Group Circle Gatherings
- Group Rituals
- What Im trying to do here is give you and your group
a few things to think about and consider as youre planning
your event. This is not a how to guide for creating a group ritual.
If youre interested in more details for conducting a ritual,
for yourself or your group, then you might want to see Ritual
& Ceremony Outline.
- Whether your group is a coven, grove, clan or just a group
of friends who want to share a ritual event, where and how you
gather is something you should all be comfortable with. There
is no set in stone way for groups to gather for a service, be
it in circles for rituals or sabbat festivals. In fact, it doesnt
have to be a circle at all.
- There is also no standard place or standard structure for
where to gather. Covens try to accommodate the needs and desires
of their membership and conduct rituals accordingly. They can
be inside, outside, in circles, squares, or triangles. Some groups
are so large, that it only makes sense to have gatherings in
a standard platform/audience type set up. It all depends on what
youre going to be doing within the gathering as well.
- The biggest aspect to setting up a group event is knowing
who is leading the service. Even if youre sharing responsibility
for a ritual, there should be someone taking the lead. At this
point, I suggest reading two articles before you begin planning
your group ritual.
- Chosing A Location
- Deciding where to hold your gathering depends on a lot of
- Do you want the gathering inside or outside?
- What is the season of the year? Is it warm or cold outside?
- What are the weather conditions? Will it be clear skies,
or pouring down rain?
- What time of the day? Will it be during daylight hours or
- How many people will be attending?
- Will it be in a public place or private space?
- What kind of interruptions might occur?
- But you need to consider the conditions and how the weather
will affect your members. If its too cold to be outside,
then the weather will be a distraction. Your group will not be
able to concentrate on the mechanics of the ritual. Such as raising
energy, connecting to spirit and so on. If its cold outside,
and you hold your ritual inside, you might have to worry about
the number of people crammed into a tight space. Or if you have
room the number of people, you might need to think about how
they will be generating their own heat, along with candles burning,
all making the gathering space too hot and uncomfortable.
- There are groups who rent space to hold their gatherings.
This can be a great way to select the right space. But being
in a public space has its own set of concerns. Regardless
of it being inside or outside, there maybe outside influences
to consider. Is the space closed from public viewing? If not,
what types of interruptions might occur? What types of complaints
might occur? This might be something to consider if youre
holding service in an outdoor location, such as a public park.
There are plenty of news stories about pagan gatherings gaining
permission to use an outdoor space, only to be interrupted by
- There are groups who hold their gatherings in someones
home. While these are often great spaces, there are a few things
to consider in these environments as well. If the space is an
apartment, you have to consider the amount of noise that might
be created and how it affects your neighbors. You dont
want to be in the middle of a drumming ritual and have an irate
neighbor pounding on the door. If the host has children, you
may need to consider how they are incorporated into the ritual.
If theyre not, what is the potential for them interrupting
the ritual because they want Mommy or Daddy. And you also need
to consider the family or personal environment that occurs within
the home during normal hours. If the personal relationships are
volatile then the energy created by the stress, sadness or anger
could easily hover over your ritual gathering. The energy of
the ritual space will have an affect on the members participating
in the ritual. Even with a clearing and cleansing to set the
space; you could still have residual energy from the host themselves.
- Today many groups are finding ways to establish their own
areas of worship. Some groups are formalizing their membership
and establishing their own spiritual centers. These are often
places where they can practice their beliefs indoors or outside.
Other groups have the benefit of a member, often the head of
the group, having a nice area in their own home separate from
the living space. For instance I know a High Priest who turned
her garage apartment into a gathering area for her coven. The
space is only used spiritual purposes and its kept energized
and protected. These types of situations also provide the choice
of practicing outside as well. There are many coven leaders who
are looking for specific types of property where they can have
a wooded area for outdoor ritual gatherings. These are fantastic
areas to hold rituals.
- Outdoor Environments
- If you chose to hold your gathering outdoors you have a lot
of choices for creating your environment. There are many solitaries
who have the ability to create an outdoor spiritual space and
they want to share the environment with others. These areas can
be elaborate recreations of Stonehenge, large copper piped pyramids,
or simple groves in a wooded area that has been simply decorated
with flowers, wooden artwork, or ribbons and bows. I know of
a Shaman who built a covered deck area in the middle of his 3
acre property. Its a beautiful 9 ft by 9ft structure, which
allows his coven to meet outdoors yet protected by the elements
- These days, having a ritual with a bonfire in the center
is a very popular practice. Many covens have acquired brass fire
pits from their local home improvement store, to safely enjoy
a bonfire for their ritual workings. And those really need to
be used outside.
- There is a huge range of ideas that can be incorporated in
the ritual space when its held outside. Its a chance
to use your imagination and perhaps even connect with your spiritual
teachers, guides and deities to solicit their energy in the creation
of the space.
- Structure Your Gathering
- If youre gathering for a ritual to celebrate and esbat
or sabbat, then a circle is the ideal format. But if youre
gathering for a homily, then a standard platform/audience set
up might be the better environment. Most covens like to gather
in Circles. Typically a circle is 9 feet in diameter. But if
you have a larger group of people, you might want to make your
circle larger. Or create two lines of the circle (or a circle
within a circle).
- As I mentioned, not everyone uses a circle. There are some
groups who feel very connected to a spiritual trinity and prefer
to gather in the shape of a triangle. Ive even participated
in a ritual where the group had enough members to gather in the
shape of a pentagram. I know of an Egyptian group who tries to
recreate the Great Pyramid and gather in a perfect square, with
the Priestess standing on a small platform in the center to represent
the center point of the pyramid.
- The format you use to gather depends on what you feel drawn
to. What you want to align your energies with and how you think
you can best do that.
Source: 1, s1,