Personal Effects of Magic Ritual


LC> I am exploring the power of change, as applied to
LC> ritual. When I step out of my suit and tie and into my
LC> ceremonial robe, then step out of my rooms and into my
LC> temple, then leave behind my everyday life and enter
LC> into the sacred space, what is it that makes it 'work'
LC> for me?

One part of the effect seems to come from an unconscious pact you make with your many-faceted mind. When you remove your "street" clothes, you give your mind permission to likewise "put off" important thoughts about "mundane" life until you return to those clothes. Notice that I don't say "compel your mind" to avoid those thoughts...that generally doesn't work very well. Instead, you acknowledge the importance of the mundane thoughts and promise to return to them after the ceremony (gee, did you know you were being so polite to your self? <-;).

Likewise, when you don your ceremonial robes you invite your mind to start focusing on the ceremony ahead and the general context of such ceremonies and their associated mental states. For those who work 'skyclad', this effect is often achieved by tying on a cord or putting on ritual jewelry. When you step into the ritual chamber, you reiterate those invitations while you step out of the transition and into the magick.

These dynamics are fairly universal...they are the same for a Christian priest and his vestments or a Toreador and his Suit of Lights; from an actor slipping into his costume and character to a couple slipping into those "special" night- things. The mechanics vary from a simple "change clothes and walk in" to elaborately formal vesting rituals with prescribed chants and gestures at each stage. In NLP we call the clothes and places "anchors", while others call them reminders, Mnemonics, or talismans. They can be constructed consciously or evolve unconsciously.

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