The Craft is to be experienced to be truly known. Reading a ritual can never satisfy the soul as actually doing a ritual can, in much the same way that reading recipes but never cooking will never satisfy the stomach. Through the vehicle of ritual, we can set a beautiful stage on which the Divine forces can converse with us. We can set a magnificent whirling vortex of power upon the altar. We can speak to gods and spirits, ancestors and elementals. We can explore the inner and outer worlds.
In my tradition, we have a handful of rituals that we repeat, with no variation except for certain circumstances. I consider this approach to be very useful because it carves a neural pathway, and thereby creates the ritual as a structure within the brain. The ritual is memorized and repeated until it can be done thoroughly in your head at ay time. It becomes a powerful tool for creating a magical space because of its familiarity. My rituals feel like home to me.
In addition to my tried and true rituals, I do often explore other rituals so as to broaden my horizons. In doing so, I bring a breadth of understanding to all of the work that I do that compounds upon the depth of my understanding of my own tradition. Tradition is meant to be a foundation, not a cage. I consider exploring and experimentation to be essential. Because magic is the essence of change, I consider it vital to never allow my magical practice to fall into a rut.
Whether the ritual is old or new, familiar or freshly-learned, doing the ritual with heart is what's most important to me. In many of the non-standard rituals I write and use, I write in words for the participants to say. Rather, I use stage directions to outline the flow of the ritual, and bullet points to outline what the speaker is going to be expounded upon. In doing so, I have the structure in place and the points I want to make in the ritual ironed out, but the details of the words themselves are left up to the spontenaity of the moment. It's a nice balance of ceremonial and organic practice.