Ritual is the means by which we maintain our relationship with the gods and ask and receive their blessings. Gift-giving and reciprocity are important themes in paganism, and these themes are repeated within our ritual structure.
Sacrifice is the primary element of a pagan ritual, whether it be literal animal sacrifice or an offering of something of value. For practical reasons, we focus on the latter. The most common ritual of this kind is libation, which is the act of offering a liquid, usually but not necessarily alcoholic, to a god or a group of gods. Below is an outline of how to perform libation, which historically could occur along with sacrifice or as a standalone ritual.
Context: To be performed mornings, evenings, and on special occasions.
Requirements: Purification is important, and this necessitates having clean hands. Hands should either be washed beforehand or as an aspect of the ritual.
The god or gods should be invoked by name, and their functions and qualities should be described and praised. Following this is a statement of your (or the group’s) worthiness to receive the help or blessing of the god, whether that be due to your devotion, achievements in the god’s honor, or the god’s own desire to bestow blessings. Finally, your request to the god should be stated.
A portion of the drink is poured out for the god and the remainder is consumed.