Creating your own Ritual

From Circle Of The Crone

Provided by our friend kenaz, a Storyteller at

How do you conduct a pagan ritual IC? The first step, which should be undertaken before roleplaying the rite itself, is research.

What gods does your character believe in? Eclecticism is fine to a point, and plenty of ancient pagan practices melded with other ones (for example, the spread of the cult of Isis as far as the British Isles). But to act as though totally different practices meld together seamlessly is not only unlikely and dubious, but disrespectful.

The following sites contain information on different types of Reconstructive Paganism. The information on these sites tends to be of extremely high, historically-accurate quality. In no particular order:

In addition: unless your Crone is extremely young and/or naive, it's extremely doubtful that s/he is Wiccan, or borrows much of anything from Wicca. Wicca dates only from the 1950s (that is to say, it's not at all a traditional pagan practice). In fact, most of its rituals (such as casting circle, and calling the watchtowers) are directly borrowed from Hermetic ceremonial magick, which is more the realm of the Lancea Sanctum and, to a lesser extent, the Ordo Dracul. Moreover, the Wiccan Rede ("And it harm none, do what you will") runs directly counter to the Circle's teachings. In most Wicca there's no room for blood sacrifice. Try to stay away from Wicca and WIccan ideas in roleplaying your Crone. Stick to Pagan Reconstruction.

But what if you want to run a ritual and the above links aren't cutting it? You've done your research, and nothing's coming up? It really is best, for both accuracy and atmosphere, to find a real, solid pagan ritual for IC use, but in case nothing comes up, here's a basic format you can follow:

1) Purification

2) Statement of Intent

3) (In/E)vocation

4) Offering

5) Devocation

Here's an explanation of each:

1) PURIFICATION is partially the establishment of a sacred space, and partially the creation of a 'blank slate' for the rite to continue on. Some purifications include bathing, censing, or sprinkling of water.

2) The STATEMENT OF INTENT is probably one of the most neglected and most important elements of occult practice. It's actually relatively untraditional, developed within the last one or two hundred years, but it's very simple: the assembled worshippers/magicians state their intent, thereby focusing their willpower and energy during the rite. Example: "It is our will to conduct a full moon rite to honor the Morrigan." Easy, and it gets the purpose out there in the open.

3) Invocation or evocation is where things get more complicated. To define:

Invocation is pulling a deity/spirit/entity into yourself, such as in the case of possession.

Evocation is pulling a deity/spirit/entity outside of yourself. In other words, it is its own autonymous entity, existing outside of the worshippers, within the ritual space established during the purification. You should have a very firm notion of if you want to invoke or evoke.

In addition, neither of these can be done without a trance state! It's a common misconception that either one can be accomplished just with a few lines of poetry. There's no ecstasy in that. The worshippers should work themselves into an altered state of consciousness (good ways include drums, dancing, chanting, drugs, pain) until they honestly believe that the desired entity is in the space with them, one way or the other.

4) Once the (in/e)vocation is complete, the OFFERING takes place. It's necessary to somehow compensate the entity for giving its time and energy and coming to the rite. It's like throwing a party and promising free drinks for people who come - - they'll be much more willing to come then than if you just pass out an invitation. Your character is a vampire, and, therefore, really ought to offer blood of some sort.

Again - - do your research about what sort of a vessel the god or goddess you're calling on would like. If myth says that the goddess you're offering to had a lengthy tryst with a bull, it would probably be a very bad idea to sacrifice a bull's blood. If myth says that the god has a special 'fondness' for red-headed might do you very well to find a red-headed virgin to donate some vitae. In addition: remember that by definition, a sacrifice is giving up something. If you don't like what you're sacrificing, and would gladly give it up, all the power inherent to the gesture is gone. This is why the most powerful sacrifice a vampire can give is his or her own vitae. It's also advisable to ensure that whatever blood is sacrificed hits the ground in a libation, just to ensure that the power really gets through.

If you want to do Cruac in this ritual, combine it with the offering.

5) Finally, the DEVOCATION. The rite is done, and now you need to tie up the loose ends. Thank and say goodbye to whatever entities you've called up, but realize that forcing them to leave (or repeating the purification!) is as much of an insult as forcefully removing a guest from your home is. Bring yourself out of trance, and make sure that anything that was possessing anyone has left.

And...that's how you make your own pagan ritual, when research doesn't cut it.

- created by: kenaz -

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