Private rituals are generally easier as you're more in control of what's happening. But public ritual can be brilliant: Empowering for the organisers, those who attend, and the campaign you are focusing on. But to do it right takes a little preparation and care.
Be prepared for drunks, fools, troublemakers & psychologically vulnerable people. Obviously, this depends on how open the ritual is & the context.
Be very clear about the intent and structure of the ritual. Carefully explain before the ritual what is going to happen and why. Try to ensure that everyone knows what is going on; being in the middle of a working without a clue as to what is happening isn't very empowering! You may need to run through the ritual two or three times before people feel comfortable.
Everyone should be grounded at the start and grounded at the close of the ritual. Be careful to ground everyone properly before they leave, especially if it's a powerful working with people unfamilier with magical work.
Keep it simple and avoid monologues or long potentially dull sections. If you have a circle of 30 people and you spend 30 seconds carefully smudging each one you will have a very bored circle standing doing nothing for nearly 15 minutes! So, keep each part of the ritual brief and involve everyone wherever possible. The Dragon basic ritual is a good start.
Ideally have people who are prepared to act as watchers & can keep an eye out for anyone likely to freak out or cause trouble.
Reclaiming have created special roles to help at public rituals. Some or all of these might be appropriate depending on the ritual.
All rituals need a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end. This could be as simple as ringing a bell, saying a short prayer or dedication to indicate that the ritual has started. The middle is where you seek to achieve whatever the purpose of the ritual is. To end, make sure the ritual is properly closed. Again, this could simply be a bell ringing, or a "thank-you", or something more elaborate.
Often during a ritual something comes up that encourages a departure from the predetermined plan. It's wise to be prepared to think on your feet!
Keeping a Record
It's useful to keep a record of your rituals so that you
can repeat them in the future.
Gathering everything that you'll need: candles, a lighter, herbs, etc. Tidy up the area a bit. Check that everything is close at hand. Avoid the possibility of interruption when you're working. Disconnect the phone and switch off the mobiles etc. Make sure everyone is clear about and comfortable with what's happening in the ritual. Some groups begin preparing psychically at least a week ahead of the ritual. If it's practical it will enhance the working. If you're working outdoors, check with the Spirits of Place that it's OK for you to work there. If not, move on.
Ideally, everyone should be in a calm, relaxed, and reflective space. So, some warm-up exercises are helpful. If it's a small circle, and you have time, a Check in is a great start. Each person is given space to say how he or she feels, without interruption, for as long as they wish. This is an excellent opportunity for releasing tensions and generally clearing the air if there is any emotional stuff hanging around. Ground. Use anything that allows you to let go of distractions or stresses that keep you from fully participating in sacred space. Connect to the earth's energy.
The circle is like a mixing bowl. It keeps unwanted stuff out, keep your magical energies focused, and creates a meeting place between the worlds.
There are many ways to cast a circle. For a public ritual, the Dragon style of passing a sacred object works well, though this can take a while if there is a large circle and each person takes time to connect. If in doubt, ask people to keep the object and the energy moving.
Alternatively, visualize a small ball of light in the middle of the circle. Now, humming or chanting, everyone puts energy into the ball, seeing it gradually grow until it expands outside the circle of people.
Invite 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. See Rituals)
Invite any deities you want to work with. Invoke the aspects of deity that suit your purpose. Invocation can be through spoken word, silent meditation, dance, song or any other way you choose. Perform the workNot every ritual will be about magical work; it might be a simple celebration.If you are working magic, state your purpose to the deities/god(s)/goddess(es), then raise the Cone of Power. Drum, dance, sing, chant, visualize energy, etc. After raising enough energy, release it and quickly ground. Put any magical energy that's still with you into the Earth.
Food is important after a ritual to ground you. It's a good idea to offer some to the Elements, Deities, etc. before you eat. It's a good space to share feelings and experiences and give yourself some to reflect upon, absorb, and assimilate that which you have experienced. Cakes and wine are traditional, but be sensitive to peoples needs and provide a non-alcoholic option especially in a public ritual.
Inspiration:Clarifying the intention:
Manifestation:The ritual itself, creating sacred space:
Setting the Mood and Declaration of Intention:
Invocation and Direction of Higher Energies:
Blessing and Closure:
Grounding/Completion Breakdown of Sacred Space:
Emotional Process 2:
Old Ways - Lessons and Materials. Recommended
How to Create Rituals