Practice Makes Perfect… I Hope.

I told myself I would do two rituals this week, even if they were ‘little’ ones.

Today’s did not go so well.

I was following Melissa Burchfield’s Adopting the Core Order of Ritual for Solitary Use guide, combined in part with the Solitary Self Blessing Rite from the DP guide. I think the combined ritual itself would be okay if I hadn’t mucked it up so badly. After a nice, calming purification, which my meditation practice helped me to achieve almost easily,  the statement of purpose went something like this:

“I seek the blessing of the Ancestors, of the Landspirits, and of the Shining Gods and Goddesses. I seek to be cleansed of ill, and filled with the fire and water of the ancient blessing, that I may grow in health and wealth and wisdom, in wisdom and love and power, in service to the spirits and to the folk and to my own being. …Gods and Dead and Might Spirits, Powers of — oh, crap, the Earth Mother! I’m sorry! Damn it!”

And then I started over. But I was so flustered from messing up the first time that I spilled the offerings and never particularly felt connected to the Kindreds. If they were present at my altar, well, I’m sure it was just to watch the show. They probably had popcorn.

The DP guide has a line in the opening that I wish I’d kept:

Be with me, Oh Shining Ones, in my working; forgive any errors, and grant me, I pray, your blessing.

Maybe if I’d said that line, if I had consciously asked the Kindreds for a  little guidance, it would have gone a little more smoothly. Now I know, though, and I’m not likely to forget again.

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2 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect… I Hope.

  1. Things do go more smoothly as you gain experience. In the meantime, I think the Kindreds are kind and accept good intent, even if it isn’t delivered flawlessly.

  2. Let me offer a bit of encouragement to you – from one Dedicant to another. 🙂

    My experience has been that the Kindred, in large part, are more forgiving of us than we are for ourselves. I, too, am a perfectionist in most things in my life, and I’m working to accept that what is most important in my ritual work is my *sincerity* – not my perfection. We are not perfect beings, but we can be authentic beings. If we approach the Shining Ones, The Nature Spirits and our Ancestors with a true and sincere heart, they will respond in kind.

    I read your Yule post, and you wrote these words:

    “I think I might actually enjoy writing my own rites, which I wouldn’t have expected. But there was a distance between me and the words I spoke, and I think speaking my own words would solve that pretty easily”

    It could be that once you begin to write your own rituals, to shape your worship in a way that is unique to your personality, you will feel more confident and solid with the words you speak. You might try – as I have in recent days – performing a simple ritual (like a morning devotional) completely “off book”, just as an experiment in seeing what words you feel inspired to speak from the heart. Free yourself from the need to “do well”, and you may stumble upon some new spiritual insight!

    But, even if authorship still feels like a far-off goal, remember that there is great value in showing up to do ritual, regardless of how it goes. There’s good reason to call this a spiritual *practice*. We can’t expect ourselves to be experts straight away.

    Blessings to you,
    Teo

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