Structure of a Basic Ritual and Spell

Introduction

The most important thing for me when I’m performing a ritual is keeping an open mind and heart. I try to allow fluid communication between me and the universe, which means that I don’t usually follow a set ritual layout. I don’t have a series of step by step instructions complete with a rhyme that I repeat whilst I light certain candles in a certain order, etc etc. I try to feel what’s right for the purpose of the ritual because, of course, each ritual has a different goal. I don’t believe in deities or I don’t believe in human representatives of immortals – maybe there are groups of energy out there that can help in a certain task but I’ve never really bonded with any of them. I also find it hard to believe that they have a likeness of us – this is what I mean when I say on my ‘About’ page that I manifest my worship into a God and Goddess model for familiarity. I don’t think they would actually be a Male and a Female human looking creature of some sort – more of just opposite energies (similar to the Yin and Yang concept).
So this layout is extremely basic. Hopefully I can get into the habit of actually documenting more of my specific rituals and spells.
NOTE: I use the words ‘ritual’ ‘spell’ and ‘praying’ interchangeably. I can do a ritual without doing a spell but I can’t do a spell without doing a ritual or praying and usually a ritual always includes praying of some kind.

Beginning

I get together all the things I’ll need for the ritual or spell – usually this includes my god and goddess statues, candles/incense, lighter/matches and something to help me focus on the purpose of the ritual. This could include stones, sticks, feathers, tarot/oracle cards, flowers, personal items, paper, etc.
I also usually have some water, some food and my Meditation flower essences (White Chestnut, Wild Oat, Clematis, Cerato and Heather) close at hand. I have these things close by because I’m a dreamer and if I don’t ground myself well after the practice I can start feeling quite out of sorts – it’s a blessing as well as a curse. It makes it easy for me to slip into ritual and spellwork but not so easy for me to come back out again or to even be that productive in my day to day life.

Here's an example of a structure of a ritual - this one isn't my usual but it's got all the basic elements.

Here’s an example of a structure of a ritual – this one isn’t my usual but it’s got all the basic elements.

Usually I’ll have the God on the left, Goddess on the right and the incense/candle in the middle with the point of focus around the center. Where I put the point of focus object usually changes depending on if I’m using other things for the ritual (such as a wand, pentacle, cauldron, herbs, burning of paper, etc). I tend to make it look balanced and pretty – that’s the Libran coming out in me.

Body

Once I’m set up I meditate – I pay attention to my breathing and strengthen my personal boundaries. Usually this involves visualisation techniques which for me include roots extending from my tail bone/spine into the Earth, which I then use to neutralise my thoughts and feelings (negative into the Earth and positive into me). I also use this connection to strengthen my boundaries – this is called by a few different names and everyone sees (or imagines) it differently. I refer to it as my aura but it’s also my ‘bubble’ and it’s where my presence is outside of my body in space – my ‘personal space’. I do this so that I know where to come back to and to know that while I’m off having a journey my body is safe inside a strong barrier.
Whilst I do this I’m simultaneously sending out a ‘Hello? I’m here’ signal to anything that would like to communicate.
NOTE: I think it’s important to establish a boundary before talking to anything so make sure your boundary is bright and strong enough for things to come in only if you invite them.

Once I am happy with the state of my boundaries I will carry out the spell or ritual (Here is some examples of spells and rituals that I do) and here is where it varies. Sometimes I will light incense and carry out the spell imagining that the smoke is sending off my wishes to the universe, sometimes I will only imagine that once I’ve blown out a candle with the smoke off the wick – this depends on the purpose of the spell/ritual. Sometimes I will wear certain clothes or other objects to enhance communication with particular animal totems or other beings or sometimes I will just use a feather, a photo, an oracle card, etc as the focus object. Sometimes I will write what it was I want to achieve down but only if the words come to me easily. Again, hopefully I can try to document more of my rituals and spellwork.
Another great example of ritual would be my yoga practice. Some of the time it’s just exercise but a majority of the time it’s a spiritual event for me and I begin the same way I would any other ritual or spell.

End

The end is usually marked by a feeling of completion or the incense running out (but I have been known to light another incense stick or cone). At this point I blow out the candle and meditate again – strengthening my boundaries and so forth. I drink some water, have a little to eat and move around. I also find it useful to consciously identify objects (that’s a blue towel, I can hear a piano playing, etc). It’s also good habit to say thank you to whoever or whatever you were dealing with – I must admit I haven’t been all that good with offerings because I even forget to eat myself (see what I mean about being a dreamer!). I do try to leave some food out for the local birds because they usually accompany me but I don’t too often because I don’t want them depending on it. If I haven’t done the ritual or spell away from an altar space, I will leave the altar set up usually this includes spells or rituals to attract wealth, if it’s a ritual for the turning of the wheel or if I’ve done a spell for someone.

Goals for the Future
+ Try to hash out a basic structure to write in my journal.
+ Have two way communication with my animal totem eg. meditate with it specifically in mind and ask if it wants/needs anything, make some offerings to it specifically.
+ Come up with a more solid way to honor the God and Goddess. A short invocation at the beginning or end? Or maybe try to incorporate them into celebrations more. Leave offerings regularly.
+ Research some Aboriginal deities and see if any resonate with me.

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3 thoughts on “Structure of a Basic Ritual and Spell

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year – The First Full Moon of 2013 | My Spiritual Journey

  2. Pingback: Pagan Blog Project #1 – “C” is for Cannabis | My Spiritual Journey

  3. Pingback: 4SJ2014 – Opening Gathering – November 2013 | My Spiritual Journey

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