The first six months of its existence my ritual group mostly floundered. We had a good circle of people around us and did some nice rituals, but we didn't really have any sort of structure. To find a solidity for ourselves we had to do a ritual for someone else.
When my wife and I put our ritual group together we did so with low expectations. We were basically just looking for a group to ritualize with, we weren't necessarily seeking anything formal. During those early months our rituals were continually different. We never used the same quarter calls twice or called to the same gods and goddesses for that matter! The circle was scripted but eclectic, details constantly in flux.
I'd like to imagine that starting a coven is a completely organic process. Perhaps a few friends get together and decide that it's time to form a coven or at least begin operating as one. On the traditional side it's easy to imagine a Priestess and Priest recently elevated to Third Degree and hiving off to form a new coven, perhaps taking a few of their old coven mates with them in order to do so. Both of those scenarios sound better then how our group started. Our coven began with a question: "who should we invite over for ritual?"
Sekhmet dropped in on me again the other day. For me, she’s not been one for words, turning up on rare occasion in startling, stark gestures (I tell about the most dramatic encounter in my book, Pool of Lotus). But during a meditation with my group the Eye of Ra reached out to me, touching my third eye with a cool sizzle that arced instantly through all of me like lightning. “You must be hard,” she said. Strong and unyielding like stone. Durable as a mountain. In fact, for you Francophones, what I heard was, “You must be dur.”
Not what I was looking for at the end of an intensely-stressful week. I’d just learned of the death of a close friend, finished up a tough semester of studies, juggled two jobs and conducted two weddings. All of it was happy stuff, but somehow the current holding me steady faltered, leaving me like jelly inside, tearful and anxious on the outside. But there was more; the next day my friend’s husband would call to ask me to lead her memorial service in a few days. Sekhmet’s admonition began to make more sense.
If you've notice I've been a bit inactive, it's mostly because that most of the communities I involve myself in have caught a case of "Being-on-fire" and that has kept me quite busy. I have forgotten about things here, and you will be seeing some posts from me soon.
In the meantime, while I get those posts ready to roll, have you all heard about the fundraiser that some of us from Heathens United Against Racism have put together? It is to try and extend some goodwill, positivity, and compassion to those who were effected by Frazier Glen Cross in Kansas City, and help relieve those with financial burdens created by the frenzied madness of a murderer. While HUAR started this, we've seen support (both financial and awareness raising) from everyone from McNallen to Krasskova, and from the Troth to the AFA. Dozens of us have all put aside our political and philosophical differences in order to help bolster the spirits of those so effected by this madman. We've also seen assistance outside of the Heathen community from several covens, bloggers of all sorts, and the Pan-Pagan community in general. We are grateful for all of that help, and with just a little more we will be able to reach the goal we established in the hours following that crime.
We cannot buy back lives or peace of mind, but perhaps we can help stabilize these families enough that they can grieve and say goodbye without mundane distractions. We can give these families a small measure of support, and show them that our thoughts are with them during a horrible and bleak time.