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In Person

This past Saturday we had our first Full Moon ritual in person since February of last year. Mostly in person, anyway – we held a hybrid event in person and online. I still have mixed feelings about it.

In Person
Field with circle of multi-colored stick people

Getting back to holding rituals in person is something I have longed for throughout the many months of the pandemic. There is nothing like being in heart-space with other people. Even so, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

The province of British Columbia has a four stage restart plan, and we are currently in stage three. According to the restart plan, “there are no capacity limits or restrictions on indoor or outdoor religious gatherings and worship services”. Even with that, we had our own safety plan in place, including requesting that everyone wear a mask, sign in, and use the hand sanitizer provided at the door. We also used individual cups for cakes and ale, rather than working from a shared cup and plate.

Hybrid

Setting up for a hybrid event required some extra planning. There is no WiFi at the hall we use, so we had to hotspot a phone. Figuring out the best way to place the altar and cameras was also an interesting puzzle. We wanted anyone attending online to feel included, without making those attending in person feel like they were not important.

In spite of taking much of the afternoon to make sure my laptop was updated, signed in everywhere it needed to be signed in, and ready to go, it was not. We started late because we had to wait for the laptop to restart. After that, things went quite smoothly.

Worries

Preparing for the ritual, I was a little worried. It had been a long time since I performed this ritual in person. What if I forgot my lines, or an important piece of the ceremony? Doing it online has meant I can have a crutch on my screen, and almost no one will know the difference. Not only that, (confession time) I haven’t set up a full altar for online rituals, because I just don’t have the space.

I need not have worried. Once we got started, it all flowed pretty easily. Thank goodness!

I was a little disappointed, still. Why? Because there weren’t many people there, either in person or online.

In Person Hiccups

Now, I know some of the reasons – some were ill. I can take responsibility for not promoting it as much as I could have. As the first one back, we aren’t in people’s routines and schedules yet.

Still, there were quite a lot of people who, like me, said they were excited to get back to in person events. Maybe they still aren’t as comfortable being in public as they would like, and I can respect that. It doesn’t change my disappointment.

You’d think I would be used to it by now. Prepare for an event, and only a few people show up – the regulars, the die hards. The optimist in me is still hopeful there will be a good crowd.

That disappointment isn’t going to stop me from continuing, though. I have been called to do this work, and part of me is missing when I don’t, even when it exhausts me. Besides, maybe there will be more people next month.

Blessings,
Mary