I am not a big advocate of open rituals, my dislike of such events is a big contributing factor to my non attendance at many well thought of camps and conferences.
Organising pagans has been likened afterall to being much like hearding cats, in my opinion (as the budding local mad cat lady) cats are easier to organise, but I suppose that is a whole other story. Anyway, where was I, Oh yes open rituals and associated events.
Today I saw this posted on Facebook:
All I can say is those images reminded me about everything I hate about an alarmingly fast growing sub section of the Pagan community, as I viewed this video I could almost hear Alec Guiness in best Obi Wan Kenobi mode whisper “Stonehenge – You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany”!
It also made me think about a little “rantette” I made along a similar vein last year after being persuaded under duress to attend an event:
I am not in any publically percievable way either emotionally or physically crippled, I did not get hit particularly hard with the ugly stick at birth, and I am aware of how to enhance the non ugly stick afflicted attributes I have with the judicious use of expertly applied (if minimalistic) makeup and well fitting clothes that do not include tie die. I wash, dear gods I wash, admittedly with chemical free (pedants please don’t argue that everything has a chemical composition, you know exactly what I mean), cruelty free products, but non the less my bathroom has a full compliment of personal hygiene products that get used on a regular basis, particularly my hair products, I have a stunning head of hair, and lank is never a good look, I realise that if I do not have time to wash and style my hair then there are cunning tricks to disguise this fact, namely tying it up, or head scarfs or hats, and I do not use perfume, particularly anything patchouli based, to hide stale sweat——[snip]——I don’t give offerings to my crystals, I don’t worship the goddess (I’d like to research this “the” goddess, which culture does she come from, what attributes does she have, where are her centres of worship?), I have never had a clue and still don’t, despite a very long and tedious talk, what an aura is or looks like, and what seeing one can do for you – except that it may have something to do with a very poor interpretation of fourier series mathematics and alchemical re-ordering of elemental metals by getting rid of protons; wtf???. And I really have no clue what a Hedge Druid is, despite how hard and meaningfully somebody might look at me whilst they decare that is what they are.
I know these views are not popular, I suspect that many who read this post will think that I am selfish, stuck up, middle class snob, well guess what, I am, and proud of it, for I certainly can’t be proud of the images of the Solstice Celebrations currently floating around You Tube, I am totally, utterly and inexorably ashamed by any Pagan who would willingly participate in such a debacle.
This being said, I am aware that for many, who, for a number of reasons, do not have groups to celebrate with, Open festivals and rituals are their only way to access the wider pagan community and a limited experience of group work, but there are ways and ways; people perhaps should be looking to their local groups and sacred sites, not only would it perhaps open up wider long term oppertunities but it would go a long way to reduce their “magickal mileage”.
I had the honor of being invited to attend a small open gathering this year run by a local group, a group of friends, who despite varying paths and beliefs are able to produce beautiful, cohesive and powerful rites (rather than the ritual chaos often seen at open events); this maybe because they are friends, but I suspect this is more because they aren’t weekend wiccans, they actually walk the walk, all those invited (and not all pagan) thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the work they did and the only thing that was left behind to mark our passing was the sound of our laughter drifting on the wind.