At Pantheacon, I was invited to be part of a panel on warding and ritual safety. I blogged about my thoughts on the topic, but here’s the video of the panel discussion at Pantheacon. It includes everything except the Q&A at the end. So…feel free to ask questions here if you like :)
I’ve been on the road for about two weeks, and I have about a dozen blog post ideas swirling in my brain, but I thought I’d ease in with a ritual technique, since this is something I use frequently when I teach and lead rituals and lots of people ask me about it. My pet name for the technique is the Trance Hammer, since I came up with it during a Brigid-themed event.
Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part six.
Basic social psychology suggests that religion can be a very dangerous thing. Open any introductory textbook to the chapter on social psych, and you’ll be hit with a flurry of concepts that build upon each other to show us how tribal, exclusionary, and potentially violent religion – any religion – can become.
The Out Group Homogeneity Effect tells of our tendency to see all people that are not part of our group as “all the same.”
In Group Bias is our ability to tolerate differences within our own groups, even as we don’t see them in other groups.
The Fundamental Attribution Error leads us to blame another person’s character for mistakes they make and any behavior they do while ignoring…
As I’ll be teaching a number of workshops on ritual facilitation at Pantheacon, ConVocation, and Paganicon, I thought I’d offer up one of my articles on leading rituals that is included in my book, Ritual Facilitation.
Raising the Sacred Fire: How to Build and Move Energy in Ritual
Together we are singing, moving, dancing, chanting, and drumming around the fire in the center of the circle. The energy builds and slows then rises up again. I move the drum beat, and the drum beat moves me. We draw closer; I look into the firelit eyes of people around me and we smile as we sing. We drop the chant down to a whisper, then bring it back up again. Our song is a prayer for transformation, a prayer for our individual gifts to be transformed on Brigid’s Forge into their highest potential. I am singing for my gift, and for the gifts of everyone there. Our prayer is singing, movement, rhythm, and our shared intention. The chant moves into a tone that rises and falls like a fire at the bellows until we hold the silence together.
As “Pagan Conference Season” draws near, I have gotten more and more invites to individual workshops and programming in hospitality suites at the two upcoming conferences, Pantheacon and ConVocation. I went through the process of figuring out my most likely schedule.
Those of us who attend such events also know the amusing axioms of any conference. We forget to leave time for things like eating, we wish there was something stronger than caffeine because we didn’t leave enough time for sleep, and we wish for the ability to bilocate in order to attend all the programming we’d like to go to. In fact, there’s one time slot where I could really use four of me.
This is part two of my article on Warding in Ritual. You’ll want to read part one for this to make sense. However–having written on the topic at some length, I think I can sum up my approach to warding in ritual as “the things I do to keep participants safe in ritual.”
Here are more questions that have been posed to the panel.
Ritual Safety I already talked a bit about “mundane” safety, which in my work is synonymous with warding. But it would serve to go into a few more details here. Sometimes people aren’t necessarily interested in taking speaking ritual roles but might be available to help manage the door, help people with a disability, or do other work like making sure there’s kleenex or water available. That’s part of the safety of the ritual space–accommodating people’s physical needs–and thus, it’s part of warding.
I’ve been invited to be a panelist on the topic of Warding in Ritual at Pantheacon, which is the largest Pagan conference and takes place in a few weeks in San Jose, California. The folks organizing the panel worked to create an outline of questions and topics, which is very helpful for us panelists! Since I’m thinking about all of these questions, I thought I’d work up my responses as a blog post. In fact, it’s a 2-parter, because (as I tend to) I went into some depth.
Part of why I want to think about these questions a bit is because I’m a bit of the “devil’s advocate” on the panel. Meaning, I don’t really approach warding as a magical act. For me, it’s very pragmatic. In fact, I don’t even really call it warding. And yet, that piece of what I do in a ritual is still incredibly important and is still the foundation of an effective ritual.