Correspondence Charts
Magickal Tools: athame, chalice, cauldron, wand, inscence, herbs, etc
Prayer: communicating, invoking, evoking
Meditation: the art of listening
Magick: projecting one's will
Oracles: Tarot, Runes, etc
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DISCLAIMER: Some parts of the following rituals were taken and/or adapted from other sources. In those cases a numerical link leads to the appropriate reference and full credit to the original author. No copyright infringement is intended and if the author disapproves of my usage of their work, please e-mail me and I will take it down.


What's the Point of Ritual Anyway?

People often ask me why do I do it? What do I hope to accomplish through it? As if there is some selfish profit to be gained. I have always been at a loss for words at how to answer them. I do rituals to feel a sense of wholesome connection, a unity with the cosmos, a serenity that comes from knowing you are part of a grand harmony of life. It is a ceremony of setting aside of space, time, and mind to commune with the sacred, a way for us to shift our consciousness from the mundane and to reaffirm our existence in a wider reality. To honor something through ritual is to give it your full attention, your full sincerity, and your full trust.

I do rituals to attune myself with the turning of the seasons, to align myself with the changing moon phases, to flow with the natural current of energy abundant at that time instead of against it. I do rituals to express my love to the less physical beings all around me, to show that there are many who still value their presence, to thank them for the wonderful job they're doing in sustaining our mutual planet's ecosystems and ask how I could help. I do rituals to remind myself that life is full of enchantment, and that deep wisdom can be gleaned from things we often take for granted. I do rituals to express physically what I feel in my heart, and I hope it brightens the hearts of others.

Some people believe rituals are done to appease wrathful deities. Indeed, in the past it was believed that if certain seasonal rituals weren't performed, the seasons would not change and the sun would not rise (although this had more to do with "sympathetic magick" than wrathful gods). My attitude about it is somewhat different. The universe will go on with or without you, but by attuning yourself with it through ritual you have a better chance of understanding your place in it. Perhaps you will learn to surf its waves rather than swimming upstream, and will enjoy the ride a lot more.


Ritual Index

These are the eight festivals honoring the Sun, and focus on the changes in the God aspect of deity envisioned as spokes in the Wheel of the Year. They celebrate the turning of the seasons, and the cycles of birth, life, aging, death, and rebirth as evident in nature. The cycle of the sun follows the waxing and waning of light throughout the year, following the God from his death on Samhain, his rebirth on Yule, his growth and maturation through Imbolc, Ostara, and Beltane as the days grow longer, his peak of vitality on the longest day of Midsummer, his self-sacrifice through the harvest during Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain as the days grow shorter, and rebirth again on the shortest day of Yule. Integral to his transformations is the Goddess who is always by his side, to whom he is both son and lover.

Though solar holidays are a global phenomenon, the ones I list here were adapted by Wicca and Neopaganism from the Celtic heritage and have an agricultural theme. Though most people in industrialized nations live far from such an intimate link with the land, it is important to remember that sowing and reaping are abstract concepts not limited to the fruits of the earthly harvest. They equally apply to matters of business, learning, and creativity as well. There are some variations on the dates. Some are due to astronomical reasons (the dates of solstices and equinoxes drift from year to year) while others are due to a temporal gap between old Celtic and modern western calendars. The Celtic year starts from death, not birth, and the Celtic day starts from evening, not morning. So the Celtic new year is actually on Samhain (Halloween), and the holiday begins the evening before the day itself.

Of course, each culture has its own plethora of holidays to celebrate the seasons, and it would perhaps be better to look into the festivals of your local culture, because they would perhaps make more sense in your immediate environment. It would also be wise to study the seasonal holidays of your own ancestors. But in either case, the seasons speak in such universal symbolism, that I doubt what you find will vary greatly between each other in the essential ideas.

(reverse the dates in Southern Hemisphere!)

(October 31-November 1)
(Winter Solstice, circa December 21)
(February 1-2)
(Vernal Equinox, circa March 21)
(April 31-May 1)
(Summer Solstice, circa June 21)
(August 1-2)
(Autumnal Equinox, circa September 21)


These are the festivals honoring the Moon, and focus on the changes in the Goddess aspect of deity: from Maiden to Mother, from Mother to Crone, from Crone back to Maiden. They celebrate the lunar phases and how life is affected by them. Most people that partake in Esbats do so exclusively on the full moon, but I honor both the full moon and the new moon. Indeed, you could celebrate every quarter, every eighth, or even every day of the moon cycle. Each cycle is seen as a lunar month with unique qualities, and some tailor each Esbat ritual to reflect these.

Generally speaking, the waxing half of the cycle represents the Maiden, and bears the energy of increase and invoking; the full moon represents the Mother, and bears the energy of climax and abundance; the waning half of the cycle represents the Crone, and bears the energy of decrease and banishing; and the new moon represents the transition between the Crone and the Maiden, and bears the energy of rebirth and new beginnings. Although the exact astronomical date of a moon phase is most relevant, the days adjacent to it could also be considered part of that phase, giving you a three day window.

Full Moon
New Moon


There are many other rituals besides Sabbats and Esbats, but they serve the same essential purpose of affirming and experiencing your connection with the object of the ritual.

(May 4 or 15)





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