|NOTE: The writing below is the result of a project done on the Pagan Clergy list (email@example.com) in which founders and clergy of various traditions were requested to write a precis of the things an "investigator" (i.e. a non-member of the tradition) would need/want to know when attending a public ritual presented by the tradition. It is important to realize that this is the way our tradition would present a Wiccan-style public ritual. We no longer practice in this fashion and the information here is not at all informative of the ritual style of the Dream Range Dynamic as practiced within our current covens and learning circles. Should you be interested in more specific information about the tradition the HPS will answer questions (as permitted by oaths taken) at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
The Mother Tradition of the DreamRange Dynamic
I. History and Beliefs
Founded 1998 by Rowyn MoonSong. Influenced by Old (Familial) Witchcraft, Irish Traditional WitchCraft, Welsh Traditional Wicca, Druidry and American and Celtic Shamanism. Primary philosophy is self-realization resulting in discovery of the True Path for each individual (NOT a single True Path that everyone needs to follow!) and recognizing the True Will; thereby achieving the measure of one's own harmonious existence in company with the Great Mother Gaia and one's fellow- beings, human and other. Religious belief centers around the Goddess and God in triple form: Maiden, Mother, Crone and Son/Lover, Father/Warrior, Sage/Priest: and the FOURTH face of Divinity, the One, ineffable and unknowable but approachable archetypally. Practice of Magic, webworking, shamanistic and divinatory practice, earth stewardship, personal creativity, Celtic ideals and understanding of the Celtic Soul, and association with the Realms of Faery are required of initiates. We are a Mystery Tradition with all the various oddities that implies. Mystical experiences are encouraged, as is diversity of belief, questioning and philosophical thought.
II. The basic service
When: Formal Ritual is conducted for Initiations, Elevations, Full Moons and Rites of Passage. New Moon workings are private (initiates only) and vary greatly depending on the Moon (we use the Celtic Lunar Calendar) with only three unchangeable elements, (unfortunately not to be shared) whereas Sabbat Rituals, and personal ritual occasions prepared and hosted by members, can be almost limitless in their variety. We do ritual when we feel it would be appropriate; often we have someone say they want to "ritualize" a particular situation or working in their lives, so we do that. And sometimes by consensus we choose to honor a particular festival by doing something other than ritual. We also do "teaching Circles" which are rituals conducted for the purpose of teaching or demonstrating a truth or an element of ritual.
Where: Covenstead, in the Temple, or outdoors in someone's personal Sanctuary Space (finding, identifying and sacreing one is a requirement in pre-dedicatory work) depending on the nature of the service. Sabbat rites and personal workings may be scheduled as the P/PS desires, but lunar workings must be done at night under the Moon, during one of the three "days of the moon."
What: Informational meeting about a half-hour before rite is scheduled, to greet and socialize and have an orientation concerning the work, where we give lore, teach chants that will be used, etc. At this time people may also be assigned roles in the Circle. We do spontaneous Ritual, very rarely scripted and always encouraging of personal creativity.
Ritual space is made sacred by all participants, not made sacred and then people are admitted. If we have guests they are told they may join us in Circle for this or be cut into the circle when it has been erected (their choice depending on comfort level.) We use, in Full Moon and most other workings, a traditional Circle form except that the altar and the starting direction are variable depending on the focus of the work (Mabon rites, for example, begin at sunset, and the circle is oriented to the West, which is the direction where quarter calls begin.. And we sometimes cast our Samhain Circle Widdershins to open the portal to the Underworld.) After Sacred Space is established, Deity is invited, after which the business of the rite proceeds. Libation follows the working, and there is often a "talking circle" (if we have no guests) if we have not done that as part of orientation, during which coven business and personal issues may be discussed. We close with the Great Prayer, then the Circle is opened in reverse order to the way it was cast. Ritual feast, to which guests are welcomed even if they have not been invited to the Rite, always follows.
New Moon workings are done in a Witche's Compass rather than a circle. Guests are not admitted to these workings which are far more intense and arcane. Feasting and libation are differently done, and may not take place at all.
Normal Sabbat and Full Moon workings are from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours counting libation time. New Moon workings may be as short as an hour or may go very much longer depending on the work. Rites of Passage generally last one to two hours.
III. Appropriate Attire
Both men and women wear ritual robes and cords designating their degree of advancement. Robes are of personal choice but must be of appropriate colour (no black for Beltaine or weddings, for example). And no shoes, watches or bound hair, nor any electronic devices such as pagers or cell phones, may be worn in circle. All metal worn in circle must be consecrated, and no iron is permitted as we regularly have the Sidhe in our Circles. We do skyclad initiations and elevations, to which only those of like or higher degree are invited.
IV. The Sanctuary
We do not admit anyone not of the Coven into our Temple. (When guests are invited to a rite at covenstead, the rite takes place in the Assembly Hall or outside in the back yard.) As far as format of altars, they are entirely at the disposal of the P/PS of the given rite, except that the Coven tools are usually used in preference to personal tools. We have one set of tools that belongs to the Coven which is used in all workings, but anyone who wishes to have a certain personal thing on the altar for a given ritual is encouraged to do this. We encourage less reliance on "stuff" and more use of natural and "found" objects in creating altar space, especially out-of-doors.
V. The Service
When should guests arrive and where should they sit (stand)?
arriving late, are there times when a guest should not enter the service?
there times a guest should not leave the service?
are the major officiants, leaders or participants and what do they do?
are the major ritual objects in the service?
books are used (in the service)?
is the order of the service announced? (program, pre-ritual meeting, none)
VI. Guest behaviour during the service
a guest who is not a member of the tradition be expected to do anything
other than sit?
their parts of the service in which a guest who is not of that tradition
should NOT participate?
If not disruptive to the service, is it OK to:
contributions to the church be collected at the service?
much is customary to contribute?
VII. After the service
there usually a reception after the service?
there a traditional form of address for clergy whom a guest may meet?
VIII. General guidelines and
IX. Special Vocabulary
Members of this Tradition believe:
Eight Sabbats, twenty-six moons, feast of one's patron Deities, Anniversaries of the Trad.
XII. Life Cycle Events
birth, marriage (or commitment in samesex relationships), naming, thresholding (manhood or womanhood rites) rites of handparting, lifechange (dedications, initiations, croning, saging, elevations within the trad) personal milestones.
XIII. Home Celebrations.
Some sources (brochures, books,
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