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Author Topic: rituals a must have?  (Read 1725 times)

addy

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rituals a must have?
« on: September 13, 2011, 06:57:56 am »
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks

monsnoleedra

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 07:20:48 am »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks


Many people have individualy created rituals / ceremonies for honoring the turning of the wheel.  Many times I would guess the more structured rituals / ceremonies are found in coven settings where you have multiple people attending.   Depending upon who you honor / revere there maybe specific things you do that make it seem formal as it is called for by the deity or deities involved.  Yet many coven's also employ coven or public rites in addition to many having thier own private or individual rites / rituals / ceremonies.

This is also one of those areas where UPG can be a valuable guide.  I have certain things I do that are strickly based upon UPG and dream time visions and guidance.  Things that are built about my relationship to my gods / goddesses so may not fit in any other persons practices.

That is not to say those who follow more of a recon pathway do not have formalized individual rituals / ceremonies based upon thier chosen pathway.

One other thing to consider is that depending upon who you are worshipping, honoring or revering the typical sabbat / esabbt dates may not work or feel right.  For instance some of the most important dates in Hekate's / Hecate's worship does not fall beneath any of the sabbat / esabbat dates.  So to try and make them fit those dates makes them feel wrong to me and very out of place.  I find that honoring Artemis on those sabbat / esabbat dates produces that same sense of wrongness to me.  Of course that is my opinion so it may very for others.

Catherine

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 09:10:55 am »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks


IMO, celebrating holidays can be as formal or casual as you want them to be when you celebrate alone. The important part is making sure it holds some meaning for you and makes your deities (if you have any that you work with) happy.

Livia Indica

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 11:37:06 am »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks

 
I don't care for formality either. It just feels stilted, uncomfortable and unnatural even. I prefer a much more simple affair, just me and my guides and my gods talking and working to make some magic. For me, it's more like conversation than a high-falutin' scripted thing with robes and all that. I sometimes think that all of that ceremony just stands in the way but that's probably just in my case.

Darkhawk

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 11:40:27 am »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks

 
One thing I'll note:  back when I was a new pagan, I found that the rituals I had information on left me feeling like a total dork.

It turns out that part of the reason for that was that I was pursuing the wrong path, and neo-Wicca was a terrible fit for me.

Sometimes it's worth pushing through and examining to figure out whether or not feelings of discomfort are a problem; sometimes the feelings of discomfort are because someone is actually barking up the wrong tree.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Shadow

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 11:53:36 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;19607

Sometimes it's worth pushing through and examining to figure out whether or not feelings of discomfort are a problem; sometimes the feelings of discomfort are because someone is actually barking up the wrong tree.


This post really resonated with me. I have more or less given up practicing more 'formal' rituals because they made me feel uncomfortable, and more than a little bit stupid. When I did attempt rituals they were very much based on the Wiccan format of casting circles, calling elements etc and your post has got me wondering if maybe it is my focus that has been all wrong rather than rituals themselves.

I currently work exclusively with the Greek pantheon, specifically Athena, Aphrodite and Dionysos, and have also had a couple of attempts at following a Hellenic ritual format. This to felt a little uncomfortable for me, too much pomp and circumstance for my liking, so maybe the key is to look at developing a form of ritual that it a little more 'down-and-dirty'.

All-in-all I don't believe rituals are a bad thing. Following some form of pre-designed specifics allows us to build on a level of connection and 'otherness' that we may not have achieved by always doing something different than the last time. There is nothing to say, however, that these rituals need to be formal or showy, and this is something I think I need to begin to look at in a bit more detail.

hufflee

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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 01:37:47 pm »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks

Rituals don't have to be all big and showy. A ritual, by one definition is simply something done the same way time after time. If you have 3 colored candles, red blue and green for example, and you always light them in the same order, you have a ritual. If you have a purpose behind what you do, and when you do it, I have found that my "simple" rituals make my practice as involved spiritually/magically as any of the showier rituals I've done.

I know this doesn't really answer your original question, but maybe it's a different way to look at what you already do.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 01:38:21 pm by hufflee »
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Re: rituals a must have?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 05:57:31 pm »
Quote from: addy;19567
hello everyone. I notice that formal rituals sometimes make me feel unconfortable. Is there a way I can celebrate the sabbats and esbats by still using my altar? Thanks

 
Depends - what do you mean by celebrate? What do you want to get out of the experience? What's going to be satisfying for you?

(Formal rituals are something I need to do. There have been times when I've taken a break from them - when my health got really lousy, and since the move, because I'm still settling into the new space. But after a while, my brain gets really cranky without significant structured ritual time. Plus, as a priestess in my particular path, I both have some specific ritual obligations at particular points in the year, most of which involve fairly formal stuff, and beyond that, need to keep my hand in with the formal structures, so that if I need to help out others in my trad, I can do so. So, for me, the answer is "Most of the time, I need to be including the formal stuff.")

You, however, are not me. Your answer might be different. That said, most Pagan practices are focused on *practice*, so if you're not doing anything at all, it's probably a good time to start asking yourself why that is, and whether you need to be looking at something different than what you've been aiming at.

A *lot* of people feel some degree of discomfort when they first try doing ritual. Sometimes, as Darkhawk said so well, it's because they're not doing the right thing for them. But there are also times you're doing something new, and new stuff often feels a bit uncomfortable. Or you're doing something that's sort of right, but not quite, and you can't figure out why yet.

(This is one of the reasons that, for people who can, visiting a variety of other people's rituals can be really handy: you get to figure out what you're interested in without having to do it all yourself, and while you might feel a bit silly, it's usually much less so if you're mostly 'one person in a group doing this stuff' rather than all by yourself.)

So, what I usually suggest to people is to give it not just one or two tries, but (unless something feels really substantially wrong, painful, etc.) 3-5 tries before deciding to move on: usually by that point, you'll have a better idea what's working for you, whether it's a particular day or situation that isn't working for you, and get a chance to give.

And beyond that, do some really serious thinking about what you want out of your practice, and why, and some things that might look like. This might involve some journalling or meditation. It might involve planning out "Well, I'm going to try four rituals using this basic concept, and see how that goes." and then if that works, keep on with it, and if it doesn't, plan to move on to trying something a bit different.

(This is on my personal radar as something to write about, probably in the next month or two, on my blog, and I'll try to remember to mention it around here, too. I've sort of given myself a deadline of the equinox to figure out what my ritual practice is going to look like here and start trying stuff.)

I've got some more about this on my website that might also be useful to you: http://gleewood.org/seeking/practices/feeling-silly/
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