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Author Topic: Dedication Rituals  (Read 1065 times)

Redfaery

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Dedication Rituals
« on: March 26, 2014, 05:16:11 am »
Hello All, I am a devotee of Sarasvati, though I also work with Loki when I cast runes. Sarasvati in all her aspects is my patron goddess, and I have taken it as a task from her to learn about her history and cults across Asia.

I knew that once the time was right, I would formally dedicate myself to her, and yesterday afternoon, I was wondering to myself what I should do, as I felt somewhat adrift. Her suggestion popped into my head. "Plan your dedication." And this morning I felt drawn to check in with Loki and the runes. First I drew Ken/Kenaz reversed, then Ethel/Othila reversed. I checked the readings, and both seemed to indicate the need to give up something old and start a new chapter. I asked explicitly, "is this about Sarasvati?" and as I fished around in the bag, I thought "if I draw Beorc/Berkana, it's about the dedication for certain." And sure enough, out came Beorc, the rune of female fertility and new beginnings.

I don't think I can do anything in my apartment, or on the grounds of the complex, but on the campus of my college is a strong possibility, and one that Sarasvati seems to approve of, for at least the initial ceremony. I'll be going to Japan this summer, and I want to visit a shrine to Benzaiten as part of my dedication ceremonies.

But apart from inviting maybe 2-3 interested friends to the Lake on campus for a picnic in honor of Sarasvati, I'm at a loss as to what else I should do. I'm still such a newbie when it comes to ritual. I don't even cast circles. I know that's a good place to start, though.;)

So does anyone have any suggestions? Sarasvati will no doubt give me input, but she seems to prefer that I come up with things and then run them by her, like the idea that I hold my initial ceremony on my college campus - an appropriate place in more ways than one.:)
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Re: Dedication Rituals
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 08:41:21 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;143678
I don't think I can do anything in my apartment, or on the grounds of the complex, but on the campus of my college is a strong possibility, and one that Sarasvati seems to approve of, for at least the initial ceremony. I'll be going to Japan this summer, and I want to visit a shrine to Benzaiten as part of my dedication ceremonies.

But apart from inviting maybe 2-3 interested friends to the Lake on campus for a picnic in honor of Sarasvati, I'm at a loss as to what else I should do. I'm still such a newbie when it comes to ritual. I don't even cast circles. I know that's a good place to start, though.;)

So does anyone have any suggestions? Sarasvati will no doubt give me input, but she seems to prefer that I come up with things and then run them by her, like the idea that I hold my initial ceremony on my college campus - an appropriate place in more ways than one.:)

 
In terms of casting circles, are you planning a neo-Wiccan style ritual? If not, there's no reason why you necessarily have to include that. (My rituals don't involve casting circles - lots of people's don't) It will probably help you if you can decide what aspects of ritual you want to include. For example, do you want a verbal statement of your dedication? What kind of representation of Sarasvati would you like to have there, if any? Those kinds of things. Do you work within a Hindu framework when honouring Sarasvati? If so, that might be a good place to start with ritual planning.

I'd be interested to hear what you end up doing! I'm considering a dedication ritual myself soon, although to a deity from a completely different culture - but I'm interested in how people go about planning these.
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Redfaery

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Re: Dedication Rituals
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 10:59:30 am »
Quote from: Naomi J;143776
In terms of casting circles, are you planning a neo-Wiccan style ritual? If not, there's no reason why you necessarily have to include that. (My rituals don't involve casting circles - lots of people's don't) It will probably help you if you can decide what aspects of ritual you want to include. For example, do you want a verbal statement of your dedication? What kind of representation of Sarasvati would you like to have there, if any? Those kinds of things. Do you work within a Hindu framework when honouring Sarasvati? If so, that might be a good place to start with ritual planning.

I'd be interested to hear what you end up doing! I'm considering a dedication ritual myself soon, although to a deity from a completely different culture - but I'm interested in how people go about planning these.

 
Thank you so much for your reply!

Sarasvati is not only a Hindu goddess, but also a Buddhist and Jain goddess, as well as a figure in popular Japanese Shinto (as Benzaiten or Benten). She is a Pan-Asian figure, and as such, I've been pretty eclectic in my approach to her.

That said, I've never been able to make ritual circles "work" for me. The concept simply doesn't click. Hinduism and Buddhism and East Asian cultures in general conceive of the elements in a very different fashion. Even when the five typical in Neo-Wiccan practice are used, they are thought of in a very different sense, and seen as relating to each other in a very different way. I guess as you said, that's reason enough to not worry about casting a ritual circle.:)

I was wanting to do something outdoors, by a body of water. Sarasvati was originally a river goddess (of the river Sarasvati, which has long since vanished), and I've gotten the sense that water is sacred to her, and bathing is a sacred activity.

I know that as part of the ritual, I want to invoke her, and announce my dedication to her. Generally, when I have successfully invoked Sarasvati, I speak clearly and fluently - even eloquently. I can produce beautiful speeches spontaneously and without any forethought.

I have asperger's and am pathologically clumsy expressing myself through speech, though I am highly verbal and write beautifully. It's like Sarasvati removes the barrier in my mind between my skills with the written word and the spoken word. In fact, when I have invoked her, the speeches often come to me in the same way that my writings do. I "read" the words in my brain before I communicate them.

So I guess the crucial part of the ritual would be the invocation. I'm just scared that it wouldn't come off correctly, and I'd be left there tongue-tied.
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Re: Dedication Rituals
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 01:16:21 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;143783

So I guess the crucial part of the ritual would be the invocation. I'm just scared that it wouldn't come off correctly, and I'd be left there tongue-tied.

 
The other part worth some thought is - what are you dedicating yourself *to do*? A dedication is, fundamentally, a statement of action (or of future action), so it's good to think about what that means so you can include it. You want to honour Sarasvati, but 'honour' covers a lot of ground, and it's good to be clear in dedications what you're willing to commit to so both you and the deity are on the same page.

My training taught me to make commitments limited term and limited focus at first - so, for example, committing the next year to figuring out how you'll honor the deity in ritual or daily life, before committing the rest of your life. Likewise, making sure the commitment you make is sustainable - something you commit to doing once a month or once a week (that takes more than about 5-10 minutes) is a lot more sustainable than something that's every day.

(Because the 'every day' part will last until the first time you get sick or have to travel, unless you design the actions very carefully. "I'll do one devotional act every day" with a list of 10 or 15 is a lot more flexible than "I'll light a candle and meditate for 15 minutes" because there are a surprising number of times in life when a candle isn't a functional tool. "I'll do a devotional act every week" is more flexible.)

If everything goes smoothly, then you can renew it (and possibly do a longer term) in a year. One of the things I like about the yearly renewal option is that besides giving you a chance to tweak what you're offering as your life changes (and lives do change!), it gives you a chance to recommit to what you're doing in a powerful way (getting to say again and again that you want this commitment to this deity, rather than doing it once.)
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Redfaery

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Re: Dedication Rituals
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 01:42:25 am »
Quote from: Jenett;143792
The other part worth some thought is - what are you dedicating yourself *to do*? A dedication is, fundamentally, a statement of action (or of future action), so it's good to think about what that means so you can include it. You want to honour Sarasvati, but 'honour' covers a lot of ground, and it's good to be clear in dedications what you're willing to commit to so both you and the deity are on the same page.
something that's every day.

I hadn't thought much about this, but I think for me it's more about "following" Sarasvati, and that means furthering my education and increasing my knowledge and understanding of the world. She's a goddess of wisdom and education, both material and spiritual, and I'm a pure geek. It's a good fit! I love research, and she gives me things to research, and points me to things when I'm stuck on my writing.

So to me, this is sort of also an initiation into the path of a scholar and historian. I want to bring knowledge into the world and increase the understanding of others. That's something I know Sarasvati will want.:)

EDIT: I was right. I typed that and now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sarasvati is REALLY pleased with me and I feel like giggling.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 01:45:27 am by Redfaery »
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Redfaery

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Re: Dedication Rituals
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 09:30:59 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;143847
I hadn't thought much about this, but I think for me it's more about "following" Sarasvati, and that means furthering my education and increasing my knowledge and understanding of the world. She's a goddess of wisdom and education, both material and spiritual, and I'm a pure geek. It's a good fit! I love research, and she gives me things to research, and points me to things when I'm stuck on my writing.

So to me, this is sort of also an initiation into the path of a scholar and historian. I want to bring knowledge into the world and increase the understanding of others. That's something I know Sarasvati will want.:)

EDIT: I was right. I typed that and now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sarasvati is REALLY pleased with me and I feel like giggling.

 
I'm sorry for the double post, but I was finally able to get back to sleep, so now I can think a little more clearly.:)

I'm beginning to have a clearer idea of what I want. I know the first ceremony (the one I'm planning right now) should take place by a body of water. This could be the lake on my college campus, or it could be the stream that runs through the neighborhood where I grew up. It could even be the pond in the backyard at my childhood home. This last idea might be the best, since it would have the most privacy.

The ceremony itself would involve me invoking Sarasvati and giving a Charge where I announce my intention to follow her and live the path of the scholar and bring knowledge to the world. I think if this was at my parents' house (which is my heart's home and will be mine one day) there would be much less stress on me.

Having a guest or guests would be important, since the whole point of this ceremony in my mind is that I'm making my dedication to Sarasvati "official." I know one person who has to come (stephyjh ;)), and I want to invite my BFFs Crystal and Carin too, and perhaps another friend who is also a pagan.

So I think my only problem is the specifics of the invocation. When I'm alone, I don't even usually know HOW it happens. I just do my thing and Sarasvati comes and helps me speak. I don't know if she'd object to a specific ritual, or if that would help....but I'd really like to hear suggestions on invocations.

Oh yeah. And after the invocation there's going to be food.:D:
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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