Who We Are
I have been a priestess for many years and I have organized many rituals. I have also been to the rituals of others. I think that a ritual should have a focal idea, something to answer the question "what are we celebrating?". I think it should be very participatory and active. Too many rituals are dominated by the priestess or priest yammering away while everyone stands around. I prefer rituals where everyone gets to do something. Action is more interesting for the participants. It gets the point of the ritual across better than people just standing around talking or worse, a priest or priestess just standing around talking. I try to structure some of the rituals so that the participant ends up with an object that can be taken home as a reminder of the work. Not always, of course, but on occasion.
Most of these rituals are oriented to a small group, perhaps 4 to 13 people. They are scaled to fit in a living room or a small backyard. Some of them can scale up for a larger group, the Maypole ritual, for example. Some of them can scale down for only a couple of people. And of course, since there are times when we are all solitary pagans, I have included some rituals for one person.
These are fairly non-denominational rituals. The participants in my rituals are not all Wiccan or even Pagan. Some are eclectic pagans or not aligned with a religion. Some are agnostics or atheists who respect the human need for ritual.
The rituals are also reflections of my ideas of deity and reality, which may or may not be the generally held ideas. A long time ago, as a new Wiccan, I read the works of Marion Weinstein and Scott Cunningham. The concept that the witch was the magic resonated with me and has permeated my rituals, spells and thinking. Each of us is the magical child, born of the earth and made of star stuff. My idea is to look within ourselves for deity. It’s not a new thought, but it’s a good one.
Each ritual is based on a central theme derived from Neo-Pagan and Wiccan traditions. I pull one idea or tradition and build a ritual that involves the participants in that idea. I have also used current scientific theories, natural phenomena and the random thoughts , both my own and those of others around me.
I take seriously the idea that Wicca is a religion of experience. Ritual is a right-brain activity – words only carry the message, they do not convey the truth. No book, no lecture, no sermon can bring us an understanding of a larger reality. Ritual can. Ritual takes us from the place of work and home and family to a separate place. Within that place, ritual can bring the participant to a mindstate where the perception of the extra-ordinary is possible. That doesn’t happen always or even often, but it is possible.
I am going to blog about each ritual as the holiday come around on the wheel. Hopefully with photos!
There are many sources for rituals, on the web and in the many books on Wicca and Paganism. Mostly, they just give you the words for the central part of the ritual.. Sometimes they provide the opening ceremonies.
We provide every word, from the cleaning and casting of the circle to the ending prayer, along with the action involved in the ritual, like pouring a chalice of wine. We also include a list of what ritual items will be needed, instructions on setting up your altar and your ritual room, and a program that can be printed out for the participants.