A ritual is defined by Merriam-Webster as something that is done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol. For some pagans or witches this can be a call to a deity for a plentiful harvest or perhaps a binding or banishing done to protect one’s home.
Monday around the dark moon, often near mid-month, I hold a ritual similar to what’s called Hecate’s Supper. I make offerings which sometimes include house sweepings that help rid the house of negative energies. I've found recently that this is a really important part of taking care of your ritual space. Cleaning your space and tools is a very important part of typical house-cleaning. Not just for Pagans, but for many religions. Even my atheist hubby will light sage and walk the house before beginning a new project.
This week I wrote a new chant for my cleansing ritual. Sometimes working for justice attracts negative to you. Using the cleansing rituals to remove negativity from your tools for example can help get your magic back on track. Patti Wigington, at About.com has a ritual for consecration listed that is fairly easy to follow and can be used for cleansing.
Depending on the tradition followed, completing rituals is usually something anyone can do. As a solitary and a follower of Hecate, I have the luxury of not being bound by specific tradition requirements with the exception of my participation in “Hekate Her Sacred Fires”. Some traditions have rules around what types of rituals can be performed by members and following up with a spiritual leader in that tradition is recommended.
Generally when I start my rituals I begin by calling the quarters, you can find a blog post I wrote about the quarters in 2011 here. I recommend doing some research and then creating your own way of opening the circle.
One of the things that I think that worry some pagans is the fear of doing the ritual incorrectly. There are some that are steadfast on saying you must do A then B then C. While I understand the importance of following the set steps of a process, I also understand that sometimes if we focus too hard on the process we lose the intent of the process. Meaning, if you happen to says East when you mean West, I think the Goddess will be fine. I believe that it is what the intent is. If you mean harm, you can speak light and love all day long and repeating it over and over doesn't make it true.
Getting back to my ritual for this week, I wanted to clear out some negative energy that had been looming around my door as well as tie up a few loose ends. (Pun Intended) I sat down and wrote out exactly what the intent of my ritual was. This can be good if you’re trying to assist in a baby blessing spell, or maybe a spell to mirror negativity back to the sender. I then thought about my Goddess and what was it about her that I needed to call upon. I had written a chant earlier that I recited during my ritual.
I collected all the elements that I had used for my spell and put them in one container. When completing a spell/ritual sometimes it calls to have those items stored in a specific manner.
I want to go back to the chant. When writing a chant for a deity, try not to become overwhelmed with making sure you copy specific lines from someone else grand tome. You are the author of your magic. In my opinion the Goddess or your deity, will respect something much more coming from your heart than some master witch’s grimoire. When I’m writing a chant I usually sit down with a table of correspondences and think about what my goal is for the chant. There are several free sources on the web, and Llewellyn offers a book by Sandra Kynes called Complete Book of Correspondences.
For me, a ritual is all about intent. What is the goal? Many live by the rule “Do what ye will, an harm none.” Others follow the thought “A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal.” Regardless of the words chanted or the tools used, to me intent is the strongest force of any ritual.
Namaste & Blessed Be
This is my newest chant that I call Hecate’s Call to Protection. Please do not copy/share without permission.
Hecate’s Call to Protection
Savior and Mother of night
Embrace your child with protection and might.
Angry one’s call
Silence the worlds, silence them all.
Bringer of light
Reveal the attack shown in this fight.
Guide my magic, direct and firm
All that hurts shall be returned.
Night wandering queen
Open my eyes, allow all to be seen.
By: Renee Sosanna Olson - 2013