October 18th, 2007


Ritual Stress, and Unstressing

Yesterday, well: it was rough. Mostly, I had a rite that I really wanted to go well last night, but which I was really, really worried about. I'd spent a lot of time working through songs and trying to get them ready to go, and to learn them, only to end up forgetting melodies and underestimating the time needed to learn them.

Work has put me under more stress than usual, as well: I've been working my ass off for five solid weeks with no end in sight. Combine that with my usual pre-ritual anxiety and you have one basket-case of a priest.

It wasn't until I began to ritually pack the altar items we'd need that I finally started to calm down. There's something about going through the rite and all the stuff that's remarkably calming on me.

In the end, it turned out not to be the quality of our singing that was vitally important to Cantlos, our "ritual of songs" for this Druid Moon; it was the amusement and joy I saw on people's faces around the fire. Between forgotten words, failed reading of the lyrics, and our Grove's general "I-don't-sing" sentiment, the rite was full of songs and laughter and new jokes. Honestly, it was rather fun.

Props to the Grove for that processional, btw. Definite props.

I wouldn't have ever dared to do a ritual with that many songs and that little rehearsal as a public rite, but as a Grove rite, it was a lot more relaxed and fun. It may not have been as excellent as we could have made it, but we certainly learned a lot from it (like next Sept., we're going to need a meeting where all we do is rehearse songs for this ritual, and write new ones).

And boy, my Trance Journal got a hell of an entry on last night. I'm still not sure what to think of all that, but I see a lot of room for improvement on induction and focus.

We've a long way to go toward excellence with this particular rite, but I think we can manage it well. We have a year to look at it again, and the omens were not at all bad, though I think that the Powers were perhaps a bit confused by the shear number of songs we used, and possibly by the number of people making up songs on the fly, a la druidkirk. The omens are speaking to me more strongly this morning.

A favourite part of the rite last night, though, was after the rite: sitting and singing/listening to karaoke with the Grove. I was there until 11:30 (when I figured our hosts might like to get some sleep. . .)

The next Druid Moon Rite, Samonios, is already in the formal planning stages now; I'll be chatting with the Grove tonight about what they'd like to do at the next Druid Moon. I suspect that removing the variable of *that many* songs will help a lot in the planning (and my subsequent stress). But I'm particularly looking forward to December's Druid Moon Rite, where we get to go back to doing initiations for a night.

That's something I really look forward to doing again.