Rituals have been a part of witchcraft for hundreds of years and can be very elaborate or quite simple ceremonies. Most witches will carry out a ritual at some stage, whether it’s for a special spell or to cast circle. When members of a coven meet they usually perform a ritual to raise the energy of the group and celebrate the gathering of their sisters and brothers.
A ritual is recognised as a symbolic set of actions that brings forth transformation and for some, an altered state of consciousness. A ritual will connect the practitioner to the Universal source and the energy of magic and connected awareness.
Rituals are not unheard of in other walks of life, it’s just that the word ritual is not as widely used; most religions have certain ways of worship and things that they do in a certain order to adhere to their religious life style that can be seen as ritualistic. Most of us do something in our lives that we call routine but can at times border on be ritualistic.
When casting circle, ritual is very important and plays a big part in the circle ceremony and in invoking power and energy for spells. Some wiccans will put a lot of thought and reverence into the way they perform a ritual and it can be very rewarding in the connected feeling of aligning with the Goddess.
Some of the most important rituals in a witch’s life will be Handfastings, which are Wiccan wedding ceremonies. Wiccanings are another special ceremony; these are in celebration of the birth of a new baby, (similar to a baptism), and when there is a funeral, the term used is Requiem. A Full Moon Ritual can be held at the time of the full moon each month; also a ritual for each of the yearly Sabbats such as Samhain, Beltane and Imbolc, to name three.
Another important ritual is the initiation of a new witch to a group or coven; contrary to some beliefs out there, these initiations are well above board and in no way sadistic or sexual and do not encounter sacrifices or any of that old belief rubbish that was bandied around for hundreds of years.
Rituals are safe to perform so long as you are pure of thought and trust and believe in what you are doing. As always, do not ever let yourself be lead astray by another, always use commonsense and your gut intuition, if it doesn’t feel right or just isn’t for you then simply do not commit to it or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Witchcraft is a way of life for a larger portion of the community than most people even realise (as most Wiccans keep their Wiccan life to themselves) and rituals are an important part of a Wiccans life; so if your life is taking the path of the witch and living Wicca, then embrace your lifestyle and be proud……