Pros and Cons of Ritual Magic

We’ve all come across spells that involve tons of steps and seemingly over the top preparation and execution, especially when it comes to certain magic traditions. On the flip side, there is also a plethora of simple spells out there that can be done on the fly with little to no materials. Some witches prefer one magic style over the others, but many (like me) use a combination of both.

I am a textbook procrastinator, so I absolutely LOVE quick, easy spells that don’t need a whole lot of prep or materials. A lot of the time, spells or devotions that involve rituals are too time consuming for me and take way too much effort to put together and perform. That being said, there are many benefits to ritual magic, and these types of spells are great for different purposes.

The Pros

My number one pro for ritual magic is the increased level of focus. Rituals, especially when done as a regular practice, help to create a mental trigger for focusing your mind and helping you center all of your thoughts on the process and your intentions for the spell. The more meticulous the steps, the more the witch will be focused on the task at hand and direct every thought and action to it.

Along a similar line, rituals all incorporate a defined beginning and end. This is very important for a practitioner’s focus, because it gives you two thresholds to work within. Drawing the circle is the trigger for your brain that the ritual has started, and all of your attention should be focused on the present moment. Opening the circle is the signal that the process is ended, and you can now safely reflect on the spell or turn your attention to other things.

The Cons

My biggest issue with ritual magic is that it is SO time consuming. It requires planning, preparation of your space and materials, and an often slow spell process that involves several steps. For many of us, life is in constant motion and so many different things require our attention throughout the day that it doesn’t seem feasible to take the time for a ritual. When we need to balance our work, family, and other responsibilities planning out some time for a ritual is absolutely required in order to perform the spell properly and finding that time can be difficult.

Along with time, ritual magic consumes much more energy. Not only are you expending a lot of mental energy to plan out and prepare for the spell, but the sustained focus needed for the ritual itself can be extremely exhausting. Many witches need to incorporate different practices, such as meditation or energy working in order to build up their energy for the spell. For particularly intense rituals, some recovery time is needed afterwards as well, so the witch has time to rest and gain back some of the expended energy. For those of us already working with low energy (due to mental health issues, physical illness, or a number of other factors) rituals can just take too much out of us to perform to the best of our ability.

Final Thoughts

While there are some definite downsides to ritual magic that can make it hard to perform on a regular basis, I think it has enough merit to be worth incorporating at least a little bit into a witch’s practice. They can be useful for larger spells that are either meant to have a wider scope of influence or a more intense effect, as well as for devotions to deities or personal development.

How do you feel about ritual magic? Do you use rituals on a regular basis in your practice or only for special occasions?