No matter how you choose to celebrate the Sabbat, choose your tools, your locations and your ritual with great care. If you are new to the craft of ritual and to paganism please keep in mind that not only do you need to consider the physical and emotional factors involved in the ritual, you also need to make sure you understand the energies you are dealing with. All of these things will affect the outcome of your ritual.
Before you perform any ritual, you need to prepare. Since all of these things take some consideration, we’ll talk about them separately, and I would love to hear from you about what you do and how you like to plan and prepare for your rituals. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, no one way works for everyone, but there are things that we all need to do to ensure that our rituals have their intended outcome, and that we follow the reed. “And it Harm None, Do as You Will.”
Any time you prepare for a ritual, you need to think about the purely physical aspects of setting up and conducting the ritual. For instance, you must decide where you will conduct the ritual. Will you work indoors or out? Much of this will be determined by things like the time of year and whether you are in the country or the city? Obviously, the country will allow you more flexibility in your choices, but there is nothing wrong with an indoor ritual. You can set up an altar in any place you have cleansed.
There are other factors that can help you decide whether you want to work indoors or out. What clothing do you prefer for ritual, and what activities you will include in your ritual? Will you use candles, or a brazier? If you have flames, you will want to choose your clothing accordingly, and not choose anything too loose or blousy. If you are using oils, which oils will you use? You will want to get a list of oils that are safe to breathe, especially if you are indoors, and keep your room ventilated well if you are using not only oils, but also if you are using anything such as sulfur, for example. Will you work alone or with a group? That can also help determine where you will conduct your ritual
What about your altar? What kind of an altar will you use? Do you have an altar that is set up all the time, or do you have one you only have out for ritual? If you have one that is set up all the time, is it something that can be moved if you decide to perform your ritual in a different location, or do you need a portable altar as well? If you are outdoors, you will want to make sure that the altar cloth is weighted down if there is any wind, or if you plan to call the wind. Again, if you are outdoors, you will want to check your surroundings if you are using fire of any sort in your ritual.
You will want to make sure you have all your tools available. Do you have your altar, your altar cloth, a candle snuffer and candles, a wand if you use one, bells, and a brazier or oil diffuser of some sort? Do you have or a mortar and pestle? Do you have an athame? If you want to make your own oils, or use herbs, you will need one. Every person uses different tools. Choose yours carefully. Next week we’ll look at preparing emotionally.
If you have suggestions that you would like to share with new practitioners, please share them here.