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Author Topic: Building Outdoor Ritual Space  (Read 7767 times)

Darkhawk

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Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« on: July 19, 2012, 04:46:57 pm »
I know this is a topic of some interest to a variety of folks, so throwing it out to generate some thoughts.

While a lot of pagan religions do a great deal with the temporary and portable, such as circle-casting, a lot of others would have, at least originally, had some sort of dedicated space for ritual work, and some of those spaces were located outside.

What sorts of factors would you consider if you were able to build outdoor space?  (Privacy, ancient models for what you're doing, different pagan religions, alignments with the stars or directions, etc.?)

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?
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Celtag

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 06:24:31 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053
I know this is a topic of some interest to a variety of folks, so throwing it out to generate some thoughts.

While a lot of pagan religions do a great deal with the temporary and portable, such as circle-casting, a lot of others would have, at least originally, had some sort of dedicated space for ritual work, and some of those spaces were located outside.

What sorts of factors would you consider if you were able to build outdoor space?  (Privacy, ancient models for what you're doing, different pagan religions, alignments with the stars or directions, etc.?)

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?
I have an outdoor ritual space. I live on about 10 acres, so I have pick a grove of trees that are all very close to one another. In the middle of these trees I have gathered very large rocks and have formed them into a stone circle. In the middle of the circle I have an alter made from 2 tree stumps. I slo have a particular tree a Live Oak tree that I also do rituals under, which is part of said grove.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 06:24:45 pm by Celtag »
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 06:58:07 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053


What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?

 
Woohoo! I am on a short break from doing just that. I just picked up 100 red bricks and 4 more bags of pea gravel and set them near my circle to begin working after I cool down.

I'm building the circle as a mediation spot that I will use for ritual too and it is surrounded by garden beds (empty at the moment but tilled - whew). The circle was a natural choice given that it was already there, and I just had to clean it up and dig it out.

I spent a while sketching symbolism I wanted to go into the garden's structure. Most of it is geometry that means something to me, but my mother does Feng Shui consultations sometimes and I used her input too.

The plants, when they come, will also make up part of the structure. And will have their own associations. Some folks here gave me some awesome help brainstorming which will get me through and into next season with the choosing and aligning of concepts etc.

I'm going by feel and flow with materials. Red brick is not what I chose to border the place at first, but it kept coming up. And it turns out to be pretty inexpensive. Pea gravel is so that the rain can get through and have good drainage, but more there is a temporary nature to pea gravel. The stones themselves bring on mediation for me.

It's a work in progress. It was mentioned by a friend how has no idea of my neighborhood that it might diminish the value of my home. Haaa! Not in this neighborhood. We're all underwater property value wise. We're Atlantis over here.

Okay. I better get back at it.

Catherine

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 12:06:47 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053

What sorts of factors would you consider if you were able to build outdoor space?  (Privacy, ancient models for what you're doing, different pagan religions, alignments with the stars or directions, etc.?)

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?


I've promised to build Hecate a three way crossroads when we buy a house. Even though that's still pretty far in the future, I've been thinking about how I would do that since we're locked in to this neighborhood because of The Boy's school district. Most of the houses are pretty close together, so privacy and lot size will always be an issue. It will have to be relatively inconspicuous, and probably rather small. I do have a few ideas, though.

1) Roads should go somewhere. I could create three paths that each end in something that symbolizes one of Her realms. For instance, one could go to a water feature of some kind. Another could lead to a decorative grouping of large stones or boulders. Ideally, the third would end in a good place to view the moon. Maybe, with a bench or something. I won't know for sure what to do about "sky" until we actually have some property to work with and I see what kinds of views we have.

2) The center where the roads meet should be a place to leave offerings that won't be too obvious to the neighbors. I think I'd like to build a fire pit. Maybe put some benches around it, but again I won't know for sure until I know how much space I'm working with.

3) Even if I build a fence around the property, privacy will still be an issue. neighbors can always see other peoples yards around here from their second story windows and there's really no way too keep family and friends from using the space, too. But I think that's okay. People use roads. I don't think it has to be off limits at all times.

Ultimately, I guess I'm looking to create a nicely landscaped area that is also an outside ritual space.

Rhyshadow

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 12:27:59 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?

 
I'm currently in the process of building a sanctuary (Nemeton) in my backyard

check my Cleirach blog for the details

Basically it'll be a grassy area raised by landscaping timbers, surrounded by bushes ("shrubbery!") with three small shrines in it, one for each of the three I work with.

Juniperberry

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 06:09:01 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053
I know this is a topic of some interest to a variety of folks, so throwing it out to generate some thoughts.

While a lot of pagan religions do a great deal with the temporary and portable, such as circle-casting, a lot of others would have, at least originally, had some sort of dedicated space for ritual work, and some of those spaces were located outside.

What sorts of factors would you consider if you were able to build outdoor space?  (Privacy, ancient models for what you're doing, different pagan religions, alignments with the stars or directions, etc.?)

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?


I have a pile of stones from when we landscaped that I'm thinking of using to build a cairn. First priority is putting it somewhere where the little ones won't run into it and get hit with falling rocks. Privacy is somewhat of a concern,  but I don't do much for theatrical ritual. The cairn would only have offerings of food, drink or flowers set on top of it. So my next concern is my dog.

I'll probably build it in my garden, which is fenced off already. Keeps kids and animals away and it'll seem less odd to prying eyes. Plus, its reminiscent of the roped off sacred space that was set up back in pre-christian times.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 08:40:48 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;65189
I've promised to build Hecate a three way crossroads when we buy a house. Even though that's still pretty far in the future, I've been thinking about how I would do that since we're locked in to this neighborhood because of The Boy's school district. Most of the houses are pretty close together, so privacy and lot size will always be an issue. It will have to be relatively inconspicuous, and probably rather small. I do have a few ideas, though.

1) Roads should go somewhere. I could create three paths that each end in something that symbolizes one of Her realms. For instance, one could go to a water feature of some kind. Another could lead to a decorative grouping of large stones or boulders. Ideally, the third would end in a good place to view the moon. Maybe, with a bench or something. I won't know for sure what to do about "sky" until we actually have some property to work with and I see what kinds of views we have.

2) The center where the roads meet should be a place to leave offerings that won't be too obvious to the neighbors. I think I'd like to build a fire pit. Maybe put some benches around it, but again I won't know for sure until I know how much space I'm working with.

3) Even if I build a fence around the property, privacy will still be an issue. neighbors can always see other peoples yards around here from their second story windows and there's really no way too keep family and friends from using the space, too. But I think that's okay. People use roads. I don't think it has to be off limits at all times.

Ultimately, I guess I'm looking to create a nicely landscaped area that is also an outside ritual space.


All I can say is as a follower and devotee of Hecate / Hekate what you plan and describe is something i'd love to see and step upon to connect with her.  I think she'd be very pleased with it as it sounds as if it will be filled with lots of energy, devotion to her and dedication.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 08:53:37 pm »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;65192
I'm currently in the process of building a sanctuary (Nemeton) in my backyard

check my Cleirach blog for the details

Basically it'll be a grassy area raised by landscaping timbers, surrounded by bushes ("shrubbery!") with three small shrines in it, one for each of the three I work with.

 
I went to check it out! Nice! I feel for you with that trench digging. Had to do some digging myself, and yeah, the heat made it take much longer than I'd hoped.

Here's mine so far:
[attach=CONFIG][/attach]

I totally miscalculated the amount of pea gravel I need. 18 bags are in there already and it looks like I will need 18 more! It's going to have to wait for next pay, but at least I can get some foundation border bricks in place.

We need some Knights who say Ni! 5 gallon pots of shrubberies (4' tall already) here go for 30$ a pop. Budget wise, this is going to take time and patience for me.

Hey, I was looking on Craigslist for shrubberies on a lark and there were several listing in this area. Nothing I wanted, but you might find something in your area that's a good deal.

MadZealot

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 09:42:49 pm »
Quote from: Celtag;65069
I have an outdoor ritual space. I live on about 10 acres, so I have pick a grove of trees that are all very close to one another. In the middle of these trees I have gathered very large rocks and have formed them into a stone circle. In the middle of the circle I have an alter made from 2 tree stumps. I slo have a particular tree a Live Oak tree that I also do rituals under, which is part of said grove.


This.  Wish I had the land for this.  Alas, I'm a city boy, so my plan is to go to Home Depot, get some suitable looking paving stones, and plant a stone circle in the middle of the back yard.  The plan is to make it 9' across, with slightly larger stones marking the four cardinal points.  I'm thinking of putting a stone bench in the center (this would double as a working altar) or erecting a tripod where I could suspend a cauldron.  Boy would that scare the hell out of the neighbors.
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herkles

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 11:51:18 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;65053
What sorts of factors would you consider if you were able to build outdoor space?  (Privacy, ancient models for what you're doing, different pagan religions, alignments with the stars or directions, etc.?)

What would you build?  What materials, structures, other symbols would you want to use?

What else might be involved?

 
I live on a college campus so for the most part I do not have much room to do out door rituals, though there is some spaces available; I do think I am the only pagan on my campus though.


Anyways if I could build a ritual space, ie if money was no object and there was the resources available, an outdoor ritual space would be a shrine.  The shrine would have a mixture of indoor and outdoor areas. This would be obviously for group rituals, festivals and cermonies.

Basically the shrine it self would be dedicated to various deities, and being that I follow a celtic path it would be dedicated to the celtic deties. The shrine would be surrounded by a low wall.

the exterior part of the shrine, would have trees planted throughout it, as well as one specific tree to be a tree for the Sidhe that are in that space.  This Sidhe or fairy tree would probaly be the biggest one in the shrine.  There would be an area for bonfires for the fire festival and other festivals. Thethe exterior part would be the sacred grove part of the shrine.

the interior part of the shrine is where the images of the god(s) or goddess(es) being honored at this particular shrine; thus scenes from mythology about the particular god(s) or goddess(es) would be present. It would not be built to be closed off from nature but to be in harmony with nature. There would also be a place in the interior spot to give offerings to the god(s), goddess(es), sidhe and/or ancestors.  This interior

I doubt this would happen anytime soon, and I am unsure how acurate this is to the way a celtic shrine/temple would have been built in pre-christian ireland. The fact I plan to live in a city as well won't help. Though the exterior part of this thought of mine could be done on a miniature scale.

Likely I would do what I do now when I move to a city after graduation, have a particular tree that I would do my outdoor rituals near.

Caroline

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 12:06:21 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;65268
This.  Wish I had the land for this.  Alas, I'm a city boy, so my plan is to go to Home Depot, get some suitable looking paving stones, and plant a stone circle in the middle of the back yard.  The plan is to make it 9' across, with slightly larger stones marking the four cardinal points.  I'm thinking of putting a stone bench in the center (this would double as a working altar) or erecting a tripod where I could suspend a cauldron.  Boy would that scare the hell out of the neighbors.

 
Our last place had a wee, wee yard, but I managed exactly that: a small paving stone circle.

MadZealot

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 12:11:42 am »
Quote from: Caroline;65282
Our last place had a wee, wee yard, but I managed exactly that: a small paving stone circle.


Right in the middle of a garden?!?
That's perfect!!
:)
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 01:30:19 am »
Quote from: Caroline;65282
Our last place had a wee, wee yard, but I managed exactly that: a small paving stone circle.

 
That's lovely!

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 01:41:42 am »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;65287
That's lovely!


I count 13 stones.  One for each Moon?
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Building Outdoor Ritual Space
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 02:04:31 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;65290
I count 13 stones.  One for each Moon?

 

That's for Caroline, but I'm curious too!

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