This book is full of many of the rituals I’ve designed, collaborated on, and performed over the past twenty years. I’ve organized them in a way that reflects the seasons of the wheel: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Spring is for birth; Summer for fertility, motherhood, and fruition; Autumn for the Harvest, harvesting, graduation, and speaking with our ancestors; and Winter is for death, emptiness, and hibernation. Whether it’s a ritual for a seasonal celebration or a stage of our life, they can all be represented by the seasons.
There are two sabbats in each season that many pagans celebrate. I made sure to share at least one of these rituals for each sabbat. This is mainly because over time, I created a liturgy for the spiritual group, and our rituals were pretty much the same each year, unless one of the members of the circle wanted to write and lead something totally different. But, those are not for me to share. For a few of the sabbats I couldn’t decide on which one to share, I put in more than one.
On to the seasons…
Spring is the time for new beginnings. So I chose a few spring rituals, as well as baby blessings, house cleansings, weddings and handfastings, and even a ritual for setting intentions and a biker blessing. As for the weddings and handfastings, these will be a big part of the book, as I’ve done hundreds of them over the past couple of decades. I didn’t put them all in here. These are only a sampling. I chose ones that are completely unique in their design, and some that are similar to each other but have a unique piece in them. Instead of making a wedding chapter, I left them in spring, where I feel they belong. Also, instead of parsing out parts in similar weddings, I left the complete wedding intact so the flow of the ritual could be seen.
Summer is the time for Motherhood and renewal. So I chose a few summer rituals, along with a healing ritual, Mother’s Day ritual the kids in the Sacred Flame Circle organized, and a renewal of vows.
Autumn is the time for the Harvest, both with the land and in life. Therefore, I chose to add two Autumn rituals, an Empty Nest ritual, a Graduation Ceremony, and Healing/Release ritual.
Winter is the time of death and letting go. So I chose two Winter rituals, a couple of funerals, a miscarriage ritual, and a Dark Moon ritual.
Before exploring the seasons, we’ll start with a little terminology of words you’ll come across in the book that you may not be familiar with. Then, I’ll move on to basics about how to create rituals and sacred space, which many of us use when designing rituals. This is meant to give you a good foundation on how to design your own rituals.
After looking through all the rituals I’ve shared here, it should give you an idea about flow and how pieces work together. That’s a large part of ritual. You can have all the pieces, but if there isn’t flow, it can become stilted.
So, take a breath and let’s step into the world of ritual.