For those of you who haven't read my blog for very long, I participate in several magickal groups here in the Central Valley of California, AKA the San Joaquin Valley. It is an area that has been hit fairly hard by the economic crisis and in some areas, the unemployment is very high, around 20%. The air here is very dirty and the main city in the San Joaquin Valley has some of the most dirtiest air in the country, (2nd only to Los Angeles). The climate is dry and the summers are very hot. A thick blanket of smog and dust sits on our valley for most of time. ...And it stinks!, very badly at times. The area is literally thick with oppression and magick is difficult to do here (or so I have been told). I enjoy participating in my groups. Although I have personal rituals I do solitary, I really enjoy participating in and learning about other magickal experiences and traditions.
One of the groups I participate in is one that we affectionately call, "The Tribe". Our group is a truly an eclectic group. We have wiccans, druids and just a few ceremonial magicians. We get together for learning discussions, rituals, holidays and FUN times. Our little group has grown quite a bit this last year and I am very honored to be a part of it. I have figured that our collective magickal experience is more than 200 years.
Our tribe celebrated Ostara this Saturday, a public ritual. I am usually at the advantage when I write about a ritual because I am usually a participant who takes a smaller part. This time, I chose to lead the ritual, my first one as High Priestess. I felt it was time that I push my boundaries a bit and I really wanted the experience. It's different when you do a rite solitary, or as a smaller part of the ritual. I wanted the experience of managing and leading a public ritual. How you create and shape magickal energies for people who you are familiar with is quite a bit different than one done for strangers. It was a bit scary for me as two of my favorite teachers were not there due to personal commitments. Thankfully, I had three others in attendance that guided and assisted me. (Yes, I have alot of people guiding me in my Path and I call anyone I love who has provided me great insight and/or crucial information a "teacher") A mentor, however, is quite different. I have been told I can show my vulnerabilities to a mentor.
When I started writing the ritual, I was uncertain quite how to do it given the varied traditions and skills of the group. One teacher told me that I needed to write it to make myself happy. I did that. I pulled some ceremonial magick components into a wiccan-based ritual. The Great Rite was performed as part of the ritual and the open/closing parts were done CM style. The Great Rite was used to put energy into some rosemary seeds for each participant to save our air (plants and trees are a natural filters for ambient air) and we all libated with some bright yellow bunny "Peeps" and milk. (My surprise and whimsical part of the ritual). Some lines were flubbed. I had technical difficulties with the alter and the incense and some parts were taken out the last minute. For the first 5 minutes, I was shaking like a leaf but was able to come back to center after I felt everyone's love and support. I have only shaken violently like that once before, when my daughter was born so I knew it was a good omen. Here was some of my comments:
"Honestly, you're being too hard on yourself. The ritual was great and very special"
"Loved the energy"
"It was a blast"
"I saw the colors that you were creating"
"You did a really great job"
And finally, the best part of the ritual for me was after the actual working. A tearful participant came to me and told me how much the ritual inspired her. She felt a true connection to the magick I did. It made her feel better inside and she wanted to know more about my own tradition. No words can describe how I felt when she confided with me. It was not a Leo sorta of pride or ego thing. The feeling was truly... well, DIVINE