Rituals are an important part of Wiccan tradition. There are many types and reasons for rituals, from celebrating one of the Sabbats, a ritual of thanks, spell work or for other reasons the practitioner may have for carrying out a ritual. In each ritual, energy is directed to a goal.
Afterwards, a feast is held to regain balance after the energy is sent out. This energy could be for a multitude of purposes including casting a spell, sending out a healing, giving thanks, or providing protection.
Wiccans hold rituals to celebrate each of the seasons as well as the phases of the moon. Some of the rituals are large; others may be very small private ones. Most Wiccans believe that not only the phases of the moon, but also phases of life should be celebrated and there are many rituals for this.
Wiccan Sabbats are holy days and may be shared with others such as family or friends; each Sabbat recognizes each major aspect of the seasons throughout the year and marks the Sun’s progression.
Esbats are rituals held to celebrate the Full Moon; this type of ritual can also be held during other Moon phases.
Although there are many types of rituals, there are general steps a Wiccan should do before any ritual. First, the Wiccan practitioner should carry out a self-purification ritual. This could involve taking a ritual bath of purification, which is not only to clean the body but also make sure the mind and soul are also cleansed. Fill the bath and add a herbal mix, light some candles and play some music if you would like to. Envision all the negative energy filling your body, then visualize sweeping it out of your body through the pores of your skin. Let it sink into the water and feel your body, spirit and mind being purified by the herbs in the water. When you feel cleansed, stand up and pull the plug, letting all the negativity leave with the water swirling down the drain.
You should also purify the space you are using to perform your ritual; make sure it is cleared of any objects you may step on and clean it physically. Take a ritual broom, cleaning up all the psychic clutter that has accumulated in the area.
Casting the circle is an important part of the ritual; set to protect the practitioner, the circle keeps all that is inside protected from any external forces. The exterior should be marked off with cords and sealed with salt, incense, water and a candle. Call the quarters using the elements and then call the God and Goddess.
After the ritual, the circle needs to be closed. Give thanks to the Goddess and God for being there as well as the elements. Then you need to take the circle back up with your athame, or ritual knife.
The more the practitioner carries out these basic steps, the more familiar they will become until they become second nature, almost like breathing as the joy and comfort gained from carrying out the ritual makes the preparation and effort worthwhile.
Dayanara Blue Star