Often, newcomers are curious about what is going to happen at a Baltimore Reclaiming ritual. Many times, this is their first time attending a ritual like this. Though each ritual is different, what follows is a general outline that describes most of our events.
Baltimore Reclaiming rituals usually attract anywhere between 30-60 people and are usually held indoors. We always have some new people, so you won't be the only one wondering what's going on! Sometimes we have an activity for you to do before the ritual starts. If not, just relax in whatever way works for you. whether that is being quiet in a corner or making a new friend.
Our ritual planning cell will have assigned a few people to officially begin the event. We will introduce our group, run through the 'house rules', and do a ritual run-through, letting you know generally what to expect. If there is a chant, we will teach it.
Grounding- Someone will guide the group through a short meditation that is designed to help you be more present in your body.
Casting the Circle- Someone will draw an energetic circle around the area we are doing the ritual in, creating sacred space. There are many different ways to do this, and often people get quite creative!
Calling the Elements- Using words, song, chanting, and/or movement, we call the powers of the four directions, and the elements associated with the them. East — air; South — fire; West — water; North — earth. In the Center, we invoke Spirit.
Invocations- Depending on the ritual, we might invoke a deity or other type of spirit (such as Ancestors of Liberation or Spirits of the Land). This really depends on the ritual and what is the intention of the working. Sometimes if we are working with a story, you might even find us invoking an archetype such as "Storyteller" or "The Old Woman". If we've been working with one particular story all year long, this is where we will invoke the characters of that story, for example "The Faery Queen" and "Thomas the Rhymer."
The Magical Working- This is the heart of the ritual and is always different. It might be a healing ritual, or a spell working for justice. We might be doing activist oriented work, or tending to our own personal transformation. The mood and tempo of rituals can vary greatly. We often use trance, song, meditation, movement, arts and crafts, dance, and other techniques as magical aides. Not always, but often we finish by "raising energy" to charge our magical work.
Devoking and Opening the Circle- Just as we invoked deity and spirit and elements and cast the circle, so must we thank them and let them go.
So who does all of this? Well, the ritual is planned and priestessed mostly by the Ritual Planning Cell, with lots of help by community members that they enlist. If you have been coming to our rituals for awhile and feel ready to take on the role of calling an element, grounding or casting the circle, let a member of the RPC know!