If you’ve never been to a Reclaiming style ritual before, it can be daunting. We want as many people as possible to feel comforting coming to our events, so here is a basic breakdown.
Overall, expect to be participating. You get to decide what participating looks like, but our rituals are not spectator events and we anticipate each participant to be present and active to their ability.
All of our events are sober, so please do not bring in or be under the influence of any intoxicants. Please do take your prescription medicines. Snacks and drinks are always welcome, but not required. You should also plan to wear clothing you can move in.
You may feel silly going through some of the motions, and that is ok!
Plan to arrive on time. Ritual tends to start about 30 minutes after the gathering start time.
As folks enter, witches will catch up with old friends, make new ones, and help prepare for the ritual. Occasionally, there may be a specific activity to help prepare for the ritual. If there isn’t, we invite you to relax or socialize in a way that works for you.
Also, more and more snacks will be brought to the table. Most of the time the snacks can be broken into pretty much immediately.
Walk-Through A.K.A. Ritual Conspiracy
As we get closer to start time, the Ritual Planning Cell will have everyone gather and go over what the basic plan of ritual is. If you have accessibility needs, please feel free to mention them now. You can also feel free to ask clarifying questions, as even the most mindful of us will occasionally slip into jargon. This is also when chants are taught.
Grounding and Casting
Once the explanation is over, it’s time to start! Usually, one person will lead what is called grounding, to help us feel present and connected. Typically, grounding is a short guided meditation. Casting is spoken by one person, but we all add our energy to the process.
Once sacred space is invoked, the fun starts. While each element or entity called has one person who takes point, you are openly encouraged to add your own words and movements to the calls. If you don’t know how: listen to others for the first few invocations. After that, listen to your own intuition.
This will be detailed by the planners before the ritual starts. Central ritual activities can include but aren’t limited to: trances, drumming, chanting, dancing, ritual theater, and other exercises. It’s ok to be nervous! Try and feel the connection between what’s happening outside and inside you.
From the central Reclaiming website:
Our style of ritual could be described with the acronym EIEIO:
Ecstatic: in that we aim to create a high intensity of energy that is passionate and pleasurable.
Improvisational: We value spontaneity within the overall structure of our rituals, encourage people to create liturgy in the moment rather than script it beforehand, to respond to the energy around us rather than predetermine how it should move.
Ensemble: In our larger group rituals, we work with many priest/esses together taking different roles and performing different functions that, ideally, support each other like the members of a good jazz ensemble. We encourage a fluid sharing of those roles over time, to prevent the development of hierarchy and to allow each person to experience many facets of ritual.
Inspired: Because we each have access to the sacred, we are each capable of creating elements of ritual. Although we honor the myths, the poems, the songs and the stories that have come down to us from the past, we are not bound by the past, for divine inspiration is constantly present in each of us.
Organic: We strive for a smooth, coherent flow of energy in a ritual that has a life of its own to be honored. Our rituals are linked to the rhythms of cyclical time and organic life.
At some point, the energy of the ritual will start to rise. Humming, toning, chanting: people are trying to build what is called a “Cone of Power”. Try and join in. Feel what’s happening. Generally, things will trend toward faster rather than slower, louder rather than softer, and more harmonious rather than more cacophonous. Whoever is leading the ritual will let the cone build, release the energy, and then ground it. When you see people place their hands on the ground, join them. See what changes for you.
Remember the calling and casting? This part is all of that only in reverse order. Generally, this goes faster. Again, add your words and movements when you feel called. Ritual space is co-created in our practice. We say thank you and goodbye to each element, entity and the circle. It’s an important part of aftercare.
Once we are done, it’s time to eat! We also tend to hang out and talk about what we each experienced. Sharing feelings is a big part of why we come together. It is highly recommended that you eat and drink water after the ritual, as some residual energy can hang out. We love meeting new people and would love a chance to talk to you.