This ritual is one which can be done on behalf of an ill friend or family member. They do not have to be present for you to do this ritual. In many traditions it is customary to at least ask permission before doing healing (or any other sort of) magic. However, it is often acceptable to assume you have implied permission - in other words, if you believe in good faith that the individual would want you to perform this rite on their behalf, then you may go ahead and do so without specifically asking for their approval in advance. Follow the guidelines of your own tradition’s belief system and ethical standards.
Keep in mind that someone who is terminally ill may not wish to live longer, and may instead be wishing for release from their pain. As a contrast, someone who is suffering from an acute illness rather than a long-term one may simply want to feel better immediately.
This ritual asks the goddess (or god) of your tradition to watch over the ailing individual and assist them with healing. There are a number of different deities associated with healing, from a variety of different pantheons. If your particular flavor of Paganism doesn’t have a god or goddess of healing, consider using one of these:
You will need the following items:
- A small (votive or even tealight size) white candle to represent the individual for whom you are doing the ritual
- Healing incense (loose blend) of allspice, bay, yarrow, apple blossoms, lemon balm, cinnamon
- A candle in any color representing the god or goddess you wish to petition for assistance
Begin by casting a circle, if your tradition requires you to do so. Set up your altar as you normally would, placing the god/goddess candle behind the individual candle. In this sample ritual template, we will be using Brighid, but you should substitute the name of the deity upon whom you are calling when you perform this rite.
I call upon you, Brighid, in a time of need.
I ask your assistance and blessing, for one who is ailing.
[Name] is ill, and she needs your healing light.
I ask you to watch over her and give her strength,
Keep her safe from further illness, and protect her body and soul.
I ask you, great Brighid, to heal her in this time of sickness.
Place the loose incense blend on your brazier (or, if you don’t use a brazier for incense, use a charcoal disc in a bowl or plate) and light it. As the smoke begins to rise, envision your friend’s illness wafting away with the smoke.
Brighid, I ask you to take away [Name]’s illness,
Carry it out to the four winds, never to return.
To the north, take this illness away and replace it with health.
To the east, take this illness away, and replace it with strength.
To the south, take this illness away, and replace it with vitality.
To the west, take this illness away, and replace it with life.
Carry it away from [Name], Brighid, that it may scatter and be no more.
Light the candle representing the god or goddess.
Hail to you, powerful Brighid, I pay you tribute.
I honor you and ask this one small gift.
May your light and strength wash over [Name],
Supporting her in her this time of need.
Use the flame on the deity candle to light the smaller candle, representing your friend.
[Name], I light this candle in your honor tonight.
It is lit from the fires of Brighid, and she will watch over you.
She will guide you and heal you, and ease your suffering.
May Brighid continue to care for you and embrace you in her light.
Take a few moments to meditate on what you really wish for your friend. Once you have finished, allow the candles to burn out on their own if possible.