Why perform ritual? 

“Do you perform it for their glory, or for yours?” Was the question that popped into my head as I poured the water from Monday’s ceremony into the kitchen plant. 

    A slight rewording from the question posed to Dr. Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but an effective one nonetheless. 

    That previous night had me perform a personal meditation in order to find an answer to something I was thinking through.  Well, more accurately, the meditation was the middle bit of my ceremony (to my fellow members of the Grove who wanted to know how it is I can recall the words by rote….. This is how).  And to perform the meditations and visualisations I use without the ceremonial bits feels…. Naked.

    This is how I do it: 

    1. Peace to the quarters.
    2. Cast the circle.
    3. Bless the circle with fire and water.
    4. Prayer to deity or deities.
    5. Awens.
    6. Middle bit.
    7. ‘Hour of recall….’
    8. Thanks to Deity.
    9. Uncast the circle.
    10. Declaration of the end of ceremony. 

        It’s mainly based on the general OBOD ceremonies, but I have found the form that works for me.  No flowers though.  Can’t be doing with taking from the plant realm for the sake of aesthetics!

          The Order encourages members to try things out and see how things work for them, even saying to stop something if it doesn’t work for you.  I have kept the above as it works for me.  Some of the wording is different and the words I say to deity are my own. 

        The ritual water I give to the household plants, a way of giving back and not wasting what was taken.

        There was a time I would perform this every day, and even though it did calm my being, I became stifled with the repetition.  So now, I like to do it with meaning, the ritual bringing calm and satisfaction to myself as well as honour and communication to those that are listening.  

        Do I do it for their glory?  Not really, as I have other personal rituals for giving thanks and honour.

        Do I do it for my glory?  Perhaps.  But when I perform the ceremony it isn’t for glory, it is a series of repetitious actions that allow me to enter a certain level of consciousness that allows me to find a stillness.  This stillness can be used to calm my fiery temperament, to gain insight or inspiration.  

        And even if there is no one in the ether, the ceremony still serves it’s purpose. 

        “There are FOUR lights!” Pic by Locksley2010.
        Advertisements

        Owl-right, my son? 

        This would have been written New Years Day were it not for the extreme hangover I had suffered.  Regardless, I consulted the Druid Animal Oracle for my yearly focus.

        Of dragons and potential

        Last year’s card signified 2016 as being a year for discovering my inner potential power, it was not wrong!  Last year I had: 

        • Successfully auditioned for the part of Watson in a comedy version of Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. 
        • Performed two theatre plays back to back.
        • Provided the voice for the ‘Where Witchcraft Lives’ exhibit in Brighton.
        • Learned a great deal of my strengths and weaknesses.
        • Found my place in my day-job and I’m fine with it! 
        • Became a member of a brand new theatrical events group.
        • Completed my Bardic course and review. 
        • Completed my Ovate initiation just in time for Yuletide. 
        • Learned what my acting type is.
        • Discovered where I went wrong in my marriage.  
        • Cut my long hair off in the name of charity.

        So yes, quite a lot, really! 

        Eyes in the night

        And where does my focus lie for 2017?  The card drawn for this year is Owl, or Cailleach Oidhche . The card for detachment, wisdom and change.  It speaks of turning a disadvantage into an advantage, also it signifies a call to explain the Otherworld with studying esoteric lore and clairvoyancy.  Not sure about speaking with the dead, but seeming as I will be beginning my journey into the world of the Ovate (mystic, seer, healer) this is apt indeed.

        I am aware of the Owl being named as one of the oldest creatures of the Earth, according to one of the tales of the Mabinogion.  In another tale, it is the final form inflicted upon Blodeuedd by the sorcerer Gwydion.  Owl is also associated with the Cailleach, although which specific one, I am not sure.  Either way, both Owl, the Cailleach and studying esoteric lore are to be treated with respect. 

        Art by Bill Worthington.