The Twelve Elements of Ritual

Consider that there may be twelve elements to Ritual. For a Grand Sabbat, like Samhain or Beltaine, you might include all twelve.  For a Full Moon Esbat, you might perform eight. For a private devotional, you might do only four.
  1. Purification of Self
    Take a Ritual Bath before you join the others. Ground and center before you join the others.
  2. Purification of Space
    Be aware as you prepare your worship space, moving things about and collecting your props, of the work you are about to do.
  3. Creating Sacred Space
    Here is where you cast your circle and invite energies from the four directions. Some are called to face outward and protect. Some are called to face inward and empower. There is much opportunity here for choice and symbolism. In a personal ritual, sometimes three quarters are acknowledges and only one is invited to participate.
  4. Invocation of Goddess and God
    You invite either the Goddess or the God, or both, who are most appropriate for what you are about to do.
  5. Stating the Purpose
    You really do have a purpose for this Ritual? State it with conviction and power.
  6. The Work, the Magick, Ritual Observance
    Do your spell, your magick, your reverence for the season upon the Wheel of the Year.
  7. Energy Raising
    Breath deeply, chant, drum. Connect with all that is within you and all that you have invoked.
  8. Channel the Energy
    Visualize this energy before you. Perhaps it is blue light dancing at your center or fire spewing from your athame.
  9. Releasing the Power
    Send this energy into the universe to make happen what you have envisioned: protection, strength, prosperity, connection.
  10. The Feast
    Otherwise known as Cakes and Ale, in a large group, this is a sharing of symbolic cake and appropriate beverage. In a small group, it may be a true feast.
  11. Thanking the Deities
    Be polite and dismiss the deities that have been good enough to join you for your magick.
  12. Opening the Circle
    Dismiss the energies from the four directions that you have called. Send them on their way and bid them not to do mischief as they depart. Roll up your circle into your athame or see it evaporate: Poof!

Hug those around you. They are your fellow travelers.

An intermediate book on ritual mechanics is Silver Ravenwolf's To Light a Sacred Flame.

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