Thoughts on Ritual in Heathenry

This inspired by this:

Which was inspired by this:

There are times I love very efficient ritual.  Sometimes, compared to the second author, I am even more low church than he.  I have commented on being able to do everything I need with a hip flask and words.  However, I have participated in some elaborate personal and public rites as well.  I agree that many heathens distrust the mystical, something I am far more tied to than I used to be.

I suspect this will continue to be a struggle for many of us.


8 responses to “Thoughts on Ritual in Heathenry”

  1. Úlfdís Járnviðar says :

    I’ve got some thoughts on both of these article myself that I’m putting together.

  2. ganglerisgrove says :

    Efficient ritual though doesn’t mean ritual lacking the clear presence of the sacred. A ritual can be down and dirty and still knock one on one’s ass….just, apparently, not in heathenry. *sarcasm*

    • facingthefireswithin says :

      Heh, I think it depends on the heathens. We have a lot of recovering fundamentalist protestants along with a strain of sort of atheist libertarians. To be fair, I started as very close to the latter so I work to be understanding.

      • ganglerisgrove says :

        absolutely. I really do think that the great number of recovering fundamentalist protestants (which do form a majority i think in the community) has a huge, huge impact, and not a positive one, on ritual style. Yes, they eschew high church complexity which is fine, but they also seem to eschew actual drive you to your knees experience of the Holy Powers, or anything sensual or beautiful in ritual. and many other things.

      • ganglerisgrove says :

        I think it really highlights how our birth religions pattern us to approach the Sacred…for good or ill.

  3. facingthefireswithin says :

    Yes, it takes a lot of work and exploration to get past that.

    • ganglerisgrove says :

      and part of the problem as I see it is that so few Heathens even try. (and it’s not just ritual. the excessive reification of lore is yet another holdover from fundamentalist protestantism as well).

    • ganglerisgrove says :

      I don’t think as a community we do our converts any favors. there’s so little, if any, help given through that process and almost no acknowledgement that such a transition IS a process and sometimes a damned difficult one.

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