(Italics = optional activities) Preliminary Activities
(B) Individual Meditations and Prayers
(C) Sacred baths, other personal cleansing
(D) Setting up the altar and ritual area
(E) Ritual robing or disrobing
Phase 1: Starting the Rite; Establishing the Group-Mind
Clear-cut Beginning: Consecration of Time
(1) Announcement of Beginning Consecration of Space and Participants
(2) Blessing of the Elemental Tools
(3) Casting of the Circle
(4) Blessing/Exorcism of Altar, People, and Circle Centering, Grounding, Linking, and Merging
(5) Opening Unity Meditation
(6) Ritual Purpose; Historical Precedent
(7) Goddess (and/or God) of the Occasion; Reasons for Choice
Phase 2: Recreating the Cosmos; Preliminary Power Raising
Invoking the Gatekeepers; Defining the Circle as Center
(8) Inviting the Guardians of the Quarters
(9) "Between the Worlds" Chant/Affirmation
Phase 3: Major Sending of Power to Goddess (and/or God)
(10) Descriptive Invocation of Goddess (and/or God) Primary Power Raising (a.k.a. "Cone of Power")
(11) Participants generate mana (psychic energy) by dancing, singing, chanting, etc.
The Sacrifice/Gift of Mana
(12) Releasing of energy raised (a.k.a. the "Drop")
Phase 4: Receiving and Using Returned Power
Preparation for the Return
(13) Meditation upon Personal and Group Needs
(14) Induction of Receptivity
Reception of Power from the Goddess (and/or God)
(15) Drawing Down the Moon
(16) Instruction from the Goddess; the Charge
(17) Drawing Down the Sun
(18) Instruction from the God; the Charge
(20) Cakes and Wine (Blessing and Passing)
(21) Acceptance of Individual Blessings Use of the Power Received
(22) Reinforcement of Group Bonding
(23) Spell Casting or Rite of Passage
(24) Second Ritual Meal with Conversation and/or Instruction
Phase 5: Unwinding the Energies; Ending the Rite
Thanking of Entities Invited, in Reverse Order
(25) Thanking the Goddess (and/or God)
(26) Thanking the Guardians; Closing the Gates
(27) Affirmation of Continuity and Success Unmerging, Unlinking, Regrounding, & Recentering
(28) Closing Meditation Draining off Excess Mana
(29) Charging of Tools (or Giving to Earth) Deconsecration of Space
(30) Circle Closing/Ending Clear-cut Ending: Deconsecration of Time
(31) Announcement of End (a.k.a. "Merry Meet and Merry Part")
(F) Hugs all around!
(G) Return to secular clothing
(H) Removal of libation bowl, etc., to outdoors
Set: table/altar, fire-proof cloth, statues/images of Goddess (and/ or God), Quarter Guardians/Elements symbols or icons, quarter candles/torches/lanterns, cauldron or other event-specific items.
Props: sword, athame(s), boline, wand, pentacle, chalice, bowl, salt/soil dish, incense burner & incense & charcoal (or stick incense & holder), salt or soil, water, altar candles and holders, crown for Goddess (and/or God), matches/lighter, plate, cups for all, cakes/cookies, libation bowl, wine/ale/beer (and/or juice/ drinking water), napkins, bucket of sand or extinguisher, broom or other event-specific items.
As the reader will have noticed, the ritual is divided into five "phases" plus some preliminary and following activities. The lettered or numbered items in the outline are the observable steps of the rite as it is performed, while those items without letters or numbers are explanatory.
Because Wiccans may or may not wish to follow particular practices in a given Tradition, or upon a specific occasion, optional activities and supplies are in italics, to make their status clear.
In future editions of this book, I will include a complete script and a step-by-step "walkthrough." For now, let's move on to discuss a very important "element" of ritual.
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