Courtesy of ~Lady Hecate~
Ritual Bath – participants bathe to symbolically cleanse the body and free the mind from daily care and bring its power to bear on the purpose of the ritual at hand.
Lighting of the Temple candles – This is a visible signal of the beginning of the ritual. All candles should be lit except for the Altar/Goddess candles and Quarter candles.
Consecration of Participants – The Witch anoints herself with oil and thus named sacred/holy/vehicle of the Goddess within. She may say “I am Goddess ___________.” This oil also opens up the mind’s eye.
Sweep the Circle – this is done with your besom to sweep out negativity and sweep in positive energy.
Cast the Circle – Creation of sacred space. The circle forms a boundary between the everyday world and the Magickal world now being entered. As you cast the circle, see the blueish light being formed. Also, when done casting the circle, walk around and “feel” the boundary which you have just created and know that is there. This is very important. As mentioned before, some Witches prefer using a Sickle to cast the Circle of Hecate. The sword and/or athame is more of a man’s tool and not that of a woman. The sickle is the symbol of the Crone–of harvesting and death. In hunter-gatherer societies, women were responsible for gathering and harvesting plant material. When cultivation began as a result of Demeter’s gift of wheat, it was the women who were instrumental in the harvest. Hence, the sickle is an appropriate (and ancient) women’s tool. Its crescent shape further identifies it with the Moon and so with the Goddess. It is the waxing and waning crescents of the Moon. The sharp edge represents the gift of discernment–the ability to know what needs to be cut away–either to promote growth/provide food or to remove disease/the unwanted. As the Priestess walks around casting the circle, she visualizes a bluish white beam of light/power extending from the tip of the sickle to the ground. This beam marks the actual boundary of the Circle.
Cleanse and purify the water, fire and incense. Salt is already cleansed and purified. We just say a little blessing over the salt honoring its perfection.
Cleanse the circle with the salt and water with a chant.
Cleanse the circle with the fire and incense with a chant.
Evoke the Goddess Quarters – Calling on the elemental rulers, Mighty Ones, or the Goddess of that Quarter to come guard the Circle and to lend their powerful aid to the rite and the participants.
Ceremony of the Triple Goddess – I have a Triple Goddess Candle holder sitting on the altar. I ask the Maiden to join us and then She speaks; I ask the Mother to join; then She speaks her words of wisdom; Then as ask the wise old Crone, and She speaks. I light each candle as I evoke the Maiden, Mother and Crone. These can be found in my Goddess Quarter Chants.
Invocation of the Goddess – Calling on Her to join the Circle, to aid the Magick and to guide you. The Charge is said. I have made my own by taking different information that I have gathered over the years and made it into a Charge of the Goddess Hecate.
Then stop and look around your circle and feel the presence of everyone. Many people just zoom right through this without feeling the presence of the Goddess and the Mighty Ones.
Magick is Done – Then do your body of ritual or intent of ritual like candle magick to rid negativity that has built up throughout the month, if you are doing a dark moon; to something positive if you are doing a Full Moon. Most anything you do, you can use a candle……from magick, or to honoring something. You can inscribe whatever it is on your candle and then anoint the candle with appropriate oil and splash your consecrated salt and water from you altar on the candle and run it over top the incense in your cauldron and then light the candle. As you are doing all of this, you are thinking what the purpose is and envision what you want to envision. I always light the spell candle from the Goddess candle, and as I light the spell candle, I say what this is for either silently, if you are in a coven and this is sacred to you, or if a solitaire, then out loud. But everything you do sets the mood of your ritual and the true essence of it. Build your cone of power and then send it off.
Blessings of the Cakes and Wine – I do not use what is called the symbolic Great Rite, as first off, it is a Wiccan tradition and not something Witches did long ago. If I did the Great Rite, I think the appropriate time would be at the Beltane Sabbat and not at all during Moon rituals. I bless and consecrate the cakes and wine but I do not do the “athame into chalice” which is the Great Rite in its symbolic form.
Toasting to the Goddess – I toast and pay homage to the Goddess and place wine and cakes in the libation bowel.
Then sit and relax a bit - Drink your wine and feast on your cakes. This not only helps you to relax but also to ground yourself.
Thank the Goddess – When it is time for the ritual to come to and end, thank the Goddess for Her attendance at your rite. (I never recommend anyone to “dismiss” the Goddess, as I think those words are not appropriate.
The Triple Goddess is released - starting with Crone, then Mother, then Maiden.
Quarters are released – Many witches go widdershins in releasing the Mighty Ones.
Call back the cast circle into your staff or sickl – power cast and then wasted is a shame. Many Witches call back that power into their staff. Many Witches go widdershins in calling back the circle into their sickle or staff.
Circle is opened but unbroken – circle is opened but unbroken. May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart; Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet again.
Whew! You’re done. But once you get it all down on paper in a ritual format, the rest is easy. I recommend putting your standard ritual setup in written form in its entirely. It not only helps the ritual go smoother, but you will not forget anything.
Yes, it is a lot to do if you are a solitaire but then your circle is never boring! I use to do it when I was a solitaire. Each time you do a ritual in the same manner, the same words, the same way, the stronger your ritual becomes. I have been using the same chant for casting my circle, for calling in the Mighty Ones, sweeping the circle, etc., for years and my circle cooks. You can get the chants that I have talked about in this website. Just before a ritual, I always go over my ritual format and read it through and through so that I do not stumble over the words and everything runs smoother. Also, it helps set the mood instead of just starting the ritual without any preparation. Even a few hours before ritual will help you in your preparation and setting the mood. I even go to my temple room and burn some incense a few hours before ritual begins. Naturally, if you want, you can add some other personal touches to your ritual.