Ritual Planning Made Easy

Rituals have been a part of the world as long as humanity has existed.  From the annual celebration of our birth, to our daily behavioral patterns, we have all incorporated basic ritualistic activities in our lives.  Every culture on earth has certain customs they follow for births, weddings, religious rites, and funerals.  These actions, whether they are performed as festivities, for comfort, or out of habit, all have an underlying power that feeds our growth and wisdom.

In a spiritual sense, rituals are one of the most effective and reliable ways for people to honor and commune with the Divine. The act of ceremony not only gives a comfortable structure, but also allows us the time and focus to interact with Spirit and the divinity within ourselves.  Many practicing pagans and witches seem to fall out of ritual observance the longer we spend in the Craft. We begin to shortcut our practice, no longer taking the time and preparation needed to truly give honor to our spiritual path. By taking the quick and easy route, we are cheating ourselves out of the opportunity for great change.

Starhawk, one of the most prolific Goddess authors of our time says, “Any ritual is a chance for transformation.” Whether we are performing ritual to heal ourselves or in tribute, we are creating sacred space in order to change the energy that surrounds us. Each ring of a bell, each sage leaf burned, every prayer spoken, transmutes and re-develops our energy into a higher vibration.  The positive energy we create not only affects our lives, but creates a chain reaction of love and Divine connection which spreads throughout those we know and continues to vibrate throughout the world.

With the traditions in Goddess spirituality there are countless ways to effectively perform ceremony, whether you are working in a group setting or in solitude.  Generally speaking, the most powerful rituals you can perform are those created by your own hand; designed to suit your specific needs, desires, and the level of your spiritual connection.  Each practitioner follows their intuition to a certain degree, as the layout of the ritual is not as important as the faith and love that drive it. However, it is advisable to have a basic structure to follow within all your rites, regardless of purpose.

One of the best basic outlines for rituals, whether for solitary or coven use, is an excerpt from the book “To Ride a Silver Broomstick” by Silver Ravenwolf. It’s simple and to the point, works for personal or Sabbat/Esbat rituals, and is included below:

A.  Ritual Preparation

1.  Define purpose
2.  Write ritual
3.  Gather necessary tools
4.  Prepare area – (cleaning, sage, etc)
5.  Prepare body – (purification bath, donning special clothing/jewelry)

B.  Open Circle

1.  Find true North
2.  Set up Magickal ‘doorway’ / Cast Circle
3.  Call the Watchtowers / Elemental Quarters (East/ Air, South/Fire, West/Water, Earth/North)

C.  Invocation to the deities

1.  Align self with deity (evoke)
2.  Invoke deities

D.  Statement of Purpose

E.  Actual Rite

1.  Working
a.  Complete preliminary manual or visual task
b.  Raise power / energy
c.  Focus power / energy
d.  Ground power / energy

2.  Honoring
a.  Complete preliminary manual or visual task
b.  Dedicate cakes and wine
c.  Partake in cakes and wine

F.  Meditation

G.  Thanking the deities

H.  Closing the Circle

1.  Mentally and verbally dismiss the Quarters/ Close the circle
2.  Physically close the circle
3.  Clean up
a.  Disposal
b.  Washing of plates and glasses
c.  Putting away tools and other implements

There are many reference books you can use to help plan your rituals. Here are a few recommend titles, which are all available for purchase through Amazon .com:

And there are endless online resources available. Try a Google search – not only will you find information for planning your own rituals, but you may find public pagan celebrations in your area.

Blessed Be!

Courting Morpheus

bloodiedquill

I know this isn’t one of my usual days, but as it’s listed as a free day and I’m practically exploding…here goes. Forgive the giddy! 😉

It’s been three years since the Courting Morpheus anthology was conceived, two since it was supposed to be in print and has been through two publishers. Finally, Courting Morpheus is being published!

Featuring stories by Geoffrey Girard, Camille Alexa, and Louise Bohmer, a novelette by Rowan Gant Investigations series author M.R. Sellars and introduction by Alethea Kontis, Courting Morpheus is a collection of 13 stories centered on the writing/artistic community in the town of New Bedlam.

Insomnia plagues the townspeople, and the monsters they usually contain within the pages of their books are now loose on the streets. Morpheus, the god of dreams, takes his revenge on those that make their living from their nightmares.

“Courting Morpheus is a creepy anthology filled with a lot of strange new voices shouting from the graveyard. It tears through genre walls and mingles horror, humor, and spec fic into a chimerical collection of chills..”
Jonathan Maberry –multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author of Patient Zero and Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead

“A small town full of horror writers where nightmares come to life? What a concept! And Counting Morpheus delivers. From ‘What You Know’ to ‘The Word Inside,’ this is some impressive collection. New Bedlam is one place you don’t want to call home.”
Nate Kenyon, author of Bloodstone and The Reach.

Limited edition hardcovers are available for pre-order only at the Belfire Press website; no more than 250 copies will be produced, and it will only be available until January 5th. Shipping is included in price. For more details, please visit:
http://www.belfirepress.com/main/?page_id=98


Jodi Lee is publisher and editor in chief of Belfire Press and The New Bedlam Project. Her writing has appeared in several recent anthologies as well as magazines on and offline for the past decade. Having shelved her first novel for the time being, she is currently working on two (or three) novels set in the fictional town of New Bedlam.

Now you see me…

It is startling to think,

I still exist for you,

When I have gone away.

Perhaps you even discuss me,

Think of me.

I had always assumed,

That I vanished,

When no longer in your view.

This revelation is unnerving,

And I miss the security,

Of believing myself invisible.