When Magic Needs Something More
Sometimes, the magic just needs something more – whether it’s to help the actual act of storytelling, to spark your imagination as you create, or to give weight to the seriousness of the magic within the story. That’s when a ritual may help.
Rituals don’t have to be long or complex, though ceremonial rituals certainly can be. A ritual can be as simple as doing a set of actions in a specific order. When little parts of magic require short rituals, though, do be aware that for many characters this will quickly become rote.
What types of things might constitute ritual? When there need to be steps taken in a specific order, even if it’s as simple as making a potion; when something needs the weight of ceremony behind it, like a magical ceremony to bless the spring planting; or anytime you want to commemorate some sort of magical event within a story.
- What types of magic in your world might require a ritual or ceremony? How often do they happen?
- What would a simple magical ritual look like, one your main character (or main magical character) might perform?
- What ritual or ceremony might be performed in front of a gathering of people?
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Rebekah Loper began creating epic worlds and stories as a child and never stopped. She is the author of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding series, and has a fantasy novella published in Beatitudes and Woes: A Speculative Fiction Anthology.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (…ok, ok, they’re chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she is not writing, she can be found battling the elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.
I think rituals are awesome, and they don’t even always need to be magical. Performing a ritual makes a character mindful, so the meaning of that particular sequence of action and the meaning those actions take up might say a lot about a character or even a culture.