I had an interesting experience with rituals this weekend. I had two completely different rituals that I was leading within the space of 24 hours. And they really were completely different experiences.
The first ritual was on Saturday night, and it was a Full Moon ritual. For one reason or another, none of our regulars were able to attend. So the ritual was myself, my priest (my husband) and three new people. I really felt the absence of the people I have come to rely on for their energetic support. It felt more draining than usual performing that ritual on our own and holding all the roles that we can usually share among other attendees.
The second ritual was on Sunday afternoon. It was a Croning Ritual for one of the leaders of ATC Canada. For this ritual, I had a full complement of people in all the ritual roles (maiden, steward, and four quarter callers). They weren’t all people I have worked with before. In fact, some of them I have never been in ritual space with before. The big difference was that they are all experienced in ritual, so they all knew their roles and held the energy in a responsible way. I was able to rely on them all to do their roles without any concern. And it made my job very easy.
I’ve been told before how important it is to have a core group to work with, and to do some rituals with only that group. I haven’t really experienced a close working group on its own.
My first experience with ritual was an open circle. Many of the women came every month, and yet it was open for new people to attend at any time. When I moved to Vancouver Island, I searched for a new group to attend. I couldn’t find one that was open to new people. So I started my own based on my previous experience.
Over the years, the group has changed. People have come and gone, and it is no longer a women-only circle. More recently, in the past couple of years, a small core group of people have become regular attendees. I’ve slowly begun passing more and more responsibility out to these core people. I didn’t realize how much I’ve come to rely on them.
The ritual team is the support structure for the priestess and priest. Sure, one person can do it all themselves. I did when I first started, when I was younger and less experienced. And yet the whole ritual is more powerful and more fulfilling when you have a team working at it together.
I’m grateful to Goddess for providing me with this clear example of the difference between doing it on my own (well, with only one other person helping), and having a competent team supporting me. I think I was starting to take that for granted, and for that I apologize.
I am grateful to the experienced folks who pitched in and made my job so easy, and made the ritual truly flow on Sunday into a beautiful and powerful experience.
And I am grateful for those core people in my own Circle who support me on a regular basis. You truly enrich the experience, for me as well as for everyone else who attends. Thank you.