recommend actually writing out and sketching your ritual for clarity of thought and purpose.
- Tools – choose your tools, ingredients and other physical aspects of your ritual, so you can determine the need for cleansing, anointing and other preparations.
- Timing – it may be better to perform your ritual at noon or midnight, the night of the full moon or an equinox. Timing your magick properly can be a critical component of your ritual and you may also have to work in the treatment of your tools or ingredients.
- Preparation – make a plan to prepare yourself and the other physical elements of your ritual, this may be cleansing, anointing and charging.
- Setup – establish your physical space, lay your altar if using one.
- Casting and calling – cast your circle and call your powers and assistance.
- Magicks – perform your magick.
- Offering and closing – make your offering, give thanks, release the powers you have called and close your circle.
- Maintenance – take care you your tools, altar and space. De-charge, cleanse and store as required.
- Care – perform self-care, relax, take stock of your feelings, journal and generally be in tune to the after effects of your magick.
These are the basic steps I follow in performing a ritual, as I said, I will go into detail of each aspect and provide examples in further posts. Hope you enjoy, and Blessed Be