Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Intentional: Creating a Ritual

Today is a fun day in that I get to play with the 'big witches'.  Sometimes it feels like I got invited to the grown-up's table :)  But not only do I get to hang with the Witches today, I'm actually running ritual so why not share the process on here with my lovely readers?  I believe that creating ritual is like any other creative process and each person will do it a little differently but that we can all gain insight by seeing how others do it.  Here's me.  Please remember all of these steps are simply how things are done today in the world according to Kat.

The first step of any ritual is intention.  I was chatting with the High Priestess I borrow on a semi monthly basis and expressed my new Sacred Space epiphany, that I'm doing all of this backwards.  The more I thought about how disjointed my magical training is the more I'd like other young people to be able to avoid it.  So the intention for today's working is: Allow the younger seekers to find guidance.  Intention crafting is almost as difficult a process as ritual craft; it should be short and sweet but directed and to the point but making sure to include all the important elements.  The seven words of my intention went through many incarnations, changing even as I write this.

The next part of ritual is purification but that's not the difficult part.  Now that I have the intention I want to discover what the main magic of the ritual will be.  This is typically the part where energy is raised within the sacred space, built up and then released with the intention.  There are various ways of raising energy, like movement, song, intoning, circling, etc.  I think today I'm feeling the noise makers.  We will raise the energy by using hand-held percussive instruments, starting at a very love volume and slow pulse.  As the energy gets added we will increase the speed and volume of the percussive noise until it feels wild and ecstatic and then we will released in intention.  I think when I get there I will crowd source a bit and see what everyone's comfortable with.

Now that the intention and main magic are decided I can work on the other parts or the structure.  Basics include purification, which I think we will most likely do with burning incense and salt water.  I like using these two methods because they bring together all four elements.  If we're feeling cheeky I may just run a quick purification by fire visual, but that may be dangerous, depending on who's house one is in.

Next up is grounding, which I have no desire to lead and don't feel I should need to at the grown-ups play-date, but sometimes a lead grounding exercise is really good for getting all the participant's minds in the same ritual and sacred place.  If we do feel like grounding together I will probably run a quick and dirty water cycle visualization, as I dislike the tree method a lot and the water cycle has the connections to above and below that is so necessary to good grounding.  I believe that all elements can be used to purify and all can be used to ground in, I just haven't figured them all out yet; this will be it's own SI post some other day.

So the participants and space are ready for the ritual to begin, now what?  Set up the sacred space.  This is one of those things that every tradition and sometimes every witch does just a little bit differently.  The three elements of setting up sacred space include casting a circle, inviting the elemental energies and inviting divine presence but not necessarily all of those steps and not necessarily in that order.  Today I will probably cast the circle then invite the elemental energies and then the divine presence.

The point of this stage of the ritual is to separate the space we are in from the mundane world physically and fairly temporally, hence the line "a space out of time and a time out of space"; a circle takes the space between the worlds.  They also serve to filter the energies.  For instance, I always envision my circle as a giant semi-permeable membrane that allows in the energy that is necessary and not detrimental to the working and also allows our energy to flow out as necessary.  I will probably bring my 'travel wand' to cast this circle, teehee.  I've decided to use song to call in the elements called 'I Am' © 1997 by Christian Williamson and you can listen to it here.  I think I will ask Hermes to join us as a God of travel and communication and Athena to be welcome as a Goddess of wisdom.

Once all the magic is done it's very important to say thanks you and good bye.  As I once told my five year old, Gods are kinda like grown-ups and you have to be polite.  I will thank the divine for their time and hail and farewell them, then do the same for the elemental energies, then I will (probably not use the wand to) open the circle and hugs will ensue.

Now that this is all written out, I feel better.  Have a lovely Sunday everyone!


  1. As a sea witch, I've been toying with the idea of using the ocean waves or tides as a grounding visualization. I love your idea of using the water cycle - it's such a great way to connect to the flow of the Earth's energy. In fact, I think I will try it the next time I need to ground. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Colleen, You're so welcome! It took me ages to be confident enough to work that visualization with a group but it was really effective. I can't work with the tree... at all... ever... blech (lol)

  2. Kat, this is an excellent post! Thank you for going through all of this with us! Much appreciated! I hope you had a great sunday ;o) Hugs ;o)