Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

What is Ritual?

This article was written by Donald Tyson on May 10, 2002
posted under Magic

Ritual is the medium through which the art of magic is practiced. It consists of an action or series of actions, which may be entirely mental, or mental and physical, by which the power of magic is released and directed towards the fulfillment of a specific desire.

Magic ritual is not some strange, exotic beast difficult to approach and apt to scamper away when touched. It is a common occurrence in everyday life. The reason most everyday rituals do not bring about desired effects is that they are not understood for what they truly are; therefore, they remain unfocused.

When a ritual is unfocused, it can never accomplish a major purpose. The magnitude of a ritual is determined by the degree to which the power released is effective power. If power is released in all directions, so to speak, it accomplishes nothing, and the ritual is impotent. Once you become aware that you are working a ritual, and what the purpose of that ritual is, it becomes effective, and magical power is released and applied to the object of desire.

It is doubtful if magic can be worked without ritual. Often the ritual is very brief and completely mental—the inner utterance of a single word, for example. But for the power of magic to be released and directed requires some structure or framework, however simple. To work magic without ritual would be like trying to draw water out of a well without a bucket. Ritual is the bucket. The water itself is the magical potency. The act of drawing it forth is the practice of the art of magic. It can then be carried in the bucket to the place where it will be used, and this is the focusing of the ritual upon the object of desire.

In Irish tradition, there is a wonderful story of bile, the ancient tree. It grows by the side of a sacred well, and acorns, nuts, and apples spring from its branches. How wonderful it would be to live in the world of folk-tradition: a magical place where the world is joined-up, the sacred is apparent in the everyday world, and every living thing... read this article
Gold and Alchemical Healing
Why the Waite-Smith Tarot Was the Almost Perfect Tarot
Demons, Fairies, and Saints in a Renaissance Manuscript of Magic
5 Reasons to Combine Crystals, Oils, and Essences to Facilitate a Life Well Lived
May Bush and Wishing Tree Magick for Beltane

Most recent posts:
Answer the Call Spread
Taken from Tarot Spreads: Layouts and Techniques to Empower Your Readings by Barbara Moore. The Judgement card is about, in part, hearing a...

Wisdom of Swords Spread
Sasha Graham’s book 365 Tarot Spreads has a spread for every day of the year. She also includes an important historical moment from that day and...

Driving Our Own Bus Called "Life"
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kerry Nelson Selman, author of the new Crystal Resonance. Recently, as I was meeting and greeting...




Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN