There are numerous causes for performing a ritual. It can be in observance of the Wheel of the Year or the monthly lunar cycles. Women can create blood rituals to mark their courses; and other important rites of passage–birthing, coming of age, handfasting/divorcing, saging/croning, death, etc–can be ritualized as well. Some Pagans, Wiccans, and witches also like to do rituals for the deities they work with and for other practices, such as for blessing objects. Rituals can last from five minutes of thanking a deity to several workings over a long period of time, such as for a women creating, carrying, birthing, and carrying for a child.
For whatever reason you desire to perform a ritual, planning is essential to its success. Depending on personal practice, convenience, and importance, the amount of prep work varies from five minutes to weeks of gathering materials. Some can even take longer, especially for organizing a handfasting. Despite the length of time, all prep work should go through a few steps:
- Identify the Purpose: Why are you doing this ritual? What are your motivations?
- Consider the Elements: Do you need to do a ritual cleansing first? Will you need to cast a circle? What tools will you need? What deities can you call on for aid? How much time do you have to dedicate to this practice
- Check Your Supplies: Do you need a particular incense, herb, oil, or other tool? Do you have it on hand, or do you need to buy it? Just as importantly, can you afford it?
- Documenting: Do you need to write out a liturgy or can you free form it?
- Research: If you need to, do you need to ask advice or do some readings before creating this ritual?
Once you have finished the ritual, sit quietly and reflect on the experience. I like to journal about the ritual, which I can go back and read in preparation for future rituals.
© Ariadne Woods