As I write, it's only about 30 days until Yule. We have never really done a ritual together for a Sabbat. Sean only took a real interest in Wicca in the last couple of years, and never felt comfortable doing a ritual. I, on the other hand, have practiced as a solitary for so many years that it almost seems awkward to perform a ritual with other people! We are both going to get over these things eventually however. This year, we are doing a full ritual. We feel that with Brianna here, we should start giving her a foundation in our faith early. We want her to be able to say she does have a faith. If she chooses to change it later, that's just fine. For the time being, we want to be able to have her participate with us as far as she can for her age.
For me, the first step to any ritual is the consecration of tools. If I have a new tool, I consecrate it. Otherwise, I cleanse my well loved (used!) tools. I usually reconsecrate my tools once a year, who knows what they've picked up in that time! You can find a lot of great guides and rituals for consecrating online. Most of them that I've found, however, talk about placing your tools outside under the moon. I have an issue with this, or rather, several issues.
First, It's a beautiful idea, but not really practical. As a semi-urban Witch, I just don't feel comfortable leaving my well used and loved tools that I've imbibed with all this energy outside where anyone can hop into my yard and pick them up.
Second, for a few years we lived in basements or apartments. How are you going to do it then? In an apartment you don't normally have access to enough room outdoors to be able to do this. In a basement suite, sure you can use the back yard. It's co-use, after all. What's this?? Oops! Your house-mate's dogs peed on all of your tools! And no, this didn't actually happen to me! I didn't want it to. That is the reason I didn't use the back yard.
Third, what if you live in a cold climate and do your consecrations in the winter? Like me? We have at least half a foot of snow on the ground right now. I don't know about you, but I'm not going out in that and leaving my tools out there. I'm not going out there long enough to do a ritual out there right now! It's -26 C!
So, what options do we have? There are a couple of great online rituals for consecration. I do like this one at about.com, although I prefer one that is more short and sweet. I do like to do it on a full moon, although I can't necessarily be IN the moonlight!
A bowl of sea salt or earth
A bowl of consecrated water
Incense to burn
A white candle
Item(s) to be consecrated
There is no need to cast a circle for this, although you can do so if you like or you can do this at the end of other rituals in an already cast circle.
Light the incense and the candle. Hold in your hands the item to be consecrated. Say, "God and Goddess, powers that be, please be present while I consecrate this (item)".
Sprinkle the item with salt three times, saying "Spirits of Earth, bless this (item). Consecrate it to my use."
Pass the item through the incense smoke three times, saying "Spirits of Air, bless this (item). Consecrate it to my use."
Sprinkle the item with the water three times, saying "Spirits of Water, bless this (item). Consecrate it to my use."
Pass the item through the candle fire three times, saying "Spirits of Fire, bless this (item). Consecrate it to my use."
Hold the item up towards the sky, saying, "Goddess and God, please bless this (item) for my use. I Consecrate and charge it in your name. Let my will be done, so mote it be."
Your item is now consecrated. I know this is a fairly short consecration ritual, mostly because I have a one year old! I make what time I can for my Craft, although it falls short of what I wish it could be. I'm also going to include my way of consecrating water! It's a little bit different, I'll warn you. Remember that I live in Canada while you're reading it!
Large Jar (a canning jar will do)
Sea salt or coarse salt, you can make it smaller in your mortar and pestle if you think it's too large.
Bring water to a boil. I use my electric kettle. Pour the boiling water in the jar to sterilize it. Empty the water out of the jar. Go outside with the jar and scoop untouched snow into it. Pack the snow down as much as your hands can handle until the jar is full. Say, "Goddess and God, please bless this snow I gather. Charge it with your power."
Go inside and sprinkle the salt on top of the snow in the jar, saying, "Bless this snow which will become our consecrated water. Charge it to my use. Let my will be done, so mote it be."
Leave the jar on your windowsill (or near a window/natural light/etc) for 7 days. During that time the snow will melt, you may have to wipe your counter off every now and then! At the end of the seven days, your consecrated water will be ready to use! You can also substitute rain water or spring water for the snow. This usually makes enough for me for all year, so I usually only use snow. Occasionally I do use spring water when in a pinch, though.
This is what works best for me. As you probably know, we all need something a little different. What ever works best for you is what you need! And since our Yule ritual is coming up, we will need to go over it again and again to find something that works for all three of us. It's isn't your ritual unless you feel it! Speaking of rituals, check out this wonderful blog post from Jen at Live Wicca about how Wiccans are often viewing rituals these days.
Best of luck in your consecrating endeavors!