The “what’s core” sorting process (part 1)

The calendar keeps flipping….

All good intentions about updating aside, it’s hard to keep on top of with my current schedule. (Day job from 7:30am to 4pm weekdays, my part time temporary reference librarian job weekends 12-5 and Monday and Tuesday evenings), plus various religious group commitments.

This weekend was blissfully free for a change: some brief social stuff and errands, but all of Monday free due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I feel part-way human again. Plus, I’ve only got five more days at the temporary job to go, which helps with momentum.

Conversation, part 1

Last week, my group had the first part of a really productive conversation about what the core of the tradition is. We’re still in progress on this, but we’re in agreement on a lot of things. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is the difference between how we do things, and why we do them.

For example, we’re all in agreement about some core aspects of the tradition – we have a reputation for thoroughness, for example, both in our training and our ritual work, that we all care about a lot. Yet, while the group I’m hiving from is primarily a teaching-focused group (and we agree that the ability to teach is an important thing for our initiates, whether or not they want to focus on it), the new group I’m founding is not going to be focused that way.

Compare that to our actual practices – how we cast circle, what we consider to be the fundamental rituals of the tradition (our initiation rituals, but also a few others) that everyone should experience. These are practical things, and we spent a lot of time on Wednesday hammering out which ones mattered which ways (and also talking about some options for if groups in the tradition remain local, and if they don’t.)

It’s one of my favorite kinds of discussions (I like being able to hang things on practical outcomes), so I had a blast. (I do still need to type up my notes, though.)

Some things we talked about:

  • The various parts of our ritual structure.
  • Were all these parts necessary?
  • What aspects were necessary for it to feel like ‘home’ to us? Was it the words, the visualisation used, the energetic process?
  • Are there deities who are central to the tradition? In what ways?
  • Are there other practices or concepts that are? Which ones?
  • How we view interaction between different ritual roles.
  • Types of workings we feel our initiates should be somewhat familiar with.
  • Group structure, why we do that, and how to resolve issues between different groups in the tradition.

We still have some things to discuss – mostly about specific rituals (like initiations and some other key ritual points.) but we’re most of the way there. I’m very excited.

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