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Author Topic: Would like help on samhain ritual  (Read 2574 times)

william93

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Would like help on samhain ritual
« on: October 09, 2011, 10:12:56 pm »
Hello everyone
     This is my first post on your wonderful forum. let me start out by saying I am glad to be here.
     Ok here is the scoop.  I have been into paganism for 29 years. although it has been involved with the thelemic community.
   I am one of the ritual writers for the lodge in which i attend. And usually find no problems in coming up with ideas. This year we decided to celebrate samhain and was asked to write the ritual for it... Believing that this holiday usually is associated with wicca I would like to put together a ritual that is based out of the feminine aspects rather than the masculine Solar rituals that i usually write.
  My idea I am playing with is something i seen at the witches ball in eugene or about 13 years ago. the aspects of the ritual was this.  casting a circle, calling upon the quarters. then there was a spiral dance in which everyone called out the names of there beloved that has passed.  
   My memory has slipped in the last few years and for the life of me i cannot remember. how the flow went from one part of the ritual to another.
   now the circle and the quarter calls is easy but would like suggestions on the flow to the meat of the ritual....looking at some previous posts on this forum I seen that everyone lighting a candle calling out the names of there loved ones was a suggestion. And I like it.. but im brain dead onto how to achieve this, and time is ticking down.
   Here are some questions i have and would appreciate any help.
  1- I assume after the opening of the circle and the quarters there is an invocation.  Who is the diety that is usually associated with opening the veil of the dead so they can join us in the sacred space.
  2- If I chose to include the spiral dance in the ritual.  would it be deosil "being clockwise" or widdershins"being counterclockwise"  or both. and would it happen before or after the commemoration of our passed loved ones.  
  3- should everyone be individually anointed upon entering the space. maybe with rose water or the such.
 
   Any formula that has worked for you guys, I would love to hear.  I do not necessarily need to have instructions on how to do it rather instructions on what follows what so the night will flow naturally.
   We usually have anywhere from 15 to 40 people that come to our holiday festivals. and the majority of them have extensive experience in ritual of some sort.
  I am making the ritual to host 5 participants  one to cast a circle and purify  then 4 for the quarter calls .
  there will be a potluck afterwards and everyone will be in costume  the theme of course is witches and dieties. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
   Thank you  William  93

william93

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 06:28:30 am »
Quote from: william93 Any help would be greatly appreciated.
   Thank you  William  93[/QUOTE

  Ok I think I might have figured it out and was wondering what you guys think...the quarter calls i got off the net...the rest i made up....try to remember before commenting that wicca is something I am not very familiar with. so I tried to keep it simple.. but I did add a couple of areas that is thelemic ...I just didnt have enough knowledge to do it different......So does this sound alright for a first timer? p.s. I know that I didnt include a closing and will do it personally after the evening is over.


 Temple.
In the center there is an alter with a single candle on it.  On the great alter in the south. There are decorations of the season, pumpkins, skeletins etc.
Opening
open door and let people in one at a time . The purafier ...anointing there ajna with rosewater in which a moonstone is soaking.  Saying   one is of three and the three is of one. Then give each participant a white candle.
 w1,2,3 and 4 is standing in the center of the temple  around the alter facing outward in there directions.
Banasher
perform the banashings and circumambulate the temple deosil 3 times with sage. saying
Be pure and clean this autumn night and protect us during this sacred rite.

call upon the elemental quarters
{“ the four quarters take three steps out  in turn, invokes there quarter then stepping back to the center”.}
 
w1 steps out standing facing east with sword in his hand make pentagram starting right to left then recite.
Guardians of the East, Powers of Air; you who are thought and the wind upon my face. Winged eagle of the skies who is the morning breeze and the wrath of storms, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite.

W2 standing facing the south with a wand in his hand make pentagram starting top to lower right then recite
Guardians of the South, Powers of Fire, you who are passion and the hearth. Great Snake who lives within the coals of the home fires as well as wild fires, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite.

 W3 standing facing west with a cup in her hand make pentagram starting left to right then recite
Guardians of the West, Powers of Water, you who are emotions and pure love. Gentle Dolphin of the waves who is the morning dew, and the torrential rains, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite.

 W4 standing in the north with a disk in her hand make pentagram starting top to bottom left then recite
Guardians of the North, Powers of Earth, you who are the stabilizer and nurturer. Powerful Buffalo who paws the ground and stands solid as the mountains, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite.  

  Narrator
Tonight We are gathered  to give memory to our loved ones whose eyes  has passed thru the veil of life. And to invite them to share this time with us. The memory of man runs deep, and those that has made an influence in our life  shall always be a part of who and what we are. There spirits shall never die but regenerate in our thoughts and actions day after day.
  Tonight the veil in which they have passed is opened and they're spirit can once again live and be among us.
As it is written in our sacred law thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad. thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our agelong love.  Come lift up thine heart and rejoice. We are one we are none.
These pillars of  which we hold in our hands,is the symbol of that agelong love. As they give light to guide our way. they also guide the way of those which lives in our memory. Upon lighting,  that pathway shall be opened unto them.
Let us now call upon, and invite them into our sacred space.


Light the candle on the alter. From that, everyone that wishes to partake in the memorial walks up one at a time and lights there candle saying
 
name, I call upon and invite your presence to be here this night.
Then they carry it to and sets it on the main alter.


Dancing and merriment commences.


Like i said simple and easy....Any ideas to add with it?
                     William:D:

RandallS

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 07:40:27 am »
Quote from: william93;24634
Hello everyone
     This is my first post on your wonderful forum. let me start out by saying I am glad to be here.
     

Welcome to TC! You might want to take a look at the Samhain rituals on our ritual page for some ideas. You need to adapt things a bit given the size of your group, of course. 15-40 is quite a few for Wiccan-style ritual.
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Jenett

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 01:34:42 pm »
Quote from: william93;24657
Ok I think I might have figured it out and was wondering what you guys think...


I have thoughts :) They're mostly about practical things, rather than ritual bits, but there's some of both.

Quote
The purafier ...anointing there ajna with rosewater in which a moonstone is soaking.  Saying   one is of three and the three is of one. Then give each participant a white candle.


Why rosewater? (I've more commonly seen rosemary used, I think.) Basically, what is the rose building toward in the rest of the ritual. (I'm assuming that what you're saying makes sense in context to people there: it would not to me without more explanation.)

Quote
call upon the elemental quarters


They're perfectly nice calls (assuming that everyone involved is clear on who you're inviting as the guardians), but had you considered making them a bit more specific to this ritual? They read to me like they might fit any number of rituals, with any number of purposes.
 
For example, instead of:
Quote
Guardians of the East, Powers of Air; you who are thought and the wind upon my face. Winged eagle of the skies who is the morning breeze and the wrath of storms, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite.


you might do something more like:

"Guardians of the East, Powers of air, you who weave thought and memory and dwell in the first breath of life and the last before death. Winged eagle of the skies whose call carries far in the winds, who is the morning breeze and the fierce storm, I call and invite, etc. etc."

That would help make the calls more specific to your intention for this particular ritual - both good ritually, and to help your participants focus on your intention.

On the welcome: There's some uneveness in language between this and your quarter invocations - I might work to polish this so the language of the whole flows better. (The more archaic quote is particularly hard here, but I admit I'm very picky about archaic language in ritual, because it's so often done very badly - part of my background is as a medievalist, so I tend to notice.)

In ritual terms:
Quote

These pillars of  which we hold in our hands,is the symbol of that agelong love. As they give light to guide our way. they also guide the way of those which lives in our memory. Upon lighting,  that pathway shall be opened unto them.
Let us now call upon, and invite them into our sacred space.


One thing to think about here is how this is working in ritual/magical theory terms. Opening a gate and inviting beings - even the most wonderful loving ones - in has certain complications. How do you plan to control that? Manage things if something goes a little bit wrong (for example, if one of the people attending is what's sometimes called an 'open-head', prone to mediumship or possessory experience.)

If you know everyone who's going to be there, and either they don't have these tendencies, or have learned to manage them reliably, not a big deal. (If you include a clear "Thank you, we are done now, please go back to where you dwell" bit at the end of the ritual, which you currently don't have.)

If you don't know everyone, or you're not sure of their level of skill, then you might want to adjust this - either remembering people without directly inviting the beloved dead to enter the space with you all, or having people whose ritual jobs it is to manage and control the experience (which is probably not a skill someone could learn from scratch before this Samhain: it improves with practice.)

Quote
Light the candle on the alter. From that, everyone that wishes to partake in the memorial walks up one at a time and lights there candle saying


One candle? One name? If you're talking about beloved dead, and naming names, then one name is probably not enough for most people (and certainly for most people in their 40s and older). If it's remembering deaths in the past year (as some rituals do), then there may be a number of people in your group who do not have any immediate personal losses.

One thing I've seen done (which works fine with 15, though it takes a little bit, but might well be too long with 40) is to have each people name 3 or 4 of the beloved dead they most care to honor at this ritual (with some language elsewhere in the ritual about all the other people we have loved who have died). More than a name is also nice - even a sentence or two can give a much richer ritual experience.

Also, some people have *really* bad loss years, and limiting those people to one name can be excruciatingly painful to them. (At the same time, if you have 20 people, and they all take 3 minutes to talk, that's an hour right there, so you need to adjust for time.)

Another option, for the major ritual action is one that comes from my first Samhain ritual ever (a large group ritual at MIT, of all things) where people were lead into a downstairs room (from the upstairs main chapel space), were given a period of time (10 minutes, 20 minutes?) to light incense (and I think maybe pour water, which you could certainly include) to silently remember their beloved dead, followed by a more general ritual gathering (spiral dance, some other verbiage about the season, etc.)
 
I've seen something similar done other times: it's a particularly good combination when you aren't sure how many people you'll have (or you're pretty sure it's going to be more than 20-30.)

Quote

Dancing and merriment commences.


I'm not sure that I see this leading from what you've proposed so far. For most people, it's likely to be more somber, unless you give them a means to transition to "I remember the joys of life".

One way I've seen that done is to transition to "Here are the things of the old year, the losses and the regrets, but here are the things of the new year." You can do this by passing around a ritual food (pomegranates are obvious, but I also know people who use apples dipped in honey, for the sweetness of the new year to come) and sharing their hopes/intentions for the year. After that, it's a bit easier to transition into a more joyful celebration of what is to come (though it doesn't remove the responsibility to make sure that every being you've invited finds its way home.)

Do you intend to include any kind of ritual meal, etc? (Samhain is often a time when people make traditional family dishes, for example, and bring them to share. I always really enjoy the stories that go with the dish, and why they brought it.)
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william93

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 03:15:39 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;24694
.
Why rosewater? (I've more commonly seen rosemary used, I think.) Basically, what is the rose building toward in the rest of the ritual. (I'm assuming that what you're saying makes sense in context to people there: it would not to me without more explanation.)

 
thank you jenett for the reply ...This is one point my knowledge is limited not usually working with herbal tinctures.  My idea was just to allow people to get there minds into a ritual space from the ordeals of everyday life. If rosemary is more appropriate then for sure that is what it will be...

Quote from: Jenett;24694
On the welcome: There's some uneveness in language between this and your quarter invocations - I might work to polish this so the language of the whole flows better. (The more archaic quote is particularly hard here, but I admit I'm very picky about archaic language in ritual, because it's so often done very badly - part of my background is as a medievalist, so I tend to notice.)


I will think about this more..and more than likely adjust it.

Quote from: Jenett;24694
One thing to think about here is how this is working in ritual/magical theory terms. Opening a gate and inviting beings - even the most wonderful loving ones - in has certain complications. How do you plan to control that? Manage things if something goes a little bit wrong (for example, if one of the people attending is what's sometimes called an 'open-head', prone to mediumship or possessory experience.)

If you know everyone who's going to be there, and either they don't have these tendencies, or have learned to manage them reliably, not a big deal. (If you include a clear "Thank you, we are done now, please go back to where you dwell" bit at the end of the ritual, which you currently don't have.)

If you don't know everyone, or you're not sure of their level of skill, then you might want to adjust this - either remembering people without directly inviting the beloved dead to enter the space with you all, or having people whose ritual jobs it is to manage and control the experience (which is probably not a skill someone could learn from scratch before this Samhain: it improves with practice.)


Thank you for the heads up  being myself a goetia magician I normally dont think about that, believing that everyone has learned to control there psychic tendencies.  I will definitely give this some thought..Also the majority of the people of in lodge has extensive magical work "10 plus years" and are brick houses as far as this goes but i acknowledge that any {guests} that they might bring could be experiencing they're first ritual. and it would be a huge oversight to not at least have someone with this experience ready to step in if something happens..

Quote from: Jenett;24694
One candle? One name? If you're talking about beloved dead, and naming names, then one name is probably not enough for most people (and certainly for most people in their 40s and older). If it's remembering deaths in the past year (as some rituals do), then there may be a number of people in your group who do not have any immediate personal losses.

One thing I've seen done (which works fine with 15, though it takes a little bit, but might well be too long with 40) is to have each people name 3 or 4 of the beloved dead they most care to honor at this ritual (with some language elsewhere in the ritual about all the other people we have loved who have died). More than a name is also nice - even a sentence or two can give a much richer ritual experience.

Also, some people have *really* bad loss years, and limiting those people to one name can be excruciatingly painful to them. (At the same time, if you have 20 people, and they all take 3 minutes to talk, that's an hour right there, so you need to adjust for time.)

  I was thinking the candle would represent the individuals veil. and once the psychic connection was open they could name as many names as they like...I myself has two names to invite to the ceremony.
  With my lack of experience i didn't even consider that some might have a novel if allowed to name all there beloved. and also i wasn't envisioning that it would be only the passed within the last year. good point I might have to make an announcement before hand asking people to limit there remembrances to three or 4 people...Also I have sent an email out telling people to bring pictures to set on the alter...and even though a gnostic mass alter is huge it might not be that huge....again thanks for the heads up.

Quote from: Jenett;24694
Another option, for the major ritual action is one that comes from my first Samhain ritual ever (a large group ritual at MIT, of all things) where people were lead into a downstairs room (from the upstairs main chapel space), were given a period of time (10 minutes, 20 minutes?) to light incense (and I think maybe pour water, which you could certainly include) to silently remember their beloved dead, followed by a more general ritual gathering (spiral dance, some other verbiage about the season, etc.)  


I really like the idea of the quiet time for memories. and will definitely add something like it..and the general ritual gathering was what the dancing was meant to be at the end. Ive dismissed the spiral dance though because our ritual space is only 20' x 35'. and thinking we might already be tight on space.{although there is a library office and kitchen on site} I could see chaos rising if everyone was doing the spiral dance especially since many might not even have a concept of what it is. {mit ?  I use to be a part of the knight templar oasis out of boston in the early 90's and have been to a halloween festival at mit} small world.

Quote from: Jenett;24694

I'm not sure that I see this leading from what you've proposed so far. For most people, it's likely to be more somber, unless you give them a means to transition to "I remember the joys of life".


This is your only point that i personally have to dismiss. in the thelemic community death is seen as a rite of passage, and is stated in our law that death should be celebrated with a great feast. Most of the people that will attend does not have the stigma usually associated with the religions of the slave gods.

Quote from: Jenett;24694
One way I've seen that done is to transition to "Here are the things of the old year, the losses and the regrets, but here are the things of the new year." You can do this by passing around a ritual food (pomegranates are obvious, but I also know people who use apples dipped in honey, for the sweetness of the new year to come) and sharing their hopes/intentions for the year. After that, it's a bit easier to transition into a more joyful celebration of what is to come (though it doesn't remove the responsibility to make sure that every being you've invited finds its way home.)

Do you intend to include any kind of ritual meal, etc? (Samhain is often a time when people make traditional family dishes, for example, and bring them to share. I always really enjoy the stories that go with the dish, and why they brought it.)


 I also like the caramel apple idea. and will try to work it in.  The event is being   advertised as a Halloween masquerade and potluck. As we always have food at the festivals.. here is the link http://calendar.sekhetmaat.com/index.pl?Calendar=sml&View=Event&DateID=10/29/2011&Repeatid=bOSm50hK7P6DEnGAg24OxXo5S


Thank you so much for your ideas and will definitely incorporate some of them into the evening...My mind feels more at ease now that I have a clear view of how others do it.    Any suggestions will be considered seriously..  again thank you and have a wonderful Samhain        William

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 05:00:54 pm »
Quote from: william93;24699
This is one point my knowledge is limited not usually working with herbal tinctures.  My idea was just to allow people to get there minds into a ritual space from the ordeals of everyday life. If rosemary is more appropriate then for sure that is what it will be...


There's certainly other options - but whatever you pick, my basic theory is that if I'm using it in ritual, it should have a reason that I'm using that. If you have a good reason for rose, that's one thing - but if you don't, you should pick something you *do* have a reason for. Or not use anything at all.

My reasons for rosemary, for the record, have to do with its associations with memory, and the fact it's also used for purification and cleansing, making it a particularly nice combo for the early stages of ritual.

Quote
With my lack of experience i didn't even consider that some might have a novel if allowed to name all there beloved. and also i wasn't envisioning that it would be only the passed within the last year. good point I might have to make an announcement before hand asking people to limit there remembrances to three or 4 people...Also I have sent an email out telling people to bring pictures to set on the alter...and even though a gnostic mass alter is huge it might not be that huge....again thanks for the heads up.


This is a real trick with group rituals. A couple of things that help:

- Be really clear about whatever limits in your pre-ritual announcement. You don't need to be hugely specific about it, but something like "At [however many points in the ritual], you will have a few moments to share your own names of your beloved dead. Since there's quite a number of us here, please keep it short: each person will have time to share [however much: one or two sentences, a minute, whatever]".

(If you have a really hard and fast time you must be out of the space you're using, when you do your calculations for how much time things will take, allow at least an extra half hour, and an extra hour is safer if you have multiple improv parts like this.)

- Have the first few people who come forward to do whatever action you decide on be people who've agreed to model the behavior you want. They'll set the tone for everyone else. It's better if these are *not* the people leading ritual, but people who seem like regular attendees (for some reason, if the leaders of the ritual, or even people calling quarters, model it, people then go off and do all sorts of other things. If people they perceive as peers in that setting - other people without particular ritual roles - it's a lot more effective.)

Quote
I really like the idea of the quiet time for memories. and will definitely add something like it..and the general ritual gathering was what the dancing was meant to be at the end. Ive dismissed the spiral dance though because our ritual space is only 20' x 35'. and thinking we might already be tight on space.{although there is a library office and kitchen on site} I could see chaos rising if everyone was doing the spiral dance especially since many might not even have a concept of what it is. {mit ?  I use to be a part of the knight templar oasis out of boston in the early 90's and have been to a halloween festival at mit} small world.


Well, part of the point of a spiral dance is that it doesn't take up a huge amount of space - if most of that 20x35 space is open, you could probably do it with 40 people. (There's a cool Flash-based example of a spiral dance that's adaptable to relatively small spaces at http://www.dreamroads.com/witchkids/sd.php). The variant where you have people twisting under other hands isn't as compact, but the one that spirals into the center, turns back on itself, and comes back out again works in pretty much any space where everyone can stand in a single circle without being jammed together.

(And yeah, that MIT, though the ritual I was at would have been 97.)

Quote
This is your only point that i personally have to dismiss. in the thelemic community death is seen as a rite of passage, and is stated in our law that death should be celebrated with a great feast. Most of the people that will attend does not have the stigma usually associated with the religions of the slave gods.


You know, I do find this a bit offensive. I believe that death is many wonderful things - but that doesn't mean I don't miss my beloved dead, and don't miss the fact they're not right here next to me, getting to share the parts of *this* life.

I'm particularly sensitive to this one because the death I most regret - my father's, when I was 15 (and I'm now 36, so more of my life without him than with him) - has an anniversary a few days after Samhain. Trust me, I am not generally in the mood for a fun-and-cheer party that time of year anyway.

I truly, deeply believe he's somewhere as exciting and amazing and wondrous as this world is, and that he's having great conversations. (And that every so often, he peeks into this world, talks sense into my mother, or makes bad jokes about Greek translation at me.)

But that doesn't mean I don't miss him pretty much every day - or that I don't particularly miss him at that time of year in particular. (Plus, since he *was* a devout Christian, insulting his religious practice in the process of my own, if I'm supposed to be honoring him seems like a particularly stupid thing to be doing.)

I'm not saying there can't be elements of joy and reunion in Samhain - certainly, my own ritual practices include that. But what I am saying is that if you go straight from "We are remembering people, we are sad, we miss them, we feel their loss in our day-to-day lives, even while we know they're doing other things that must be wonderful" to "Party now!" you are going to give people whiplash.

It's also really lousy narrative. One way to think of ritual is like a story: you want a beginning, a middle, and an end, and they should all fit together. To go from "missing you, remembering you" to "party" is a bit like swapping between, oh, the last Harry Potter book/movie (in which many people do, in fact, die, even if it's heroic) and flicking, as you start the last half hour (before the resolution), to the final moments of a Disney movie where the prince and princess live happily ever after. It's jarring, and disconcerting, and it'll throw people out of the ritual mindset. (And it may, depending on their personal experience, experience of grief, how recent their losses are, etc. traumatise them in ways I presume you don't want to do.)

That doesn't mean you can't move from "we're remembering people whose presence in our lives has changed, and yeah, there's some sadness and missing them in there" to "celebrate and enjoy". But you need to take a couple of steps to do it, and you need to give people multiple ways to make that transition, because not everyone will find the same things useful.

The 'end of the old year, beginning of the new' is one way to do that. Having people share one brief joyful memory of a loved one that they want to take into the new year might do it. A few moments of silent meditation with a few word in advance about moving forward might do it. Some nice verbiage (a paragraph or two) to signal the change in mood, a chant that helps the transition you want, etc. can also be very helpful. But you need to give people *something*, not just expect to flip a switch and change the mood. And generally, in my experience, you need to spend twice as much time planning the transitions as you do the rest of it, for a really successful ritual. Transitions are hard.

Quote
I also like the caramel apple idea. and will try to work it in.  The event is being   advertised as a Halloween masquerade and potluck.[/url]

Clarification: I specifically said honey, not caramel, and there's a reason for that. (Several, in fact). Caramel is quite messy to divide, and is a pain to clean up if it drips. But more to the point, it's not a particularly useful ritual food: sure, it's sweet, but it doesn't have the weight behind it that honey does.

Honey is gathered through shared work and community effort, and transformed into a glorious and tasty food. Honey has a strong relationship, for thousands of years, of being a food related to bounty and blessings and good fortune. And on a totally practical level, you can slice some apples (toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning) and let people dip their own slice in honey when they're ready, with minimal mess. (and if something does drip, it'll come up with water or a damp handtowel)

Same deal with potluck ritual foods - like I said, most of the time, whatever food people bring is nice. But if you're honoring specific people (as you want to be doing in the ritual you designed), why not do *something* to incorporate that into the potluck, so that again, you build the story and genre of your ritual over the entire evening? It doesn't need to be particularly fancy, and people don't need to be great cooks: the idea is to choose foods with awareness.

(I do still need to figure out what I'm doing for my own Samhain: first one away from my trad, and a chunk of our normal practices are not workable for someone on their own, or in my current apartment. But that's okay: it'll have good narrative.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

william93

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Re: Would like help on samhain ritual
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 08:13:29 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;24712
There's certainly other options - but whatever you pick, my basic theory is that if I'm using it in ritual, it should have a reason that I'm using that. If you have a good reason for rose, that's one thing - but if you don't, you should pick something you *do* have a reason for. Or not use anything at all.

My reasons for rosemary, for the record, have to do with its associations with memory, and the fact it's also used for purification and cleansing, making it a particularly nice combo for the early stages of ritual.

   I agree With that completely .. The only reason i said rosewater is that was the most common thing used in the lodge. as I stated earlier the only knowledge I have of herbs is with there association with the planetary forces. but the reason you gave for the rosemary sounds like a good sound choice for me..I dont pretend to know everything and is why I've asked for this help.
Quote from: Jenett;24712
(If you have a really hard and fast time you must be out of the space you're using, when you do your calculations for how much time things will take, allow at least an extra half hour, and an extra hour is safer if you have multiple improv parts like this.)  

 We do not have any time limits the space is ours. 10+ years now.  on the contrary I usually end up being there way to long.
Quote from: Jenett;24712
You know, I do find this a bit offensive. I believe that death is many wonderful things - but that doesn't mean I don't miss my beloved dead, and don't miss the fact they're not right here next to me, getting to share the parts of *this* life.  


 I am sorry, I have been told that I am to course time after time..when i should not be  my father passed last month, and even though I loved him greatly. there was no tears shed, lack of emotions in those areas I guess. I seen it as his pain was done and was glad.
Quote from: Jenett;24712
It's also really lousy narrative. One way to think of ritual is like a story: you want a beginning, a middle, and an end, and they should all fit together.


I agree completely in Kabbalah we see ritual as a formula. somewhat like a recipe. if one puts in all the right ingredients in the right order and the right amount then the desired end is inevitable. As far as people seeing the ritual itself only the participants will have a chance to view it ,unless of course there a member of this forum. and the word narrator will never enter there ears. I just used that term for lack of any better one.
 
Quote from: Jenett;24712
Well, part of the point of a spiral dance is that it doesn't take up a huge amount of space - if most of that 20x35 space is open, you could probably do it with 40 people. (There's a cool Flash-based example of a spiral dance that's adaptable to relatively small spaces at http://www.dreamroads.com/witchkids/sd.php). The variant where you have people twisting under other hands isn't as compact, but the one that spirals into the center, turns back on itself, and comes back out again works in pretty much any space where everyone can stand in a single circle without being jammed together.  


  I like that video. and will consider it but as you have stated time might be a contributing issue on this and since there will be newbies present I was hoping not to overload they're senses. most of the people will be there for the fellowship and the ritual I feel will be an addition. also I have to consider, often there are observers that will not want to participate.  and the third point is that there is the great alter in the south and a central alter which will limit the open space considerably.
 
Quote from: Jenett;24712
I'm not saying there can't be elements of joy and reunion in Samhain - certainly, my own ritual practices include that. But what I am saying is that if you go straight from "We are remembering people, we are sad, we miss them, we feel their loss in our day-to-day lives, even while we know they're doing other things that must be wonderful" to "Party now!" you are going to give people whiplash.

point taken!!! as I said in an earlier post I plan on adjusting this part so it flows a little smoother.
Quote from: Jenett;24712
(And yeah, that MIT, though the ritual I was at would have been 97.)

I believe the one I went to was in 92 or 93  was out of Boston by 96
 
Quote from: Jenett;24712
The 'end of the old year, beginning of the new' is one way to do that. Having people share one brief joyful memory of a loved one that they want to take into the new year might do it. A few moments of silent meditation with a few word in advance about moving forward might do it. Some nice verbiage (a paragraph or two) to signal the change in mood, a chant that helps the transition you want, etc. can also be very helpful. But you need to give people *something*, not just expect to flip a switch and change the mood. And generally, in my experience, you need to spend twice as much time planning the transitions as you do the rest of it, for a really successful ritual. Transitions are hard.

Again very wise advise  Point taken
Quote from: Jenett;24712
Clarification: I specifically said honey, not caramel, and there's a reason for that. (Several, in fact). Caramel is quite messy to divide, and is a pain to clean up if it drips. But more to the point, it's not a particularly useful ritual food: sure, it's sweet, but it doesn't have the weight behind it that honey does.

 Indeed you did say honey, I have no idea where I came up with caramel from. maybe from past experience..I am eager to try this it sounds good but have never had it....Also I remember in the past at witches balls they would pass around an orange with cloves stuck in it ..could you explain a little what the symbolism for that is.
Quote from: Jenett;24712
Same deal with potluck ritual foods - like I said, most of the time, whatever food people bring is nice. But if you're honoring specific people (as you want to be doing in the ritual you designed), why not do *something* to incorporate that into the potluck, so that again, you build the story and genre of your ritual over the entire evening? It doesn't need to be particularly fancy, and people don't need to be great cooks: the idea is to choose foods with awareness.

 This is an interesting idea. Maybe i should send an email out asking people to bring foods that there loved ones was fond of.

I want to thank you for all the help....I have been studying the kabbalah for  What seems to be all my life.  but wanted to do something unique and different..My first impulse was to put together something I was more familier with. like a conjuration to bartzabel. but what good is life if a person never challenges his mind to learn new things. and as with all learning mistakes will be made...over the years I have been known as the ritualist and give classes on ritual..and usually if they hear i'm in charge of the ritual " usually 5 out of 8", we have an enormous turnout. I just would like to give them something that is of the quality that i usually produce. even though I am very aware of the differences between philosophies between wicca and kabbalah. and also aware of my lack of knowledge of those differences.  for instance in kabbalah the wand represents the will and is associated with the element of fire.to where the athame is attributed to air.and usually only used for banashing and rituals associated with destroying or separation.  and herbs are usually used for invocation or banashing of particular influences. And I believe that with the help you have given me I will be able to produce a much tighter ritual. and My thanks is great, that you have taken the time to help.

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