Altars (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

Altars can take all shapes and sizes.  Many have a simple representation of the patron deities, some candles, a cup, and herbs and crystals.  It can be as big as an entire table, and as small as a small statuette. There can be sage bundles and lighter present, or frilly scarves and flowers.  Whatever the setup, altars have a sacred meaning for Pagans, and many religions.

There is no hard or fast rule for what goes on an altar.  I am sure you have seen a few set ups, in which a chalice (cup), athame (knife), cauldron (holds burning cinder blocks for burning herbs), representations of the 5 elements, a Goddess statue, a God statue, a plate for food, incense holder (usually holding a stick ready to be lit, or smoking), and candles.  Some altars are set in the cardinal directions-North, South, East, and West.  There may be a large geode in the northern quadrant, a feather or incense in the east quadrant, a candle or something burning in the south, and water or seashells in the west.  The fifth section, called spirit by many Pagans, may be represented by the deities, or with something special.

Many Pagans believe that each cardinal direction has an association.

In the north is the element of earth.  Earth is honored and represented as an homage to the fact we live on a big chunk of rock floating out into the cosmos that happens to sustain life.  Geodes, semi-precious stones, or a good ole river rock is a representation of the earth, and in it we place the rock in the north.  Other associations with north is the idea that the earth provides stability.  Standing in a boat on water gives you a feeling of not being connected to earth through gravity.  The idea of being grounded comes from the lack of movement sensation.  Another attribute is the idea that the way a person acts or presents their energy is being rock solid, or earth-like.  I am the earth element in my coven, as I am constantly reminding people that there is no need to get spun up over something, and we should investigate before we have a reason to get upset, or read too much into a statement. Other attributions to the north, and to earth is the zodiac signs.  Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn signs are all considered earthy and grounded.  Now, there are a LOT of other factors that form the personality of any person, and it is no different than that of astrological sign.  The colors normally associated with earth is brown, green, or any other forest color.

East, the next direction, is associated with air, communication, and learning. Oxygen sustains us, and when we talk, we use the air to transmit sound waves, and our thoughts are like the wind, untouchable, yet tangible.  Those items that can represent air, communication and learning can include feathers, smoke, or a scroll. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius’ are all considered air elements, and really good at communication.  My zodiac sign is Libra, and I am very good at communicating.  It is not my end all and be all, but at times Pagans can find themselves more communicative, and at times less communicative. It just means we are channeling an element stronger at times than others. The colors associated with

South is fire, and yes, the first few thoughts you have regarding what fire represents can be passion, desire, ego, and heat.  It can also represent release, as burning something releases and destroys the ties that bind. The fire is as life sustaining as the earth and air.  Flames can be saving and damaging, depending on how you treat it.  Too much passion, and you burn out, too little, and you are cold. Those with a fire sign in the zodiac is Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius’.

In the west is the water element that is closely associated to emotions, and while water is the most flexible of nature, it can also be the most destructive.  It can wear away at you over time, or it’s absence can cause you a lot of pain. Emotions are the same.  They can overwhelm you like a tsunami, or withdrawn, it can make you feel desolate.  Those who are emotionally deep usually channel this element more.  Why each direction is associated as it is has had me postulate that in Europe, in the south, toward the equator, the sun makes the lands get warmer and warmer.  The west has the Atlantic ocean with it’s massive amount of water. However, my hypothesis goes flat when you think of the east in Europe, as in the east there is a significant amount of land mass, which does not explain the air element being in the east, and the earth element in the north. 

Many questions arise in how Pagans made the determination as to what or why there is an association to the directions, or any of the other baffling determinations are made.  I cannot answer that, as you have me at a similar loss!  Just wait until you get into astrology, there is more illogical determinations, and less in the way of explanations than you would believe.

Spirit does not get a direction, and some Pagans do not acknowledge it as a fifth element.  But some Pagans do, and it is exactly what it means, the spirit within us all, and with the universal spirits or deities.


The Broom Closet (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

Why this term, the Broom Closet?  Usually this term is used to state that the Pagan in question has decided to keep the fact that they are Pagan from families and friends.  While it seems that there has been progress made in terms of acceptance for the LBGT community.  However, it is not exactly an accepting community that welcomes a person who appears to consort with dark and negative energies that can harm anyone.

It is more difficult that anyone can imagine to be rejected and torn away from family, and have to restart all over.  Or, if the Pagan was young, the family can force the Pagan to renounce their faith, and abuse them. With those who decide not to divulge the information, they sometimes assume other names and have to assume online identities that is not connected with their true identity. During festivals members indicate whether or not they want their pictures taken and put on the internet in some fashion.  There can be a lot of accidental outing of a Pagan during these times, so if and when you visit a Pagan festival, please keep in mind that the pictures you subsequently post to your friends on Facebook can make it around to others you have just friended, and your pictures show up on their non-magical facebook feeds, and accidentally out them to people they would rather not inform of their current faith.

It is very bad form to out another Pagan.  At this time I have fifty percent of my friends who have come out to their family, mostly in the last year, and fifty who are NOT out.  Recently my coven had conflict with a specific person, who had found us through a profile that we had set up to login to various pages.  A member of our coven panicked badly, as she believed that if that person could accidentally find us, then members of her extended family in the south could find her, and then she would have a terrible time of it.  To top it all off, she was in the middle of a personal crisis, and she really hates conflict.  So the three stressful items on her plate, plus the thought of being outed to her family almost caused a meltdown of epic proportions. Being estranged form her only blood family would have caused a rift in our group that may not have been repairable, and at best, left a strain on our relationship with each other.

As for my experiences, I came out fairly quickly.  There are two trains of thought regarding this.  Either I am too cocky for my own good, and being bold thus far has not taught me the meaning of good common sense or caution; or that I have a lot of self confidence, healthy boundaries, and firmly believe that I will not be taken advantage of, abused, or used, and I will put someone in their place should they decide to do any of that.  So far my experience has been the latter. Has it caused some weirdness with some of my relationships, sure!  Have I been preached to? Yup.  But I refuse to Christian Bash, as they have the same rights to free speech and freedom of religion as I do, and the same right to respect by me as I have the same right to respect from them.  Whatever they say behind my back has stayed there, and I do not worry my brain cells over their discomfort or pettiness. Honestly, I have had more trouble with those from my own religion than Christians.  Someone I was very close to had an utter breakdown because she believed that my daughter threw black magic at her heart and almost caused a heart attack.  This occurred only months after I figured out that the Goddess had spoken to my heart and I was likely on this path for a good minute of my life.  What the hell was I supposed to do??? ACCKKK!  So I lied.  She wanted my daughter’s magic bound, so I lied and said it was, and I had done it that day.  The catch to this had me realizing I was being manipulated.  This friend then told me that my daughter had some deep emotional issues that my daughter was trying to escape, and shed some of it off on her.  But don’t worry, this friend of mine knew Reiki, and could cleanse and heal my daughter.  That was the beginning of my divorce from a good friend.  I, being me, let her know where to take that and shove it, and then disentangled myself from her forever.  I did lose a friend, sort of, from it, but I am a healthier and happier person for it. Had I not, I would have had some very deep anxiety and issues from the relationship that would have prevented me from growing spiritually.

But enough of that.  Due to the current social climate that is brewing within the US, the Pagan community does not feel as safe to come out of the Broom Closet, as other groups with just as much stigma or negativity directed toward them.  We applaud and completely understand the Gay and Lesbian community, and understand the lesson of needing, at some point in our lives, to be open about our faith, and to take on the battle of those who would rather do some horribly nasty things to us due to their religious dictates.  I do understand that not all Abrahamic faiths believe that they should commit physical harm or atrocities, but there are enough of those denominations out there that will encourage their congregation to illegally act against Pagans, either overtly, or underhandedly.  We are very cognizant of that, and would rather gently integrate into the community rather than be confrontational.

While many who read this will be a little incredulous to my claims of the need to be under the radar, but if you google witchcraft, you will find a plethora of  religious websites devoted to discouraging interested individuals from involving themselves, or being curious about the Pagan faith. Worse, if you google witchcraft and Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, South America, or other foreign third world countries, there is a deep and abiding hatred and fear of those who perform witchcraft, and you will read on those who cut up and cook albino Africans for witchcraft practices, or stone and murder in the most horrendous ways women suspected of performing witchcraft. This may seem very difficult to believe, or understand, but missionaries who go to these countries to bring the cultures into Christianity have done this, and the Christian home base in the US or a first world country may condemn the practices, but I can guarantee you that this is discussed, as local indigenous practices that do not align with Christian faith and practices are condemned as being witchcraft and evil, and must be burned or destroyed, often in violent means.  Being in a first world country only protects Pagans due to the established laws, and the willingness of some of the people to enforce the laws.  Recently there was a Florida, USA killing of a person, and the local sheriff went on to national media to inform the public that it was a ritualistic Wiccan and Pagan murder that was a standard practice of the Pagan faith.

Mid Point Update (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

How am I doing?? well this weekend I am going to exercise some self discipline and make it half way to the finish line!  I have to make twenty five thousand words by the end of the weekend, or I feel that I will just give up and never finish!  SO here is my pep talk… mrhaohahy, whoenrafdj, rwherjhaoifdj!  What is this, you ask?  Well it’s wookie.  Can’t you read wookie?  No!!  well damn, that’s a shame!  All I said was mrporporpomrrmrpo mrporep mporepom.  WHAT, you don’t speak Mermaid either? Well, damn, what do you speak?  What do you do to expand your horizons and get different points of view?  where did your inspiration come from?  How often have you had to explain your book to a stranger and have inspiration thrill your bones and make your fingers itch to get back to the keyboard and type?

Did I just inspire you?  Go out, and explain to the first random stranger our idea. See what question they have, and if they have any need for further explanations, there you go, you have a gap and hole in your story, and you need to build it back up.  That does not mean editing. Goddess no, no editing.  I am actually fearing December because of that! But add paragraphs to your story to explain those holes!  put them into a document for later, for the editing process that are good backups for that editing process that needs some oomph!

I hear yah, I can hear every one of you saying that you had a drive this early in the game, and now that you have exhausted your fingers and your drive, what do you have to write for now?  probably still a lot, believe it or not!  Maybe you need to go out to a place that had inspired you, and solicit the advice of those who gave you a character idea, and instead of having multiple flat characters, you have a few more dynamic individuals that add richness to your plot line.  Or, if you are like me, and writing nonfiction, at this time you need to agitate the system, and get more information and research. Or you need to speak with clergy members that will allow you to incorporate their point of view that gives a deeper richness to your work.  For myself, I have exhausted more of my enthusiasm than I care to have used up. At this time I now have to dig deeper and get some motivation somewhere and get to cracking!

Covens (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

Covens are often shrouded in mystery and rumor.  Many Pagans believe that there is a requirement to have 13 members, a hierarchy of priestesses, and spells cast to change the course of their fate. I love how this perception has kept many from feeling safe to explore paganism.  Unfortunately, there is more to the story of Pagans refusing to join and form groups together.  In the US it is expected that women cannot form healthy relationshipstogether, and the groups that do form havve a significant number of problems that can leave it’s members emotionally scarred. Due to this perception, some members do strrive to live up to this negative stereotype and the group becomes a nightmare to the other members.  Inwould reccomend to many new groups to read together the book Sacred Circles, Women’s Spirituality Group Workbook.  The authors of the book provide a wide variety of points of view and various group focuses to give you an idea that it is not just in the Pagan community that women have a difficult time getting along, but inalmost all groups.  Then they give you the why’s, and how to avoid or fix them. As a group, my group came together, and I bought this book for each member, and we all began reading together.  As each began, all of us made new and exciting discoveries about the groups they had belonged to, and could now move on from the hang up they had over why their group had failed.  Fortunately, we are all pretty bright women, and it feels that each member brings strengths,a dn compliments each other in some awesome ways that can be very unexpected!  This book opened us up to each other, and we are able to progress without the fear of failure.

But you’re not here to read about that, you want the juicy details of how covens operate.  Idealy there is some personal connection between the members that make them friends, and more tha friends in many ways. In a way you become extended family, as each member will begin to open up and share intimate details that are normally reserved for spouses and close family members.  The trust required to be a member is great.  I would not say it is a burden, but it is not to be taken lightly.  You, in essense, become an extension of a group that will accept and take you in as you are.  The hope is that with each new layer of trust built, the group, etiher as a whole or individually, will mature and grow spiritually.  There are no hard and fast rules about the number of women, what they do together, and how often they meet, but having a connection to someone else of your faith when there is generally not a connection, feels like a safety net for those times when you feel yourself in a spiritual conundrum.    Or, any kind of conundrum.

Magically, the members of the group come together to raise energy and cast a spell or perform a ritual with the combined energy of the group.  How the energy is raised can vary. Chanting, increasing personal energy and sharing through hand holding, and adding to specific parts of the ritual or spell are all ways to raise energy.  Much of the coven dynamic has more to do with the socialization dynamic than the energy dynamic.  I have read somewhere that some practitioners will only come together to do magic together, and then drift apart until the next scheduled event.  Some groups may never do any ritual together, however this is rare.

The hieigharchy of a coven is often as diverse as snowflakes.  Some groups come to a mutual understanding that based on the greater experience of one member or another, that person shall preside as the senior priest or priestess.  Others with less will be required to attend some specific training in order to reach the experience and capability as the senior member.  The determination as to what the ritual should look like, or how a spell should be cast is often the decision of the senior priestess.  This group formst is not the same in all groups.  Some groups have individuals of varying degrees of experience, yet none are higher or less than any of the other members, each ritual or spell is agreed upon by all members, or a member at any time can agree to be in charge of hosting and casting the ritual or spell work, and make the decisions for the group until the next time, when it is someone elses turn.

As far as membership after a group has already established, the methods of training and integrating the member can vary.  Should the new Pagan member have no training, but request it, some members may take it upon themselves to mentor the Pagan until they are ready to be a full

Passion for this Pagan (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

I went on an adventure this weekend that had me connecting with myself, and my beloved coven.  I began with going to Hallowed Homecoming.  This is not your normal Pagan festival, with vendors, performances, or community bonfires and drumming.  This had a little more gravitas in which the presentations were a little more focused toward lectures from guest speakers, and rituals specific to the season.  Because the event was scheduled just after Samhain, the topics covered a little more toward channeling of spirit, and connecting with the dearly departed.  One of the lectures I attended was specific to the Welsh tradition of Wassailing.

I love a good cultural exchange of information, and this did not disappoint.  In the Welsh tradition, Rhiannon was giving birth to the horse Goddess, Epona, and was thrown out of their stall by Mary and Joseph, who gave birth to Jesus.  Rhiannon had to give birth in the frigid cold with no shelter, succor, or food.  It is said that the spirit of Epona wanders the earth, tapping on doors looking for succor.  Here is the Wiki link to the tradition. At this point I am immensely enjoying the conversation that this is generating, and recording the lecture for future reference.  (Unfortunately I was incredibly technology challenged that weekend, and only ended up with a large number of pictures.) The Welsh (admittedly a little drunk) will dress up the skull of a horse with veils and other decoration, and wander the village, knocking on doors and requesting entrance via song and verse.  At this point the owner will then respond in song as to why not, and a sing off begins.  Should the homeowner run out of reasons why, the Mari Lwyd is then granted access and proceeds to run around the house, breaking things, scaring the inhabitants, and will only leave when bribed with scotch.  When the lecturer informed the class that we were going to perform a Mari Lwyd, I nearly threw my knitting at her, volunteering to be the Mari Lwyd.  I was channeling this beautiful chaotic energy that seemed to fit my life situation, and I wanted to channel it out into the world.

Our goal with the Mari Lwyd?  A nearby class that was teaching protection rituals!  The instructor was aware we were coming, and would invite us in.  We learned the song, marched to the class, and proceeded to request access in Welsh. To my disappointment, he did not sing back, but just invited us in.  Channeling Cowbell, something I had just learned from my coven, I proceeded to channel my banshee wild spirit and follow my passion for shocking people, and tore around the classroom (as prescribed by Welsh tradition, mind you!) with the rest of the class following me and doing the same.  My passion had infected the rest of my class, and we owned the Mari Lwyd ritual.  It was the most fun I had in years.  I had blocked myself, and this was very cleansing for me!

Rituals (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

There is a significant difference between rituals and spells.  Some can consider rituals to be for a celebration of the Sabbats and Esbats, the passing of a loved one, to honor a deity, to honor a familiar, to provide personal protection, or to send healing energy to a distant person.  What happens during a ritual depends on the practitioner and group.  Some use established norms they were introduced to by their mentors, and some use the rituals published in books. The gestures, clothing, activities, and statements used are usually carefully selected to enhance the ritual.  The ritual is usually designed to help the practitioner express something that will connect them to the divine, and allow the end result to benefit the participants.

Careful consideration on when the ritual should take place is done. Pagans sometimes associate specific moon cycles or sun cycles with specific desired outcomes.  To conduct the ritual during those beneficial timeframes enhance the energy generated, and amplifies the affects on the outcome. Pagans often use herbs and crystals in the same manner, and will select these two items to include in the ritual to enhance the energy being focused.  Crystals can be worn, or the energy can be directed into the crystals for a kind of time release of the desired energy over a period of time.  Herbs are often burned, or used to cover some of the ritual objects to enhance their role in releasing energy.  Statements used to speak the practitioners intent are usually developed under careful consideration for what the practitioner is actually asking for, either in general terms or specific terms.

Some of the activities can include the writing of intention on paper, to be subsequently burned in order to release the intent into the universe.  Some will use this method in order to release something, such as negativity, breaking of bonds, or cutting off a negative influence.  Another activity is to create special jewelry to be worn later to either remind the practitioner of a promise or dedication, or to hold a specific type of energy that can be absorbed by the practitioner when theirs is depleted. Sometimes the point of the ritual is to open up the practitioners stream of conscious to flow into a journal for consideration later.  The stream of conscious can be what the person really wants without the fear of judgment.  The practitioner can then use the realization of what they really want to actualize into a solid plan and goal. A healing ritual can consist of the person in need being the focus for healing energy, and may have the group place hands on them for direct reception of the flow of energy, or (in the case of a long distance) the group can visualize caring for the person in their own way that will assist the recipient to heal better, faster, or in a specific manner.  Some rituals consist of celebrating the earths cycle, and during a Sabbat celebration a specific activity linked to that holiday is conducted.  Beltane has a traditional May Pole, and some Pagan communities will use the pole as a symbolic representation of fertility, and invoke the energies associated with reproduction and sexuality whilst dancing around it, weaving the ribbons.  While this list can go on, the activities are usually chosen to represent the process to the end goal of the practitioner, or the reminder of the desired end state.

Rituals usually begin with the creation of sacred space.  Deities that are petitioned are usually chosen due to their predilection for the desired outcome.  Examples include the invocation of Athena and Apollo for wisdom, learning, and organization.  Should the desired outcome need these qualities, these would be the deities invoked in order to enhance the desired energy flow, and positively influence the outcome.  Some deities are specific to a season. Other forms of deity representation can be in the idea that the deity energy is that of a young person, a mature person, or a wiser older person.


Sacred Space (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

For a Pagan to practice their faith, many believe that the need to create a sacred work space in which to conduct their work. Many faiths do this, and it is a way for the mood, atmosphere, and mindset to coincide in order to get the best possible results.

How sacred space is created is much like the geometry of a snowflake. Every snowflake is different and unique in it’s frozen state. Some Pagans believe they need to use certain gestures, certain chants, certain herbs and move in specific directions. In the following I will provide an example of the procedure and steps used in ritualistic format to create sacred space:

  1. The materials for the ritual is gathered, staged for use, and the chants are available for the practitioner(s).  The space used is roughly a circle, with tables placed around the edge of the circle containing items associated with a cardinal direction.  A main table is close to the center that contains the material used to cast a spell, or to conduct an offering.
  2. The physical space is identified, and in order to make the space spiritually ready the practitioner(s) light a bundle of dried sage to produce a thick smoke.  The smoke is believed to remove and banish negative energy.  The sage bundle is carried around the circle in a clockwise direction (called deosil by Pagans) multiple times, usually 3 times, while the practitioner makes a statement of the space is being cleared, cleaned, and cleansed (by chanting in rhyme or otherwise). Those who are in the ritual are likely standing at the edge of the circle, and may have the smoke of the sage wafted over them in order to cleanse them of any negative energy.  Sometimes the participants are invited to join the circle in an individual ritual, in which a priestess or a priest blesses them and welcomes them in.
  3. An invitation for the elements associated with a cardinal direction is performed.  The leader of the circle sometimes turns to face the direction (sometimes it starts with East), and makes a statement inviting the elemental spirit, and sometimes makes references to their associated quality, to join the sacred space and to provide protection and guidance.  There may or may not be a specific formula, gesture, or lighting of a candle done in order to appropriately invite the spirit of the (insert direction here) to join and provide protection or guidance.  Each direction, going clockwise from the starting point, is then invited in the same or similar manner.  Depending on the Pagan group or practitioner, a specific cardinal direction is first, and a specific order may be followed.
  4. Deities are usually next to be invited in, by specific name or embodiment.  It is likely the Goddess will be invited first, followed by the God.  In the same manner the directions were invited, the Gods are also invited.  An offering of some sort may occur, or it may wait until the end of the ceremony.  On the main altar is likely a physical representation of the deities, and a candle for each may be lit for them.
  5. Depending on the ritual, this is when the practitioner will transition in the to main point of the ceremony, be it a spell, an acknowledgement of the season or holiday, or for general study purposes.

Creating sacred space can be done without the ceremonial ritual as well.  Someone may begin listening to music, a mood is created, the person begins gathering energy, and then releases it with their intent.  Once sacred space is created, many believe that the area be respected, and no one enter or leave until the conclusion of the ritual has been done.  The sacred space is believed to provide protection against negativity, and a blank space or canvas that does not hold any influence on the ritual.  Some Pagans visualize and describe the sacred space to be similar to an energy force field that extends over them like a bubble, and below them underground that nothing targeting those inside can get through. Inside the sacred space, the practitioner then creates intent, gathers energy, and releases it out into the universe to manifest itself.  You will find a variety of Pagan points of view regarding this, as some will acknowledge that sometimes it is impossible to keep from leaving the space, or a family pet wanders in, or the requirement to attend to the needs of a family member arises in the middle of a ritual. Attitudes regarding this vary, as many practitioners will find a way to have absolutely no interruptions during their  ritual and maintain the sacred space uninterrupted.  Other Pagans use the idea of cutting a hole or door through the energy field erected to transition through without removing the protective field created.  Others believe that the idea of sacred space as something flexible, that can be crossed with no negative side effects when necessary.

My own opinion and personal experience has me tend to be the latter.  Some days it is nearly impossible to start and complete any ceremony with no interruptions.  Due to this, I like to think of my normal area of practice as constantly being a sacred space and place for me.  Many times I will enter the room, and immediately gain relaxation and focus for what I need to do.  I have a difficult time setting aside any specific time to regularly practice, and interruptions that can last a long time prevent me from having a very strong attitude toward breaking of a sacred circle and space.  When I am a guest to the ritual, I will respect the wishes of the leader and treat the sacred space in accordance to their terms.  It is only Pagan politeness, or so I hear.

After the ritual or spell is complete, the sacred space is released.  Sometimes the release is done in reverse order of the initial creation of the sacred space.

  1. The leader of the ritual brings everyone’s attention to the conclusion steps.  It is likely an offering of thanks is made to the invoked deities in the form of a bread like item, and a liquid that may or may not be alcoholic.  Sometimes a statement is made to indicate gratitude to the deity, and the intent to offer the items in symbolic offering to them.  This is usually referred to as cakes and ale, but it may not always mean cakes and ale is used.  Some Pagans do not consume the food items, and may place all or part of it in to the nearest nature location as an offering.  Other Pagans may share the food and consume all or part of them.
  2. If following the reverse order, the deities are thanked for their support and presence.  They are then released from any further requests of support. It is good to note that some older forms of Pagan practice indicate that there was wording in the invoking of the deities to indicate that deity is summoned and their support was demanded or commanded.  Many have taken a different stance on this, and instead invite and request help from the deities.
  3. Usually going in reverse order, each cardinal direction and spirits are thanked and released from further requests  in a statement or a chant.  It is not usual to have an offering for each direction, but sometimes there is incense smoke that is wafted toward the direction.  The statements or chants do not have to rhyme.  It is nice to find a very well written chant that rhymes and sets the tone of the ritual, but it is not required.  Some practitioners will either write their own, or follow a formula published in a book they are using for their spell or ritual.
  4. The sage smudging bundle is then taken counterclockwise (called windershins) around the sacred space, usually three or more times.  A statement is made regarding the sacred space has released it’s protective energy bubble, and the participants can then be released from the ceremony, and depart freely.
  5. Clean up of the sacred space is then conducted.