Basic Ritual Structure

Every magickal tradition has its own rituals and methods of raising, manipulating, grounding energy. The following is a basic structure of writing a ritual and it is inspired by the tradition of the Golden Dawn. A full set of instructions can be found in the book The Essential Golden Dawn, written by the Ciceros, published by Llewellyn in 2004

Cleansing bath

Take a bath before ritual and dress in the ritual robe.

Stretching

Basic stretching to all major and minor muscles. A good idea is a relaxation exercise after stretching. The physical body should carry as less muscle tension as possible.

Meditation or pathworking

Meditation for 5-15 minutes mainly using the breath. Each tradition has its own techniques. I suggest inhaling through the nose, counting to 4. Holding the breath, counting to 4. Exhaling through the nose, counting to 4. Pausing counting to 4. Use the diaphragm, the chest. This is the four-fold breath of the Golden Dawn and it will balance the 2nd human body, the etheric body.

Declaring the Beginning

Begin by using the following phrase from the Eleusinean Mysteries: Hekas, hekas este veveloi (pronounced ve, e like air, the second ve is pronounced like venus, -loi is pronounced like Bruce Lee). It means: "away, away to be the profane".

Banishing ritual

Devotees of Hekate can use the banishing ritual of Tara Sanchez, Eyes of Heaven, written in her book The Temple of Hekate. Another good choice is The Sphere of Hekas from Protection and Reversal Magic written by Jason Miller. Another choice and my suggestion are the LBRP which is a standard ritual for the Golden Dawn practitioners. Of course, the experienced reader will think to change the first two rituals and maybe invoke either the winds or aspects of the Goddess. Any banishing ritual should be a part of magician's daily routine for two reasons. To have a clean aura or sphere of sensation and to be effective when needed.

Circle casting

This stage is consisted of marking the area, cleansing it with water and salt and sealing with incense. Both Wicca and the Golden Dawn offer great rituals for this. 

Raising energy

According to the tradition you follow, you have to choose a technique for raising energy. The most common in Wicca is dancing. In the Golden Dawn, the sign of the enterer is used every time the practitioner passes the east.

Invocations

In the Golden Dawn, the elements are invoked at this stage. But in Wicca, the elements have been invoked in the circle casting stage. Next, the invocation of the Gods starts. Here hymns can also be used to praise the Gods, after they have been invoked in the circle. Also, offerings should be left after the invocation.

Main Working

Any kind of ritual or meditation practice will be practised at this stage.

Finishing

At this stage, the main working has ended and the environment should return to its initial energy form. In Wicca, we perform the Cakes and Wine and then the Departing rituals. In the Golden Dawn, the practitioner purifies again the circle, as in the beginning, with water and incense, then walks counterclockwise to dissipate the energy and it also does a departing declaration. The ritual finishes with the LBRP so that any entity left should leave and then there is the declaration that the temple is closed, similar as in Wicca.

Of course, if someone doesn't have the time or energy to perform a full ceremony, he can start with the LBRP, basic cleansing, LIRP, invocations, main ritual, farewell to the entities, LBRP.

Notice: This is not an article for the beginners who have no idea or skills or education on the above rites and stages. A beginner should start by learning a valid tradition and practising its techniques for at least 6 months on a daily basis.

"Divine Light cannot be poured into broken vessels." -Chic & Sandra Tabatha Cicero, The Essential Golden Dawn, Llewellyn 2004

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