Ponderings on Public Ritual
A very interesting post by Pandora about how deep individual work supports deep, strong coven work, that in turn supports quality public rituals, festivals and workshops.
A quote that stands out for me:
"I'm totally uninterested in figuring out how to get more people involved in the public rituals, so that we can make them big and flashy. I'm interested in figuring out how to get more people interested in working deep, in small groups, so that we can make the public rituals solid and powerful."
In many ways this echoes my own feelings. Covens and groups that work deeply together generally put on the most powerful and meaningful public rituals. They've done the 'work.' They also have an established group of people, who are already comfortable working with each other, to navigate the various logistics of public ritual planning. Even the simplest public rituals involve a fair amount of logistics and require several people to be involved in the planning and execution of the ritual.
However, having said that, I have also seen some pretty outstanding rituals led by groups of solitaries or friends. In an area where established covens or other groups seem unable or unwilling to offer public rituals, then often an experienced solitary (or not-so-experienced, but very eager, solitary) will try to pick up the ball. This person has to try to get others involved in the creation of the ritual, otherwise the rit simply won't happen; or it won't happen well.
Public rituals are important. They often help seed new groups, and feed existing groups. Ideally, as Pandora suggests, once these small groups have achieved a level of depth and cohesiveness working together, they in turn are able to offer 'solid and powerful' public rituals back to their communities . The relationship is symbiotic: A positive feed-back loop that creates a richer and stronger community.
This quote also reminds me that offering public rituals is just that: an offering. A public ritual that is put on simply to be "big and flashy" misses the point.