I have made a start on the Folk Witchery book of basic and seasonal rites and rituals, and am finding it great fun.
I love the research involved in writing books, collating the information and comparing sources. One of the big problems with this book is that most folk practises are very brief and quick. For example: what is the traditional way of celebrating the new moon or full moon? answer: go outside and blow a kiss towards the moon.
There you go, that's that done.
Which is fab as far as it goes, but sometimes we want a bit more structure to our rituals, especially if you are working in a group situation. This is where the comparing and collating comes in.
There is also the fact that practises do vary from area to area around the country. At one time a big journey was going to the nearest market town, five miles away - and if you had to walk it that would take you a couple of hours at least each way. So people from another town or county really were looked on as 'foreigners'
What this boils down to is that often there is more than one way of doing a ritual.
One of the first things I had a look at was circle casting. The Gardnerian version is these days very easy to access through the writings of Janet and Stewart Farrar and others so that is likely to be the structure that people are most familiar with. However it is not the only way to cast a circle, and, as you might expect, the Folk Witchery way(s) are a lot less formal.
So I found myself constructing a simpler ritual based on the basic familiar format, and the ways I have personally worked through the years. Simpler but still rather conventional.
But again this was my version, my construction.
So I went back to folk sources again and looked at what were traditional methods of casting the circle, and found some very simple but easy to follow methods. For example, sweeping the boundary of the circle both forming the shape of the sacred area and sweeping out and away all negative energies.
But again, this is not the only way this is done. So I decided that rather than me picking what I should pass on to my readers, I should give them a variety of methods ancient and yes my modern version too - but at least they would know which was which and could make their own choices.
This is getting even more fun!