III.DAY THREE: BASIC RITUAL TECHNIQUES
The previous two courses teach the full minimum necessary to work solo
magick. The remaining two days will concentrate on group ritual. In
Day Three, we will discuss the basic techniques.
To explain the outline, relate the outline of the three Essentials of
Eastern magick - mandalla, mantra, and mudra.
A. Mantra - Music and Chanting
Discuss the three types of mantra most often used in Neopagan
ritual: memorized chants (for creating and focusing the Group
Mind), impromptu chanting (for advanced meditation and growing
together), and plainsong (for worship).
1. Memorized Chants
Teach them the chants listed below. Then run quickly (for
familiarization purposes only) through "We Wander Now", "Hoof
and Horn", "Burn Bright", "Circle 'Round the Fire", and any
others that I can remember on the spot.
a. "We All Come from the Goddess"
We ALL - COME from the GODdess
AND to HER we SHALL reTURN
LIKE a DROP - OF - RAIN
FLOWing TO the O-CEAN (repeat)
b. "I Circle Around"
I CIRcle aROUND, I CIRcle aROUND ...
the BOUN-'DRIES OF the EARTH ...
WEARing my LONG tail FEAthers AS I GLIDE ...
WEARing my LONG tail FEAthers AS I GLIDE ... (repeat)
c. "Air I Am"
(evenly spaced, every syllable emphasized)
Air I am,
Fire I am,
Water, Earth and Spirit I am ... (repeat)
d. "The Goddess Chant"
iSIS, aSTARte, diANna, HECaTE,
deMEter, KALi - inNAna (repeat)
2. Impromptu Chanting
Discuss the uses of impromptu chanting: ecstatic magick
(where one can't count on elaborate chants) and for deep
probing rituals, where they are used for free association.
As an example, demonstrate the three-word style that Starhawk
teaches in SPIRAL DANCE. Emphasize the use of beat and tempo
as unifying factors.
For contrast, sing the NROOGD classic, "O Earth Mother" to
demonstrate that not all ritual music needs to be in the form
of basic chants.
B. Mudra - Movement and Dance
1. Ritual Dance
(This section has not yet been finalized. Current plans
focus on simple circle-dance steps, the famed "spiral dance",
and then brief discussion of free-form dance and ecstatic
2. Theater Techniques
Remind people that one of the purposes of ritual is to catch
and hold the attention of Child Self, and point out that the
language that Child Self speaks best is melodrama. Instruct
them that gestures and actions in the Circle should speak
loud enough that words are not necessary. Then, since they
undoubtedly won't get the point, do two exercises to rub
their noses in it.
a. Banishing Exercise
Set up a circle, then pick out someone who seems to know
a bit about magick. Get him to go to one of the
quarters and ground and center. Then have him visualize
a threat approaching from his quarter, and tell him to
do a banishing. (He will inevitably do something
traditional, elaborate, and sterile.) Relax him, then
ask the class how THEY would have reacted, if THEY were
attacking the circle, to what he had done. Pick an
absolute novice, put him in the same place, ground and
center, pump them up with melodrama and heroics, then
describe a different menace and instruct them to scare
it off, turn it away (don't use the word "banish"). See
if the gestures aren't more dramatic.
b. Charging Exercise
Pick a couple who seem to know a bit about magick (if
possible), and have them ground, center, and use the
wand and chalice for a symbolic Great Rite. (See if
they do anything more sexual than just stick the wand
into the cup - I doubt it.) Relax them, then point out
to the class that the energies to be raised in this
exercise are to be earthy and sexual, EXACTLY like the
"rush" or thrill of heavy flirtation. Then pick the
most COMPATIBLE-looking couple (if possible) and repeat
the exercise (and see if they don't make it more