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  • #31
    Originally posted by Windsmith View Post
    I've been doing mobile sacred space for years. The very first Reclaiming ritual I was ever part of, we cast our circle in the priestess's house and then carried it next door into the park where the bulk of the ritual was taking place.

    I find it works incredibly well. With a lot of traditions, you physically mark the boundaries of your circle, and that's it. Nothing and no one in or out once it's done. And you say, "This is now sacred space." But that's a little silly, isn't it? Because all space is sacred. When you take your circle with you, you may start in your bedroom (as we usually do) and say, "This space is sacred." Then you move downstairs into the living room, and now "This space is sacred." Then you're on the other side of the river, in a different town, and "This space is sacred." It allows more fluidity, more welcoming of the place itself into your circle. Like Eleisawolf talked about with the Egg, the circle doesn't just separate you from the rest of the world - it connects you to it in a controlled way. It's a semi-permeable membrane that lets in and out what you want in and out, and dulls the rest to white noise.

    Eventually, you might even get to the point where you no longer need the circle, because, of course, by carrying it around all this time, you've realized that every space is sacred, and don't want to leave out any of it, so you find other ways to block out unwanted energies and just revel in being connected to What Is.

    One of my fellow priestesses has a Tibetan singing bowl, and we sometimes use it to cast the circle. Instead of having everyone visualize the circle, or creating it with something material, we create a sphere of sound. It's gorgeous.

    Well, like I mentioned, every space is sacred space. What I do in ritual is not "creating" sacred space that is separate from everything else (which is thereby understood as "mundane" or "profane" space) but rather acknowledging the Immanent Sacredness of wherever I am. Thus, you could easily perform a spontaneous ritual, and I know people who have - at protests, at shopping malls...pretty much anywhere they suddenly felt the need for some spiritual action.
    I explained this before, but it bears repeating I think. For me, "sacred space" and "the circle" are two different things. I use them at the same time in the same place, but they are not the same thing. Sacred Space is cleansed the way you would pick up your house and vacumn the carpet if you knew company was coming over.

    The Circle is like the house itself, the walls and floor and ceilings keep in the heat or AC. The Circle is cast to help contain the energies that are raised until they are released to fulfill their purpose, also to block unwanted energies. Which doesn't necessarily mean all will be peaceful and calm and quiet inside the Circle.

    We had such a great circle for Beltaine, but we could still hear a fire truck going by a couple of blocks away and the dogs all around barking at the siren. I laughed because it was just as we finished inviting the Goddess, and I said "The Goddess of Chaos is here! Welcome and blessed be!" and we all laughed.
    Last edited by Lunacie; May 6th, 2008, 08:11 PM.
    ____________
    If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
    If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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    • #32
      Cheddersox, I love your chant! Very powerful.

      It occured to me Windsmith, that your description of mobile sacred space is actually personal space whether it is at arm's length or just your physical body. Linking with others would be some sort of a communal skill. Am I right? Sorry if I'm repeating you, just trying to understand.

      Lunacie, I see your point. I'll have to think about it. One thing, though, cleansing does assume that there is some sort of negative energy or disorder that can be "dispelled."

      Solya, I think we should post a ritual thread, or create one of those group thingies.
      The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
      --Bill Watterson

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      • #33
        Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
        cleansing does assume that there is some sort of negative energy or disorder that can be "dispelled."
        That is one of my issues when people speak of "creating" sacred space as well. I'm not sure if it is just that we understand the terms differently, or something deeper.

        One of the challenges of pantheism for me is to put aside dualism, at least in my spiritual work. It is how human society functions, and I see the purpose of labeling things positive or negative in daily life, but spiritually, I try to get past that.

        I ask myself "can you just look, without labeling. Can you just experience without compartmentalizing. Can you accept without judging."

        Doing that 24/7, at least for now, would be too exhausting. It is easier for me to fall into what culture is doing. But when I am doing my spiritual stuff, I aim for not falling for the idea that there is something "negative" that I need to banish, fix, bind, or sheild from. The purpose of my rituals are to experience my connection to everything. I am working on having a trust in the Universe, no matter what. Not a personal trust, that it will somehow protect me from things I don't like or understand, but a trust that since it's not about me, whether I like a thing or not, whether I understand it or not...isn't the point.

        So I don't start ritual with "how can I make this better" sort of attitude, but how can I get attuned to What Is.

        I know that "cleaning" an area, for many, is NOT about fixing things, but just a ritual for them to symbolize and prepare themselves for spiritual work. Like some people don't feel ready to meet the day until they shower and fix their hair...it puts them into a certain mindset.

        So, I am not poo pooing the casting of circles or sheilding etc, just explaining why I currently use a different approach.

        One thing I've learned is that in spiritual matters, the 3 dimensional spiral is often the path. Something we "grow" out of at one point, later, we come to understand on a new level and pick up the practice of again...only to grow out of that level of it and give it up again...and maybe years later discover a new level of it...and pick it up again.

        So while I am not cleansing and sheilding now...who knows, maybe 3 years from now it will seem like the perfect thing to do, because I will understand it in a new way.

        cheddar
        In a love affair with sunshine

        Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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        • #34
          Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
          Something we did at a ritual once that I liked, that is in keeping with what Windsmith wrote about mobile sacred space is this. During the ritual, we had a chant, "remove your shoes, the ground you walk on is holy ground", and the ritual moved from one area to another, and we would pick up the chant "the ground you walk on is holy ground" as we "worked" in a new area. To remind us that no matter where we stepped, we stepped on holy ground.
          I know that quote! It's actually, believe it or not, from the Bible. Moses reaches the top of Mount Sinai and is speaking to the burning bush, and the bush tells him "Remove your sandals, for the place where you are walking is holy ground."

          My husband was commissioned to write a piece of music based on that text, for organ, trumpet, and choir. When he wrote it he put a repeating rhythm in the organ that is meant to be the sound of animals or people walking. For him--and for the person who commissioned the piece--the text indeed symbolizes that anywhere we walk is holy ground, just as you said.

          That's why the Egg works so well for me, too. It contains whatever space I am in at any point in time. Everything can move in and out of it, and everything inside and outside it is holy. It's just what contains the space of my working.

          ETA: Oh, and about cleansing or banishing... well, I can see both Lunacie's point and Cheddar's, but neither is complete for me. I don't wish to cleanse out anything, really, but I do like to feel that I'm in control of what approaches me when I'm in that space. I don't always like to judge what's positive and negative for me. I know that such things don't exist in the universe unconsciously, but they do exist within me and as a part of the reality of sentient existence. It's hard to explain, because there's nothing I really need to banish at this point in my life, but there were times that I did need to banish what was negative intent by others and, in some cases, by my own self. That's why my Egg was a shield for so long. Now I feel I can release some of that, but there's always a guard, for me, to keep the things that I perceive as harming the balance of my ritual or my mental state at Egg's length away from me--and that's true whether or not I'm in ritual. In ritual, Egg's length is just a little longer, opening out for more.

          Anyway, I don't know if that made sense... I'm processing it as I write it, but at this point that's what makes sense to me.

          Peace
          Last edited by Eleisawolf; May 7th, 2008, 12:37 PM.
          Working for Peace Pruning the Rambles

          :hahugh: Banner made by me :hahugh:
          Definition of skepticism: Don't believe everything you think.

          In wildness is the preservation of the world ~Henry David Thoreau

          Pantheism Path Forum Guide

          In memoriam, Basha: 4/1996 - 12/2007 * * * In memoriam, Tika: 9/1996 - 3/2008

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          • #35
            Hmm, interesting thoughts you're processing there. I don't always "cleanse" the space before casting a circle. It depends on what's been going on in my (our) lives. For Beltaine I swept the circle thrice - once just above the ground, once with the besom in front of me, and once with the besom overhead - I was banishing the negative feelings and influences that were lingering over the recent breakup of the group. It really did feel like I was cleaning away some icky cobwebby stuff. And I enjoyed the ritual much more than usual, and really felt like I was connected with the energies that were present.
            ____________
            If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
            If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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            • #36
              Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
              I explained this before, but it bears repeating I think. For me, "sacred space" and "the circle" are two different things. I use them at the same time in the same place, but they are not the same thing. Sacred Space is cleansed the way you would pick up your house and vacumn the carpet if you knew company was coming over.

              The Circle is like the house itself, the walls and floor and ceilings keep in the heat or AC. The Circle is cast to help contain the energies that are raised until they are released to fulfill their purpose, also to block unwanted energies. Which doesn't necessarily mean all will be peaceful and calm and quiet inside the Circle.
              OK, I understand that distinction. Maybe it would help, to expand on your analogy, for me to say that I think of the circle like a tent, rather than like a house. A tent can go anywhere; it can be set up anywhere; and, for as long as the ritual (or camping trip ) lasts, it serves the same essential function as a house. Very similar to your concept, just slightly more portable.

              Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
              It occured to me Windsmith, that your description of mobile sacred space is actually personal space whether it is at arm's length or just your physical body. Linking with others would be some sort of a communal skill. Am I right? Sorry if I'm repeating you, just trying to understand.
              You know, I think it would. I'd never thought of it that way before, but there is a definite sense, when working in group, of being comfortable enough with each other to link our spaces together to form a larger whole. Of course, the mobile sacred space works perfectly well with one person, but then, like you say, that might be little more than acknowledging the personal space boundaries that we all have all the time. My worry there would be that I might start thinking that "my" space was sacred because only I was in it and because it separated me from everything else, not because it's the conduit I can use to reconsider What Is and more fully connect to it.

              Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
              I ask myself "can you just look, without labeling. Can you just experience without compartmentalizing. Can you accept without judging."

              Doing that 24/7, at least for now, would be too exhausting. It is easier for me to fall into what culture is doing. But when I am doing my spiritual stuff, I aim for not falling for the idea that there is something "negative" that I need to banish, fix, bind, or sheild from. The purpose of my rituals are to experience my connection to everything. I am working on having a trust in the Universe, no matter what. Not a personal trust, that it will somehow protect me from things I don't like or understand, but a trust that since it's not about me, whether I like a thing or not, whether I understand it or not...isn't the point.

              So I don't start ritual with "how can I make this better" sort of attitude, but how can I get attuned to What Is.

              I know that "cleaning" an area, for many, is NOT about fixing things, but just a ritual for them to symbolize and prepare themselves for spiritual work. Like some people don't feel ready to meet the day until they shower and fix their hair...it puts them into a certain mindset.

              So, I am not poo pooing the casting of circles or sheilding etc, just explaining why I currently use a different approach.
              I love this outlook, cheddar, but I'm too easily distracted for it to work for me right now. For me, the question is not "good" energy vs. "bad" energy but energy that supports what I'm doing vs. energy that distracts me. That's why I cast and shield - not because particular energies are "bad," but because they're not useful for me right now. Who knows; tomorrow they might be exactly what I need, but today they're going to get me off-track in ways that I don't want to. And, frankly, I like having that control. I can't relate to all of What Is at the same time. I have to put up boundaries or my puny human mind goes KA-BLOOIE. So I trust that I have agency and authority, as a part of What Is, to decide for myself what I need at a given time and what I don't, and I use my circle to filter accordingly.
              If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
              helps you feel your life protects you,
              cradles you and connects you to everything.
              Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Windsmith View Post
                OK, I understand that distinction. Maybe it would help, to expand on your analogy, for me to say that I think of the circle like a tent, rather than like a house. A tent can go anywhere; it can be set up anywhere; and, for as long as the ritual (or camping trip ) lasts, it serves the same essential function as a house. Very similar to your concept, just slightly more portable.
                Great analogy - like a tent!

                I love this outlook, cheddar, but I'm too easily distracted for it to work for me right now. For me, the question is not "good" energy vs. "bad" energy but energy that supports what I'm doing vs. energy that distracts me. That's why I cast and shield - not because particular energies are "bad," but because they're not useful for me right now. Who knows; tomorrow they might be exactly what I need, but today they're going to get me off-track in ways that I don't want to. And, frankly, I like having that control. I can't relate to all of What Is at the same time. I have to put up boundaries or my puny human mind goes KA-BLOOIE. So I trust that I have agency and authority, as a part of What Is, to decide for myself what I need at a given time and what I don't, and I use my circle to filter accordingly.
                Um hum, that's what I was trying to get across, not a question of "bad versus good" but of what I'm working with at the time versus what would be too much of a distraction. When I'm not inside Circle, then it's good to be aware of how all Space is Sacred. That's one lesson I really liked from learning Reiki, that kind of awareness. It's not something I remember to do all the time though.
                ____________
                If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
                If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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                • #38
                  My head is spinning. Much, much of great interest being said here.

                  On a side note, my sister learned at some point when presented with something strange or disturbing, to say "isn't that interesting." And not pass judgement.
                  The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
                  --Bill Watterson

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
                    Great analogy - like a tent!
                    Wow! You mean that tent thing actually worked?!? Go, me!

                    Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
                    On a side note, my sister learned at some point when presented with something strange or disturbing, to say "isn't that interesting." And not pass judgement.
                    We do something similar in our Reclaiming community. Whenever things happen not according to plan, we throw up our hands and say, "How fascinating!" It's a great reminder that things we might want to think of as mistakes might, if we can just look at them nonjudgmentally, prove to be opportunities we never would've had otherwise.
                    If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
                    helps you feel your life protects you,
                    cradles you and connects you to everything.
                    Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      When it comes to being non-judgmental...

                      When I first started doing ritual, I was working with people who were very serious about it. Similarly, I worked with a yoga instruction book that said one should concentrate very hard on the asanas, and not laugh or break concentration if one falls. It all brought on such a high level of self-judgment. I'm enough of a perfectionist, and when something went wrong, it felt like everything was wrong.

                      Then a teacher--the same one who taught me about the Egg--gave me permission to laugh at myself. To throw up my hands and say, "Oh well" or "Whatever."

                      I started to capture the gift in the mistakes. The further stretch that I got when I smiled and just accepted what happened.

                      So if something goes wrong in ritual, or in yoga, or in anything that I might otherwise get too serious about, I now give me permission to laugh.

                      Life isn't perfect, and that's a treasure. What on earth would be the point if it was?



                      Peace
                      Working for Peace Pruning the Rambles

                      :hahugh: Banner made by me :hahugh:
                      Definition of skepticism: Don't believe everything you think.

                      In wildness is the preservation of the world ~Henry David Thoreau

                      Pantheism Path Forum Guide

                      In memoriam, Basha: 4/1996 - 12/2007 * * * In memoriam, Tika: 9/1996 - 3/2008

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Eleisawolf View Post
                        When it comes to being non-judgmental...

                        When I first started doing ritual, I was working with people who were very serious about it. Similarly, I worked with a yoga instruction book that said one should concentrate very hard on the asanas, and not laugh or break concentration if one falls. It all brought on such a high level of self-judgment. I'm enough of a perfectionist, and when something went wrong, it felt like everything was wrong.

                        Then a teacher--the same one who taught me about the Egg--gave me permission to laugh at myself. To throw up my hands and say, "Oh well" or "Whatever."

                        I started to capture the gift in the mistakes. The further stretch that I got when I smiled and just accepted what happened.

                        So if something goes wrong in ritual, or in yoga, or in anything that I might otherwise get too serious about, I now give me permission to laugh.

                        Life isn't perfect, and that's a treasure. What on earth would be the point if it was?



                        Peace
                        You are so lucky that someone gave you permission to be real, and to fail. My family didn't give me that, and I beat myself up for years trying to be something that I cannot possibly be. And now I know that I learn as much, or more, from my mistakes as I do when I get it right the first time I try. Hell, I used to be afraid to even try because I just knew I would fail. It really wasn't any fun.
                        ____________
                        If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
                        If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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                        • #42
                          How can that be part of a ritual? Opening self to the tides of All, a cleansing perhaps? Something to wash away doubt and fear? Water is fairly easy... but how about sand running through fingers? I had a friend who was instructed by his teacher to drink a boiling cup of camomile tea whenever he started obsessing on something... which is not only herbalism but also represents all the elements. Any ideas, anyone?

                          On another tact, I belong to an art group that gets a topic each week. This week is doors. It made me think of passage into and out of ritual space. Many societies have initiation rites where the initiate is challenged at the door before they join the others. Are you pure of intention? Do you really want to be here? Are you willing to set aside your fear and enter with an open heart? I'm babbling, sorry.
                          The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
                          --Bill Watterson

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
                            How can that be part of a ritual? Opening self to the tides of All, a cleansing perhaps? Something to wash away doubt and fear? Water is fairly easy... but how about sand running through fingers? I had a friend who was instructed by his teacher to drink a boiling cup of camomile tea whenever he started obsessing on something... which is not only herbalism but also represents all the elements. Any ideas, anyone?
                            For my part, open, honest laughter is the perfect element of ritual for that. I honestly start to look for places in ritual where I can laugh, incorporate humor. When Basha and Tika were still a part of my circle, they always contributed to ritual, and it made me smile. Embracing and welcoming chaos is cleansing in its own way.

                            Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
                            On another tact, I belong to an art group that gets a topic each week. This week is doors. It made me think of passage into and out of ritual space. Many societies have initiation rites where the initiate is challenged at the door before they join the others. Are you pure of intention? Do you really want to be here? Are you willing to set aside your fear and enter with an open heart? I'm babbling, sorry.
                            Not at all. This is a good topic, too. I like to leave the doors open--wide. My Egg was always open for Tika and Basha, and because it follows me wherever I go, it's always open to whatever comes near, unless I know it's something that would harm me or pull me away from my intention for ritual. Leaving the door open is the best way for the universe to sometimes say, "Hey, I know this is what you want, but what if you got this instead? How would that change you?"

                            What happens if we replace doors with windows?

                            Peace
                            Working for Peace Pruning the Rambles

                            :hahugh: Banner made by me :hahugh:
                            Definition of skepticism: Don't believe everything you think.

                            In wildness is the preservation of the world ~Henry David Thoreau

                            Pantheism Path Forum Guide

                            In memoriam, Basha: 4/1996 - 12/2007 * * * In memoriam, Tika: 9/1996 - 3/2008

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