There are three different types of Wiccan rituals. Each type celebrates a different part of our faith.
Celebratory rituals celebrate the changing of the seasons, the gods, and the turning of the Wheel of the Year. These rituals include the Sabbats (such as Yule or Beltane), and other deity related rituals such as the feast day dedicated to one’s Matron or Patron deity.
These rituals are preformed to honour ourselves, the rites of passage in our lives, and other significant life changes. Solemnities include funeral rites, handfastings, and cronings/saging among others.
These rituals are aimed at raising and directing energy toward a specific goal, such as healing or blessing working tools. If one is a Wiccan Witch, spell casting would fall into this category. Wiccans who are not Witches also preform Working Rituals to do things such as bless tools or meditate.
Esbats are a type of ritual or meeting, often held either every Full Moon or every New Moon. They can be held more or less often, depending on the group or the need. Esbats are “working nights”, times with spell work or teaching is done. If held on a Full Moon, Esbats are a good time to reflect on the month past and prepare for the month ahead, both mentally and spiritually. It is also a good time to prepare any magical items you might need in the coming month.
My Ritual Outline
This is the basic outline of my rituals. I use this basic framework for both Sabbat rituals and other types. In general, I do not perform any type of magic during a Sabbat, so at certain times, I leave out parts of this framework.
My rituals are very simple. I don’t have fancy robes, elaborate ritual tools, or anything particularly special. The rituals themselves are usually improvised. I do make sure that I remember to touch on all the important aspects and themes of the Sabbat, esbat or whatever working it is that I am doing. So, it is sort of matter of whatever works, as well as including traditional themes and elements. The essence of being an eclectic.
- ground and centre
- meditation, conscious breathing, etc.
- cast the circle (see my essay on circles)
- call on the deities
- state your name
- include “performing this rite in the name of X” or similar words if carrying out the ritual for another person
- I will not do healing or anything for another person without their permission
- state the purpose of your rite, or your request
- be specific
- for example “I am here to celebrate that Sabbat of Yule…” or “I am here to request healing of my leg…”
- perform your rite, spell, divination, ritual drama, what-have-you
- visualise the results clearly
- end with “an it harm none” or “for the good of all” or something similar
- remember that these words are not said to excuse you from the possibility of something going wrong
- it is important to research your actions, and if you are unsure, don’t do it!
- include an affirmation of your faith that this outcome will occur
- for example “So mote it be” or “I know this will occur through my will and faith”
- release the circle
- ground and centre