Re: Community rituals
From: Empathy (Empathyaol.com)
Date: Fri, 27 May 94 21:20 CDT
rob sandlin asked what rituals cohouses had...
we had group "picnics" four times a year....these are the big ones that i
remember........people put on plays....especially great were the times when
people would announce what things were significant to them at the time: their
loves and losses and hopes and dreams and plans......spring fest was a time
to launch in to the year..the year began for us in the spring...and yes at
spring fest there was quite a lot of physical activity that some would say
was sexual (oh heaven forbid!!!) but i considered it bonding since it was
mostly group nudity and massage.
it was quite common for the teens to be quite involved in some extremely
rigorous physical activities...i can recall being exhausted for days
following one fest where we imitated a running of the deer....must have run
30 or 40 kilometers all told.
summer fest was often not well attended because people were off doing their
own thing, but the flavor was that whatever we were doing in summer was what
we had discussed as our plans during the spring fest, and we all knew that it
would be a focus for our talks in the fall fest.  like phineus phogg (around
the world in 80 days) we had left the club to go on our adventure, but we
would return to its safety in the fall to give report.
fall fest was a reuniting of the group after the summer diversions, and we
would be encouraged to rehash what had happened over the last six months and
what it meant to us and if it happened as we had expected.
winter fest was very much like christmas.....a time to celebrate being
together (note i am leaving the christ out of chrismass...sorry but it wasnt
part of our group, it was probably more like the original winter holiday in
northern europe before chrismas came there and displaced it) and a bedding
down to survive the winter by brightening up the bleak world around us as
much as possible...and it did get cold and bleak there.....dark almost all
the time.
other rituals are somewhat trivial......children would be given special
tasks...mostly relating to the gardens....we were a religious group as well
so there were invocations at night, and just like at a military base during
the raising and lowering of the flag..all people would stand still and silent
for a minute when the bell rang.......made for a sense of solomnety and
purpose.
i try to sound as if all was great....in fact it really was not all that
special, but perhaps that is because i take it for granted.
i think any ritual is good as long as the danger of stagnating in a ritual is
recognized.......
if you want one to adopt go get the invocations booklet that outward bound
supplies to its campers and use it for your own invocation ceremony at night
or before meals....just like saying grace, but somehow grace has always
seemed like a blank mumbling to me where as the invocations seemed to come
from the heart because they were said by folks who were going through
SOMETHING at the time and were taylored to match what they were going
through.....be it a tough time with their kids or school or a potential
lover...it came from the heart and we all shared in it......be careful not to
let any two or one person monopolize the readings....(just my opinion), it
leads to people not paying attention if you do.
                               thanks:         empathy    (rebecca)

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