I was involved in three very different rituals yesterday.
The first was a Druid (AODA) celebration of Lughnasadh. For many years I thought I was a pagan. I am not. I am simply an occultist seeking unity with the divine. So, I am not really familiar with these holidays nor do I understand them. Though, that may be changing. We'll see if the trend continues.
Regardless, the first ritual was very different from my work. There was a sparsely worded opening which included all of my favorite elements (pun intended). It lacked a certain concentrational focus to which I had become accustomed. However, I felt the energy. How that was raised considering the ritual is beyond me. The space was dedicated by both John Michael Greer and My Gal. That may have resulted in that energy being so readily available. All that matters is that the energy was there. The best I can describe the feeling was one of liquid earth or the power of that which is created. I was very comfortable and enjoyed the ritual very much. I was impressed with how it felt. I may have to learn to work with this sort of energy.
The second ritual was more to my normal fair which makes sense because I did it solo. I felt the need to do a strong banishing and shove some energy out of myself that was not mine. The rite was very very effective and I was proud of myself. Proud because I injected some strong and powerful emotion into the banishing. Heretofore, my rituals were very emotionally dry. So dry that my past ritual work could be called the Rider-Waite deck of ceremonial magick. Not anymore!
Lastly, My Gal and I were honored by an invitation to participate in a Lughnasadh ritual run by my good friend and frequent reader of this space Joe. I hope he doesn't feel insulted when I say I didn't feel a great deal of raw energy pop. Then again, that wasn't the point of this particular ritual. So, there was no need for that. I know Joe's philosophy is to only bring the tools one needs for any particular working as his work is not about the 'show'. I was very impressed regarding the form and intent. This is family ecclectic Wicca at its best. The ritual brought in all of my favorite elements but was a teaching circle. Joe taught his family and coven mates how the wheel of year turns and how to see that reflection within oneself. More than that, he taught how to use the symbols as part of a religious service and then as part of one's internal spiritual practice. The lessons were those of understanding oneself, family support, and introspective action towards change. How different my life would be had I been raised and taught like this. I say that with no insult whatsoever to those that raised me.
One day, three rituals, three methods all with one aim, experiencing the divine. Yesterday, I experienced an entire day of ritual, prayer and friendship. There is nothing more I could ask of any day.
(picture: Caddo Indian with antler headress dances in a ritual ceremony marking the death of a special chief or leader in the tribe. From http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/kids/images/ritual.html)