Monday, September 30, 2013

High Holy Day Essay: Mabon (take 2)

For the Autumn Equinox, I attended a ritual held by the Order of the Red Grail. I had attended one Full Moon ritual with the group in August and enjoyed it very much. Again, the ritual was typically Wiccan in structure, using a procession into a circle to begin the rite. The quarters were called by four different participants, the God and Goddess invited by the two High Priestesses. The centerpiece of the ritual was a piece of ritual drama featuring Persephone's Descent into the Underworld. Each participant became an actor as well, playing the dead souls that lived in Hades' realm. Persephone was taken to the Underworld and was said to embark on a quest to build a better world for the dead to live in. Persephone then led a dance of the dead, each person getting an instrument such as a tambourine to play while they danced, raising energy by increasing the tempo until a final crescendo. I don't know much about Hellenic lore and couldn't say how accurate to it the play was, but it was quite enjoyable to participate in. Then the God and Goddess and the quarters were bid farewell, and the circle was closed. Afterwards, the group holds a potluck to encourage community which was very nice.

 I enjoyed this ritual a great deal more than the Lughnasadh ritual I attended. Those with reading parts were either very good readers or had practiced a bit beforehand, and that little bit of effort contributed greatly to the energy of the ritual. Also introducing something new and novel like the ritual drama, and pairing it with movement and active participation in the ritual dance, had a great effect. I was a solitary Wiccan for about 8 years before deciding to pursue Druidry, and when the elements were invoked in this circle I felt their familiar presence wash over me. I also felt very connected to the other ritual participants, and had a great deal of fun at the potluck despite my usual shyness.

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