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!

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