Note: This is a very Wiccan-like ritual but with some exceptions, like calling upon whatever deities you work with, as opposed to aspects of the Triple Goddess and the Horned God, hence mine calling it a Neopagan ritual. Hope it aids you in your magickal workings.
Why use rituals?
A ritual is created for a multitude of reasons, mostly to mark an event – to make the mind aware of that something special, something out of the ordinary, is happening. The morning shower can be a ritual, a symbolic cleansing of the mind as well as the body. A marriage is a very elaborate ritual with everyone involved knowing exactly what to do – and what the symboalical actions means.
Then there are magickal rituals; to celebrate a special event (like a Sabbat) or to perform a spell. The following ritual outline is to perform specific magickal work, such as a spell or a meditation. Special Sabbat rituals can be found here.
Neopagan Ritual Outline
Part 1 – Preparation
- Create a sacred space. Start by taking a cleansing shower, purify the room/space by lighting some incense, and if you are indoors; dim the lighting. Prepare the mind for a special event.
- Gather the things you need in the center of where you will cast your circle. You will need: an altar, a golden candle symbolising the God, a silver candle symbolising the Goddes, a white votive candle and a lighter or matches. Also, your actual spell or meditation may require other items as well, such as stones or additional candles and oils. After the main spell work you will also need cakes and ale (or biscuits and wine, or just a light snack and a drink). Set this up on your altar with the votive candle in the middle.
Part 2 – Beginning
- Light the main votive candle in the center of your altar.
- Cast the circle. Walk around the circle three times, while seeing in your mind’s eye how a powerful, spherical barrier extends from your hand (or ritual knife) around you and your altar as you turn.
- Call upon the Watchtowers. Start in the North and work your way around the corners. Recite something like “Hail and welcome, Watchtowers of the [direction], guardians of [element]. I bid you welcome to aid me in this magickal work”.
- Call upon the Goddess you have chosen to aid you in your work, light Her associated silver candle as you do. Repeat the process with the God and light His golden candle.
Part 3 – The center
- Focus your intent towards your goal. Do not let your mind wander from it.
- Channel and raise energy towards your goal. This can be done in a myriad of ways; singing, chanting, dancing, drumming and so on. Keep building and work towards a climax.
- Release the energy!
- Partake in “cakes and ale” – have a snack and a drink to replenish the energy spent on the ritual climax.
Part 4 – The Ending
- Thank the God and the Goddess. Do this by stating something simple like “[God], we are honoured by your prescense. I bid you farewell and thank you for your aid.” while extinguishing the God-candle. Repeat the same procedure for the Goddess you’ve worked with and snuff out Her candle as well.
- Thank the elements by walking around the circles counter-clockwise, starting in the north and recite something similar to “Watchtowers of the [element], we are honored to have had your aid in our magickal work. We bid you thank you and farewell.” Repeat this for every quarter.
- Open the circle by walking around the circle counter-clockwise three times and see in your mind’s eye how you draw back the energy you sent out to establish the barrier.
- Extinguish the votive candle.
It is done!
Remember, as a beginner you ARE going to make mistakes. You might fumble about, maybe stutter on a few words. But don’t worry – we’ve all been there. And if any part of the ritual doesn’t feel right: DO NOT PERFORM IT. A ritual should feel like a voluntary act, not a mandatory one. Be sure to write down your magickal work in a journal or maybe a Grimoire or a Book of Shadows. I wish you the best of luck with your rituals!