More often we get invited to functions from other religions and belief groups. These different groups have different and set ways of doing things. New people and visitors often face difficulty in adjusting to the ways of the function or ceremony. Wicca ritual ceremony is no different, as there are set standards of doing things and mannerisms that need to be adhered to during this time. It is, therefore, crucial for a new believer or a visitor to enquire about the ritual regulations to avoid any form of embarrassment or confusion.
A way of enquiring about this is through online research, or by asking the person who invited you. Doing this, you will feel more comfortable and safe at the ritual ceremony. These rules run from before, during, and after their performance.
- Be on time. Much as the ritual ceremony may take a while to kick off, come in early so that you can familiarize yourself with the environment and the people.
- Come dressed in the appropriate attire. Some ceremonies may not have a required attire, but come dressed in loose clothing to avoid any strain or discomfort. However, do not wear printed t-shirts, it could have distracting messages. Other ceremonies require specific attire like robes, perhaps in distinct colors. For the skyclad, the ceremony is done in complete nakedness. It all depends on the kind of ceremony, therefore enquire about the dress code beforehand so that you dress accordingly.
- Have the right jewelry. Jewelry is very symbolic in Wicca; wear the right jewelry that will not send the wrong message. Some jewelry is reserved for high priests and priestess and therefore if you wear them, you might be given responsibility that does not belong to you or that you do not know.
- Ask for what you should come with so that you can plan in advance. If it is food, bring natural foods.
- Be courteous and respectful to everyone.
- If you have any magical request, consult with the high priest or priestess.
During the Ritual
Ritual performances typically take more or less two hours. Therefore, if you are planning to be somewhere else after the ritual, it is better that you do not attend the ritual ceremony, or postpone your next plans. It could be very distracting to leave while the ritual is ongoing, and some energy could even be lost.
Before discussing the rules and regulations during the rituals, it is important that you first familiarize yourself with the ritual process:
- First is to cleanse yourself; everyone who will be involved must first perform this step. It involves cleaning your hands in a bowl, sweeping by a besom, burning incense, or sprinkling of salt water.
- After cleansing, then you invoke the gods by calling on their presence. This varies between covens, as each tends to adhere to an absolute god. This includes the four elements: water, air, fire, and earth.
- The circle is then cast by either drawing a solid circle using a magical tool or holding hands. You need to concentrate your energy while doing this step.
- The intention of the gathering is mentioned. This is usually done by the high priest or priestess.
- There is a session of drama, singing, and dancing.
- The opening of the circle. This is the reverse of the third step.
- Feasting and fellowship. At this point, you can leave at your pleasure.
Now that the ritual process is evident, the following are proper mannerisms during the ritual:
- Follow instructions. Unlike other ritual performances, Wiccan rituals are very involving, where each member in attendance is supposed to actively participate. Follow the directions given to you during the ritual process. Enquire about rules and regulations or simply follow what the others are doing. If you are not sure about the words in a chant or song, just hum along.
- Switch off your phone. If you are expecting a call, better plan to call back later. It is rude and distracting for a phone to ring when others are focused on the ritual.
- It is wrong to get into the circle while drunk or under the influence of any drugs, or while chewing.
- Avoid touching things that do not belong to you, like magical tools and jewelry. These tools are usually charged with their owner’s energy and touching them will require them to charge them again.
- Once inside the circle, keep focus and avoid leaving the circle. But if need be, ask someone to cut a door for you, and do the same when you rejoin the circle. For this reason, go for a nature call beforehand.
- Keep silent unless asked to speak to the high priest or high priestess.
- If you are not in agreement with what they are doing, or your belief does not permit you, then politely decline on a certain step and join in later with what you agree with. However, avoid criticizing and badmouthing the performance.
Children have a little understanding regarding ritual performances. Therefore, it is best not to bring them to the ceremony, as they will only be a source of distraction. The same goes for animals.
After the Ritual
Most ceremonies feast after or during the ritual. It involves mostly dining and a little chit chat with attendees, and clearing the area following the feast.
- When offered a drink and some food, be thankful and remember to leave some for libation.
- Do not take photos with people unless they are ok with it.
- It is only polite that you remain behind and help clean and clear the area.