“Pax a Gay White Male Pagan with interests in Witchcraft and Hellenic Paganism seeks moving and powerful ritual in his local community. He would like to see rituals in his community that actually have more to do with living in Central Florida in the 21st Century as a Pagan than they do looking to some vague and often wildly inaccurate Neo-Pagan vision of the past in a climate wildly out of sync with the one we are living in.
Ritualists should be able to show through their words and actions that they have an in depth understanding of the psychology and theology and thaumaturgy and theurgy of ritual. They should be able to craft ritual that is moving and powerful yet at the same time welcoming to both Theistic and Non-theistic Pagans, and should be more interested in crafting a ritual for OTHERS than themselves. They should also be willing to put long term planning, practice, and forethought into their rituals.”
I have decided I am tired of mediocre public rites, I am still working out what exactly to do about it though.
I am still in the midst of the first year I have given myself for my involvement with a local Pagan group and am coming to terms with the fact that I need to try and get out more into the community in the Orlando area. This particular group has a lot of good people, but frankly, a LOT of what I have seen out there down here in terms of ritual so far has seemed, well…just o.k..
I have had one too many rituals where people have been selected, sometimes seemingly at random or by volunteer to read out an invocation to the elements
“Uhmmm Powers of the North, er Spirits of Earth and the …Furmemenet , Strength of the Gray night, Fertilty of the Fields, uh ….”
I have been to one too many Pagan public rites where the organizers seemed to have only the haziest concept of the idea of establishing a group mind to make magick, or that spell work was not the end all and be all of ritual, or that Neo-Wicca is not the end all and be all of Paganism, and that there is more to ritual than 4 elements and spell craft. For that matter, if you must have a spell do it because it’s truly needed and not because your flailing about for a way to include everyone in attendance! If some people have trouble standing, fine, find them a chair, but for heavens sake could everyone who is able to stand when the Gods are invoked at the very least instead of having everyone sitting down and watching like a movie night around a tv?!
There are a few shining moments. Joe W. sharing his modern Freja myth for the Winter Soltice. The late and much missed Awen’s Moon Circles. Kym Dragons small simple Moon Circle. … a few times in the last 5 years. There have been a few other times were the rituals became Rituals… where that strange alchemical shift transformed play-acting and props into tools of Magic and Spirit… but these were at best accidental.
A ritual should NEVER be moving or touching or effective on accident!
It’s like folks have neither studied their Craft, since SO many of the Pagans in my area seem to be some species of Neo-Wicca – even the ones who steadfastly call themselves Pagan and pay lip service to the idea that other types of Paganism exist – except when putting together something for their communities; nor have they ever looked into how things were ACTUALLY done in ancient times, or for that matter into ancient forms of Paganism.
Its like if it isn’t in Lady Crystal Moon Indigo Childe Bunnythighs Great Big Booke of Shammanic Celtic Crystal Chakra Workout Wicca then it isn’t really Paganism!
I have tried to talk to some folks about this and while a few who agree wholeheartedly with me, I am also getting told I am being too judgmental (cause of course we would want to use judgment now would we….) or demanding or that I just don’t understand how little time folks have…
Well if you don’t have the time then don’t volunteer to do the ritual for others! If you stand up and take responsibility for putting on an event, of any type, then damn well stand up and do your utmost to make it the best event you can. If you are putting on a religious ritual for your community then you are essentially offering a SERVICE to them, volunteering your time and energy to them and to The Holy Powers – however you conceive of them- and you ought to darn well care enough to give your best.
The only way I can think of to spread this idea is to start seeking out some like-minded fellow Pagans and put on some Rites with them that move beyond the lite and basic and fairly disorganized stuff I have seen. Then from there move on to the discussion groups and classes that are currently being offered…