Words & Images from the Modern Tradition of Witchcraft The Modern Traditional Witch

The Ritual Arts

Ritual is a very misunderstood entity. When most people think of ritual, they picture a very intricate, ornate, long, and intense ceremony. Ritual can be that, but it's most often not. Humans are ritualistic beings (not unlike cats), and do certain things every single day in order to make progress within that day or evening. It helps to bring meaning and order into daily living. Despite its mundane nature, it's a form of ritual. So between these two extremes, we see that ritual is done to bring meaning, purpose, and order to something. It can be very elaborate, or simple, as long as it works for you.


The following is one of my favorite explanations of ritual:


"It is believed that the human need for some kind of formal, often public acknowledgment of significant events is one of the fundamental forces of our development as social beings. At the same time, ritual allows us to transcend our individual selves to gain a sense of participation with the greater environment of the forces controlling our singular and communal destinies." - John T. Nelson, A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine


Ritual is also "a fusion of the powers believed to be inherent in the persons, objects, relationships, events, and histories which are represented by the ceremony itself." ­- Victor Turner


Types of Ritual

-seasonal- honoring a specific moment of the climatic cycle

-contingent- personal transition/crisis

-divinatory- revelation/divination

-protective- ensures health/safety

-ancestral- honoring the deceased



  • Three Rituals To Draw Down The Moon (1999)

    These rituals are simple and elegant. The focus for these rituals is the idea that the three aspects of womanhood (maiden, mother, crone) are present in the phases of the moon. The moon is an important subtle influence on our lives, and it truly does empower oneself to mark its travel through the sky.


    All of the following are incantations and poems written and copyrighted by Tempest. Please feel free to copy these into your grimoire, but please do not reproduce them in printed or public form without contacting me first for permission.


    Draw Down The Moon

    And out of the darkness the Goddess created Her children. She took of Herself and hung the sun in the sky to warm them when She could not, and the moon to protect them at night, watching their dreams.


    The following is a set of incantations and a poem to be used in ritual. To make a more complete ritual, invoke the elements as they are suggested in parentheses.


    Draw Down the Moon -the poem

    And she the priestess,

    daughter of Earth, worker of magick

    Gazed to the sky where Mother stood;

    vivid, luminous, ever-vigilant, waxing, swelling.

    The priestess began then to dance and sway and chant,

    invoking the Mother.

    She danced for three days and three nights,

    following the Mother as She traveled through the sky.

    On the third night the Mother turned Her full face to Earth,

    And She saw Her daughter dancing,

    And She moved through the night to join her.

    Down and down, lower and lower

    She came, swaying with Her daughter,

    illuminating the world with Her intense beauty.

    And She drew down upon the priestess,

    drawing down until they were one;

    Powerful union of daughter and Mother,

    one and together in pure light

    Shining against the dark.

    -Tempest 1999




    To the Maiden -for the new and waxing moon

    the time to perform this ritual is anytime during the waxing moon


    Waxing Life, waxing love

    Woman of youth

    Bearer of joy and vitality

    Persephone, daughter of the Spring

    Artemis, virgin huntress of the night

    She of bright beginnings

    New, fresh, vibrant, strong

    I invoke thee Sister!

    In the East, Your breath begins life (light incense)

    In the South, Your fire bursts the seeds (light candle)

    In the West, Your water is lifeblood (place salt in water)

    In the North, Your earth is teeming with fertile promise (annoint body w/ blessed water)

    Everlasting Maiden

    Join this sacred circle

    And dance the dance of Life

    Rejoicing in Ourselves

    Light sister, dark sister

    Sky sister, earth sister

    Together we are One!



    To the Mother-for the full moon

    To be performed during the full moon


    Mother of all mothers

    She that was before there was all

    Creator, life-giver, Womb of the World

    First Woman of darkness and of light

    I invoke Thee tonight

    In the blessed East, Your breath invigorates my soul (light incense)

    In the sacred South, Your fire burns in my heart (light candle)

    In the holy West, Your waters are my blood (bless water with salt)

    In the mystic North, Your earth builds my temple (annoint self with water)

    Be one with me in flesh and spirit this eve

    Demeter, Gaia, Mokosh

    Swollen radiant Mother

    Watching and guarding Your creations

    I call upon You to join with me--Your daughter!

    Draw down Your spirit, Your grace, Your light

    With Your energy, Your might

    Fill Your daughter entirely

    So that she may serve You

    According to Your blessed will

    So mote it be!


    To The Crone -for waning and dark moon

    this ritual is to be performed during the waning moon


    Blessed Crone!

    Bearer of Wisdom and knowledge

    Bringer of Age, Keeper of Time

    Door of Death and Rebirth

    Behold Your child tonight!

    The East brings forth Your ancient breath (light incense)

    The South burns with Your scorching fire (light candle)

    The West floods with returning waters (bless water with salt)

    The North stirs with the dust of our bodies (annoint body with water)

    Waning is Life, but strong is Your will

    Hecate of the endless night

    Sophia of the sacred word

    Kali of the just revenge

    Baba Yaga, grandmother of all

    I invoke You!

    Draw down upon Your child

    And share Your sacred gifts

    In perfect love and perfect trust

    So mote it be!

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