No, not organized religion as in Christianity, Judaism, or anything…
Organized like- in groups. With a leader.
I was watching an introductory video to a Druidic path, which showed lots of people in England gathered to observe Lughnasadh, and while I could envision myself going through the rites and saying the lines, I could only see myself doing it alone or in a small group. I mentally placed myself in the crowd, and immediately felt myself close up.
I have difficult times in crowds, not to mention actually trying to conduct ritual in a crowd. The only times I’ve ever had ritual, and had actually been open and feeling it was in a small group, as a duo, or alone. I feel vulnerable in a crowd, and vulnerable in ritual- no lies, no pretenses- and I can’t do that in a crowd.
Just realizing this makes me remember some of the open circles I’ve attended, and how disconnected I felt from everything- and not because the others didn’t seem genuine, but because I didn’t trust them all. The only time I’ve ever done a ritual in a large group was during my training. It was an ‘open’ circle, when I was in the military- so attendees were mostly military, or family of military- so I already have a level of trust with them. Plus, my HP and HPs were there, who I trusted implicitly. I acted as the maiden of the circle, and therefore had some leadership-ish power of my own, which made me feel safe as well. I was in charge of cleansing and sometimes casting the circle, as well as challenging attendees, and/or smudging them. Having a level of control helped, even when our circle would have many people I didn’t know.
It just makes me feel sad though, that I can’t be a part of the many open circles I know of in the area- just because I don’t trust them. I don’t know them, and I can’t open my most secret heart to just anybody.
How do you do in open circles? How are you able to open up and actually be part of it?