HOW TO DESIGN RITUALS AND SPELLS

The Lesser Banishing Pentagram Can Be Used To Cleanse A Working Area When
Preparing, Or To Close A Spell Or Ritual Down. Be sure that all energies are
removed from the area. The LBR can also be written in before the opening and at
the closing. The LBR should definitely be incorporated in the following
instances:

There has been an argument or an extremely emotional outburst in the same room
you are working in within the last 24 hours.

There are guests attending that you have never met before.

One of your guests occasionally follows the left hand path (they could be
dragging something along with them).

The group contains possible inflammatory personalities.

Whenever you sense negative energies or the presence of hostility.

All Rituals Should Invoke A Deity. If other forces are invoked as well, always
invoke the deity first (this does not apply to calling the quarters). Elemental
energies should normally be invoked last (they are most likely the lowest form you will ever use). If calling elemental forces, always call on the Kings of the
Elementals before the elementals themselves.

Don’t Overkill In A Ritual/Spell. Figure out the ritual/spells purpose and build
slowly, incorporating all necessary items. Recheck your work. Add only a few
asides if necessary. Do not include overly long passages, poems, etc. No one
likes to stand around for forty-five minutes listening to a droning recitation.

Make Sure the Ritual Officers Are Not The Only Ones Doing The Work. At the very
least, every one should be joining in responses (such as so mote it be’ or ‘hail
and farewell’). Group participation can also be called upon at the calling of a
quarter. The group minds works together better if everyone is included at some
point.

Never Put Anything In A Ritual/Spell That You Do Not Understand. For example, if
you have never worked with elementals and don’t know how to address them or what
they are to do, don’t throw them in because it makes the ritual/spell look
elaborate. If invocations or other passages are in foreign tongue, don’t use
them because they sound cool. First, you must know exactly what you are saying.
Second, you must know how to say it. Often passages are important for their
tonal quality as well as their meaning.

Outline A Ritual/Spell Before You Write It, whether it is short or complex. You
do not want to miss any steps.

Make Sure You Know What Sort Of Energies and Step Elements Your Ritual/Spell
Needs For The Purpose You Have In Mind. You wouldn’t be dealing with ghosts at
Beltane. Keep the elements, steps, and goal in mind when writing rituals/spells.
You should have several source books from which to work. The best rituals/spells
are those you write yourself, or those the group mind has written for your
Tradition. However, in the past, groups and covens have dissolved out of sheer
boredom. Don’t let this happen to your group. Keep it interesting and keep it
Fun!

Major Rituals And Most Minor Works Should Have A High Point Or Climax Of Some
Sort. Ritual is dramatic vehicle and the intent of the participants is
strengthened by the excitement. The climax of the ritual should coincide with
something goal related to the group, the deity, or the season. If your ritual is
casting a spell, the climax of the ritual is the body of the spell, the rest of
the ritual should revolve around it. At Yule, the climax is the Goddess giving
birth to the new Son/Sun. Everything in ritual should revolve around a
particular theme.

Make Sure That The Words And Gestures Of The Ritual Suit Each Other. For
example, you wouldn’t cast a spell for Universal Love with a sword, or display
fruits or harvest props at a Yule ritual. Choose the correct incense, candle
colors, etc. These are as important as the invocation, which should be
especially designed for the ritual/spell.

Be Able To Recite Your Altar Devotion, Circle Casting, And Quarter Calls In Your
Sleep. Even if you mess up the rest of the ritual/spell or stumble somewhere
else, YOU SHOULD NEVER MAKE A MISTAKE ON THESE.

Try Not To Throw Rituals/Spells Together If You Can Help It. Good planning leads
to a great ritual. However, be prepared for missing people, upsets of various
kinds, missing notes, forgotten lines, etc. Humans are not perfect and errors
will occur. Do not act like it is the end of the world if a glitch nuzzles its
way into the ritual. A good high priest or high priestess can overcome all
difficulties without emotion.

Choose Your Quarter People And Other Players Wisely. Don’t always let the
experienced people do it. Make sure everyone in the group has several chances to
fill these positions. It is the only way they can learn. When you are teaching
someone else, or an entire group, learn when to step back and allow them to
perform, even if it is your favorite thing to do. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim. Sometimes the only
way you can tell if they are learning is to let them make mistakes. Likewise,
learn when to step in without being a know it all. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim.

If You Are Working With A Mixed Group (Yes, Boys and Girls) Try To Keep The
Ritual/Spell In Balance As Much As Possible. However it is okay to design a
ritual/spell where only the three faces of the Goddess, or the three faces of
the God, are the focal point. This will keep your rituals/spells interesting and
refreshing. Just don’t do it all the time.

Do Not Throw Your Degree Around In Rituals. In home rituals (seat of the coven)
do not delineate with unusual garb between degrees and do not relegate them to
special quarters.

When Attending Someone Elses Rituals/Spells Do Not Tell The Host How Bad Their
Ritual/Spell Was. Neither should you give it a rave review, then pick apart the
finer points. This is very bad breeding. They went to a great deal of trouble to
have you as a guest. Don’t consider yourself the most important person there,
because you are not. If you think they did a good job, say so. If you think you
could have done better, thats your business, but do not share this opinion on
your host. If you do, you’ve just put yourself beneath anything they could have
done wrong. If you are attending one of your own students rituals, likewise say
nothing that evening. Later, when the rush is over, you can go over the ritual,
step by step, and work out any bugs.

From 1996 Lwellyn Magical Almanac, by MaraKay Rogers and Silver Ravenwolf, page
200-203