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Thread: Samhain Keeping the spirit

  1. #1
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    Samhain Keeping the spirit

    *If this is in the wrong place please feel free to move it*

    Ok Im trying to acheive a real spiritual connection within my coven this year and need some ideas..
    Unfortunatly my coven is ..lets say a bit casual..and at times it is hard to maintain the right state of mind when we practice together..
    I personally love to practice alone..I love how I feel

    but I really want my coven to have the taste of it too..to understand things to "feel" things..especilly on Samhain..
    I really do try but sometimes I feel like Im getting nowhere with them and I want to just scream

    You know sometimes I think they just want a Social gathering.. and I dont want to be a straight laced strict coven.. but I want them to feel and experiance things and when we are not all in the right mindset...
    well lets just say it doesnt happen

    I have already banned alcohol..except during the ritual and after and Ive tried to set the scene correctly..any other ideas would be appricited
    Last edited by Astara Seague; October 16th, 2008 at 02:51 PM.
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  2. #2
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    The way that I see it is that a coven is like a family... there are times for social fun, and times for serious practice. You can't really change how others feel. If they aren't serious about the craft, then you can't really make them be. Its a lesson I learned early on in my group. We totally could party the night away.....AFTER ritual. We have the mirth post reverence.. thats not to say that our rituals are always serious, but we have structure and that seemed to help.

    Leaders who ban things sometimes can seem a little power-trippy. If I want to have a glass of wine post-ritual with my covenmates, I don't think that should be disallowed- its like saying I can't control myself. I wouldn't ban, merely shift. Sometimes alcohol can also be helpful prior to ritual, depending on the intent of ritual. As a group, in the past, we've done ritual after a round of shots. I understand what you are trying to do... if I were in your shoes, though, I wouldn't start banning things, I feel like that might be treating the symptoms and not the actual illness.

    Without the training and workshops, and other magickal educational things we make a priority, I think we'd be a little unfocused as well. Shared educational opportunities really helped us focus and bond well as a group- especially those where everyone had to contribute to the lesson.

    Here are my non-ritual suggestions:
    ~create structure within your group- if you don't have a set of bylaws, make one. We use this as the document we all refer to.
    ~in regards to ritual time, to get everyone focused, I suggest having a gather at X, circle at X starting time. We usually gather at 6, circle at 7. This gives us a chance to get the sillies out, discuss the ritual, and set up.
    ~do some serious training, do some energy work- practice drawing energy, passing it around, that sort of thing. It can get really fun and will help y'all get more in tune with eachother while practicing drawing energy.

    Ritual suggestions:
    ~set a serious tone- silence can be deafening. And it works sometimes. Or drumming. If someone is being particularly distracting, give them a part in the ritual. Ask them to be the drummer, or call a quarter or something. I don't really know how your rituals shake out- how involved the rest of your peeps are, but I've found this to be helpful
    ~get someone else on the same page as you, and ask them to help you keep everyone focused on whatever task is at hand.
    ~take deep breaths together and do a grounding exercise pre-ritual.. I like to ask someone else to lead this one.
    ~as part of your circle opening (if thats how you roll), create something that everyone can say together. I cast the circle in my group (usually) but there is a short piece of prose we all say post-circle cast, pre-quarter call, and it ties us together and helps us focus.

    For Samhain, you might want to do something serious... one idea is to take time in the ritual to write a letter to a loved one who has passed over. Those letters are read aloud by the writer, then caught on fire and placed in a cauldron in the center- the smoke carries our words to our ancestors. Then followed by a guided meditation to communicate with that ancestor. It's very emotional and very serious. And a bonding experience as everyone supports everyone else. We definitely need vino after that one!

    It just doesn't sound like your group is all on the same page. It might be a good idea to have a discussion at your next meeting about what they want out of a coven. Explain what your expectations of the group are, and ask them if thats something that they think they can try to fulfill.

    How many are in your group?
    What's the joining process- are you pretty structured with dedication/initation rites, or is it a pretty inclusive group?
    If I think of more ideas, I'll post them.
    Last edited by Ivy Artemisia; October 15th, 2008 at 08:21 PM.
    Ivy Artemisia
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  3. #3
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    thank you those are some good ideas...
    The problem I have found is that certain members...ok usually one in particular starts it off and they all join in.. its like a wild train ride with no one conducting

    I have pulled her aside and spoke to her about it..
    we will see if she does better this time
    I like your idea of the letter..
    I will probaly try that for one thing
    Being powerful is like being a lady If you have to tell people you are, you aren't


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    Serenity is not freedom from the storm..it is peace during the storm


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  4. #4
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    How many people are in your group?
    How did the girl react when you spoke with her?

    We had one girl in particular who could be really disruptive, and seemed lazy- turned out she just needed some direction. I just asked her to help, and she was happy and helping. Get the disruptive one mucho involved, and she'll have something to focus on.

    I also split up those who were disruptive, where they stood in circle to where they sat in meeting when it got bad. You just have to roll with it, laugh it off, but explain- while smiling- that they need to shoosh or you'll seperate them. And then do it... and its funny, but then the group tended to be more focused. Some of our meetings got so raucous that I'd end up rapping whatever was handy on the table. We'd all joke that it was my gavel- they knew that it was becoming too tangenty, and were cool with it. One of my coven sisters actually gave me an engraved gavel one year for Yule. It was great. Just keep it lighthearted, and be honest with your circle, let them know that its bothering you- but keep it light. Of course, that won't work for everyone.... but it worked for me!
    Ivy Artemisia
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  5. #5
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    theres 8 active members..
    yes this one is quite the disruptive one
    I have gave her assignments before.. it seems to help momentarily
    I think she has ADD to be honest..
    she really has a hard time focusing for any length of time
    that is why I have tried to be understanding with her
    but...sometimes..

    Maybe I need a gavel and a time out corner
    Being powerful is like being a lady If you have to tell people you are, you aren't


    Advanced Paganism, Meditation
    and Books Forum Guide
    and also a writer for MW Magazine

    Serenity is not freedom from the storm..it is peace during the storm


    :fpraise: many thanks to Patriciaj for great banner

    Its your life..live it as you like








    myspace.com/Mydnitejazmine

    my covens site
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/archaic_silvermoon/



  6. #6
    ~Elise~'s Avatar
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    It sounds corny...but theatrics help...mood lighting, music, etc. Samhain is my big theatrical production of the year...in fact, when I have people helping, we have practices just like a play would for about a month beforehand.

    It always helps to set the mood I'm looking for. Enough of my group has been with me for awhile that it's been easier to keep that mood at Samhain. The past few years I've been holding it in a REALLY remote outside location...that's helped too.

    Elise
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  7. #7
    ~Elise~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astara Seague View Post
    theres 8 active members..
    yes this one is quite the disruptive one
    I have gave her assignments before.. it seems to help momentarily
    I think she has ADD to be honest..
    she really has a hard time focusing for any length of time
    that is why I have tried to be understanding with her
    but...sometimes..

    Maybe I need a gavel and a time out corner
    If she's ADD--give her caffiene right before ritual...that'll usually calm down an ADD person.
    *~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Resident Beotch


    It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
    The Mysteries aren't secret.
    They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
    There just aren't any shortcuts.

    That's the Secret.

    Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

    If you're talking shit behind my back - then you're close enough to kiss my ass.



  8. #8
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    Theatrics and practicing has helped our group as well. We also sat down and had a discussion and decided to have our group dinner first so we weren't rushing through the ritual in order to go eat all that lovely food.

    Another thing we did was to set up a pathway leading into the circle where the members wait while one person cleanses the circle and then the priest and priestess bless the circle with salt and water. Then the priest challenges each person as they enter the circle. Being faced with the tip of the athame at your throat tends to set the tone to serious pretty well - followed by a welcome-to-the-circle hug.

  9. #9
    ~Elise~'s Avatar
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    I make 'em wait till afterwards to eat...just because I use that time to make sure each person is grounded enough before they leave the house. LOL

    Elise
    *~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Resident Beotch


    It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
    The Mysteries aren't secret.
    They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
    There just aren't any shortcuts.

    That's the Secret.

    Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

    If you're talking shit behind my back - then you're close enough to kiss my ass.



  10. #10
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    We've been sitting around the fire eating smores or the rest of the cookies from the "cakes and ale", chanting and talking. No one usually leaves right after the ritual. We're pretty well grounded by the time we're done. I know that's traditional, to eat the meal afterwards in order to ground everyone but we're making our own new tradition for our own Grove.

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