After a very relaxed week I had another busy weekend. Marian Green was in The Netherlands to give our group Olympia another workshop. The theme was "Ritual". We learned about the outline and construction of a ritual. Not only the basics were covered, but the more in-depth stuff was very interesting too. Everyone that works with magic should have certain subjects covered. It is an ongoing study, there's always more to learn.
We also talked about initiation, self-dedication and working in groups. We shared our thoughts and opinions and Marian hers. I don't think initiation is necessary to follow this path, but it can be a very special addition. What I've heard from others it can be life-changing. Personally I don't like levels of initiation. In the Ara-tradition there is just one initiation. Of course later on you can choose to go further to become clergy, but an initiate is an initiate.
For the first time the group planned a rirual together. Partly to practice what we'd learned, partly because we were ready for it. Because we are close to Samhain, that was our theme. We made a walk around the neighbourhood to collect autumn leaves. In a meditation Marian guided us to a closer contact with nature. We talked about our ancestors, our heritage. Everyone had an active role in the ritual.
On Sunday morning we did the ritual. It was very powerful. The group has good chemistry; everyone felt good enough to let the guards down. When we each took a tarot card I got the Eight of Pentacles, a card for the perfectionist I am... :-) We also talked about the harvest of the last year; Samhain is the witch's new year. For the cake and wine ceremony we didn't have wine. Usually I adjust and take a nip of wine (yuk!). This time the group adapted to me and we had delicious fruitjuice.
We planned dates for meetings to come; in December for a ritual, in April a workshop with Marian. We are blessed to have her as a teacher. She has a lot of knowledge, which she shares with us freely. She is down-to-earth, very friendly and has a great sense of humour.