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Author Topic: Pagan ritual in sedar format  (Read 7510 times)
mandrina
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« Reply #15: January 01, 2010, 02:49:11 pm »

Yes, probably.
Maybe you could ask a question around why each piece of food is put out as it's put on the plate.


I'm not sure a dumb supper is built around particular food as compared as to how we;re eating it.  We've opened the house to ancestors, the plate and chair represents them, almost literally, the questions would be about the beliefs behind it and why we're doing it.  and you can't talk during a dumb supper, so asking a question about a piece of food as it's being served, won't quite work, since as we do it, it's part of the silent part. 

It is a ritual built around a ritual meal like the seder is a ritual built around a ritual meal.  I don't really expect them to look much more alike than that, and they don't have to. 
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« Reply #16: January 01, 2010, 04:58:05 pm »

I'm not sure a dumb supper is built around particular food as compared as to how we;re eating it.  We've opened the house to ancestors, the plate and chair represents them, almost literally, the questions would be about the beliefs behind it and why we're doing it.  and you can't talk during a dumb supper, so asking a question about a piece of food as it's being served, won't quite work, since as we do it, it's part of the silent part. 

It is a ritual built around a ritual meal like the seder is a ritual built around a ritual meal.  I don't really expect them to look much more alike than that, and they don't have to. 

Hence my initial comment that dumb supper was a suggestion that didn't seem to work. What you describe above seems to fit more with a class to teach about a dumb supper rather than something that could be done during it.
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« Reply #17: January 01, 2010, 05:29:48 pm »

Hence my initial comment that dumb supper was a suggestion that didn't seem to work. What you describe above seems to fit more with a class to teach about a dumb supper rather than something that could be done during it.

what, and a seder isn't a ritualised class about why the jews celebrate passover?
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« Reply #18: January 01, 2010, 05:37:14 pm »

what, and a seder isn't a ritualised class about why the jews celebrate passover?

no, right now, the dumb supper will not look exactly like a seder.  IF what you want is a ritual that will look exactly like a seder, which seems to be what you are insisting on, then one needs to convert and have a seder.  Nothing mentioned so far looks exactly like a seder, but I liked jenetts one too.  The point is to have the prayers, questions and answer built around a ritual meal.  In judaism, the foods are specified, they may not be in other versions of the ritual meal, but they are definitily more than just cakes and ale, the meal is integral to the ritual. 

Now I wouldn't call a dumb supper the same thing as a seder, they are not the same species, but the it's in the same genus of ritual type.
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« Reply #19: January 01, 2010, 05:45:15 pm »

The point is to have the prayers, questions and answer built around a ritual meal.

Just an idea, but that might be putting the cart before the horse. It strikes me that the idea is to have a core message to communicate that can be mapped to the materials, processes and cultural symbolism that make up a meal, including its preparation and/or consumption.

The rest seems secondary. I don't mean that you can leave it out, rather that it's in there because of this core fact. The questions are there because it's a teaching ceremony based in a commandment to passon a particular set of core messages. The food choices and prayer choices are there because they illustrate one or more of the core messages. I'm sure you get the drift my mind is taking. I'm not sure if it helps; I just thought it very strongly when I read the bit I quoted Smiley.
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« Reply #20: January 01, 2010, 05:55:28 pm »

Just an idea, but that might be putting the cart before the horse. It strikes me that the idea is to have a core message to communicate that can be mapped to the materials, processes and cultural symbolism that make up a meal, including its preparation and/or consumption.

The rest seems secondary. I don't mean that you can leave it out, rather that it's in there because of this core fact. The questions are there because it's a teaching ceremony based in a commandment to passon a particular set of core messages. The food choices and prayer choices are there because they illustrate one or more of the core messages. I'm sure you get the drift my mind is taking. I'm not sure if it helps; I just thought it very strongly when I read the bit I quoted Smiley.

Every thing has to go together, I understand that.  But for that, the foods do not necessarily have to be specified.  They are in judaism, but it might rather be types of food or colors of food that represent various things in other religions. 

But this also leaves the question of having a seder in the first place.  He;s looking for a way to put a seder in a religion that may or may not have that commandment in it, and the ritual and its format has been around for a very long time.  The only religions that seder fits into is Judaism and Christianity (and that really only for those christians who want to recapture the jewishness that is in christianity, if that makes any sense,).  The thing will have to be adapted to fit into another religion and it may not come out looking like a traditional seder, even though it may have all the appropriate parts.
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« Reply #21: January 01, 2010, 05:56:48 pm »

Every thing has to go together, I understand that.  But for that, the foods do not necessarily have to be specified.  They are in judaism, but it might rather be types of food or colors of food that represent various things in other religions. 

But this also leaves the question of having a seder in the first place.  He;s looking for a way to put a seder in a religion that may or may not have that commandment in it, and the ritual and its format has been around for a very long time.  The only religions that seder fits into is Judaism and Christianity (and that really only for those christians who want to recapture the jewishness that is in christianity, if that makes any sense,).  The thing will have to be adapted to fit into another religion and it may not come out looking like a traditional seder, even though it may have all the appropriate parts.

or maybe the appropriate thing is to say, look, judaism has a ritual all it's own.  congrats. it's yours.  We might do something similar, but it is not the same thing.
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« Reply #22: January 01, 2010, 07:12:32 pm »

right, so you could do a dumb supper that way.  BUild in questions, prayers and ritual around the dumb supper. Just not during the actual serving and eating part of it.

We've done something similar, though the meal is pretty explicitly not a dumb/silent supper - people bring food relating to either a particular (dead) loved one, or that's from their family heritage in some way. Once everyone has food, we go around and share why we brought the dish we did. People are still eating during most of it - just one person talking at a time, briefly.

There are sometimes variations: I usually bring a classic English medieval meat pie recipe because the dishes I've got more connection to in my immediate family either don't hold well during ritual (Welsh rabbit, steak and kidney pie) or involve pastry skills I don't have yet (apple strudel, etc. from the Austro-Hungarian Empire side of the family.)

One other thing occured to me: I did a ritual a few years ago that was meant as a silent reflection on the elements that could be adapted: in that case, I had songs (drawn from various non-ritual sources) playing that reflected each element, then passed around things to eat, drink, smell (perfumes and oils) and touch (everything from glass to rocks to velvet and silk). I could see adapting that into a more formal ritual feast - intersperse the music with readings, reflections, meditations, ritualised question + answer stuff that relates to the element.

(If I were to do this, probably the speaking part first, then music while people pass things around and use their senses, then maybe more talking bits, then maybe more music for reflection and transition to the next element - the trick with this ritual is that you needed to allow plenty of time for people to explore on their own without things getting backlogged too much as people take different amounts of time.)

As an example: air had pear cider, very airy foods (thin cookies, I remember) incense, wispy fabric and feathers, light floral perfumes, etc and the music was "Secret Voices" from Gaia Consort. Fire had spicy foods to taste, warmed cinnamon and spices to smell, a candle in a wide glass candleholder (so you could cup your hands around it without burning them), silk, etc. and the music was "Alegria" from Cirque du Soleil.  I also gave them markers and blank paper to sketch on, take notes with, etc. as things came to them .
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« Reply #23: January 01, 2010, 09:28:08 pm »

what, and a seder isn't a ritualised class about why the jews celebrate passover?

No, it's not a class. I've taught classes on the meaning of the symbols and foods.

The biggest problem with a dumb supper being mapped to a sedar is that you can't talk during the dumb supper.

Talking about the foods used in a dumb supper is going to happen before or after the dumb supper.

It doesn't matter what foods you choose to serve, other than you tie those foods into the ritual.  For example, if you were going to look at a Wiccan ritual, you'd probably serve a food from each direction, such as caribou for north, bannanas for south, sushi for east, and not sure what for west; or something spicy for fire, a fish, a bird and an underground vegtable like potatoe for the 4 elements. You'd eat the specific food as you are casting the circle.

Hail, guardians of the north, we offer to you and partake with you this potatoe dish. The potatoe, the plant of the earth, that provides .....

I suspect that would make the circle casting, and hence the entire ritual way to long.
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« Reply #24: January 01, 2010, 10:46:52 pm »

No, it's not a class. I've taught classes on the meaning of the symbols and foods.

The biggest problem with a dumb supper being mapped to a sedar is that you can't talk during the dumb supper.

Talking about the foods used in a dumb supper is going to happen before or after the dumb supper.

It doesn't matter what foods you choose to serve, other than you tie those foods into the ritual.  For example, if you were going to look at a Wiccan ritual, you'd probably serve a food from each direction, such as caribou for north, bannanas for south, sushi for east, and not sure what for west; or something spicy for fire, a fish, a bird and an underground vegtable like potatoe for the 4 elements. You'd eat the specific food as you are casting the circle.

Hail, guardians of the north, we offer to you and partake with you this potatoe dish. The potatoe, the plant of the earth, that provides .....

I suspect that would make the circle casting, and hence the entire ritual way to long.

see my immediately previous post.
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« Reply #25: February 20, 2010, 10:22:44 pm »

I suspect that would make the circle casting, and hence the entire ritual way to long.

I think that's a pretty common complaint about the actual Passover seder, lol.

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« Reply #26: February 21, 2010, 09:33:17 am »

I get that an important part of the Seder is the ritualized questions and answers.

Another key component of a seder is the order in which things happen.  (Seder actually translates to order.)  I think for another religion to have a meal based on a seder, this would have to be a key component.  If you wanted it to be modeled on a *Passover* Seder (the one mostly being talked about in this thread) I would say that it is necessary to have an immersive and participatory story.  I think that both of these things could be incorporated into a Dumb Supper, although creating a participatory story without words would take some considerable effort.

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« Reply #27: February 21, 2010, 02:09:58 pm »

I think that's a pretty common complaint about the actual Passover seder, lol.

Sperran

well, make sure you cast the circle first, then call the quarters, then invoke the goddess and god, then do your meal, the devoke, then release the quarters, then uncast the circle.

Order in important to almost every ritual.
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« Reply #28: February 21, 2010, 04:28:00 pm »

well, make sure you cast the circle first, then call the quarters, then invoke the goddess and god, then do your meal, the devoke, then release the quarters, then uncast the circle.

Order in important to almost every ritual.

I think that order is important to many rituals, but is not given such a place of prominence as part of many rituals.  I think the order of the seder (especially Passover seder) is so prominent because it is mapped to a narrative that is central to the Jewish people.  Like I said, I think a similar idea could be done with other traditions.  I just wanted to chime in with this because Peter did not emphasize an aspect of the ritual that I think is crucial.

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« Reply #29: February 21, 2010, 06:07:28 pm »

I think that order is important to many rituals, but is not given such a place of prominence as part of many rituals.  I think the order of the seder (especially Passover seder) is so prominent because it is mapped to a narrative that is central to the Jewish people.  Like I said, I think a similar idea could be done with other traditions.  I just wanted to chime in with this because Peter did not emphasize an aspect of the ritual that I think is crucial.

Sperran

actually, I would argue that order is extremely central to most rituals.  If you don't do things in the right order, no matter the ritual, the magic doesn't work.  Even if that magic is just being able to leave the house sure that you didn't leave the iron on.  It's the nature of rituals.  Even if the ritual is flexible and open to having parts plugged in  and pulled out, the order is still very central.
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