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Author Topic: How do I start a ritual group?  (Read 3580 times)
Tana
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« Topic Start: February 15, 2009, 12:01:21 pm »

Hello my dear Cauldronites,

I'm solitary.
I love being solitary.
It is not that I feel I need to 'play' coven or something, but I do feel, that I need to take another step.
If I want to grow, that is.

Last year I've done a kind of meditation workshop for close friends and co-workers and they really liked it.
But I really need to achieve some more self-assurance when dealing with real life people  Cheesy

And besides that, it just would be nice to do ritual sometimes with others.

This is not a thing that will take place within the next few weeks, not even months.
I know that I have to write some material as a starting point for a group, from which things can be adjusted.

How would be the best way to go about this?
Any ideas?
Problem is, I don't want to start with strangers, but then sometimes friends can be too close to.

How did you go about this, if you ever started a group?
I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

Thanks.

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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #1: February 15, 2009, 04:30:00 pm »

How did you go about this, if you ever started a group?
I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.


I'd start with a discussion group of some sort. While it is possible to have a good ritual experience with strangers, it's a lot easier with like-minded people. I would think you'd want to be on the same page in regard to style and purpose of ritual and boundaries should be discussed and decided on in advance. (And if you eventually move on to do deeper or more intense inner work, then you'll need to do it in the company of those you trust.)

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« Reply #2: February 15, 2009, 04:38:44 pm »

I'd start with a discussion group of some sort. While it is possible to have a good ritual experience with strangers, it's a lot easier with like-minded people. I would think you'd want to be on the same page in regard to style and purpose of ritual and boundaries should be discussed and decided on in advance. (And if you eventually move on to do deeper or more intense inner work, then you'll need to do it in the company of those you trust.)



Of course you have to get to know the people first.
A discussion group...mmh...that might be an idea.
Like making setting day and place like a restaurant or something and check each other out first.
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

Only shallow people know themselves. (Oscar Wilde)
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« Reply #3: February 15, 2009, 04:44:34 pm »

Of course you have to get to know the people first.
A discussion group...mmh...that might be an idea.
Like making setting day and place like a restaurant or something and check each other out first.

Just - if your future goal is to study specific stuff, or become a coven, or anything like that, be specific about it up-front.

It can be very painful to find out that's what the group was about the whole time - and that you're not invited - down the road.
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« Reply #4: February 15, 2009, 07:58:20 pm »

How did you go about this, if you ever started a group?
I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

My relatively new coven is about to have its first anniversary on Tuesday (a year since our first ritual together, though it took us about two more months to get into the swing of things ourselves. The blog in my sig/profile has a lot of entries early on about things I was thinking about.

The big things?

1) Have an idea what you want to do right now.
2) Have some ideas what you want to do in the future. (6 months from now, a year from now). Don't be wedded to them, don't get fixated on them - but do you want to build something that's always casual and low-commitment? Do you want to be open to building a group of people who want to work more closely (if everything works out right?) Do you want to focus in a particular direction. (Style of practice, path, focus.) There are lots of options, so having some idea which longer-term plans you're particularly interested in helps.

After that, you get into details of how to make it work. Will this be a group with a clear leader? How will that work for you? Will it be consensus based? If so, do you have people who are clear on how that works, and who can guide people who aren't familiar with it? Is it going to be something else? Can you describe clearly how it works, and handle any of the likely problems with that style of group leadership? (All styles have their benefits and problems: which one you pick is partly about which flaws you're most willing to deal with.)

Do you have some specific people you might be interested in working with? How do they fit into this? Are they interested? What things seem to sync well? Are these people you communicate easily with, or are there areas you need to be careful with, because you've had past misunderstandings? And so on. Past issues aren't reason to turn someone away - but it does mean you want to be extra careful to be clear with yourself and with the initial set-up of the group to avoid those problems.

Be clear on what a 'successful' or 'meaningful' group experience is going to look like for you - what things are essential for you, what stuff you can compromise on, what stuff is absolutely not what you want. For example, my coven is still only 2 people - but we're okay with that, because we know we want to do a specific set of things together, and that finding people who share those things is going to take time. We deeply enjoy our work together, and work smoothly together, and that's what's most important to us. However, if our goal was, say, to have a larger group, or to do things where more people would be helpful, or were really focused on teaching, then just two people would not be as successful a group right now.

We're also really clear on *how* we do things together - we've made a lot of decisions based on some shared core values (like simplicity in some practical tasks - setting up ritual, for example) and in scheduling, and in committing to avoiding drama (and with some specific steps to do so.) These things make some other choices impossible - but because we're clear of why we made those choices, it's easier to keep up with them.

Books I found helpful:
_Gathering the Magic_ by Nick Farrell (from Immanion Press) is perhaps the most useful for smaller magical groups that are not necessarily covens. Judy Harrow's _Wicca Covens_ and Amber K's _CovenCraft_ both have good things - but they're focused more on coven work than on other forms of small religious groups. (Though the latter has some really excellent examples of common kinds of issues, exercises to get a group working well together, etc.)
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« Reply #5: February 16, 2009, 12:51:47 pm »


Thanks to you all and thanks Jenett.
An in-depth answer as always.  Smiley

Very helpful, really.
I'm still in the stage of the vague idea of doing 'some rituals' together.
I see there is a lot more to consider, if I'm going to be serious about this.

*takes fodder for thought with her*
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

Only shallow people know themselves. (Oscar Wilde)
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« Reply #6: February 16, 2009, 05:18:05 pm »

Hello my dear Cauldronites,

I'm solitary.
I love being solitary.
It is not that I feel I need to 'play' coven or something, but I do feel, that I need to take another step.
If I want to grow, that is.

I felt, and feel the same way.

Quote
And besides that, it just would be nice to do ritual sometimes with others.

This is very true, at least for me personally. When the need arises there is one person, the sister of my heart, that I call and we'll practice together every now and then. We have very similar philosophies when it comes to spirituality, so that makes it relatively easy. But, I think, even if we didn't share the same outlook we could share a ritual under a full moon or for Beltane or something like that.
 
Also, I joined a group (Lamplight Circle) about a year ago. Not a group that practices together or anything, but we get together twice a month and discuss and debate different religions and such. Pretty much like this forum, but face to face.  We also schedule pagan outings, I guess you could say. We had a picnic at City Park and had a drum circle there. We also get together periodically with other pagan groups in the area for different things. For example, the local Wiccan church holds semi-open rituals (sometimes) for the Esbats and we're invited. We don't actually go as a group, but we get the invite to them through Lamplight and whoever wants so show up shows up. All the groups will also get together to do charity events, and things of that nature.

Three of the women in Lamplight have their own little group where they get together for every solstice, equinox, and esbat to celebrate. They started as two, then added the third as they got to know her better, and they all met through Lamplight Circle. That "sister of the heart" I mentioned earlier....I met her through Lamplight too.

I guess my point is (after all of this rambling, sorry) is that if you can find some sort of pagan recreational group, you may find you just "click" with someone there, and have a starting off point. It worked for me, and I gained more than just someone to celebrate esbats or practice magic with. I got a sister too.  Smiley
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Tana
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« Reply #7: February 17, 2009, 03:13:24 pm »



I don't mind the rambling at all  Grin
It's nice to hear, that you've found people that are now important to you via a group.

Today I asked the friend I mentioned what she thinks about the idea.
By and large. She likes the idea and if it's just the two of us, we can discuss everything together too.
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

Only shallow people know themselves. (Oscar Wilde)
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« Reply #8: February 18, 2009, 12:58:40 am »

I don't mind the rambling at all  Grin
It's nice to hear, that you've found people that are now important to you via a group.

Today I asked the friend I mentioned what she thinks about the idea.
By and large. She likes the idea and if it's just the two of us, we can discuss everything together too.

Honestly, the only one important to me is my new sis. The others that make up Lamplight are great, but kind of like the kids you went to highschool were great (while you were in highschool). They help make the experience, but generally are not "forever friends."

My sister, on the other hand, is the only one I ever really practice with. (I hate to keep re-using the term my sister, but generally I don't share names online without specific permission first.) The group rituals are nice sometimes - when I actually go - but they are hardly more than an excuse to fellowship. I'd have to agree with your friend about keeping it just the two of you. You can get a lot more accomplished. My sis and I might add to our little duo eventually, but it's not something we're actively pursuing. We are glad Lamplight is there, though. It's nice to be able to get out periodically in a group of people where you know no one there is judging you because you felt like wearing a pentacle ring that day!  Smiley

And here I go rambling again....I'm glad you don't mind, but I'll shut up now anyway.  Wink

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