Pagan Pride

Oh wow!

We had a wonderful time at Pagan Pride.  Ritual was amazing!  Ritual can only be amazing when you have amazing participants.  The singing and the energy raising literally gave me goosebumps.  

We met lots of wonderful people.  I'm still pretty wiped out but expect more soon.

Thank you to all the wonderful Blue Star people who came out and helped with the ritual and added your voices to ours.  

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our little tent, spoke with us for a few minutes, and joined us for ritual!

~Lapis

Ritual Writing

We've finally gotten our ritual spot confirmed for Pagan Pride.  We're up at 12 noon on Saturday September 6th.  In keeping with the theme of this year's Pride, we are blessing the land and and giving back.  

Miel and I talked through several ideas of what to do and how to stage it.  Hopefully, we can gather everyone together this week and again next week to step through the ritual and the blocking.  Public ritual is usually quite different from grove and coven ritual.  But because we are known of but not known in the community, I really wanted to try to keep to our standard ritual as much as possible.  

Blue Star uses a particular ritual set up over and over again.  Using that same structure repeatedly does a few different things.  First, because we have done the same thing over and over and over again all over the country and in other countries, it adds that power of legacy to it.  Secondly, it helps to get the participants transferred from that outside headspace to ritual and magical headspace.  Plus when you do a thing over and over, it becomes ingrained in your psyche.  You instinctively know that when those first notes of Home Again start that magic is about to happen.  

As much as every ritual is the same, every ritual is different.  Every ritual needs to be carefully considered and thought out.  

Why are you doing ritual?  What do you hope to accomplish?  Who is your audience?  How can you make sure that you keep everyone engaged?  How do you deal with the ebb and flow of the energy?  What songs or chants will you use?  Why?  Are you even going to use song?

For this ritual, we are doing an invocation.  We are drawing a goddess into the human vessel of one of our priestesses.  Any time we do this, we need to consider several things.  Why are we doing it?  Why are we calling upon the gods and having them come to visit with us?  Some of them like to simply come and be with us.  Some do not.  Some want to have a purpose, a direction.  What is going on with them in their myth cycle?  Will they be happy with being brought into this situation?  And do we have the things that they want to offer them for food and drink?  One god wanted liquid fire.  Another goddess was shocked and thrilled to have tasted chocolate for the first time.  

Another thing we are doing is using lots of song.  A good deal of Blue Star history is based in song.  We are good at it.  We raise incredible energy with it.  We are using four songs.  Because of the difficulty of some of the vocal parts, I carefully looked at who volunteered to help us out.  Do we have the right voices?  Are these songs that we can carry?  

One of the songs is for a power raising so for that one in particular, I need to know that it is the right song for that use.  It needs to be repetitive, maybe be sung in a round, must apply to the work and theme that we have, and one that most people will know or can pick up on easily.  

For the other three songs, we'll need to provide lyric sheets to our participants.  They may or may not know the songs.  There are easy choruses that everyone should be able to join in on quickly.  

Because it is a public ritual, we also need to consider how to get things out to people quickly and easily so we don't drag down the energy and the ritual doesn't lag or stall at those times.  Food allergies?  Handling of multiple chalices?  Sharing one chalice with who knows how many people?  Making sure that people project their voices so everyone can hear.  

Ritual writing is an in depth process with lots of little details to consider.  When you have the basic structure in place, you can concentrate on the meat of the circle or the work you want to accomplish.  It is a core and key element of Blue Star.  

Hopefully, we'll see you at Pagan Pride and you can see the results of our work.  

All the best, 

Lapis

Public Outreach

Miel and I have done a lot of work over the last few days.  We've finalized the curriculum for the Seekers' Class, touched base with a shop to host us, and have a solid plan for this.  It's coming together quite nicely.  At first we weren't quite sure we wanted to do this but then pieces kept coming together.  We kept getting those nudges from the Universe.  Thankfully, we're now smart enough to listen and not need the 2x4 to the head.

The class is going to be 13 classes.  No, we didn't try to be that 'witchy' about it but we got down to 12 classes and checked out another training syllabus and realized we missed some important stuff.  There wasn't anything we felt we could cut and so, we ended up with the very witchy number of 13.  We are thinking one class per month, preferably on a weeknight for an hour.  We want to run through this though with the shop and make sure this all seems reasonable.  

Although we've spent the last dozen or so years in Blue Star, we've both had outside classes and such.  It was interesting to see how we perceived each other's strengths and where we had skills that we don't really use anymore.  Blue Star really does focus on honoring the gods, not so much on the spellwork and stuff.  We are going to have to dig into our past, dust off some of our old knowledge and pull it out for this class.  We have done our best though to keep it mostly generic to Wicca.  Once we have a schedule, we'll be reaching out to our non-Blue Star pagan friends to help us out with more info and resources to talk about other Trads.  We are lucky that here in the Twin Cities, there are LOTS of options available to us.  

This week, I'll be typing up the curriculum and syllabus.  Once that is all nice, neat and edited, I may find a place on here to post it.  We should have class schedule, location and cost finalized shortly after Lammas!  

 

We also listened to the Universe nudging us on the public ritual.  We got our volunteers for Pagan Pride and have sent in the email volunteering to do a ritual there.  Again, once we have the time and location, we'll of course publish that so you all can come see what we are about.  It's been pretty neat to see our community coming together for this.  Some of our dear friends whose lives have gotten really busy are coming in to do this with us.  We've got some GREAT voices coming so we'll definitely be able to showcase our singing how quickly and amazingly it raises energy.  I'm very excited to share that feeling with everyone.  It's just amazing!  Again, once I know what time we're doing the ritual, we'll pull together planning meetings and start publishing info about it.  

All the best, 

Lapis

Weekend Update with Lapis

Unfortunately, I've found a new show to occupy my time on Netflix.  The Paradise.  It's a BBC show about a department store.  I've been avoiding the laundry for a bit now.  

So what have we actually accomplished this week?  Well, we are one Blue Star volunteer away from doing a ritual at Pagan Pride.  We're thinking of doing a sort of teaching ritual.  While our rituals have many of the same steps.  We purify the space to prepare for the ritual, cast circle call elements, call the gods... These are pretty standard to most Wiccan rites.  Our altar placement is slightly different.  We have specific movements and stances.  I was thinking that it might be neat for people to have the open opportunity to ask us about those.  

The downside though is that it interrupts the energy of the circle.  One of the truly magical things about Blue Star is that when we sing, when we gather in numbers, the energy is vibrant and pure.  It tingles though your body and sends chills up your spine.  What better way to showcase who we are than through that?  This is what Miel and I are currently struggling with.

In other news, we are also putting together a Seekers' Class.  We've yet to settle all the details but it looks like we'll probably do a once a month meeting.  We're pulling together a curriculum tomorrow and hope to have it all worked out by Lammas -- August 1st -- and then speak to one of our local shops to see if they'll host us.  There will be a cost associated to help cover rent of the space and materials.  New Moon and a harvest sabbat.  Surely good signs.  

Lastly, tomorrow we are making our second run to IA to pick up seven pups and bring them on the last leg of their journey to safety, not under the threat of being put down, and finding forever homes with loving families.  The transport almost didn't happen.  It took longer than usual to put it all together.  I was really worried that those seven pups weren't going to make it out of Little Rock.  An hour after the transport is usually shut down, it finally came together.  Miel is coming with me and my daughter again.  

Well, it's past time for me to go to bed... 

All the best, 

Lapis

 

 

Pagan Pride 2014

It seems like we are going to set up a booth at Pagan Pride this year.  Clearly it will be just an informational booth but we need to figure out what information to provide and have available.  Miel and I will both be there.  We've opened it up to any of our other Blue Star Family to join us.  Hopefully they will bring some ideas as well.

So far, I'm thinking we'll have print copies of the things we have available here, some sort of business card, print copies of Isaac Bonewits' Cult Survey, maybe a recommended reading list and I'm thinking an altar all set up as well.  Plus music.  There must be music!  Maybe food?  

Maybe I can lure a few of our tradmates to come out and sing with us on and off throughout the day.  

I'd love any suggestions!

 

All the best, 

Lapis