Rituals and their uses
Message: off the topic but…..
Author: curious – myst Niall 
Date: May 20, 2000 01:20
|I know this is not on the topic but I have always wondered where did all the rituals come from? The Catholics – druids – Hindu – Muslim – all religions have thems! Complicated or simple, it doesn”t matter they are all over the place. There had to be a time when man/woman could just feel it – could reach out and touch it. The ‘it’ being that which we all seek – the truth, the reason for our existance here on earth, answers to our own mortality. I know there was a time like this – I just feel it. So who started making it all so complicated? It should be simple, don’t you think? I was raised Catholic and O.K. there were no answers there, they want blind faith. And like you said Daven in one of your posts it is a personal journey to find your pathway. So how can all these different religions presume to tell the worlds population what to believe when they make up all the answers? I could blab on and on but I will stop here. I hope I haven’t confused anyone, but I just have to know.|
Message: Rituals, ritual in general and ritual nonsense
Author: cat-channeling – Daven Iceni 
Date: May 20, 2000 13:10
|I can give you where all the rituals came from in one easy word; evolution.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy back in the beginning, yes, everyone was capable of contacting the Gods on their own. Celebrations of the Gods started getting done, to help the Gods with their jobs and to give them the support to do the work they needed to do.
As society matured and the Priest class became it’s own job, they decided that some relic was necessary to the worship of them, since it was given by the Gods in the first place. (see, a deer dies in the woods, the priest comes across it in the woods, a gift from the Horned Lord to his people….)
From that, the tools and the words started getting invented, piece by piece until they were as complex as they are now.
Realize the goals of Ritual are many and various. A ritual does three things.
1) creates the state of mind appropriate to the activity going on.
You must understand that those Mysteries are the important thing (in the mind of the priest conducting the rites). It is the thought in many occultists and priests minds that no one who is uninitiated into the “way” that they hold dear is worthy to approach the Gods on anything other than an inferior level. So, the methods and the meanings behind all the words and gestures are to be shielded behind complex ceremonies and words to keep the uninitiated from learning what they need to know to put them on the level of the Priests, thus making the priests obsolete.
But this developed over time, slowly and inexorably, until you have the organized religions you have now.
Another way of looking at it is to view this from a RL perspective:
I work with computers all day, every day. I fix them for a living. I deliberately make nonsense noises to confuse those who I talk to about Computers, so that they won’t know how to fix their own machine.
So I talk about TCPIP and Protocols and motherboards and CPUs and BIOSes, and Hard Drives, DLL files and VXD files. EXEs and DOCs, to keep you from knowing that it is really a simple thing to fix the problem you are having, and thus putting myself out of a job.
The same thing happens in Ritual. It hides the connection that the Priest has with the Gods, and thus keeps those who might find out from knowing that it’s really easy, and thus putting the Priest out of a job.
Plus it is commonly believed that only those who went through years of training and conditioning are “worthy” of approaching the Gods. This is nonsense, in my opinion. It is also believed that most people don’t have the time to take from their lives to do the approaching or supplicating properly (in the opinion of the priests) or to learn the complex ways of doing this.
Most of this is patient nonsense. The rituals and rites and celebrations don’t have to be confusing, and the words, gestures and such don’t matter. It’s the attitude once again. Some things have been proven over time to be more effective psychologically to create the proper attitude, and thus they are used.
However, there are many times that I have done an entire ritual inside my head. Sitting on the ground outside. And all of it was visualization. I guess you would call that path working.
We will go into greater detail of this later when we get to Rituals and Rites and what is what.
Message: Regarding the mindset principal….
Author: – EponaDawn Catuvellauni 
Date: May 19, 2000 02:30
|Daven, I agree with what you said about mindset being the most important thing in ritual. I have a make-shift altar that is by no means elaborate and use tools some people think are strange as opposed to the usual. My athame is a letter opener given to my father by his company after he retired. He is now deceased and I gain great power in holding it in my hand; I feel as if he is guiding me. I am disabled, as well, so I find that performing some of the more strenuous rituals to be a strain. But instead I have found true strength in simple meditation, pathworking, and visualization techniques.
I am curious to know if anyone here has done any pathworking as well. I have met and conversed with deceased relatives whom I never met in life and faced fears I never knew I even had. I know these are techniques are used by psychologists as well, but I often wonder if the philosophy of an earth-based religion might better serve to enhance this experience.
Even before I became Wiccan, I was doing things that would have been familiar to those practicing the craft, even though I didn’t know I was doing them. I would lie down holding my cat closely (he actually liked it *g*), listen to his low-pitched purring and rhythmical breathing, and drift off into a trance-like state. In this state I could see my everyday problems more clearly and more than once came away with solutions to them.
We should use whatever props get us in the mood for whatever undertaking we desire to carry out. I suppose the most basic teaching that Wicca has taught me is the rule of 3….I have learned very quickly just how true that is!
Stars light your path.