In Wicca, as in most religions, ritual is a way to contact the Divine. Rituals are observances, somewhat parallel to a church service or mass and can be performed alone, in a coven or as part of an Open Circle. Some prefer a formal or traditional ritual, while others prefer spontaneity. Just like everything else Wiccan, each Witch may perform his or her ritual differently. Below is a very basic ritual outline. Some Witches do much more, some less. Once again, the choice is yours.
Purify Sage, saltwater, sounding or incense are used to cleanse your body and mind, and the space where you will have your ritual.
This is simply putting yourself in the right mood and to put your focus on the ritual you are about to perform.
You can play soft relaxing music and light candles and incense. You can take an ritual bath. A ritual bath is a relaxing bath with bath oils and natural bath salts. For a real good effect, put candles and incense around the bathtub and just enjoy yourself. When you're done with the bath, you might annoint yourself with frankincense or sandalwood oil and sit down and meditate for a little while. Whatever it is you do, the point is to forget the stresses of life and focus on the ritual.
Ground Tree of life meditation, yoga, drumming, breathing, sound, movement. Anything that allows you to let go of distractions or stressors that keep you from fully participating in sacred space. Connect to the earth's energy.
Cast the Circle Use an athame, crystal, finger, sound, visualization to define your own sacred space and help to focus energy. In each direction, draw an invoking pentacle in the air with one of these tools. When casting the circle, make sure to return to the direction where you began and ground the energy in the center when you finish.
This is simply creating you sacred space to worship within.
Invoke Directions/Elements Call in the east/air, south/fire, west/water, north/earth and center/balance. Use words, movement, song, physical manifestations (i.e., dip your fingers in water to invoke west) or drums; whatever you are comfortable with.
Invoke Goddess and God Pick an aspect of the Goddess and/or God that suits the work for the night. Some traditions only invoke the Goddess (Dianic Wicca); others invoke both; others invoke non-sexed identified spirits or forces. Invoke the aspects of deity that suit your purpose--a goddess of justice such as Athena for a reversal spell, a god of the forest for protecting wild areas near your home. Invocation can be through spoken word, silent meditation, dance, song or any other way you choose to invite deity into your sacred circle.
This is one of the most important parts of a ritual. The purpose of rituals are to connect with the Goddess and the God. It is simply a prayer, rhyme, song, dance, or gestures to commune with the Deities. Feel free to write you own invocations. It helps when you are memorizing them for them to rhyme but they don't have to. Do what you feel is right for you. This is your time to talk to the Deities, just do it in love and your ritual will be blessed.
Complete the Work Every ritual should have an intent. World peace, personal healing, spell work, celebration of a holiday or moon phase, meditation, initiation, etc. This section of the ritual can take the form of a craft, a meditation, or a poem/written statement.
This is where you perform spells and use divination. You don't have to do this everytime you perform a ritual, but do so if you have need of it. Many wicca's perform magick during rituals because Sabbats and Full-Moons are very powerful times of the year and have an abundance of energy.
Once you have finished performing magick or divination, sit and let yourself feel the energies of the worship area and think about the Deities and the relationship you have with them. Take your mind off of all the ritual performance and relax for a moment.
Raise the Cone of Power Drum, dance, sing, visualize energy to energize your ritual work. Works best in groups when there is an agreed upon visualization or intent. Focus the energy towards your intent to make your wish a reality.
Devoke Make sure to thank and send away the energies that you invite. Generally done in the reverse order that you invoke, i.e., thank and dismiss God, Goddess, elements, open circle.
Eat It's very important to eat something after ritual to help you ground after working magickal energy. Bread, cheese, or crackers are great--and make sure to have them ready before you start your ritual!