A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

Thoughts on Rituals and Worship

Well, while I’ve been unsuccessful at reading one of these a week, I have been skimming them a bit here and there. When I read the two on rituals, I had to shake my head. This is one of those topics that became a huge debate between me and other Pagans in college, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns and kept at things my own way.

There seems to be this idea in general modern Paganism that the rituals done need to be elaborate, encompassing many steps, and need to have a set structure to follow. I’m sorry, but if I had wanted to have such strict rules and regulations control my religious practices, I would have stuck to a religion such as Catholicism or Judaism. Part of what drew me into investigating Paganism when I was in middle school was the concept that the religious practices therein where very flexible. If you were one that needed a rigid structure, you could have it, but if you craved freedom and flexibility, that was also there. To go into college in hopes of meeting fellow Pagans only for a generous amount of them to tell you your ideas about worship and practice are wrong is a very trying experience that I hope never to repeat.

My idea of what Ritual is focuses now more than ever on the here and now. How can I make Yule special? What have we not eaten for a while that’s one of our favorite dishes? What activity do we never do that we can have fun with today? Holidays become a chance for me to put more thought into my home and to be thankful for the opportunity that the Lord and Lady have blessed me with while doing each thing throughout the day (which isn’t much different than my normal days), and tend to include some solitude time in front of my altar with journal and pen in hand to think about and connect with the divine.

I try to strive for mini rituals each day. These stretch from cooking a meal with will and intent (being a Kitchen Witch, this comes naturally), to knitting meditatively. Somedays I may need an extra walk in the woods to get a closer feel to the divine. However, if I go the day without touching the divine, I know that there is something I’m missing and I focus on finding out what that is an how to repair it.

Why do we need to be roped into this belief that we need special outfits or to go skyclad to worship? Is there any real reason that we need to cast a circle, call the Gods and Goddesses, partake the in the Five Fold Kiss, and be led around by a Priest or Priestess like a donkey on a string?

Worship, regardless of the religion, should be a daily occurence that does not interfere with your life. If you feel as though you need to drop everything in order to spend time with your divine being, and doing so is stressful, than it may be time to take a look at what you need from ritual and worship. You might be surprised with how much you’re complicating things.


4 responses to “Thoughts on Rituals and Worship

  1. Peter Park January 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Too often we see worship as a separate act…this will often lead to a stressed life.

  2. Alexis January 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I agree completely (and, ok, I’m jealous about the ability to walk in the woods-Just had to get that out) I’ve been pagan for almost 14 years now (omg…14?!) and I’ve been to only a handful of “Right” group rituals (including my own handfasting) despite working at a pagan shop for awhile.

    The only person I butt heads with is myself though. Sometimes i feel like I’m not doing *enough* in thanks to my Goddess. ( and hoo boy has she been kind to me) I mean, She (Athena) had a city built after Her and Her temple still stands and I know I’m not worshiping Her like the Greeks used to do, so I worry about that.

    But when it comes to other Pagans, I just say your way is what works for you and mine is clearly working for me. I’m, solitary (the hubbs is too-and we work our magick separately) and while i wish I had mroe Pagan friends, I’m not crushed to have to disagree with them over what a “proper” ritual is.

    ANd where did you get that candle holder? I love it so so much!

  3. habitsofamouse January 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    It’s actually a pic I lifted off another site, thus why it’s linked. That’s my way of paying tribute when I borrow a pic. It helps others get more traffic. :-)

    In regards to you feeling like you don’t do enough for Athena, think of it this way: As a Goddess of war, would she rather you put all your time into worshiping her or into “fighting” though life and doing what you can in areas to help others?

  4. sensiblevermonter January 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I know what you mean about so many people going over the top when it comes to rituals. To me, as with any religion, the time you take each day to be thankful for your life, the time you put into a meal, chore, or craft, and the interactions that you have with those you love, are all more meaningful and honorable than complicated multi-step rituals that stress you out and complicate your thoughts.

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