There are many different reasons someone would want to perform a ritual. They are as varied as we humans are. Even the ingredients, procedures, and methods are radically different between practitioners. There are a lot of published methods that we can take inspiration from, but don’t get overwhelmed with the number of differences you will find. Ritual Magic is personalized to each individual and influenced by their experience, culture, path, purpose for the ritual and so much more.
I like to keep things simple. Some like really intricate and long ceremonial rituals. All ways are correct! There is NO Just One Way to do ANY kind of Magic!! That is the beauty of our craft. It is perfectly tailored to each person in a way that resonates with their Heart and Soul! The Universe will hear us no matter what method we decide upon. The biggest influence with our Magic is our Will and Intent.
Purpose of the Ritual-
So, this means that we need to be clear on our purpose for conducting a ritual. What are you hoping to accomplish? We need to hone in on the root purpose is, what we want the end result to be, and leave room for the Universe to respond with even more than we intended. How do we do this? For me, it is easiest to write it out. I mull it over and then write everything down that comes to mind. I get rid of the “what if’s” and “this won’t work” thoughts associated with some of these goals. If I need to, I will change the language to take out phrases like: “If this works”, “I guess I want…”, “if the impossible occurs, I want…” I usually won’t write these out when I am in the planning phase, but I will notice that they do come across my thoughts as I write. I write a goal, then write and say a resounding “YES!” after each one. This way I am changing those doubts and putting myself into a place of full acceptance.
Once we are clear on the purpose of the ritual and we feel comfortable with the goals we can move on to the planning phase. Do you already have a method or framework in mind on how to perform the ritual? Do you need any materials to aid you in this working? Do you know who (if any) you will call on for assistance, support, or blessings? Do you know how much time you will need to do this ritual and the time to do it where you will be undisturbed? Are you utilizing the season, day of the week or even the moon phase in your ritual? Many do, the natural cycles of Nature can aid in adding focus or support. We don’t have too either. If you have a need and it isn’t the right lunar cycle to best support it, you can still do the Magic! It will still work! The MAIN component of ANY spell or ritual is your Intent. If your Intent is strong and your focus on your intent is strong, then the Magical workings will still succeed.
Materials or Ingredients-
I mentioned materials, earlier. They are not necessary but DO help! Magic and Intent are better focused if we are focused and clear. Having tools and materials on hand can help with that focus. When we perform a ritual or spell, we can use a variety of herbs, crystals, foods, waters, oils, elements, items and more. It can help if we have something to represent the purpose of the ritual. During the ritual, we could use the Magic to make changes and effect that smaller representation as a symbolic way of effecting your Intent on a larger scale. Look up the Spiritual meanings for the herbs, crystals, oils, plants, colors or even animal figurines or stuffies to find the ones that best suit your purpose. Did you know your kitchen cupboards hold a lot of Magical ingredients? Store bought cooking spices work just as good! If you can forage for herbs or plants and want to, go for it! Just don’t feel bad if you use what is on hand. Feel the need to use an Athame? A kitchen knife will work in a pinch!
Honoring the Elements-
Personally, I love to represent each element with any workings I do. They are the building blocks of everything! So, I will always try to incorporate at least one of the following:
Element of Air- Incense, feather, an instrument like bell, drum, or sound bowl, or even have a little music playing during the ritual. There are a bunch of free Solfeggio Frequency music out there. Those instrumental songs are performed at specific frequencies that affect us on many different levels. Find one that fits your purpose if you want to bring it in to your practice. Sometimes I will include a short guided meditation if I feel the need. So many are available on YouTube and apps for your phone.
Element of Fire- Lite candle, electric candle, anything to represent a flame of some kind.
Element of Water- A glass of water, perform the ritual while taking a bath or be near a stream or body of water. There are different kinds of water you can use in a jar or glass as well. They include Moon Water, Storm Water, War Water, Sun Water, Morning Dew, Rainwater, Ocean Water and more. Most are simple to make or collect.
Element of Earth- A rock, stone, crystal, dirt, sand, a potted plant, a drawing, or artwork to represent the earth.
Performing the Ritual-
Once you have all the details figured out you are ready! I will usually write out what I want to say and include all the details. This is where a book of shadows can come in handy. It can keep everything organized for you. If you like to wing it, no worries there either! This is highly personalized, and the main ingredient is You and Your Intent!
When it comes time to perform your ritual, it is a good practice to start by creating a circle of protection around you. I covered this in my article and Uniquely Loved Podcast Episode, Basics of Magical Protections. Find what works for you and create it. Once you are protected, take a moment, and ground yourself. Get back into that space of feeling, “Yes! I Accept this WILL Happen! My Magic is Strong, and It WILL WORK!” Focus on your Intent and bring up the emotions that help make you feel like you already have it, it already succeeded for you. If you need to set anything up, light the candles or incense, now is the time. If you want to ask your Guides or Spiritual Team for their aid or blessings, do it respectfully and speak from the heart. (Some will have offerings ready for their Guides somewhere nearby. If this makes sense for you, go for it.) Then state your intention and the purpose for the ritual. Focus your will on your purpose and that it is a success as you State it. You are essentially claiming it to the Universe. If you have any movements or tasks you designed to be part of the ritual, do them at this point. Visualize or meditate on the purpose, see in your mind’s eye, it is happening. If you have a smaller lit candle, you may want to focus on your intent and purpose until it fully burns down. This is not always necessary, listen to your intuition.
Closing the Ritual-
When you feel it is finished, make sure you express gratitude in some way to your Guides, the Universe, whomever (or whatever) feels appropriate to you. Say, “It Is Done”, “So Mote It Be”, “It Is Finished”, “By My Will, It Is Done”, “This I Manifest”, “It Is As I Will It”, or anything else that you like to say as a graceful exit or conclusion. Then you can release the circle of protection and clean up. I recommend you write down any thoughts, images, lyrics, ideas, emotions and more that popped into your head during the ritual. Pay attention to your dreams and other signs and synchronicities for the next few weeks as well. These are all clues to the Universe hearing and conspiring to work in your favor. Go forth and fully believe that your Magic has been Heard, Acknowledged, Understood, and Accepted!
After Ritual Care-
Self-care is really, really, important after ANY kind of Magical workings. You need to hydrate, eat and rest as needed. Listen to your body and your intuition. There is a lot of energy that is generated and used when performing spells and rituals. Taking bath in Epson salts and other minerals and herbs can be refreshing and very beneficial to recover from any fatigue or sore muscles. During some rituals, we can move or sit in a position that we are not used to and that can make us sore. Take these things into account and grant yourself kindness, compassion, and love as you go through the next few days.
Much Love and Support,