Jack of Many Trades

The Ritual Not Taken

Originally posted: 2014-02-02

I didn't go to an Imbolc ritual today.

For once, I'm not going to follow that up by calling myself a bad pagan.

Because, see, here's the thing. I know many wonderful people who think very highly of Brigid. I've read about her and I made a few clumsy attempts of my own to reach out to her back in the day. But she's not a goddess I work with and time has proven that she's not a goddess whose ritual I get much from. (It's not like there's a lot of variety in who gets called on for Imbolc.)

I recently began studying a practice called FlameKeeping (which is totally not Brigid-related) and one of the areas of emphasis I'm taking away from it is an emphasis on self-honesty and self-care. I find myself asking questions about my motivations and my needs that I've never really asked myself before.

This morning, I found myself asking questions about the ritual. Was I going to this ritual because I wanted to honor Brigid? No, not really. Like I said, I don't have anything against her. Given another context, I could see myself wanting to honor her. I simply wasn't in the mindset for it this morning. Was I going as a part of a community? Again, no, not really. I would like there to be one here, certainly. And maybe this ritual was the start of something, and I missed out.

I knew from the planning meeting that it was being led by an ADF member who is trying to get an ADF protogrove going in the area. Initially I was very excited about that idea; I liked the idea of an ADF protogrove.

But the more I thought about it... what I want is community in the fellowshippy kind of way. I'm tired of feeling like my only option for "community" is rituals to other peoples' gods. I might as well be Catholic if I'm not caring who the deities we're honoring are.

I'm not sure how to solve this. It's internal; it's something I have to work out for myself. Maybe the answer is the UU, or maybe it's finding a Buddhist group, or finding some local Lokeans who want to get together to celebrate Ragnarok. All I know right now is that the answer is to keep looking.