This was written in response to a person who wanted more information on these sections of the Ritual Creation Worksheet:
I’m glad to hear you’ve found the RCW handy and I’d be happy to help out however I can. My definitions aren’t necessarily perfect, but I’ll at least give you a sense of what I was thinking when I wrote it.
Energy to be Used:
There are a number of sources of energy that people can tap in magical work. Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, your personal preferences, and suitability to a task. A summary of how I personally view these options:
- Personal energy is using the energy that resides within you, your Yin and Yang energies, your sexual energies, your intellectual or physical abilities.
- Divine energy is calling on the energies whatever God/dess force you relate to and either having them give you energy to work with or having them work the energy themselves.
- Elemental forces are be the natural energies of the primal elements, either by requesting an action of them or directing the energy yourself. Chinese systems often use a five-element view of the Universe (metal, wood, water, fire, earth). Japanese uses five elements (earth, water, fire, wind, void). European systems typically use a four-element view (earth, air, fire, water).
- Ancestral energy represents the requesting or directing the spirits of your deceased ancestors (family) to perform something for you.
- Planetary / Celestial involves using the energy of the earth, other planets, moons or other bodies within our solar system to perform some work. It may also be seen as utilizing the symbolic representation of the planets (ie: Venus represents Love, Mars represents War, etc) to channel or direct other energies.
- Cosmic / Universal energies represent using energies that are prevalent throughout the Universe (not just our planet or solar system). Different people will have their own interpretations of what this may mean. Some people consider Reiki to be a Universal energy, while others consider it a Personal or Divine energy, for example. Others may not consider God/dess(es) as discrete beings, but as personifications of Universal energy.
- Fairy / Fey is working with the fairy (also called Fey) realms or fairies or other Fey entities either by request, bargain or direction (making them do what you want)
- Mythical Being is working with other classical and non-classical creatures and entities described in the worlds’ mythologies.
- Other would be anything else that can cause change. Demons, ghosts, your magical head of lettuce you found outside, whatever. (Though some of those could be classified as one of the above categories).
How will energy be raised / focused / banished:
For performing any type of work (magical or otherwise) you need a “motive force”, some form of energy that will be used to initiate change in the world around you.
As a mundane example, if you want the computer to type words, the typical motive force is physical, using your fingers to press keys. Alternatively, there are alternate input devices available that will allow you to type words by moving your eyes and blinking, using your tongue, pressing keys with a pointer in your teeth and now even purely mental devices you can train to control a computer using nothing but your thoughts and electrodes on your head.
This section lists a few of the options available in motive forces that can be used in a ritual:
- Chant / Song – Singing, chanting, hymns or other vocalizations that raise energy though vibration, harmony, resonance or trance-inducting effects
- Dance / Movement – Raising energy through physically moving your body with the intent to either raise your own personal energy or to channel other energy through you
- Meditation – Allowing your mind to focus on a particular point, or nothing, depending on the type of meditation you are doing. This can open you up making you more receptive to working with personal or external energies, allow you to better focus the energies you are working with, or provide you with a place of focus or stillness from which you can being your magical work.
- Guided Visualization – Similar to meditation, but typically involves another person providing directions or telling a story that guides your mind to a particular mental, physical, emotional and/or spiritual state.
- Prayer – Requesting of divinity attention or assistance with a particular goal. It can be worshipful energy directed from you to divinity as a sign of respect, gratitude, supplication or whatever reason may apply.
- Calling on Another Energy – Requesting or demanding the work or energy of anything other than you (see above list of energies to work with)
- Physical Movement – Similar to Dance / Movement, but more general, often associated with mimicing an animal whose energies you are trying to get in sync with, physical trials or challenges, or ritually significant movements that are associated with energies or mental states.
- Screaming / Emotional Release – Similar to Chant / Song, but typically involving more primal emotional releasing. Typically involves combinations of physical activity and emotional expression at the same time.
- Music – Using sound and vibration to raise or alter the energy of people or environments.
- Drumming – Similar to music, but such a popular ritual element it is broken out separately. Accentuates the percussive instruments of music over other forms. Does not always use typical musical instruments, any may involve percussion of the body (yours or someone elses’s) or banging any types of things together (hands, rocks, wood, etc).
- Sexual / Tantic – Using sexuality and sexual energies for ritual act. May involve imagined, real or simulated sexual acts. May involve orgasm, orgasm prevention or denial. As varied in application as people are varied in sexual tastes. Obviously, consideration for legal, moral, ethical and medical issues must be taken into account.
- Other – Any other way of raising energy. Walking peacefully around in natural settings, attending a NASCAR event, going to a concert or opera, or any other activity which changes your level of personal energy or your connection with external energies would be suitable here.
Just like after cooking a nice meal, when your cooking work is done you need to clean up. After you’re done using the energy of the oven to cook your food, you need to turn the oven off so that the oven can return to it’s natural “neutral” state of being a normal temperature, no longer consuming lots of energy and converting it into the heat “energy” you needed for your cooking “ritual”.
During a ritual, energy are raised, After ritual work is done, you need to return things and people back to a functional state. This means physically cleaning up the area (putting stuff away, putting out candles, etc), grounding participants and releasing any entities that assisted in the magic.
Failure to do this results in a messy ritual area, owners of the ritual space won’t invite you back if you leave a mess, people who are left ungrounded can be become spacey, sick, pass out and be otherwise unsafe to drive or operate heavy machinery, sometimes for days. Failure to release entities who assisted you can result in angry god/dess(es), pesky fairies, dangerous elementals and other unpleasantness.
Dissolving Circle / Protection
- Taking down / Opening circle – If you form a protective circle of energy at the beginning of the ritual, take it down. How you do this varies by the group you are working with. Some say to undo things in the same direction as you created them, others say to reverse the directions and “unwind” it.
- Releasing those Invited / Invoked / Summoned / Called – Depending on who/what you brought in and how you brought them in, request, allow or demand that they return or leave.
- Thanking God/dess(es) / Divinity – If you’ve requested assistance from divinity, thank them for their attention and assistance. It never hurts to be polite to those much larger and more powerful than you!
- Breaking Wards – If you have used protective runes or other magical symbols to secure your magical area, break them when you are done so you are not leaving any unwanted barriers lying around. Nobody likes walking into an unseen energetic “glass wall” unexpectedly.
- Cleaning Up – Physically clean up. If was spilled, scrape it up. If you got glitter all over the carpet, vacuum it up. Whatever you physically have done to the space, physically undo it (unless you are intentionally leaving it there for ritual reasons).
- Energy Release – Most commonly, whatever form of energy raising you used, use the same thing in reverse to bring levels back down within your group. If you used drumming to raise the energy by starting slow and quiet and becoming louder and faster, drum again starting loud and fast and move back to slower and quieter. Just as you want to leave the environment physically in the same or better shape as it was before you started, you want to do the same with the energy.
- Grounding Leader – In many rituals the leader of the ritual is tasked with focusing or channeling the energies being worked with. This can be either totally exhausting or leave them high as a kite. Either way, you want to bring their energy levels back up or down to roughly what their energy level was. For a good reference on this, read Ritual Maladies and Psychic Triage (In the RCW I’m using the generic term ‘grounding’, meaning ‘get them back to a normal level’, not the literal term described in the Psychic Triage section) .
- Grounding Participants – Just as you did for the leader of the ritual, check with everybody else present that they are also okay and take appropriate steps to get them back to normal if they aren’t.
- Breakdown of Ritual Space – The mundane act of putting all your ritual tools and stuff away. Redundant to “Cleaning Up”, but important enough to put in twice.
- Other – Anything and everything else needs to be done after your ritual is complete.
Hopefully this answered all your questions. If not, let me know and I’ll send some more.