Pagan Blog Project: Beginnings
The most common question I am asked is how did I actually begin my practice. I’m sure that you readers are now wondering the same thing. You have looked at your own beliefs. You have come to have a decision and a direction, and you have figured out your concept of the divine. Now that you have all of those choices and all that work done what do you do? You actually begin your practice.
Beginning Your practice
The first step on your path is to perform a rite of introduction to the Gods and spirits of your practice. By now you should have read a few books on the practices of the path you are taking. If you have a reference for this then that is great. If not I am going to give an outline for an introduction rite. Yes before you begin performing offerings on a regular basis it is important that you at least introduce yourself to the pantheon and the spirits you intend to work with.
Now it is important to note that an introduction rite is not the same as a dedication rite. That is something we can cover another time. An introduction rite is a more formal way of saying hello. You may have prayed and gave offerings before as part of your decision making. Thats good. Its a start. Now you are formally declaring your intent to study their ways and work with them. Before it was a “Hi this is for you if you want”. Now its more formal.
So what was the point of the ritual before hand if we are beginning with a deeper more direct ritual? This ritual is a step below actual dedication. You have not completely dedicated yourself to their service but you are basically promising to study their ways for a year or so. During that year you will perform rituals, pray, meditate, read, and reflect. If after your year of studies you have formed strong bonds and feel called to do further work on that path then you will perform a rite of dedication. For now a rite of introduction is still important.
What does this rite entail? It entails preparing yourself mentally and physically before the ritual. Its going to entail blessing the offering in their names. Its going to entail prayer and meditation. Its a very simple and basic ritual. However when you put all your emotions into the ritual you can find that even the smallest ritual gesture like lighting a candle with intent can produce substantial results.
- Candle to represent your passion and your flame
- Note book to write down the ritual and any personal messages you get during the meditation
- Fresh soap for the ritual shower & your normal shampoo and conditioner
- Candle for the God and or Goddess
- if you are 21+ an alcoholic drink to share as a communion if not sparkling ciders are good
- An incense you find appealing
Here is the rest of the ritual
- Set the shower at as high a temperature as you can stand and get in.
- Begin to wash your body with you soap. Using the soap suds see the soap becoming all negative energy and all doubts from the day. See them coming from your body into the soap. Put the soap down and rinse your hands. Let the soap stay on your body for a moment and let it continue to absorb your negative energy and thoughts.
- Take your shampoo and lather your hair. Do the same thing you did with the body to your hair. This time focus on intense emotions and thoughts. Focus on stress and frustrations during the day. See those items become the suds in your hair.
- Rinse your hair and place the conditioner in it. Let the conditioner soothe those thoughts and feeling. Let the conditioner bring you a sense of peace and relaxation. Work that sensation all through your hair. Let is set for about five minutes.
- Stand in the shower in a position where your hair wont get wet but parts of you can. Start to rinse yourself off. As you start to rinse see the shadowy soap bubble run down the drain and fade away.
- After a few moment step under the shower directly and rinse completely, This time seeing everything run down that has not already gone away.
- Repeat the shower one more time. This time chanting “Water Water Wash Away. Water Water Cleanse today”
- End the shower. As you towel off wrap yourself up in a white light of positive energy. This will replace and replenish the energy that was removed through the cleansing shower.
- Get dressed and set up the altar or place for the ritual. Make sure you have a container for the water and a container for the salt as well as your offering of food and drink to the Gods.
- Mix a pinch of the salt into the water. You are making Holy water right now. As you mix the salt and the water see any impurities in the water be gone. See the water being filled with sacred light from the great divine forces out there.
- Light your incense
- Take the salt water and either in a circle or simply by sprinkling the water in the four directions dedicate the space as being sacred. Call upon any guards and guides as you see fit to witness this rite.
- Repeat the process with incense. Now you have consecrated the space with all the elements. Earth and water in the holy water and fire and air with the incense. The place is now set for spirits and gods to come and answer. At this point it is best to remain in the ritual area. You should only leave in an emergency situation. If you do say a quick prayer for exiting and a prayer for entering. Other traditions have other ways of entering and exiting the space in ritual but this prayer will work for now.
- Light the Candle for the God and Goddess (both or just one depending on what you had chosen to do)
- Call to the Gods. If you have read an invocation or prayer to them for calling them to a ritual now would be a great time to recite that work. Basically ask them to come with you now and to join the rite.
- Light the candle to represent yourself. State your intention to learn the ways of those Gods and their followers. State who you are and why you are serving and learning their ways. Promise to do your best to learn all you can and integrate what you learn into your life.
- Bless the drink and pour a drink for them and for you. Share this drink with them. You can praise them or you can silently meditate on their presence and the meaning of the rite. You should have an idea at this point if they are accepting of you and listening to you,
- When you are ready thank the Gods and the spirits for attending the rite. If you formally laid a circle or walked a circle you can release it now. If you just sprinkled some water and consecrated the ground by extinguishing the incense and the candle the space is being released. You can then extinguish the candles. You can pick up and put away. You may now say a final prayer of thanks and wishes for continued guidance as things get put away and cleaned up.
- Record the ritual in the notebook. Write down everything you did all your feelings and all your emotions. Write down what you think about what you did and how you felt before and after.
You have now formally introduced yourself as their student. You have now taken a step into letting the Gods lead the way and be your teachers. Now you just need to listen to what they have to say. You may find the lessons come in very strange forms and you may find that things come into your life for no reason after doing this. These actions are a result of your introduction and prayer manifesting. The Gods are listening.
Posted on February 26, 2014, in Deities/Divinity/God, Pagan Blog Project, Religion, Ritual, Ritual Bath, Ritual of Introduction, Spiritual development, Spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged God or Goddess, Pagan, Pagan Blog Project, Ritual, Ritual bathing, spiritual developement, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.