Exploring the transformational power of ritual for women
in Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries, author Ruth Barrett insists that
healing from the effects of enculturation in the dominant culture is possible
as women learn to affirm women's lifecycle passages as sacred manifestations of
Before the ritual making process begins, Barrett
discusses the overt and covert psychological messages contained in selected,
socially-sanctioned rituals practiced by a majority of American women today,
and how they reinforce the values of the dominant culture.
From developing the ritual's purpose and theme, to the
incorporation of energetics, appropriate ritual structure, guidance for ritual
facilitation, magickal techniques, creating invocations, evaluating the ritual
experience, and an exploration of spiritual service and the priestess role in
the Dianic tradition, Ruth provides the tools and inspiration for women to
create transformation and bring more meaning to their lives through the art of
Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries is specifically
not a didactic ritual "cookbook," that tells the reader exactly what to do, and
rarely explains the reason or motivation behind a given enactment or symbol.
Instead, Ruth Barrett teaches women how to think like a ritualist and how to
develop the inner tools needed to create meaningful rituals on their own, with,
or for others. Working with a unique process that matches personal need with an
individual or group's intuitive creativity, Barrett guides the reader from the
center - out, starting with a deep exploration of the need for a specific
ritual and developing it into a clear purpose. The ritual's purpose is
intuitively explored to gather sensory information from the deep mind to create
the ritual's ambiance and the core work of the ritual enactments.
Barrett observes that when a ritual creation process
begins with the structure and ends with the content, the ritual will be limited
by the structure, rather than the structure supporting the creative content of
the ritual. Readers will learn how to create appropriate structure to support
the ritual experience they want with a variety of practices for purification,
raising energy, and circle casting.
A chapter on energetics for ritual delves into the
awareness and conscious working of energy to intentionally align, support, and
carry out the ritual's theme. From personal energetic preparation, preparation
for group ritual facilitators and participants, Barrett provides practices and
suggestions for this important and often overlooked aspect of the ritual
Rarely addressed in print before is the topic of how to
evaluate rituals in order to constantly learn from and improve upon them, and
discussion on the role of the ritual facilitator. Ritual facilitation as
spiritual service, the skills needed, and tips on what to know when creating
and preparing for a small or large group rituals that open to the public - are
a must for women drawn to providing rituals for others.
Ruth also includes her perspective on the roles and
responsibilities of the ritual priestess in ancient and contemporary times.
Ruth elaborates on the skills and attitudes needed for ongoing spiritual
service from her experience as a seasoned elder in the Dianic tradition.