In the beginning of ritual writing, Practitioners may want to include the meanings of things such as associated colors, properties, and Elemental attributes in their verses to aid in remembering their correlations. Writing rituals in rhyme will greatly assist in your ability to commit them to memory. As these correlations become more familiar, you may choose to shorten the verses by omitting some of these details.
When you're composing anything (as I am doing at this moment while typing this entry), you're using the left hemisphere of your brain. When you recite something from memory - almost automatically - such as the songs sung at Yule, you're using the right hemisphere of your brain. The goal in ritual is to be able to rattle off your recitations from repetitive use - from ingrained memory - so that you don't have to "think" about it, as it just comes forth. The "meaning" and "power" is still present, sort of as a conditioned response. You may feel a "tingly feeling" - similar to the feeling Americans can get when hearing or reciting "The Star-Spangled Banner" - but it is held deeper within the brain, leaving room for the mind to do other things simultaneously.
When this occurs, as described above, the right brain is functioning pretty evenly with the left, in near-synchronization, which opens a person to do, think, or experience other things - perhaps the Alpha State, deeper dimensions, or deeper levels of consciousness.
[See: Comparison Table of EEG Bands in the Brain for advanced information.]
Conducting Rituals ~ 9 Basic Steps
1. Cleanse both the body and the spirit with either a ritual bath, or anointing with herbs or essential oils, which may match the intent of Esbat. Meditate and prepare for the body of the ritual.
- Stand in shape of Y with face and palms up: Goddess Mother, gentle and mild, bless me, (Working Name optionally inserted), for I am your child; Anoint Eyes: Bless my eyes that I might see, Your ways and secret mysteries; Anoint Lips: Bless my lips so the words they carry, speak Your truths soft and merry; Anoint Breast: Let my breast be formed in strength, and courage without bounds or lengths; Anoint Loins: Bless my loins for they harbor the force, of life and creation that flows from Your source; Anoint Knees: Bless my knees - keep them free from pain, so that I may kneel at Your altar again; Anoint Feet: Bless my feet as Your steps they do trace, keep them on path with a straight even pace.
2. Cleanse the Room or Area to be used. You may use your Besom, especially at Imbolc. As you smudge the area with either sage, sandalwood or frankincense, recite something like:
This sacred space shall now be free and cleansed of negativity
3. Prepare the Altar and arrange as needed for the specific Ritual. If candles and incense are not already burning, light them now. Using your Athame or Wand, draw an Invoking Pentagram above the Altar and say something like:
Blessed be all that I have placed, within this pure and sacred space, their powers shall grow and rise and be, free of all baneful energy
4. Cast the Circle of power and protection. Stand at the Eastern Quarter with Wand or Athame pointed down and away, walk deosil three times visualizing neon-blue fire streaming from the end of the Wand or Athame and "burning" the Circle boundary - knowing that the sphere encapsulates and is rather like a sphere or cone with no opening above the ceiling/sky, and no opening below the floor/ground. You will end at the East on the third pass, and while you are creating the circle you may recite something like:
- As I cast this Circle of Power, The magic within will grow and tower, Dividing me from the world of mundane, So that I may travel between the planes, To commune with The Ancients and Deities, Drawing Elements and Energies, To assist me in this Circle round This shield of protection firmly bound. Calculations of time and place, Cease to exist within this space, Between the Worlds this Circle is cast, Combining Present, Future, and Past.
I call to You North with Your grounding ways,
lend earthly strength to my pagan ways;
I call to You East with Your airy breath,
transform the stale to new and fresh;
I call to You South with Your energy,
may your fiery rays burn steadily;
I call to You West with Your fluid motion,
guide psychic abilities and emotions.
Your Presence is welcomed, Your Powers please lend,
In this Circle of magic, I bid you, attend.
Possible alternate evocations to Elements:
Air, Fire, Water, Earth,
Elements of astral birth,
I call you now; attend to me!
In this Circle, rightly cast,
Safe from psychic curse or blast,
I call you now, attend to me!
From cave and desert, sea and hill,
By wand, and blade, and pentacle,
I call you now, attend to me!
This is my will, so mote it be!
Hail to the East's Elemental Tower, Honor this rite with Your Presence and Power!
Hail to the South's Elemental Tower, Honor this rite with Your Presence and Power!
Hail to the West's Elemental Tower, Honor this rite with Your Presence and Power!
Hail to the North's Elemental Tower, Honor this rite with Your Presence and Power!Invoke the Lord/Lady and any other Deities needed for the rite with something like:
- Goddess of both Moon and Star Who rules the planets near and far Including Earth and all within From Your womb all life begins You give us worth and love to share Encourage us to dream and dare Please join me in this sacred rite Bring Your pure and loving light.
- Lord of places Wild and Free Who sows and fertilizes seed You are the Sun that shines above You bring us pleasure, light, and love Changing all as it should be Bring health and prosperity Please join me in this sacred rite Lend Your strength and warming light.
7. Get to the "meat" of the Ritual: Meditate and work the Magic intended for the Ritual by silencing thoughts, absorbing Energy and feeling Energy rise from within, focusing on goals and tasks at hand. Once the Power has been built and is ready to be released to accomplish the goal(s), visualize a ball or stream of Power directed out of the Circle to set the process of fulfillment in motion. Take enough time to visualize the goal already being accomplished, then Ground and Center yourself.
8. Conduct Cakes and Ale - or Libation to Lord and Lady portion of the Ritual.
9. Release the Deities and Elements; release the Circle; Ground and Center; take Libation or Offerings outdoors (if indoors at this time). During releasing, the following recitations may be used or altered as you please...
- Goddess of both Moon and Star Who rules the planets near and far Including Earth and all within From Your womb all life begins You give us worth and love to share Encourage us to dream and dare With love and thanks, You may now go Or stay, if You should deem it so.
- Lord of places Wild and Free Who sows and fertilizes seed You are the Sun that shines above You bring us pleasure, light, and love< Changing all as it should be Bring health and prosperity With love and thanks, You may now go Or stay, if You should deem it so.
- Farewell Eastern Presence and Power, You may return now to Your Airy Tower! Farewell Southern Presence and Power, You may return now to Your Fiery Tower! Farewell Western Presence and Power, You may return now to Your Watery Tower! Farewell Northern Presence and Power, You may return now to Your Earthly Tower!
- By Moon and Sun in the sky above I offer these in Perfect Love By Fire and Earth and Rain and Gust I offer these in Perfect Trust Accept these things I offer You As Perfect Thanks for all You do For all the gifts You've given me Lord and Lady, Blessed Be
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA. She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.