Ritual Altar

Abbreviated, Not Gutted Ritual: Still Meaningul

Rituals: Streamlined but Not Truncated

In an ideal world, the Pagan working outside the home would be able to take off Sabbat days and observe ritual without guilt or repercussions.

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Federal law does allow for observance of holy days. However, some Pagans find that, in practice, taking off these days is a hassle, at the very least. Some Pagans who are not out of the broom closet may not feel comfortable in asking for these days off.

I find it helpful to do full ritual the weekend before the Sabbat, if the holy day falls on a weekday, and to do the same for Esbats, or moon (often, full moon) observances. On the actual day of the Sabbat or Esbat, though, I do an abbreviated ritual to honor the Lady and the Lord.

With this in mind, I offer the following ideas for streamlined rituals; feel free to combine any of the following tips.  Keep in mind that a ritual need not be complex in order to be “real”: if you connect to the Goddess and to the God, the ritual is authentic and “counts.” This is what is most important.

Streamlining Ritual Tips

1. Meditate upon Deity and the meaning of this observance, whether it be Sabbat or Esbat, to you.

2. Take a walk; enjoy nature and the tranquility it offers. Stop and smell the roses, or whatever flowers happen to be in bloom. If necessary, take allergy medication.

3. While at your desk, treat yourself to a floral arrangement or, better yet, a potted seasonal plant.

4. Treat yourself to a special lunch or dinner that contains foods associated with the observance.

5. Give back to nature: hang a birdhouse, work in compost around established plants, plan (and then later plant) a garden that will attract butterflies, such as the Monarch butterfly.

6. Give of yourself. Volunteer your time to a worthy cause, even if for an hour at a time.

7. Play music that is appropriate to the Sabbat or Esbat. Create playlists ahead of time; bask in the music.

8. Tap your inner child: draw your conception of the Lady and the Lord at the moment in the Wheel of the Year or at this particular moon phase.

9. Write a poem about the Sabbat or Esbat and/or about the Lady and the Lord.

10. Light a candle with a seasonally-appropriate scent, if allowed at your workplace; alternately, you can use a flame-less, scentless  candle.

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

Streamlining Ritual: My Wish for You

May all of your rituals touch your heart and connect you lovingly with the Goddess and the God. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

The Goddess and ritual

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

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