Incense fills the air, blanketing the room in a dense smoke that smells of mystery and ancient knowledge. It’s after midnight; candlelight kisses the room in a undulating glow. A shruti box is playing, creating a solid drone of music that causes the hair on your arms stand up on end. Although you are only draped in a thin black cloak the room is warm, almost hot. Voices around you rise, repeating the words of a chant. There are only a handful of people in the room, but it sounds like there are hundreds of voices holding the words of the chant. The cauldron in the center of the room contains a fire that sparks and crackles. The witches are here and magick is happening.
If any muggles were to peer in through the windows, they would totally know that witchcraft is happening. This is what witchy as f*ck or #WAF is all about. When the fantasy of what witchcraft could be actually meets the real life experience of it.
The term WAF is a bit shocking, it’s bold and in your face. The use of a ‘curse’ word as a descriptor of magick is risky, but that’s what witchcraft is all about, right? As witches we want our rituals and practices to be witchy as f*ck. We want to get sucked into the mystery, the ineffable thing that makes what we do feel magickal, but that isn’t always what happens.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing magick or how long you’ve been a witch, not every ritual feels, well – magickal. Sometimes magick is more ‘crafty’ than ‘witchy’. Sometimes our rituals need to be quick, basic, and functional. These rituals are no less magickal and no less the practice of witchcraft, but when we can incorporate more WAF elements rituals can become transcendent.
As witches everything we do is witchy, but sometimes a ritual can be so magickal, so Otherwordly or, dare I say it, so fantastical that you walk away feeling completely transformed.
This is a rare gift.
Creating a ritual that is WAF is a delicate balance. Ideally a WAF ritual will have a solid plan, a good outline. A clear vision for a ritual can help direct the magick and energy. However, if you get too mired in the planning or caught up in the details you won’t fully be in the moment of the ritual. This can lead to rituals feeling stodgy or boring. In order to be WAF you need to have a solid outline or plan AND a willingness to go with the flow, course correct, and make adjustments to your plan as the ritual moves forward.
Most importantly, a WAF ritual requires each participant to allow themselves to fully immerse into the ritual. We have to be willing to suspend our muggle minds. Whether we are the ritual participant or the lead facilitator, we need to be willing to shed the outside world and fully step into whatever magick needs to come through. This takes practice and is never a sure thing, no matter how much of a ritual expert you might be.
Set the StageWith an outdoor ritual you have weather and temperature to contend with. This means having a Plan B if the weather or temperature won’t work with the original plan that you had created. You’ll also need to choose what rituals objects you will use carefully. It’s easy to lose items outdoors in the dark. Nothing ruins the momentum of a ritual than scrabbling around on the ground trying to find your athame in the dark.
A ritual indoors gives you the opportunity to control the environment more. The space can be decorated as lushly or simply as you desire. Give time to consider lighting, comfort, music, ritual objects, and so on. Look through your ritual outline and make sure that all the ritual items needed are already in the ritual space. You don’t want to break the ritual running into the garage to grab your cauldron.
No matter if you are indoors or out in nature keep in mind that we experience ritual will all of our senses. Create rituals that work to engage all of the senses. The visual experience is the most obvious, but don’t forget touch, smell, taste, and hearing.
Make Space for Mystery
In Reclaiming when we plan a big group ritual we write an outline of the order of events and who is going to Priestess them. Virtually every time there is a space in the outline where “something happens here” is written. We create the skeleton of the ritual and make a plan or road map for where we are headed, but we also leave space for “something”. This requires you to follow the energy of the ritual and allow it to unfold in the way it is going to. This is not easy. But practicing is fun!
Don’t force it. The WAF feeling may not happen. This isn’t a failing on you. A ritual can still be a kick-ass ritual and not reach that WAF status. Be willing to let go of your desires. Let whatever happens, happen. Enjoy being in the moment, being present, and just being.
Do your rituals always follow the same script, routine, or outline? Try shaking things up and doing something outside of your comfort zone. Try to deviate from your typical plan. There is strength in pushing your edges a bit. You might just surprise yourself. Remember the Charge of the Goddess; let there me mirth and reverence within you. Don’t get too caught up in the serious, let your rituals be playful, fun, or even silly.