Thursday, 11 February 2010

Rite or wrong.

I think that anyone reading this will gather that I do not have a particularly high opinion of those who practice ritual for the sake of ritual, I do however acknowledge the huge importance of ritual as an aid to focus, and to mark an event or change in circumstance of someones life.
There are in western Pagan traditions as most are aware, eight major festival dates of feast days and thirteen moon cycles in each Solar year.
Four of these dates known as the solstices and equinoxes are fixed dates within the solar calendar, they are the turning of the sun at times of equality at the equinox and high and low at the solstice, lunar cycles have little effect on these days other than what is generally considered to be a pleasant marriage when full moons coincide or dark moons at winter and so on.
These days are written in stone more or less, you can put them in your diary as dancing naked around the circle days, even the men of science will tell you when they are , in fact most are calculated by said men.
The four "fire" festivals are not fixed days, the dates in your pagan diary are mearly a guide, oddly enough the the actual days when the energies are correct to the feast day usually coincide with the appropriate lunar event,for example, at lughnasagh last year there was no harvest on the first of august the fields were (at least in the west) soaking wet, two weeks later at the full moon the first sheaves were cut. When a connection to the web is made this becomes almost a second nature, you can feel when the time is right, if you go by the date in your diary you are maybe purely enjoying a pointless ritual for rituals sake, often celebrating a time that hasn't happened of has passed weeks ago, how many people have done this, I know I have in the past, stood in circle thinking "the time is not quite right" or Felt to be missing the point a little.
This is partly the reason to develop that wild magic once more, your brain and body are part of the Lunar and Solar tides , listen to them and learn to trust them, any magic undertaken will have more energy when the time is rite.

There are rituals in life that we should celebrate and yet don't, or do it badly. the rites of passage, to welcome the newborn baby for example. Modern pagans have been so caught up in the bullying of monotheistic religion that we avoid the welcoming of new souls, due to christian dominance over a thousand years many avoid this welcoming as it is all a little familiar to a baptism, or of course we can just change the names of god to goddess and call it a wiccaning, that kind of feels like an unhealthy indoctrination as well, a child should be aware of its parents beliefs but should have the freedoms to choose when and where or indeed if if would like to share those beliefs, I did not and would not force my children to attend any kind of church.When my children were born they were both welcomed by our community and they have now in later life started to become an active part as well, by their request and not my summoning.
When my eldest was thirteen I gave her a silver pentacle as a gift, with it a letter which stated that the choice would be hers to join us when she wanted and that if she chose not to the star would be as a normal gift from father to daughter, from our faith to whatever faith if any she might choose, a small amount of ritual here as we sat in the woods when the gift was given, my younger daughter will be thirteen in a year or so and I will repeat this experience with her.
Ritual should but often fails to acknowledge the other rites of passage , only to be replaced with drinking parties, these are fun but we should never feel the need to justify a party with a time in someones life, sometimes this can be a mistake, a party for party's sake is OK no one has to feel guilty for that, and eighteenth twenty first or fortieth should be celebrated , but as I have learned to my cost perhaps not with with so much alcohol.

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