Many times I am asked what the difference is between a witch’s prayers, spells and rituals and the prayers from other belief systems. I will try to explain the differences here.
Prayers. I am not comfortable doing prayers. Perhaps it is my “Christian roots” making me uncomfortable with the practice. However, to me prayers simply feel too passive. I feel them as asking a boon, or asking deities to do my work for me. Begging for help with things that I feel I should be doing for myself or others. I believe that I have my own power, just as deities have their own. I also believe that power abounds in nature. Stones, herbs, elements, trees, colors etc. everything in nature has a power that we may harness and join with in order to do magickal work. Asking someone else to do work I am perfectly capable of doing on my own just simply feels wrong to me. If I become unable to do my own work, then I may have to re-evaluate, but for now, it is wrong.
Spells. I am comfortable with spell work as long as they are my own. If there is a need for me to do a spell, I have no problem sitting down and coming up with the words to suit the needs. I have certainly had enough practical experience over the years. I am old school and prefer to use rhymes and meter to carry the spell and make it more lyrical, almost a song to sing, or a measured chant. The rhyme and meter brings me comfort in the casting. It sets my mood and allows the words to build and flow just as I envision the energy I have building and flowing outward in concert with the energy raised by those I call on within my spell and the energy of the tools I used wrapped into the spell, as well. I have absolutely no problem creating custom oil blends to use in anointing and casting, incense for spells, picking out stones, colors, candles, days, times, phases of the moon, etc to suit the needs for each spell. To me it is both comforting and yet energizing to create from beginning to end the spells, which I use to craft the changes I desire.
Rituals. Like spells on massive doses of steroids. I enjoy them a great deal whether solitary or in coven, especially when I craft them or have a hand in crafting them. Every deity or entity I call on, every step I take, every item used, word spoken and gesture is crafted, practiced, perfected beforehand to achieve exactly what I/we want to achieve in concert with powers melded together during the ceremony from all tools, entities and people involved. It is great when it goes well for all and when it exceeds expectations for the purpose… sublime. These are special events for me. Like a favorite treat, savored from the time I/we first start to craft the ritual, even before ink is touched to paper. During the concept/discussion stage, all the way through to the finish and relived in memories and retellings as I/we reflect on the next time we get to use the new ritual or get to create a different one.