Saturday, May 5, 2007

Components of & Creating a Ritual

1) Prepare for the Ritual:
Rearrange any furniture if you are doing it inside, clear a space and pack up all tools and candles, etc. Take a cleansing bath to wash away all physical dirt and relax your body ridding it of stresses. Meditate to find that quiet soothing center, near your heart - you can not effectively perform a ritual if you are mentally preparing your grocery lists.

2) Purify, Cleanse and Consecrate:
As you cleaned yourself and cleared your mind - so too you must cleanse your tools. This is respectful to the deity as well as to yourself - there are many ways to do this but simpleist is passing a representation of the 4 elements over all tools (like salt, incense, holy water, candle). Saying: "I purify my ritual tools by air [pass the incense over altar], I purify you by fire [pass each tool through candle flame], I purify you with water [sprinkle each with holy water] I purify you by earth [sprinkly lightly with salt]; I charge you to serve me well within the sacred circle, and I dedicate you to deepening my practice in the ways of Wicca." Place your hands over the tools imagining a glow of power foreach - Say: "I cleanse and consecrate these tools in th name of the Lord and Lady, that they be fit tools by which to [state the intention of your ritual]. So Mote it be."

3) Casting your Circle
Stand at your altar (or the North point of your circle. Ground & center- take 3 deep breaths to relax and clear your mind. Using your forefinger of your right hand (or a magickal tool such as a wand or athame) pointed toward the ground at the center of your area, begin walking the circle in a clock-wise ( called deosil) fashion. You will walk the circle 1 to 3 times while reciting a verval invocation**. Visualize the circle as a bubble becoming a hardened shell to prevent negative energies from entering with each pass. Once the passes are complete and you are back where you started say;
"As above, so below -- this circle is sealed. So mote it be!"
Stomp your foot to indicate the seal has been activated.

The Triple Circlecasting invocation by: Lady MorningStar(Recite as you walk the first time around your circle)"In this place, this circle roundI consencrate the sacred groundwith golden light this place surroundall power here contained and bound."(Recite as you walk the second time)"From earth, the things that manifest from air, the things of mindfrom fire, the things that motivate from water, the souls refined."(Recite as you walk the third time)"And yet no place and time there be between the worlds, my word and me welcome, Ancient Ones, and see this place is sealed, So mote it be!"

4) Calling the Quarters:
Although quarter calls can have a variety of connotations, they are basically linked to the 4 directions and 4 elements. The following is completed after the circle has been cast. You start at the North is you are practicing more traditional Wicca or the East for a more ceremonial flavor. You are essentially opening a door in your circle to allow this specific energy into it. For a smoother transition of energy, stand facing the direction, with the center of your circle at your back. Place your feet apart and cross your arms over your chest, and bow your head - this is the "God" Position. As you say your quarter call slowly raise your head and open your arms overhead into a Y (the "Goddess"Position). Visualize a portal opening through which what you have called can enter - nothing else will be able to) - visualize your concept of the 4 elements entering your circle. Standard colors for the Quarters: Green=North, Yellow=East, Red=South, Blue=West.
Stand at the North candle/Quarter & light the candle: ""Hail guardians of of the watchtowers of the north, Lords of the element of earth; I, (say your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be."
Stand at the East candle/Quarter & light the candle: "Hail guardians of of the watchtowers of the east, Lords of the element of air; I, (say your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be."
Stand at the South candle/Quarter & light the candle:"Hail guardians of of the watchtowers of the south, Lords of the element of fire; I, (say your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be."
Stand at the West candle/Quarter & light the candle: "Hail guardians of of the watchtowers of the west, Lords of the element of water; I, (say your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be."

5) Invoking Deity:
This is to call a deity into your body to help focus your power and lend her own to whatever working you are doing. When celebrating a Sabbat (holiday) I use a much longer and more specific invocation
"I call the down, O my great Queen (name of Goddess) to enter my body and commune with my spirit. Be with me now as I fulfill my destiny and
work magick in accordance with your will. So mote it be."

6) Great Rite
The GReat Rite is often an important part of raising energy within your circle and honoring the cycle of life. It is far more than merely sex- it is a joining of energy and identity - invoking thepower from the union of the Goddess and the God. This celebrates fertility, life, and unity and is the best re-balbancer if a situation/spell calls for harmony of energies to be restored. 2 parts to the great rite:
Great Rite in Truth: In volves the physical, spiritual and energy union of a male and female within the circle.
Symbolic Great Rite: Performed using a ritual tool associated with female receptive energy (such as a cup or cauldron) and one associated with male energy (like the wand or athame). The male tool is lowered into the female tool with awareness and intent- directly after the invocation.

7) Working Magick
You may be celebrating a Sabbat or Esbat or you may need to perform some sort of magick. This is th part of the ritual you would plan out ahead of time. *When planning your magickal working - make sur e you have a clear and percise definition of why you are performing the ritual and what you hopw to achieve - all other aspects of the ritual will derive from it. Who are you speaking to or hopeing to reach with your workings, who is your audience? What God/desses will aide you in your intent? Whic tools, and symbols will help amplify and support your intent? - NOW try to think of one focal point that will associate all of the above - Will you use a single spell ans vizualization to send out the energy to a person in need, etc. Keep it simple and direct.

8) Raising Energy
Generally I use meditation and visualization to raise energy and empower my intent. But you can also find chants & invocations or Incense, oils and potions; or Dancing & drumming; or Offerings/Sacrfice; etc.

9) Communion
This is more than a restocking of energy, it is a method by which the Gods bless and share power with you teh practitioner. Thats why we offer blessings upon the food and dring, then give some back to the gods when we are finshed with the ritual. For te drink - Hold the chalice/cup up toward the sky. Ground and center. Imagine you are presenting the drink to the Goddess Herself and say: "Bright Lady, Bless this drink with your love and grace. Imbue it with your blessings, that I may drink it to honor you, and in so doing share in your wisdom, knowledge and love. So mote it be." Drink most of the wine or juice. (saving some as an offering after your circle is closed.)
Hold your hands over the food on the pentacle or plate, visualize the God blessing the food, and say: "Mighty Lord, bless thsi food with your strength and love. Charge it with your blessings, that I may eat of it to honor you. And in so doing share in your wisdom, knowledge and love. So mote it be!" Eat most of the cake (saving some as an offering after your circle is closed.)

10) Thanking Divinity
You always want to thank the deity for participating in your rite. Stand at your altar and say: "Thank you Lady of Peace and Lord of NIght (or name the God/dess you invoked forthe ritual); I thank you for your presence withing my circle and for lending your power to this ritual. I honor you and bid you farewell. So mote it be." *Be sure to envision an opening in the circle from which the god/dess can leave. If you invoked more than one start with the last one invoked and release in reverse.

11) Releasing the Quarters:
Once you are finished with your magick/ritual, before opening your circle, this is essentially the reverse of the above process. Start with your arms in the Goddess position visualizing a portal for the energy to leave your circle slowly releasing into a God pose as you again seal the portal. Start your releasing at the last Quarter you called and work in a counter-clockwise manner.This is the standard Quarter Release to match the above Calling - you can also find specific types of quarter calls - angelic, dagon, etc) and the release that matches it.Start at hte West and work your way in reverse to the North."Guardians of the (direction), lords of the element of (element), thank you for participating in my circle this night / day. Go if you must, stay if you like. Hail and farewell."

12) Opening the Circle:
Once all magickal practices are complete. Walk the circle 1 time in a counter clockwise (widdershins) fashion. Visualize drawing all excess energy into a tool or your hands. Some will also pass the energy into their altar. Once the circle has been walked one time say: "The circle is open, but never broken. Meery meet and merry part until we merry meet again. So mote it be!" Again stomp your foot one time to indicate the circle is now open.

13) Offering
Taking the remaining portion of food and drink from communion - pour it into an offering bowl or place it outside saying: "Food for the Gods, I return you to the Gods, Lord and Lady, I thank you for your manifold gifts and blessings."

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