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Posts Tagged ‘ritual’

One of my students passed along a link to her documentarian friend, Phyllis Galembo’s, website cataloging ritual clothing. One image is above.

Why?

Recently, in my “Start Yr Own Religion” class we discussed the use of clothing in ritual and ceremony and the difference between “formal wear” and the “come as you are” approach. The question there being, what exactly demarcates a space as “sacred?” Is it because we name it so? What effect does having “special” clothing (robes, gowns, face paint, horns!, skycladness, etc.) have on separating the mundane from the sacred? Is such a dichotomy over-played and unnecessary? Of course, these are questions the sadhaka, the practitioner, will decide for her or his self, individually, or by consensus in community, so in some ways the question is moot. However, when we live in a world where most ritual and rite has been vacated of potency, it helps to at least take a peek at the opportunities we might have to don that headdress or rock up in PJs.

Perhaps it’s a question of urgency -vs- initiation.

[some vids after the bump jump]

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After attending a winter solstice get-together that was entirely infused with ritual and meaning, I decided to recreate this experience on the vernal (spring) equinox. Although the winter solstice gathering was enjoyed by a large group of extended friends, I am spending March 20/21 with my lover, and so we planned our intimate rituals accordingly. Large group or small, creating your own rituals gives new meaning to any holiday, especially ones whose meanings have been largely forgotten.

My dear editor reminded me:

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Crow

The Witch of Forest Grove honors a gift from the Dark Goddess

We Revelers have been getting in touch with our witchy side recently. For us, it’s been mostly about connecting to the phases of the moon and exploring the use of ritual. We’re pretty proud of our efforts and feel good about what we’ve done, but we have no illusions about what might be ahead. The world of folk magic is deep and vast, so for inspiration we look toward our “elders” such as The Witch of Forest Grove, Sarah Lawless, who knows exactly what to do with a dead crow.

To read Sarah’s full (and awesome) post regarding a dead crow she found while out wandering, and what she did with it, follow this link. Her writing honors the life and death of the animal in a way that inspires us to learn more. We Revelers also appreciate hearing Sarah describe a “messy” side of magic. Nothing is all songs and candles, is it? We look forward to our own chance to learn the beauty of life and death.

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Like all gifts, the gift of giving is as much for the giver as for the receiver. This paradox is especially true of homemade gifts. The modern tradition of purchasing pre-made gifts arises from our tendency to want to really give something to the receiver. Interacting through the medium of money, however, severs the giver, in a way, from the gift, and emphasizes the unidirectionality of flow, downplaying the interpersonal nature of giving. When you give something you’ve made, the act of giving retains a strong reciprocity. The receiver still “gets” something, but in that reception, “gives” something back as well.

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Have you ever felt that holidays exist only to keep your family from falling apart? Have you ever had the feeling that there is something missing, be it life, from a plastic skeleton? Have you ever wondered if meaningful ritual only happens over there, in a place you’ve never been, during a time you’ll never travel to? For better or for worse there’s a good reason to feel that way, and unpacking those feelings in order to have the ability to (re)experience authentic of-the-environment spiritual catharsis is what’s needed to rectify the situation.

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