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Author Topic: Outdoor rituals?  (Read 7319 times)
folksymama
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« Topic Start: October 02, 2008, 01:50:22 pm »

With Samhain approaching, I'm feeling very compelled to have my ritual outdoors.  Something I've never done before, but have always wanted to do.  I have a really nice chimnea and thought about building a huge fire there and making that the center of my circle.  Other than that, I'm not sure what I need.  Is it customary to still have candles at the corners?  Should I construct an actual circle with stones?  What about the incense?  Things that are easy to do inside, but in the dark, and with the wind, and no real altar might be difficult, you know?

I always get this (albeit stereotypical maybe) image in my head of happy witches just dancing around a big fire, and that's kind of what I'm going for.  Simple, but I still want to be respectful and "proper".

Any suggestions?
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Laurus
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« Reply #1: October 03, 2008, 05:12:19 am »

With Samhain approaching, I'm feeling very compelled to have my ritual outdoors.  Something I've never done before, but have always wanted to do.  I have a really nice chimnea and thought about building a huge fire there and making that the center of my circle.  Other than that, I'm not sure what I need.  Is it customary to still have candles at the corners?  Should I construct an actual circle with stones?  What about the incense?  Things that are easy to do inside, but in the dark, and with the wind, and no real altar might be difficult, you know?

I always get this (albeit stereotypical maybe) image in my head of happy witches just dancing around a big fire, and that's kind of what I'm going for.  Simple, but I still want to be respectful and "proper".

Any suggestions?

When doing outdoor rituals (wich I prefer when possible) I use only what I absolutely need. So, I usually take only little of ritual equipment if any. What I will take ofcourse depends on whatīs absolutely nessesery. If using Athame you might want to take it with you and tie it on your belt (yet you can do without it). Candles are not so practical for outside use in autumn but incence can be used to mark the quarters. To mark the edge of the circle I use what ever I find, leafs, sticks, stones. Some people like to take salt and a bowl of water for cleaning the space but I donīt think that this is nessesery outside īcause nature is pure itself. I do not use altars outside becouse the forest becames my temple on ritual and I feel it is enough. If using a lot of ritual equipment outside maybe you want to have one but I donīt see why couldnīt just put them on the ground. Remember the wine and cakes or what ever feast you gonna use.

When outside it is possible that some other people will see you so you might want to make up an excuse if you donīt wish to tell them what you are really doing. When working with group live roleplaying is a good one. But it is easier to go somewhere where it is not so likely to come across other people.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 05:16:29 am by Laurus » Logged
Laurus
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« Reply #2: October 03, 2008, 05:59:55 am »

Other than that, I'm not sure what I need.    Simple, but I still want to be respectful and "proper".

Reason I feel I donīt need ritual equipment when working outside is simple. Nature already have all the elements that my tools represent.
Go to the lake or seaside and you donīt need the bowl, have a campfire and what good can candles do for you? (I have candles outside if performing candlemagick), feel the wind and you have the element of Air. Feel the ground beneath your feet for Earth. I donīt see any reason for me to bring tools that represent nature elements to real nature wich have them allready.
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folksymama
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« Reply #3: October 03, 2008, 08:48:01 am »

Reason I feel I donīt need ritual equipment when working outside is simple. Nature already have all the elements that my tools represent.

Thank you for your replies.  This makes so much sense to me.  I'm still kind of stuck in the mindset that I NEED these tools in order to do a "correct" ritual.  But I'm finding more and more my leanings are much more Kitchen Witch, relaxed, not so strict...
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Garnet
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« Reply #4: October 03, 2008, 06:04:00 pm »

Any suggestions?

Well, for one thing it depends on your path.  My friends and I used to do rituals outside occasionally, and we would set up an alter on a picnic table and cast circle around it.  We've also sometimes used incense at the quarters.
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Sine Silvering
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« Reply #5: October 04, 2008, 02:35:03 am »

Thank you for your replies.  This makes so much sense to me.  I'm still kind of stuck in the mindset that I NEED these tools in order to do a "correct" ritual.  But I'm finding more and more my leanings are much more Kitchen Witch, relaxed, not so strict...

This is one of those times when the answer is, if you have to ask, it doesn't matter, really.  You can't do it wrong unless you belong to a religion that has specific rules for such a celebration and you disregard them.  Think about what you want your rite to *mean* both to you and to the gods to whom you dedicate it, and then do something to convey that meaning appropriately.  Without the restrictions and rules of an established tradition to guide you, you can do nearly anything you want to do and it's hard for anyone to call it "wrong" with any validity. 

Simpler is usually better; autumn tends to be rainy and windy in my neighborhood; we very rarely plan Samhain as an outdoor rite for sheerly practical reasons.  However, if you live in Florida or Arizona it might work for you.  Smiley 

Using a blazing chiminea for a bonfire and meditating on the flame sounds like a great way for me to spend an evening in divination (I love pyromancy!), and divination is a traditionally Wiccan thing to do at Samhain, since it is, in most Wiccan traditions, the Feast of the Dead, and the wisdom of Those Gone West is often solicited at the beginning of Winter, when The People are faced with Death. 

But that may not be at all appropriate for you and your personal practice. 

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Waldfrau
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« Reply #6: October 04, 2008, 05:19:09 am »

When working with group live roleplaying is a good one. But it is easier to go somewhere where it is not so likely to come across other people.
Lol, good idea. I haven't performed rituals outside yet, but would like to.

I wonder, do you all completly clear the space after ritual? I've heard of some people that they've made themself a little ritual place somehwere in the woods. Nothing big, just stuff like hanging a wooden pent up a tree or offering food on a stone altar, stuff like that. But there's the problem of vandalizing by passangers who either don't understand that they are entering a 'sacred site' or don't care. Any experiences?

Would you do something like this or not? Opinions?
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« Reply #7: October 04, 2008, 08:08:53 am »

But there's the problem of vandalizing by passangers who either don't understand that they are entering a 'sacred site' or don't care. Any experiences?

I donīt have only one outside place where I work but some of them are special. I donīt nessesery clean everything that no-one can see that ritual was performed there but If I leave something it is something small like circle made of stones or leafs or small symbols drawned in sand. We have to remember that as long we donīt own the land where we are working the space is used by many other people and itīs not our own sacred space. So otherīs wonīt nessesery think it sacred at all and the place can even be vandalized in purpose if itīs easy to tell that it is used for rituals. Iīve heard at least one often used special and beautiful stonecircle that was vandalized by spraypainting word Jesus on the stones.
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« Reply #8: October 04, 2008, 11:21:33 am »

But there's the problem of vandalizing by passangers who either don't understand that they are entering a 'sacred site' or don't care. Any experiences?

I've almost always done outdoor ritual in public parks and such.  So we clean everything up afterwards.
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Sine Silvering
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« Reply #9: October 04, 2008, 11:52:22 am »

Lol, good idea. I haven't performed rituals outside yet, but would like to.

I wonder, do you all completly clear the space after ritual? I've heard of some people that they've made themself a little ritual place somehwere in the woods. Nothing big, just stuff like hanging a wooden pent up a tree or offering food on a stone altar, stuff like that. But there's the problem of vandalizing by passangers who either don't understand that they are entering a 'sacred site' or don't care. Any experiences?

Would you do something like this or not? Opinions?

In British Traditional Wicca, each ritual requires a fresh new temple, and each time we complete the work, the sacred space is dissolved and the site returned to its original condition.  We are to leave no sign of what transpired.  Therefore there would be no way for others to despoil the temple, since once we leave, the temple no longer exists.

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« Reply #10: October 06, 2008, 04:38:00 am »

In British Traditional Wicca, each ritual requires a fresh new temple, and each time we complete the work, the sacred space is dissolved and the site returned to its original condition.  We are to leave no sign of what transpired.  Therefore there would be no way for others to despoil the temple, since once we leave, the temple no longer exists.
That makes sense, thanks. What do you do with offerings? You do leave them at the place somehow or don't you?
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