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Author Topic: Creating my own ritual  (Read 2168 times)
Darastrix
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« Topic Start: March 20, 2009, 07:20:33 pm »

I am trying to create a ritual that can be used for both solitary and coven work, specifically for Beltane. I have not created a ritual before and am unsure how to start. I want to either create one that can be used for on my own and with my coven but I think I might have to create a seperate one for each.

For my solitary I am trying to focus on sexual fertility, but I want to make sure I address the other forms of fertility as well. I've done a few solitary rituals before but they weren't for any major holiday.

I'm just worried that I may be completely going about this all wrong and will offend those that I am trying to honor. Especially since my goddess is the Morrigan, not because she is vicious, but because I'm not sure how to include her in a Beltane ritual.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I need help. I'm wandering aimlessly here and it's getting me nowhere.
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FierFlye
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« Reply #1: March 20, 2009, 10:45:27 pm »

I am trying to create a ritual that can be used for both solitary and coven work, specifically for Beltane. I have not created a ritual before and am unsure how to start. I want to either create one that can be used for on my own and with my coven but I think I might have to create a seperate one for each.

For my solitary I am trying to focus on sexual fertility, but I want to make sure I address the other forms of fertility as well. I've done a few solitary rituals before but they weren't for any major holiday.

I'm just worried that I may be completely going about this all wrong and will offend those that I am trying to honor. Especially since my goddess is the Morrigan, not because she is vicious, but because I'm not sure how to include her in a Beltane ritual.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I need help. I'm wandering aimlessly here and it's getting me nowhere.

A few questions.

Are you trying to create a specific ritual, or a general ritual structure?

If the answer is a specific ritual, then what is the main purpose of it?  You've thrown out a few things...fertility, honoring deity, and celebrating Beltane.  I think it's a good idea for rituals to have a specific purpose.  Then it's easier to build the ritual.

After you've figured out the purpose, ask yourself what the ritual's theme is.  Look to your purpose statement.  Is there a word like 'celebrate', 'honor', 'create'?  That's your theme, and it sets the mood of the ritual.    The theme can help you choose what colors, correspondences, speech, and actions to incorporate into your ritual.  Basically you build the ritual around the theme.

I can try to give more suggestions after I know what your purpose is.  And when I'm not so sleepy.   Smiley

By the way, a lot of what I've learned about building rituals is from the Dianic witchcraft tradition.  Ruth Barrett's book: http://preview.tinyurl.com/cj7sgk  is a good guide to creating rituals, and has information that can be useful to all religions (setting the purpose, then the theme for example).
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« Reply #2: March 21, 2009, 07:16:28 am »

I'm just worried that I may be completely going about this all wrong and will offend those that I am trying to honor. Especially since my goddess is the Morrigan, not because she is vicious, but because I'm not sure how to include her in a Beltane ritual.
She may not have direct connotations of fertility, but she definitely has connections to sex.  (My personal awareness of that is mainly UPG-based, but I'm pretty sure it comes up in primary-source material.)

Purely UPG-based:  if you're using an "invoke one each of god and goddess" format, don't partner her with someone who annoys her.

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« Reply #3: March 21, 2009, 12:08:38 pm »

I am trying to create a ritual that can be used for both solitary and coven work, specifically for Beltane. I have not created a ritual before and am unsure how to start. I want to either create one that can be used for on my own and with my coven but I think I might have to create a seperate one for each.

Along with Ruth Barrett's book, you might also check out Amber K and Azrael K's _RitualCraft_ which also has lots of practical information.

Generally, you can't use the same ritual for both solitary work and group work without some adaptation for all sorts of reasons. People in the group don't live in your brain, so you will need to add in some explanations of "Here's what we're going to be doing" or use associations/correspondences that work for everyone else in the group, and so on.

With Beltane, there's also some trickier parts - chances are, not everyone in the group is going to be interested in sexual fertility in the same way. Chances are good that you have some combination of people who are in a relationship, some people who aren't in a relationship, some people who want kids, some people who don't want kids, some people who have a same-gender partner, and so on - so putting the emphasis on the relationship parts can really cause some proportion of the people there to feel left out or disengaged. And you also may have mythology issues, if you're not following a connection between Sabbats of a god and goddess who are lovers.

There are two ways to do this. One is to do as some groups do, and have there be a May Queen/Green Man selected for the ritual, who are a direct representation of the sexual/romantic love (for that ritual! Some people pick a couple who are otherwise together, other groups pick people by lot, but make it clear the interaction is *only* for the duration of the ritual, etc.) Done right, it can be a really powerful experience (and like many things, done wrong it can be miserable.) This can be combined with a simple sacred drama, or something, if you want something a little more structured. Thus, there's a representation and honoring of that particular kind of connection - but the individuals can approach it on their own terms.

The other option is to go sideways - to look at the fertility of the spring in a different way, either creativity, or agriculturally, or in some other facet. This usually broadens things up a bit, and allows people to find a way to connect with the concept that works for them. Last year for our Beltane, we had a small number of guests (5 people total) and had them make friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss. (This has some practical concerns: it takes time, people may be out of practice or have never done them, etc.) But as a way to talk about interconnections and community, and different aspects of how those things work, it was great. (We also had each person in the group pick a color for each person - so my bracelet, for example, is blue - which is what I picked - and bright yellow and spring green, and a clear pink, as well - and each of those colors was chosen by someone for a reason.)
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Darastrix
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« Reply #4: March 21, 2009, 12:45:57 pm »

Purely UPG-based:  if you're using an "invoke one each of god and goddess" format, don't partner her with someone who annoys her.

Yah I wouldn't want to end up being a plug n play priestess and getting my ass handed to me. I'm not sure which god to invoke if I decide to go that way. I really don't know of any that Morrigan gets along.
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Darastrix
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« Reply #5: March 21, 2009, 12:58:36 pm »

Along with Ruth Barrett's book, you might also check out Amber K and Azrael K's _RitualCraft_ which also has lots of practical information.

I'll have to see if I can find those. Probably will have to do an inter-library loan as our library doesn't carry a lot of books on such topics.

Quote
Generally, you can't use the same ritual for both solitary work and group work without some adaptation for all sorts of reasons. People in the group don't live in your brain, so you will need to add in some explanations of "Here's what we're going to be doing" or use associations/correspondences that work for everyone else in the group, and so on.

I'm personally glad they don't live in my brain. I figured I would probably have to do some adapting.

Quote
With Beltane, there's also some trickier parts - chances are, not everyone in the group is going to be interested in sexual fertility in the same way. Chances are good that you have some combination of people who are in a relationship, some people who aren't in a relationship, some people who want kids, some people who don't want kids, some people who have a same-gender partner, and so on - so putting the emphasis on the relationship parts can really cause some proportion of the people there to feel left out or disengaged. And you also may have mythology issues, if you're not following a connection between Sabbats of a god and goddess who are lovers.

There are two ways to do this. One is to do as some groups do, and have there be a May Queen/Green Man selected for the ritual, who are a direct representation of the sexual/romantic love (for that ritual! Some people pick a couple who are otherwise together, other groups pick people by lot, but make it clear the interaction is *only* for the duration of the ritual, etc.) Done right, it can be a really powerful experience (and like many things, done wrong it can be miserable.) This can be combined with a simple sacred drama, or something, if you want something a little more structured. Thus, there's a representation and honoring of that particular kind of connection - but the individuals can approach it on their own terms.

The other option is to go sideways - to look at the fertility of the spring in a different way, either creativity, or agriculturally, or in some other facet. This usually broadens things up a bit, and allows people to find a way to connect with the concept that works for them.

I never thought of how everyone else might feel about doing a sexual fertility focused ritual. I really should have, but I admit that I thought "Beltane=sexual fertility". My mind has always associated Beltane with birth and new life. The fields are being prepared for bringing forth new plants.

I think focusing on the agricultural would be a good way to do what I'm wanting to do. That would solve the issue of making someone feel uncomfortable while still having the feel that I want it to.
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« Reply #6: March 22, 2009, 08:26:18 am »

Yah I wouldn't want to end up being a plug n play priestess and getting my ass handed to me. I'm not sure which god to invoke if I decide to go that way. I really don't know of any that Morrigan gets along.
I was pretty sure you didn't do plug'n'play (even if the deities didn't hand you your ass on a platter, your mom would  Cheesy), but I mentioned it because my personal experience is that tM has particularly strong opinions about it - she can go along with pantheon-mixing (in context of my doings, anyway), but has very definite notions of who she is, and isn't, willing to be paired with even if no sex is involved.  Insofar as there's a "safe bet" here, it'd be the Dagda - some mythic sources cite tM and tD as Brigid's parents - but I'd say an even better approach would be to ask her.

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