Happy Solstice!

The shiny new coven, Phoenix Song, celebrated our first Summer Solstice today.

It’s become the practice, in our tradition, to use the solstice as a time to revision the group for the coming year. (Yes, the timing’s a little odd, but it’s something that grew organically from stuff we were actually doing, and it turns out to work nicely.) What do we want to do together? What do we want things to be like? How do we want to honor where we’ve come from, while continuing to move forward?

In the group I hived from, the tradition has been to create something that is present in the temple all year as a reminder. In our case, that’s a little impractical (we’re doing ritual in two different spaces, and neither of us has space to spare.

We decided, instead, to do a deliberately impermanent piece of art. (Before I go any … Continue reading

How to handle ritual text?

One of the easier bits of shared-practice discussion I’ve had in the founding of the Shiny New Group has been about figuring out how to handle ritual texts.

The options:

There’s a spectrum.

  • Some groups memorise everything (i.e. there’s a prewritten script, but everyone works in ritual from memory.)
  • Some groups work from a written script, with notes used during ritual.
  • Some groups write things out in advance for planning, but then memorise or improvise in the ritual as makes sense.
  • Some groups figure out the goal of the ritual, but then collaboratively create (often referred to as co-creating) the ritual together. (In this last one, ritual roles or methods may not be assigned: people step forward to take on the roles they want to do, and do them as they see fit.)
  • Some groups combine one or more of these.

Food for ritual

Since this also just turned up in my search engine results, I thought it might be handy to mention. One of our coven desires is good food and drink: we’re both big believers in food being a pleasure as well as a necessity, and we want our ritual work and celebrations to reflect that.

What does that actually mean?

A ritual planning timeline

I just posted something to a mailing list that I thought might be useful over here, too – a time line of how we’ve been going about planning ritual.

Beltane is going to be our first ritual with guests, so we’re being extra-careful with the planning. That said, it’s one of my current goals to have a decent idea what we’re doing for the ritual (not all the details, but the basic working, goals, and stuff we need to have on hand) a month before the ritual.

Starting in early April would be fine for many people if you’re starting from scratch with no idea of what you want to do. (Starting in mid-April is stressful, in my experience, unless you already have a good idea what you want to do and you’re working with people who can adapt comfortably.)

Friday night ritual

I live alone. I’m often free on Fridays with nothing scheduled (in the past, it’s been because various covenmates have their date nights on Friday, and also because of other aspects of my schedule.)

I decided when I moved to try Fridays as a personal ritual. Come home, tidy up a little bit, and make a nice meal with a few extra special touches. Maybe a glass of wine, or something that takes a little longer to cook. I’d fallen out of the habit for several months, but tonight seemed like a good day to try again.

I didn’t have much cleaning to do (I spent last weekend and the early part of this week doing a serious spring cleaning of everything that wasn’t tucked under the bed or kitchen table – that’s this week’s project) so I came home, put the library books out of the way, petted the … Continue reading