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So, today’s readings and preparations were all about sacred space: not just the altar, but the entire ritual space. There is a world of difference in the way Deep Ancestors recommends sacred space be created and my own rituals; while one can see the ADF influence in the reconstruction, there are other aspects that make the recommended ritual more like Wiccan practice, or favor historical accuracy to functional practicality.
One of the primary aspects of the sacred space ritual is the idea that sacred space is not permanent. I get that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were a semi-nomadic society, and that temples eventually developed as they continued to roam and settle. This, of course, means that sacred space must be created when a ritual needs to be performed. However, PIE rituals are also apparently supposed to be done under an open sky; while I prefer doing outdoor rituals, I can think of at least a few times when such rites are neither practical nor preferable. This coming Yule ritual, and the plans already made for it, are one example. The health of small children who might be brought to rite are another.
This is not to say we cannot perform the rite, even as written, though traditionally, there has only been the one officiant, which is the second issue. Serith’s rites have a Reks, a Gheuter, a Xadbhertor, a Ner, and a Fire Tender, five separate duties, and some of which are gender-specific. Already, due to my own practice and the practice of my worship group, there’s going to be changes needed to that. While the rite can be performed, those performing will probably need to double- or triple-up on jobs. It might be preferable to slightly alter the wording, as well.
I do love how the ritual tries to include as many people as possible. It’s very much about community, which is part of building sacred space. Sacred space is as much about the community worshiping as it is about the Gods and Spirits being venerated; that is part of the necessary equitable exchange. This is worth a little messing with the traditions so far performed in the household, and why I am willing to give the changes a try. I am especially willing after a second run-through of the basic offering rite, and seeing how it worked.
I will be separating the Wikpotes’ offerings from the altar, which is something different than done before. That is definitely becoming a part of the ritual, regardless of other changes to the ritual text I may make for practicality. This seems to be a major aspect of PIE practice: the dead are separated from the living, even in ritual, and offerings to the Gods of the Dead are not shared. This becomes very important in properly adhering to culture.
On the positive end, I have most everything I need, minus the clarified butter, the bread sacrifice, and an axe. I may make do with a knife for the first couple of rituals, but eventually, an axe or similar implement will be needed. For now, I will need one knife to mark out ritual space, and one for the cutting of the bread/sacrifice.
These three words interest me. They feel final and strong. Just a thought. They represent, “Well-built, well-supported,” and “well-established.” They should feel strong. However, for me, it is something deeper than just the meaning.
Final note for tonight, the processional. A procession into the ritual space will likely be unnecessary, but at the same time, elements of the procession need to be included, specifically, the claiming of the “cattle.” In my mind, this also represents the wealth of the wiks, their bounty and their power. I will be altering things so that such can be done as a personal rite before the ritual begins, on behalf of the wiks.
For reference, this is the ritual from Ceisiwr Serith’s website, which is very similar to the one found in the book.