Magical rites carried out as formal ceremonies, Rituals are prominent in not only Wiccan lifestyle but also in demonic circles. The rituals can vary from seances, power transfers, binding or summoning ceremonies and weddings. Wiccan rituals are often presided over by a high-level witch such as a High Priestess, a Matriarch of a family line or a highly skilled witch. Demonic and Dark rituals are often presided over by Dark Priests and Priestesses, high-level demons or other evil beings proficient in the Dark Arts.
Binding ceremonies are rituals used to bind two magical beings as husband and wife. Three notable binding ceremonies include:
Handfasting of Piper Halliwell and Leo WyattEdit
Being together for over two years to the displeasure of certain members of the Council of Elders, Piper Halliwell and Leo Wyatt decided they would marry, establishing a bond that no one could break apart. But knowing the Elders may try to stop it, Phoebe Halliwell, with the help of her grandmother, realized a binding ceremony known as Handfasting would be the perfect magical solution.
Handfasting is the eternal joining of two people in love presided over by a High Priestess best performed at a time when both the sun and the moon are present, and although Piper and her sisters had their grandmother preside over the ritual, and sought to perform it during an eclipse so that the Elders wouldn't be able to look down, seeing the ritual occur, the Elders learned of the ceremony just as Piper walked down the steps in Halliwell Manor to meet Leo before Penny. Struck with a feeling of pain, Leo was orbed away from Piper and ordered to keep away from her.
Dark Binding of Prue Halliwell and ZileEdit
A powerful Dark Priestess known as Dantalian devised a plot to steal the Charmed Ones' Book of Shadows by binding Prue Halliwell and a warlock known as Zile as husband and wife. She betrayed the warlock in order to use the sisters' power for herself and when she bound the two as husband and wife, evil travelled to Piper and Phoebe and the Book. She used a powerful potion to paralyze Zile and the placed him on her alter with Prue. She covered Prue in a black veil and recited a spell that bound the two as husband and wife. Dark magic then began to travel through Prue's sisters and the Book.
As the Book of Shadows became evil, Piper and Phoebe became warlocks and used their magic against mortals, while the priestess plotted to steal the Book. She appeared in the Attic of the Manor and thought she would be able to steal the Book without the sisters knowing, but Piper and Phoebe were waiting for her. Piper used her new warlock power to freeze the priestess' hand and Phoebe smashed it. But Leo Wyatt interrupted and Dantalian escaped. In her lair, she cast a spell awakening Prue and Zile as the sisters appeared. Piper and Phoebe were able to break the Priestess' magic and save Prue, destroying both Dantalian and Zile.
Dark Binding of Phoebe Halliwell and Cole TurnerEdit
By tricking Phoebe into calling of their wedding after a Lazarus Demon attacked, Cole Turner had a Dark Priest pose as a regular priest and marry he and Phoebe. The ceremony was a dark binding ceremony that ensured their offspring would be evil and that Phoebe's sisters wouldn't be able to use Good Magic to break them apart. The ceremony also ensured that no Good magic could influence their offspring.
Ceremonies to contact the dead, Seances can be performed by two, three or more witches or magical beings. As purple candles and frankincense are lit, a spell must be recited to summon the spirit while focusing on the being. The Seance ritual can be used to contact both the magical dead and the mortal dead.
The Charmed Ones' First SeanceEdit
After being attacked by a Familiar turned warlock known as Shadow, the sisters located an entry in the Book of Shadows entitled "How to Perform a Seance" and decided to perform the ritual after the Book opened to the page magically, via Penny Halliwell.
The three sisters followed the directions to burn six white and purple candles as well as Frankincense and sat in a circle reciting the accompanying chant to summon the spirit. The spirit of Shadow's former charge, Ariel appeared and explained to the three sisters that the warlock was once her Familiar, a cat, that betrayed her causing him to become the warlock. She told them that if he can shed all nine of his previous lives before the New Moon, he would gain immortality. After explaining that she didn't know how to permanently vanquish the warlock, Ariel then vanished and the ritual was complete.
The Callaway-Montana SeanceEdit
In order to learn who the third party was in a feud between two magical families, known as the Callaways and the Montanas, the Charmed Ones had members of both families gather in the Attic of the Manor where they stood in a circle with their hands held and performed a seance to call forth the spirit.
The families were shocked to learn that it was Olivia Callaway, Richard Montana's ex-fiancee who died during the feud continuing to the battle between the two. She was furious with what had happened to her and promised she would have her revenge by continuing to incite the feud and then she disappeared as the families held hands came apart.
Most often used by demonic beings, rituals in which a power transfer occurs requires a powerful high-level demon to consecrate the being with more power. The ritual often requires the proper incantations and use of magical supplies and can also include other demons forming a circle.
Ceremonies and rituals to summon magical beings often required the proper chant in addition to a proper use of magical objects or potions. Such ceremonies included spells to summon the dead as well as to resurrect beings.