Sacred Harvest Festival 2002
Proposals for Ritual Cycle Concepts
Ritual #1: Lighting the sacred fire, Summoning the Ancestors.
The purpose of the ritual is to remember, invite and summon the ancestors to join us and teach us. The lighting of the fire itself is the central focus for our summoning. After the fire is lit, the ancestor characters (named later in these notes), will enter the circle from outside, some from each of the four directions, drawn to the fire that embodies our summoning.
Ritual #2: Rediscovering the ancestral community.
The purpose of this ritual is to introduce each of the members of the ancestral community, name them, honor them and celebrate with them in a way that gives us a glimpse of their power. The first step in reclaiming is to see what it is we're going to reclaim. The "glimpse of their power" in this ritual is a preview of the reclaiming that will be done in the third ritual.
Ritual #3: Reclaiming the wisdom of the Tribe.
The purpose of this ritual is for each person present to experience for themselves the wisdom of the ancestral community through each of the ancestor character's ritual drama, which will be done in a way that actively involves the participants in the magical dynamic. To reclaim means to claim as our own, and this ritual is meant to give us a chance to claim power(s) as our own by involving us in the meaning and flow of that power. We need to be shown what it is we are reclaiming, and this truly happens when we are involved in the doing, not just the watching.
Ritual #4: Claiming our own wisdom, Weaving our own web.
In this ritual, we acknowledge our wisdom gained through living as free individuals. Having experienced the mysteries of the tribe, we are now empowered to go out and create our own intentional communities. We will use the communal wisdom of the ancestors to begin to weave a web of our own making.
Proposals for Ancestor Characters
Earth, Sun , Sky, Wind, Rain, River, Sea, Lightning and Fire are some of the most ancient of our ancestors. We seek to honor them as such in our invocations.
This category would include elements of the spirit healer, the bringer of divine wisdom to the tribe, the storyteller, the fortune-teller. Those in our society who are drawn to the shaman's power and path will learn from their interplay with the shaman how their own path can serve the intentional tribe today.
This would include the midwife and the herbalist and those whose focus is on the healing of the body. Those in our culture who follow this path will be helped to take ownership of their medicine and to be empowered in serving those who need their skills.
Warrior and Hunter
The tribal warrior and hunter is the protector and sustainer of the community. Through their skill and courage, the tribe is secured and fed. In our society, many have become disconnected from how their work and sacrifice protects and sustains the community. The contribution of our ancestral warriors and hunters was very visible to the community. Today, when we bring home a paycheck rather than the kill, our contribution is less obvious.
Horned One / Maiden / Green Man
One of the oldest wisdoms is the wisdom of the body, of our deep instinctual drives. This is the memory of billions of years of learning to survive within the web of the natural world. One way this wisdom is accessed is through sacred sexuality. We seek to honor our deep instincts and learn to live by their wisdom.
Grandmother / Grandfather
Within the tribe, the wisdom of experience was revered and depended on. The elders were a powerful force who were honored and given opportunity to serve the community through their perspective. Today, the elders are shunted aside from the mainstream of community. Their ideas are dismissed as out-of-date and irrelevant. We seek to reconnect to the wisdom of experience in our community and give a voice to those whose dignity and power has been denied. We do this not out of pity, but because we need this wisdom to be whole as a community.
Mother / Father
In the tribe, there was an extended network who were involved in looking out for the welfare of the children. Mothers and fathers had very real support and weren't isolated from the community by the demands that raising children placed on them. Today, mothers and fathers find themselves isolated by the responsibility for children falling completely on their own shoulders at the same time that most of us, male and female, have to work outside the home to meet the needs of our families. We seek to build support structures within our intentional communities that will help to end this isolation.
We seek to acknowledge the wisdom of youth. Like the elders, the children in our culture have been treated as if they no power of their own to offer the community. In reality, most of of us find ourselves striving to regain a mindset that came naturally to us as children. As children, we could more easily find wonder and adventure in our daily lives. We seek to help the youth see that they are powerful in their own right, and to give them opportunities for questing.
Other Possible Ancestors
Bard / Musician
Artist / Poet
Priest / Priestess