When Ritual Goes Wrong

Recently I had the misfortune to attend a ritual that was a disaster. It was such a mess that I felt myself becoming physically ill…speaking to another attendee later I discovered that I was not the only person this happened to. Normally, I would chalk this up to a bad experience and just resolve never to attend another ritual led by that individual. But the individual teaches paganism and ritual to a host of impressionable folks who will 1.) think this is what ritual is supposed to be and 2.) get themselves into big cosmic crap if they someday do a ritual like this and an actual Deity decides to really show up.
So here’s a real simple list of things to do and not do in Ritual space…

Leading ritual is not an easy thing and it is a very specific gift. But even if you aren’t a gifted or charismatic ritual leader, you can be prepared. You can know what you want to do before the ritual begins, especially if you are doing a big group ritual. Once inside ritual space, you should have a clue and not randomly start chatting with others present about what might or might not be a fun thing to do next. Have some respect for the Holy Powers, the others present and take at least 10 minutes to plan ahead. If you are too lazy or inept to do this, please refrain from leading any rituals.

If you are going to be calling on the elemental powers, the ancestors and the Gods, it is just basic courtesy to have some sort of offering for Them. To call on them and expect Them to show up and gift you with blessings without any reciprocity is absurd. The collective Holy Powers are not a universal gumball machine dispensing wishes with no expectation of connection, respect or effort. Here I will openly admit to a strong bias against rituals whose sole purpose is to “take the energy raised and everybody use it for whatever you want!”. This taps into the worst habits of self-absorption and self-indulgence. Especially when you didn’t even bother to bring the Powers you call on for this boon even a token gift. Ritual needs to be about more than just the humans involved. One of the reasons our planet is in its current predicament is that humans have forgotten how to walk in balance with their Dead, the Land Spirits and the Gods. More human hubris is the last thing we need, and in this time of crisis asking for personal favors should be balanced out by asking for something that can benefit the planet.

If you are leading a ritual, please stay focused and do not get sidetracked into random digressions and 5 minute side conversations about how you want to go to Ireland or England or stories about the previous trip you planned and how it fell through *WHILE YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF RITUAL*. If you cannot focus long enough and have the self-discipline to be respectful (or at least pretend to be respectful) to the Powers you are calling on, do not lead a ritual. If you actually believe in the Powers you are calling on, you should be well aware of the need to treat Them with respect. If you do NOT believe in Them, then leave Them alone. It is a stain on your wyrd to treat the Holy Powers disrespectfully. And to teach (by example) others to cavalierly call on Them is a desecration.

Finally, if you are going to take on the role of a teacher or authority or expert in the community, then you become responsible for any mistakes or disrespectful habits you pass along to your students. There are serious consequences wyrd-wise for imparting crappy training to folks who may have no clue that there is something deeply amiss.

Ritual can be so powerful…and I have been blessed to regularly be in ritual space with a ritual leader who is prepared, deeply respectful and powerfully connected. So when I see crap going on I know it for what it is and shield like mad and move on. Most people aren’t as lucky and are too inexperienced or have never been around the real deal to know they have stumbled into a hot mess. After this particular ritual, there were folks (including the leader) talking about how great it went. I have to wonder if they really think so or if it is like “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where people who are less experienced are afraid to call someone with more experience and community clout on their crap? Do they think the reason they feel no energy or connection going on is because they are too new to sense it instead of the obvious: there was no energy or connection. If you are new, trust your instincts. I don’t care if the ritual leader is calling him or herself the Grand Poobah of Paganism and has a moonstone the size of a hubcap on her head. Can they back up their talk and deliver? Are they prepared? Are they focused and respectful? Is it always about gimme gimme gimme and benefiting the humans present or is there real reverence and connection to the ancestors, the elemental powers and the Gods? If alarm bells come up, listen. And run…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476243832 Tess Dawson

    Well said, Ms. Patsouris. In my religion–Natib Qadish, Canaanite polytheism–there is an idea of ritual transgression-misdeed-”sin”, called “khatsa”. If an officiant leads a ritual wrongly or for the wrong reasons, they are responsible for the khatsa. If a participant or an observer does something wrong, the officiant of the ritual as well as that participant or observer are both responsible for the khatsa. Any more, I will only do ritual with people I know and trust and who honor the deities. I don’t care for doing ritual just to satisfy others’ curiosity. Ritual is there for the deities first and foremost. Our needs at ritual are secondary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476243832 Tess Dawson

    Well said, Ms. Patsouris. In my religion–Natib Qadish, Canaanite polytheism–there is an idea of ritual transgression-misdeed-”sin”, called “khatsa”. If an officiant leads a ritual wrongly or for the wrong reasons, they are responsible for the khatsa. If a participant or an observer does something wrong, the officiant of the ritual as well as that participant or observer are both responsible for the khatsa. Any more, I will only do ritual with people I know and trust and who honor the deities. I don’t care for doing ritual just to satisfy others’ curiosity. Ritual is there for the deities first and foremost. Our needs at ritual are secondary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Carron/100001353268347 David Carron

    *snicker*

    Like any car crash, seeing a bad one is horrible, depressing, wrongful and really funny schadenfreude. 

    My 2 cents about Best Ritual Practices:

    http://ravencast.podbean.com/2009/12/03/episode-40-best-blot-practices/

    Wes Thu Hal
    David Carron

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Carron/100001353268347 David Carron

    *snicker*

    Like any car crash, seeing a bad one is horrible, depressing, wrongful and really funny schadenfreude. 

    My 2 cents about Best Ritual Practices:

    http://ravencast.podbean.com/2009/12/03/episode-40-best-blot-practices/

    Wes Thu Hal
    David Carron

  • http://profiles.google.com/paganveg David Salisbury

    Its amazing how BAD ritual can change you just as much as good ritual. People often only remember the bad. I went to a ritual at a festival last year that was SO bad, I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. Sad part, it was one of the biggest rituals Ive been in at around 100 people, many who will now think that’s the way it always is.

    This is why after I lead public ritual, I ask my close covenmates for brutal feedback I can use for self improvement. I’ve learned so much valuable information from that feedback, more than any ritual book. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/paganveg David Salisbury

    Its amazing how BAD ritual can change you just as much as good ritual. People often only remember the bad. I went to a ritual at a festival last year that was SO bad, I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. Sad part, it was one of the biggest rituals Ive been in at around 100 people, many who will now think that’s the way it always is.

    This is why after I lead public ritual, I ask my close covenmates for brutal feedback I can use for self improvement. I’ve learned so much valuable information from that feedback, more than any ritual book. 

  • http://breidabliktemple.weebly.com/ Breidabliktemple

    My ability to conduct an effective ritual has grown over the months I’ve tended Breidablik.  Initially I felt self-conscious, but recognized this as a cop-out and paltry shoddy work.  So I sucked it up and thought carefully back to the rituals I’d attended, few though they may be, and consciously, carefully, pieced together a structure that works.  Making the best possible Offering is key–in fact, it is ALL that happens.  I can’t fathom importuning the Holy Powers or landspirits, or ANYONE for blessings if you haven’t proven your bonafides long in advance.

    I have no clergy training, no status in any kindred or group.  I just find the idea of an insincere or tepid ritual extremely disturbing.  Better not to do it at all than give a limp half-measure.

  • http://breidabliktemple.weebly.com/ Breidabliktemple

    My ability to conduct an effective ritual has grown over the months I’ve tended Breidablik.  Initially I felt self-conscious, but recognized this as a cop-out and paltry shoddy work.  So I sucked it up and thought carefully back to the rituals I’d attended, few though they may be, and consciously, carefully, pieced together a structure that works.  Making the best possible Offering is key–in fact, it is ALL that happens.  I can’t fathom importuning the Holy Powers or landspirits, or ANYONE for blessings if you haven’t proven your bonafides long in advance.

    I have no clergy training, no status in any kindred or group.  I just find the idea of an insincere or tepid ritual extremely disturbing.  Better not to do it at all than give a limp half-measure.

  • Sunweaver

    Were we at the same ritual this weekend? ‘Cause I, too, went to one that was phenomenally BAD. I don’t think we were, but there seems to not have been any significant forethought at all and I spent the greater majority of the ritual shielding my child. There are things that are okay in ritual space and things that are not okay. This ritual was not okay and either the people running it were idiots or just didn’t believe in the forces they chose to call.

    • TOPSOILED

      what happened at this ritual that was so bad? I’D LOVE TO KNOW

  • Sunweaver

    Were we at the same ritual this weekend? ‘Cause I, too, went to one that was phenomenally BAD. I don’t think we were, but there seems to not have been any significant forethought at all and I spent the greater majority of the ritual shielding my child. There are things that are okay in ritual space and things that are not okay. This ritual was not okay and either the people running it were idiots or just didn’t believe in the forces they chose to call.

    • TOPSOILED

      what happened at this ritual that was so bad? I’D LOVE TO KNOW

  • Cat C-B

    There’s aesthetically bad, potentially bad, and then there’s dangerously bad.

    If we actually believe in the gods and powers we purport to reverence, then we need to acknowledge that a truly poorly conceived ritual can be downright hazardous.  I’ve attended such a ritual, in fact–an invocation of the Sidhe, specifically in their aspects as ancestors/spirits of the Otherworld.  It was a ritual that had been billed as “family friendly” and suitable for all attenders, but when one neophyte grabbed a child in attendance by the waist, slung her into the air, and said, “I’ve got my offering right here,” the organizers had absolutely no idea what had gone wrong.

    There were a half-dozen or so experienced Wiccans and Pagan priests in attendance, who went into full emergency alert mode, working our butts off to hopefully avert the magickal catastrophe that had been invoked. 

    I believe that, to this day, the organizers do not acknowledge they did anything wrong.

    This experience, and others like it, are reasons why I never afterward brought my child to a public ritual, and would not recommend others do so, regardless of how the event is billed.  Indeed, I go out of my way to avoid large rituals, unless the leaders are personally known to me, and I have a deep understanding of their approach.

    • Windweaver

      Oh my GODS!!! you’re joking I hope… that ritual had the potential for catastrophe. Considering the tendency of the seleigh sidhe of protecting children, even to the point of taking them… the person that did this should have been slapped silly!!!!!

  • Cat C-B

    There’s aesthetically bad, potentially bad, and then there’s dangerously bad.

    If we actually believe in the gods and powers we purport to reverence, then we need to acknowledge that a truly poorly conceived ritual can be downright hazardous.  I’ve attended such a ritual, in fact–an invocation of the Sidhe, specifically in their aspects as ancestors/spirits of the Otherworld.  It was a ritual that had been billed as “family friendly” and suitable for all attenders, but when one neophyte grabbed a child in attendance by the waist, slung her into the air, and said, “I’ve got my offering right here,” the organizers had absolutely no idea what had gone wrong.

    There were a half-dozen or so experienced Wiccans and Pagan priests in attendance, who went into full emergency alert mode, working our butts off to hopefully avert the magickal catastrophe that had been invoked. 

    I believe that, to this day, the organizers do not acknowledge they did anything wrong.

    This experience, and others like it, are reasons why I never afterward brought my child to a public ritual, and would not recommend others do so, regardless of how the event is billed.  Indeed, I go out of my way to avoid large rituals, unless the leaders are personally known to me, and I have a deep understanding of their approach.

    • Windweaver

      Oh my GODS!!! you’re joking I hope… that ritual had the potential for catastrophe. Considering the tendency of the seleigh sidhe of protecting children, even to the point of taking them… the person that did this should have been slapped silly!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476243832 Tess Dawson

    It sounds like many of us have experienced enough bad rituals to know this isn’t an isolated problem. I believe it might be good to calmly, quietly, and with as much grace as we can muster, walk out of these rituals. It sends a clear and dignified vote of “no-confidence.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476243832 Tess Dawson

    It sounds like many of us have experienced enough bad rituals to know this isn’t an isolated problem. I believe it might be good to calmly, quietly, and with as much grace as we can muster, walk out of these rituals. It sends a clear and dignified vote of “no-confidence.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rande-Wagner/1084489908 Rande Wagner

    Dear Laura, thank you for this.  It is a reminder to all of us, & makes me, personally, more grateful that I was taught such respect in my basic training.  I’ve learned over the years, like you, to RUN from this crap.  I’m going to print & mail this to my former HPS (who shuns computers) & thank her once again for her strict training.
    Namaste’
    Soror Lisan

  • Wes Isley

    I think the most important thing to do, when we recognize a ritual gone wrong, is to remember our own connections to the spirits and gods and the responsibility that requires. Speak to those in charge, when appropriate, about our concerns; respectfully leave the ritual if possible; and never attend rituals by same individuals again (until they prove they’ve changed their approach). I think some people suffer through bad ritual because they have no true respect for themselves or what they believe. If they truly cared about what was happening, bad ritual wouldn’t be a real problem because the “leaders” would simply know that more is expected. But in many cases, where else can you go for a ritual? That’s not an excuse but it’s simply (and sadly) true. So, we must respect ourselves and our beliefs first, and be willing to risk confrontation and alienation if needed.

  • Wes Isley

    I think the most important thing to do, when we recognize a ritual gone wrong, is to remember our own connections to the spirits and gods and the responsibility that requires. Speak to those in charge, when appropriate, about our concerns; respectfully leave the ritual if possible; and never attend rituals by same individuals again (until they prove they’ve changed their approach). I think some people suffer through bad ritual because they have no true respect for themselves or what they believe. If they truly cared about what was happening, bad ritual wouldn’t be a real problem because the “leaders” would simply know that more is expected. But in many cases, where else can you go for a ritual? That’s not an excuse but it’s simply (and sadly) true. So, we must respect ourselves and our beliefs first, and be willing to risk confrontation and alienation if needed.

  • Mary Lynn

    YES.
    I’ve been told before that the reason I didn’t get anything out of
    particular rituals is because, as a participant (and worse, as a mere
    observer!) I didn’t bring anything to it. And I knew it then for the
    claptrap such statements are, and moved firmly away from the group doing said rituals. Sometimes, the Emperor is actually naked,
    people. Use your own judgement, think for yourself, and stop taking
    other people’s words for it that something is there that isn’t.

  • Mary Lynn

    YES.
    I’ve been told before that the reason I didn’t get anything out of
    particular rituals is because, as a participant (and worse, as a mere
    observer!) I didn’t bring anything to it. And I knew it then for the
    claptrap such statements are, and moved firmly away from the group doing said rituals. Sometimes, the Emperor is actually naked,
    people. Use your own judgement, think for yourself, and stop taking
    other people’s words for it that something is there that isn’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

    It seems that every bad ritual I’ve attended (which are blessedly few) or every bad ritual I’ve hard about (which are sadly numerous) had one of two things in common–a lack of common sense or a lack of preparation (either on the part of the officiants or the attendees being prepared for what was to occur). If you can address those two issues from the get-go, you can largely prevent bad ritual. That isn’t to say that the ritual will be awesome and knock-your-socks-of amazing, but at least it won’t be horrifically bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

    It seems that every bad ritual I’ve attended (which are blessedly few) or every bad ritual I’ve hard about (which are sadly numerous) had one of two things in common–a lack of common sense or a lack of preparation (either on the part of the officiants or the attendees being prepared for what was to occur). If you can address those two issues from the get-go, you can largely prevent bad ritual. That isn’t to say that the ritual will be awesome and knock-your-socks-of amazing, but at least it won’t be horrifically bad.

  • http://twitter.com/SevenForASecret E. Vongvisith

    YES. Oh, the stories I have heard, and the bad rituals I’ve witnessed — everything from people making offerings “through the veil” to the ancestors and then taking the food back, to people asking for a goddess to be present at their rite, then stopping midway to greet latecomers and leaving the rest of us (to say nothing of Her) hanging…if people cannot maintain the focus necessary to run a longer, elaborate ritual, they should stick with a simple hailing and offering, or else pass the responsibility over to someone with a freaking clue.

    As someone who is very awkward running rituals, I’d prefer to do something simple and heartfelt rather than bumble through a longer, more technical ceremony for the sake of appearances. Gods and spirits count the amount of heart that’s in a ritual, rather than the amount of tools, long speeches, and flashy techniques.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      This isn’t so much a response as my personal elaboration:

      Latecomers to ritual deserve no accommodation in ritual.  If you’re not there for ritual/ritual preparation (depending on the ritual), you’re cut off – just like an excessively drunk person is cut off at the bar.  It’s one thing if everyone’s late because of weather, traffic or some all-encompassing circumstance.  However, when most people are there and ritual is already in progress… things are different.

      On a mundane level, it’s disrespectful and omission from ritual will force home the concept that the lack of consideration for the time and efforts of others is unacceptable.

      On a metaphysical level, take tardiness as a sign that you were not intended to take part in this ritual and use the ritual time to silently reflect upon why that may be and what changes can be made to your life to avoid such tardiness.

      There comes a point where we, as a community, are acting like horny desperate teenagers trying to appease everyone in hope of maximizing our pool of friends.  As a result, we become too tolerant of disrespect because isolating people would be a “bad thing.”  Not all people are good; not all people are worthy of respect; not everyone is worthy of friendship.

      /rant

  • http://twitter.com/ElfRage Elizabeth Vongvisith

    YES. Oh, the stories I have heard, and the bad rituals I’ve witnessed — everything from people making offerings “through the veil” to the ancestors and then taking the food back, to people asking for a goddess to be present at their rite, then stopping midway to greet latecomers and leaving the rest of us (to say nothing of Her) hanging…if people cannot maintain the focus necessary to run a longer, elaborate ritual, they should stick with a simple hailing and offering, or else pass the responsibility over to someone with a freaking clue.

    As someone who is very awkward running rituals, I’d prefer to do something simple and heartfelt rather than bumble through a longer, more technical ceremony for the sake of appearances. Gods and spirits count the amount of heart that’s in a ritual, rather than the amount of tools, long speeches, and flashy techniques.

    • http://PaganCenteredPodcast.com Dave of Pagan Centered Podcast

      This isn’t so much a response as my personal elaboration:

      Latecomers to ritual deserve no accommodation in ritual.  If you’re not there for ritual/ritual preparation (depending on the ritual), you’re cut off – just like an excessively drunk person is cut off at the bar.  It’s one thing if everyone’s late because of weather, traffic or some all-encompassing circumstance.  However, when most people are there and ritual is already in progress… things are different.

      On a mundane level, it’s disrespectful and omission from ritual will force home the concept that the lack of consideration for the time and efforts of others is unacceptable.

      On a metaphysical level, take tardiness as a sign that you were not intended to take part in this ritual and use the ritual time to silently reflect upon why that may be and what changes can be made to your life to avoid such tardiness.

      There comes a point where we, as a community, are acting like horny desperate teenagers trying to appease everyone in hope of maximizing our pool of friends.  As a result, we become too tolerant of disrespect because isolating people would be a “bad thing.”  Not all people are good; not all people are worthy of respect; not everyone is worthy of friendship.

      /rant

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott K Smith

    YEESH! So sorry. People do forget the exchange. I’ve been thinking a lot about this very thing which was brought on by the reality that our resources are limited to what we have on the plant. Water for instance is the same dang water cycling around in various forms, in some more, in some less. The idea that we can just “take and use” is mind-blowing. The “exchange” is in the offering, sometimes in the intent as we align ourselves with their power and purpose and so carry out a mutual goal (Will vs. will, in alignment with the powers that be called). 

    So yeah, same water, same earth, take take doesn’t work. 

    I do a pretty dam good job of keeping my own energy and focus, I haven’t been to a public or shared ritual or ceremony in Gods know how long. I’ve considered it over the years off an on but it’s the potential for these sorts of disasters and what I often hear about, “head butting” and “egos” that keeps me snug in my solitaire-ness. Hermitized or what have you. Thanks for posting this, I’m gonna send a ping-back your direction from the LE. Peace. 

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    YEESH! So sorry. People do forget the exchange. I’ve been thinking a lot about this very thing which was brought on by the reality that our resources are limited to what we have on the plant. Water for instance is the same dang water cycling around in various forms, in some more, in some less. The idea that we can just “take and use” is mind-blowing. The “exchange” is in the offering, sometimes in the intent as we align ourselves with their power and purpose and so carry out a mutual goal (Will vs. will, in alignment with the powers that be called). 

    So yeah, same water, same earth, take take doesn’t work. 

    I do a pretty dam good job of keeping my own energy and focus, I haven’t been to a public or shared ritual or ceremony in Gods know how long. I’ve considered it over the years off an on but it’s the potential for these sorts of disasters and what I often hear about, “head butting” and “egos” that keeps me snug in my solitaire-ness. Hermitized or what have you. Thanks for posting this, I’m gonna send a ping-back your direction from the LE. Peace. 

  • Kurt Talking Stone

    Good heavens yes. Been here, experienced this.

  • Kurt Talking Stone

    Good heavens yes. Been here, experienced this.

  • Djvalis

    Jesus is jealous for you…. watch out for demons… its all about Christ and the Holy Spirit … everything else is a form of evil disguised… I am serious.  There is a way to reach God, to receive from Him a gift within, that’s through asking Jesus out loud for the Living Water as you read His words and continue asking, reading and wanting God to change you inside out knowing the inside is messed up.  Peace.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Proselytization is not welcome on this blog.

    • Topsoiled

      ONLY IN YOUR RELIGION,WHY DO THE CHRISTIANS JUDGE? jesus wouldn’t have.I would like to see the early teachings come into our churches,then I might concider going back

  • Djvalis

    Jesus is jealous for you…. watch out for demons… its all about Christ and the Holy Spirit … everything else is a form of evil disguised… I am serious.  There is a way to reach God, to receive from Him a gift within, that’s through asking Jesus out loud for the Living Water as you read His words and continue asking, reading and wanting God to change you inside out knowing the inside is messed up.  Peace.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Proselytization is not welcome on this blog.

    • Topsoiled

      ONLY IN YOUR RELIGION,WHY DO THE CHRISTIANS JUDGE? jesus wouldn’t have.I would like to see the early teachings come into our churches,then I might concider going back

  • Filia Vallis

    This is the exact reason why I don’t lead rituals. Pure & simple, I don’t have the specific skills & experience to do it – and I’ve been Pagan for more than three decades! (Solitary until about two & a half years ago, though.)

    On the subject of being late: this varies from group to group, but unless you are very certain of the group’s policies & procedures for such things, I think that the the default has to be that it is not acceptable. This is especially true for groups which cast a magical/ritual circle.

    Our group does not, and if lateness is unavoidable then it is acceptable for an individual to join in provided that they are as unobtrusive as possible. I can certainly understand why some groups don’t allow it at all, though, given the number of times that I’ve had my concentration broken by someone arriving late and then proceeding to regale their neighbors with the details of whatever caused their tardiness.

    (Besides, isn’t that part of the point of having a post-ritual potluck, anyway? Social chit-chat?)

  • Filia Vallis

    This is the exact reason why I don’t lead rituals. Pure & simple, I don’t have the specific skills & experience to do it – and I’ve been Pagan for more than three decades! (Solitary until about two & a half years ago, though.)

    On the subject of being late: this varies from group to group, but unless you are very certain of the group’s policies & procedures for such things, I think that the the default has to be that it is not acceptable. This is especially true for groups which cast a magical/ritual circle.

    Our group does not, and if lateness is unavoidable then it is acceptable for an individual to join in provided that they are as unobtrusive as possible. I can certainly understand why some groups don’t allow it at all, though, given the number of times that I’ve had my concentration broken by someone arriving late and then proceeding to regale their neighbors with the details of whatever caused their tardiness.

    (Besides, isn’t that part of the point of having a post-ritual potluck, anyway? Social chit-chat?)

  • Pw

    Wow.What a great posting.I have absolutely been to those rituals.Too many times to count.In my opinion, in  the pagan community , as in all communities, sometimes the worst among us become the “leaders” simply because they put in the time and effort.Many of us are happy to practice at home and within our close circles.Many of  us do not seek the spotlight.Yet, we enjoy festivals and celebrations and coming together with others like us from time to time.Which creates a need for  for group ritual.However, in my experience the majority of pagans do not want to lead, so this leaves the aforementioned spotlight WIDE open for the fools to rush in.:) At best it is a case of fools. As others have pointed out, at worst it is completely dangerous.I think that your advice was sound. Trust your instincts and walk away when you must.

  • Pw

    Wow.What a great posting.I have absolutely been to those rituals.Too many times to count.In my opinion, in  the pagan community , as in all communities, sometimes the worst among us become the “leaders” simply because they put in the time and effort.Many of us are happy to practice at home and within our close circles.Many of  us do not seek the spotlight.Yet, we enjoy festivals and celebrations and coming together with others like us from time to time.Which creates a need for  for group ritual.However, in my experience the majority of pagans do not want to lead, so this leaves the aforementioned spotlight WIDE open for the fools to rush in.:) At best it is a case of fools. As others have pointed out, at worst it is completely dangerous.I think that your advice was sound. Trust your instincts and walk away when you must.

  • Philip Lawson

    What wonderful and potent use of the word “desecration”.  Kudos!!

  • Philip Lawson

    What wonderful and potent use of the word “desecration”.  Kudos!!

  • Philip Lawson

    What wonderful and potent use of the word “desecration”.  Kudos!!

  • Philip Lawson

    What wonderful and potent use of the word “desecration”.  Kudos!!


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