Big Ritual

I’ve been doing ritual magick in some form since I first bought Don Kraig’s Modern Magick 20 years ago. Much of that was based in Golden Dawn derived ritual, performed alone for my personal benefit in the dark corner of wherever I happened to live. Early group rituals were largely impromptu, and with small groups of no more than 6 people.

In college, I became involved with a student group that had Sabbat rituals, and I participated in and facilitated some of those, which generally had around a dozen people. I’ve worked with other groups having about the same or fewer participants, and usually enjoyed positive results. Continue reading


Finding Common Ground

“Group rituals should be about fostering cohesion and community among the group. The more diverse the group, the harder that can be. There is always some manner of common ground, but the mistake we often make is trying to look for it among religious or political ideology. Sometimes the very fact that people are coming together for a particular event is enough of a basis to build a ritual, and through that a community. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works with Burning Man.”

I’ve been talking about Heartland Pagan Festival for a while.

One of the features of the festival is a large ritual, that is often separated across three nights. There is traditionally an opening ritual, a main ritual, and a closing ritual. And these rituals are very complex and delicate operations.

Heartland is open to people of all Pagan and Pagan-friendly folks who want to come out for a good time. Which means that the Spiritual Experience Committee is responsible for devising a ritual that is appealing to as many people as possible, intense enough to provide a meaningful experience, and yet is not offensive to the hugely diverse and very left-of-center (and hence more likely to be offended) crowd in attendance. And they have problems pulling it of with a bang, on occasion. Continue reading