Ritual Mechanics, #2

This entry was posted on September 16, 2013 under Clergy Program, Ritual Mechanics. Written by:

Explain how you position your body and hands when inviting the Kindreds and making Key Offerings, what that position means, and why it is important to have a position that is (or several positions that are) consistent between rituals. (min. 100 words for description and meaning, min 150 for importance)

I don’t always posture as I should, but I have been working on improving that.  In general, if I am receiving a blessing, I am standing with my elbows to my side, my arms stretched forward with palms facing upward in a “receiving” position.  This posture is also used if I am “giving” praise as well, although I prefer to have my arms raised above my head in a “v”-like fashion while giving praise instead.

Why is this important?
To me these two positions are indicative of whether I am receiving or giving with beings in the above world.  It’s a symbolic direction of where energy should be flowing, which helps not only the unseen beings to understand what is happening, but ritual attendees as well.

When acknowledging the Earth Mother, however, many in our Grove either bend or kneel to touch the ground.  We do not kiss the ground, as others do, but we do touch in a loving manner during our prayer to the Earth.

Why is this important?
I feel as though actually touching the earth, feeling the soil and grass on my fingertips, shows a mutual respect and adoration with the Earth Mother.  She is not just something to travel on with our feet, she is something that we hold a very sacred relationship with, and holding hands, or touching of hands is a very intimate gesture in our world.

Another gesture I’ve seen common, though I do not use as often myself, is similar to the receiving of offerings position above, where you stands with elbows to your side, arms in front with palms facing upwards, but this time the palms are facing downward.  I have always taken this as a symbolic grounding posture, where you are pushing energy into the ground or outwards with a purpose.

Why is this important?
Giving of energy, directing energy, especially in the middle world, is a very intense act of prayer.  Since we are all living in this plane, it makes sense (to me) to keep this energy downwards rather than up towards the sky.  Push it amongst our existence here and towards its intended target (such as the gates).  Allow it to travel the surface of the earth, through the people in ritual, so that all of our energies can combine for the greater purpose.

An alternative of this same position is to have your elbows to your side, but folded so your arms are upwards but your palms are facing forward in front of you.  I’ve always seen this as a position that pushes energy into the immediate environment, perhaps the community you are in worship with.  But it can also be used to send energy elsewhere that is needed.

In general, posturing is important because it adds a semblance of recognition for participants.  It also gives a visual aid to the giving, receiving, and acknowledgement of energy rather than just everyone standing there doing nothing and expecting people to understand the flow of energy.  The dramatics of ritual help raise the energy, keep people in sync, and really allow them to get something out of the rite.

(Word Count: 254 for description, 268 for importances)



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