The Art of Ritual

Reading Time: 3 minutes

HeatherAsh Amara


Here are a few simple guidelines to create a ritual, all of which can be modified. Whether you are creating a ceremony or ritual for yourself or for a thousand people, these guidelines help create a grounded flow. Be flexible, fluid, and bendable. Ritual is art, not science.

1- Create the Container

Questions to ask:

  • What is your intent for the ceremony or ritual?
  • How much time do you have?
  • What time of year is it?
  • How many people is the ritual/ceremony for?

The first step to ritual is to move out of our daily world into a world of magic and possibility. Create a sense of the sacred by lighting incense or candles. Pick smells or colors that support your intent


Use pictures, statues, fabric, toys, natural objects, or crafts to create a place for meditation, reflection, or inspiration. Altars can be for used as a general anchor or for a specific intent.

General ideas:

  • Favorite deity or guide as centerpiece
  • Object for each element in the four corners
  • Candle and crystals
  • Found and natural objects
  • Bowl of water with flowers

Specific ideas:

  • Ask what will reflect the specific thing you are working on back to you?
  • Objects geared towards the time of year
  • Abundance altar: money from around the world, overflowing fruit baskets, pictures of what you want to manifest
  • Releasing a relationship altar: pictures, writings, candle with intent to release person as it burns down, box that put old things in with open box for new space
  • Dedication to spiritual path: a picture of an open road or beautiful inspirational nature shot, your favorite superhero to remind you your power to move past all obstacles, favorite spiritual books, tarot card or animal ally card, amethyst to hold your spiritual intent

Dream big!

Call in the elements, directions, and or guides

  • Air: Mind, east, dawn, new beginnings, spring, the word, sound, wind
  • Fire: Spirit, south, noontime, energy, summer, sustaining the spark, passion, creativity
  • Water: Emotions, west, twilight, deepening, fall, release, opening to all that is
  • Earth: Physical body, north, midnight, winter, silence, ancestors, animals, rocks and trees


  • Deities, power animals, ancestors, teachers…

Purify yourself or the space

  • Draw a circle of rocks or salt to work within
  • Imagine yourself in a place you love
  • Honor the seasons, quarter, or cross quarter days

2- Release the OldDoing release work makes the obstacle conscious, which then gives you the ability to release it, or a piece of it. For both releasing and bringing in, use the elements of air, fire, water, and earth and your own creativity.

Questions to ask:

  • What can you release to bring more space into your life?
  • What emotion, pattern, agreement, or fear is keeping you stuck?
  • What are you willing to let go of?


  • Write down your fears or emotion you want to release and burn the paper (fire), bury it (earth), tie it in a tree (air), or wash the ink off (water)
  • Dance, tone, chant, or speak out the pattern, emotion, or fear
  • Hold the emotion or pattern consciously, exaggerate it, and then let it go
  • Do a visualization or meditation to gain clarity
  • With a partner, speak the fear or pattern to release it

3- Invite in the NewYou must open and trust what is for your highest good…

Questions to ask:

  • What do you want more of in your life?
  • How can you open to bringing this in?
  • What emotion, new agreement, or reframe do you want to experience?


  • Write down your fears or emotion you want to bring in and burn the paper to bring more energy (fire), bury it to ask for grounding (earth), or tie it in a tree to fly (air)
  • Dance, tone, chant, or speak the pattern, emotion, or state you want to create
  • Hold the emotion or pattern consciously and anchor it in your body
  • With a partner, speak what you want or your new truth to bring it in
  • Do a visualization or meditation to ask for guidance and open to the new

4- IntegrateQuestions to ask:

  • What do you want to bring back with you into the world?


  • Meditate
  • Sit in silence
  • Eye gaze with a partner
  • Writing or make artwork

5- Open the Circle

  • Release anything you called in at the beginning of the ritual/ceremony
  • Re-set your intent
  • Feast! Many rituals and ceremonies end with good food and communing.

Image by Day Schildkret, MorningAltars

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