Preparing for ritual

If ritual is to be a spiritually meaningful and rewarding experience, it’s not enough to just turn up at the designated time and place and expect it all to happen. Some preparation is required, but what? It’s easy to invest a lot of pre-ritual time in getting the kit right, sorting out your attire and having all the objects you want just so. For some people, this is a really powerful act of transition – if it works for you, go for it. I’ve also seen the ‘stuff’ take over, such that the stress of getting all the things to the right place can take a person away from ritual, not towards it. The more involved we are with the stuff, the less involved we are with the place of ritual, often.

We need to let go of normal life. It’s not much use coming to ritual space with a head full of last night’s TV programs, today’s anxieties, and gossip from social media. We need to be clear in ourselves and not tangled up in all that daily stuff. Meditation, and prayer can be a great help. If you come to ritual space by car or public transport you will also need time to ground and connect, shifting speed to be more in tune with the land.

Taking people into ritual space and kicking off into ritual can be good in terms of dramatic effect, but it isn’t my preference. I think there’s a lot to be said for giving participants time to get the feel of a place, to look around and notice what is happening in it. Time to look at the sky and the earth, to listen to whatever is in the wind and to attune yourself a bit to the spirit of the place you are working in.

The more time there is before and after a ritual when you can be in the space, the more room there is for community. We need community, we are communal creatures and the coming together of likeminded people is part of what ritual is for. It is the creating of shared spiritual language and experience, making a common ground. It’s good to be able to take some time at the end, too, passing round the cake, talking, before plunging back into the rest of your life. The less abrupt transition to and from ritual is, the more you are likely to get out of it.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Preparing for ritual

  • Christopher Blackwell

    I find the process of getting things together for ritual is often a great help i getting into the mood. I am a old man, often tired and stressed. Often the last thing I feel like doing is ritual. So that was to slow down and take extra care in preparing. So before the full moon ritual I vacuumed up the sanctuary. My vacuum has a silly small head on it is wand, so being small it can take a half hour to get the 24 foot by 24 foot room vacuumed completely. Then I take time setting things out in place candles ad tools. meditation is often a help sometimes drumming instead.

    Funny thing about drumming there is a certain speed of beat that seems to echo and build so that it appears that more than one drum is being played.

    Voice is another strange thing in my sanctuary. It has nothing to do with how loud that I speak but how forceful. There is a certain toe that does echo much like my drumming and ames it a lost see like more than one person is speaking.

    I have occasional problem with getting the charcoal lit or staying lit. So I put three pieces of ices in the holder press the charcoal until it is level then pick up the charcoal ad light it and gently place it o those three pieces. So this make sure the charcoal is getting air all the way around it. I will let the charcoal get a good start while I finishing getting myself ready

    As it is cold now, I will heat the sanctuary for three hours before I do ceremony. The sanctuary is a separate building from my shop and living quarters. But the once I enter the room I can turn off the fan and the two heaters so I have no noise at all in the Sanctuary I do’t have a phone or a computer the walls have 8 inches of insulation and I don’t have any windows just a door I can double lock.That way I have no interruptions possible and once the temperature is right it will stay that way for hours. No matter how much noise I make no neighbor will hear anything. Normal noise travels far i the quiet of the desert.

    Once the ceremony is over I put things back to normal. I thank the goddess ad the god for their help, for without them I probably would to have much of a ceremony tired as I often am now that I am 69.

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