Druimaelduin on PCon 2010

Jayson RivestInterviewsLeave a Comment

It was a bit chilly on a Sunday afternoon and the hustle and bustle of the Rainbow Warriors’ weekly meeting had wound down, when I caught up with Druimaelduin. He and the Rainbow Warriors are preparing to present a ritual/discussion on Valentine’s weekend in San Jose as part of the PantheaCon; which is an annual conference for Witches and Pagans. While the event is geared towards those on the West Coast, it draws participants from all over the country.

A Wonderfully Romantic Wiccan RitualTheRainbowWarriors.org: “Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today.”

Druimaelduin: “My pleasure.”

TRW: “I understand that you and the Rainbow Warriors are busy getting ready for your upcoming PantheaCon presentation in San Jose.”

D: “Yes, we’re all really excited and having the best time preparing ourselves.”

TRW: ”What are you calling the presentation?”

D: “It is called the ‘Wonderfully Romantic Wiccan Ritual’. And the reason it is that is because it is going to be held over Valentine’s weekend; and it’s going to be held Friday night the 12th, which is the very first evening that they do carry the seminars and workshops at PantheaCon. And since it is kind of kicking off the weekend, I decided that it would be absolutely quite apropos if we did a ritual which set the tone for the entire weekend. So what I did is when I wrote this I wanted it to be very romantic, reflecting Valentines; but I also wanted to extrapolate that entire feeling of acceptance, compassion, love and understanding and all of those qualities that a successful relationship can actually build in a person… to extend that to the entire PantheaCon meet itself. So even if you weren’t necessarily looking for romance or something else, during the weekend on a personal level you would be able to incorporate those principals of love and understanding, acceptance and compassion into all of your interactions with everyone that you came into contact with through the weekend. And I do believe that what I have written will be successful in accommodating that end.”

TRW: “As I understand it, it’s going to be taking place around 7 o’clock; so that’s kind of prime time.”

D: “Absolutely. I’m very thrilled that they thought enough of what I wrote in my little synopsis to be able to give me that… that time slot. I was very excited. As a matter of fact, when I first introduced the entire concept, I wanted it to be like a training exercise because the theme of this year’s PantheaCon (because of the economy) is ‘Back to Basics’. In other words, making it all simple. Starting over kind of a thing. And so I thought, great… we’re really good at ritual. And so since we’re really good at ritual, why not just go ahead and try and have something put on… and submit something that would be reflective of our strengths. And so since that was the case, I went right ahead and started the synopsis with ‘We were going to do a ritual about ritual’ not knowing what was going to end up coming back down the tubes or down the pipe back at us; but when I saw that time slot, I instantly changed it… to something that would be more reflective of the weekend as opposed to the actual working that we wanted to do. We have included at the end of our presentation, time (hopefully, depending upon attendance) to actually discuss all of the elements of what takes place in a Wiccan ritual and how they all interweave to make the actual workings of the ritual effective as far as actually manifesting some sort of transformation or change, which is what ritual really is all about. Giving ourselves permission to evolve.”

TRW: “Have you ever done anything like this before as far as leading a group discussion in a public venue?”

D: “Not about ritual structure, this should be very interesting. I’m doing a lot of extra work. I’m going to have myself a little handbook because I think that I need to have at fingertip… examples of what a meditation is about… examples of what a working is about… examples of what a call would be to a god or goddess… examples of what a quarter call would be… because to really make a good ritual, I have found that even the words need to reflect the quality not only of the working, but the time of the year that it’s being done, which Sabbat is being celebrated, or what the actual intent of the ritual is. And the more that you can use a vocabulary that reflects all of the qualities of the intent or the Sabbat, the easier it is for all of the celebrants to hone in on that given intent or Sabbat because everything is reflective of it.”

TRW: “So, I see that essentially each ritual is very customized.”

D: “Absolutely. It has to be. You can do generic ritual if you want to and I know there are a lot of people who do, especially those who are really experienced… they don’t even have to write it, it just comes to them naturally. And depending upon the audience or the celebrants that they are trying to reach would depend upon the success. Now I do know from my experience from the last ten years that I have been involved in pagan rituals, Wiccan especially; that the more public, the simper it has to be. The more private that it is, the more complicated that it can be; because with the private rituals, you usually know the celebrants. You’re aware of how they interpret things. You are aware of their capacity to be able to absorb the information. And all of these things can be factored into the writing and presentation of the ritual. But when you are in a public venue: keep it simple, keep it direct, keep it tactile and tangible so everybody can relate to it on one level or another.

And those are the most successful. For instance, I went to one at San Diego’s Pagan Pride. It was the mid-day ritual. The lady who ran that, she did something really wonderful. She set up the quarters. She called in everybody that she felt was necessary. And what she wanted to do was she wanted to basically express the community in and of itself. Because there we were in the middle of the park and lots and lots of things going on around us, but here was this little bubble of pagans having the best time. And so she wanted everyone to feel really good about the fact that they were there expressing what they were publicly. And the way she was able to get everyone to take away from that given ritual something of that quality was… is she allowed everyone to take something of their own, put it into the middle of the circle and have it charged with that intent, so at the end of the ritual they could take it with them. So people were putting car keys, necklaces, rings, bracelets, hats, articles of clothing into the center of the circle so they could all be charged with that intent. So when the ritual was over, they would put their hat on… they would put their sweater on… they would put their necklace back on… they would put their ring back on… they’d put their keys in their pocket and they were carrying away a little piece and a little element of that intent which was to be proud of being a pagan in the middle of Balboa Park in San Diego on a fine August day.”

TRW: “Interesting. I understand that the Rainbow Warriors usually host open by invitation Sabbats and Full Moon rituals.”

D: “Right.”

TRW: “And you usually spend a fair amount of time preparing for those. How does preparing for something like PantheaCon differ, if at all, in your approach to getting ready for a ritual?”

D: “Number one. It’s public, so that leads to something that everybody can relate to on one level or another. Also too, it differs in the levity and the quality of the words. You can’t get too intensely heavy in a public ritual in that kind of venue and expect people to go away from it thinking that they have experienced something of value unless they were really really focused on the subject matter of the workshop, seminar, or ritual is. In other words, if I was doing something a given goddess, an Orisha in a Brazillian tradition that would basically call to a very specific amount of people that would be there. If I am trying to connect with everybody or at least a lot of people, trying to teach them something; you would want something that would be relatively tangible for them to be able to accept it. And so we’ve done something about something everyone can relate to… Valentine’s Day. And we’ve taken it and we’ve made it kind of fun. It’s not super serious. There’s a lot of gags and giggles in this, there really is… but if you look through those words and after you’ve stopped laughing, if you really examine what’s being said it has a lot of import about how you should approach anybody in a relationship of any kind. Using integrity, truth, respect, and self-responsibility as a reflection of the way you engage everyone at all times. Because that way you can come away with something of value from the interaction with a given person. So basically it’s like the message within the bottle is not necessarily what you see, but the impression you are left with at the end of the evening.”

TRW: “I see, so it’s like you’re coating the medicine of the message with sugar.”

D: “Yes, we’re coating the message with sugar and calling it medicine. That’s a good way of looking at it.”

TRW: “So a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

D: “Absolutely. Now for those people who are really familiar with ritual, especially Wiccan ritual; and they understand what the words that I’m saying actually mean, they will find many levels of meaning within it. So not only are the words reflecting a given quality, but it also is a key to open the mind to explore other meanings. For instance, there’s one line that I use in the call of Aphrodite (which is the goddess that we are using this time) and it says, ‘Help us to see the wisdom of fate’s fantasies.’ Which is my favorite line of the whole ritual. And if you really stop and think about that, do Fate’s really have fantasies? And if they do, are they wise? Now that’s something for you to wrestle with for the next month if you really stop and think about it. Or it’s just as easy to see as night and day, depending on where you are coming from with your own personal spirituality.”

TRW: “So people are able to take away from it whatever they are willing to put into it.”

D: “Absolutely.”

TRW: “That’s good because people who are there just to have a good time, can go and enjoy themselves and those who are looking for a little something deeper…”

D: “It’s there. I try to incorporate that in all of my writing.”

TRW: “Speaking of writing. As I understand it, you do pretty much all of the writing for the Rainbow Warriors. Is that the case?”

D: “That is the case.”

TRW: “That is something that obviously you feel very called to do.”

D: “Yes. The Rainbow Warriors as a tradition… what we do is ask all of those people who are willing to invest the immense amount of time and that very specific and divine part of themselves to the group to bring with them to the group what they have. If I didn’t know how to write, I certainly wouldn’t be writing. If I knew how to sing, I’d probably be writing songs and entertaining people. If I was very theatrical, I would probably end up doing the directing and the staging of our rituals. If I wasn’t good at that, but I could build props; I would probably make all of the props. Or any combination there of. It all depends on just exactly what you have to bring to the group. And not only that too, but we honor all forms of divine. We really do. So if I am resonating with Norse mythology that does not necessarily negate my ability to do a Wiccan ritual, I bring that flavor with me. If I was into Egyptian, then I would bring that flavor with me to ritual as I came. If I was the same with either Tantric or Hindu, or if I was a Witta, or some other form of ceremonial in my training… well chances are I would bring those flavors to the group. And it would affect what we’re doing, but it would be a positive and accurate reflection of who the group was.”

TRW: “So the group is definitely a reflection of the saying ‘The sum is greater than the individual parts’.”

D: “I like to believe so. Yes.”

TRW: “And you guys have been around since 1999? 2000? Somewhere around there?”

D: “Yes, ah-huh. Nathair and Pan, two founding members, they were the ones who basically initiated and formulated and set the Rainbow Warriors into action. I believe it was Litha 2000, if I remember correctly. That was our founding ritual. I myself was not part of that. I was busy doing something else at the time; even though I was directly involved with Pan. And Nathair was somebody who was new to us and was learning how to work with us and it became time to make that transition from study group to coven. So they sat down and worked it all out and they started it all up. And they did a very good job of it. And then I joined in a little bit later when I felt that I was ready to become part of the group myself. So it was all good. It was… but yes, we have been around for ten years now. And it is a reflection of the strength and quality of what Nathair and Pan put down that we are still a group which is viable and living. We’ve had people come, we’ve had people go, but we’re still working. And we’re still holding on to the same principals and we have basically built a tradition and an egregore which is seen favorably by the pagan community at large. From the feedback we get. And so we have to be doing something right.”

TRW: “Well it sounds like it. From my understanding it’s not uncommon for covens to start and stop within the time span of a year even.”

D: “Yes, that’s true. I have seen that happen. It all depends upon the willingness and devotion of the people to get beyond themselves and are willing to be able to even grasp the concept of a group mentality and honor that over and above themselves.”

TRW: “Not an easy thing to do.”

D: “Not an easy thing to do. Because even of myself, there are times when I am in a quandary or position within the group, where even though I think what I would like to see happen is probably better than what everybody else is… if I’m in the minority, I don’t say anything. I go along with the majority. I am willing to give up personal desires and wishes to the good of the group and I am willing to embrace the other thoughts, only because I know in the long run it’s the group that’s being served, not me. And if the group is strong, it’s a direct positive reflection on me as being part of the group.”

TRW: “So it sounds like the group is very democratic, which is not necessarily the norm for a Wiccan coven.”

D: “Traditionally, correct. But it works for us and so we embrace that. And also what that does is it empowers each and every individual within the coven. It really does because nobody feels like they are only within a specific station within the group and that they feel inhibited in their ability to actually participate or share or contribute to the group itself for fear of being over or outside of their given station as dictated by those who are in charge of the group. I understand that magickally and even training wise, there are legitimate concerns for that because you wouldn’t necessarily want an untrained dufus telling everybody what they should be doing in the group if they didn’t know what they were talking about and then having issues with everybody else because they weren’t being honored. So I can understand that there needs to be a little bit of discipline and hierarchy, but those can all be set out in bylaws or they can all be set out in whatever is in the covenant that you sign on to when you become part of the coven. And if that is setup to where everybody does have a voice, great! We’ve done it and it works for us.”

TRW: “Going back to PantheaCon for just a moment, I understand that you guys have actually presented at PantheaCon before.”

D: “It’s been a while. In 2002, what we did is we had put on a ritual play that was all about acceptance of not specific gender identifications within the group. In other words, what had happened was and this is kind of funny. We had gone to a seminar put on by a woman who is now a man by the name of Pat Califia, I believe his name was, talking about how there really wasn’t any sort of rituals that had been put together honoring or celebrating people who aren’t of specific male or female gender identification. Because especially in Wicca, a lot of the manifestation of the magick is done by a combining of male and female energies in a process called the Great Rite, which honors the uniting of a balance of two different forms of energy. There are a lot of people who are not necessarily straight or have a given gender identification who can relate to that. Lots of times they are lost somewhere in the nebulous middle… somewhere. And so they were carrying on about how they didn’t have a specific ritual for themselves, well me, I stood up and opened my big mouth and said ‘Hey we’ll write your ritual’. And we did. And it was very successful, it was called ‘The Circle of Humanity’, I don’t want to get into the specifics of it now, but basically what it did… it was all about honoring and accepting people of non-traditional gender identifications in order to be able to feel good about themselves and feel a part of the community. And it was really well accepted. It wasn’t attended by a whole lot of people because it was our first ritual, but we got good elevator out of it.”

TRW: “It sounds like something that could definitely be used right now with everything going on in California with Prop 8 and the Supreme Court.”

D: “Yes, it would be. It’s a bit of a production. It would take a little bit more time and money to be able to present it again, but I still feel that it is very timely even though it is eight years old. I still feel it is very timely. And it would be well received. Especially if this [Wonderfully Romantic Wiccan Ritual] goes over well at PantheaCon and people remember us the next the might see the Rainbow Warriors in the program they would say to themselves, ‘Oh, they put on a really nice ritual. Lets go and see what that’s all about again’. Because I really think that we have a quality product, if you want to call it a product, to share with everyone; because we do take what we do seriously, not necessarily ourselves, but we do take what we do very seriously.”

TRW: “Eight years is a long time between presenting. Why not present anything sooner?”

D: “Well, I had made a couple of other subjects, I had gone ahead and applied for acceptance; but I was refused. And believe it or not, this time around it wasn’t even my own idea. Being the ham that I am, I have no problem getting in front of a group and talking and I do think that I have something worthwhile to say… but I was spurred on by one of my covenmates, Hotep, and he was the impetus behind saying ‘Why don’t you do something about ritual because you’re so good at it.’ So I said, ‘What the heck, why not?’ So I went ahead and did something about ritual and low and behold they actually said yes. So away we go. But also too, believe it or not PantheaCon is the kind of meet, where you don’t have to put something on to feel part of the group or be able to take something away from the meet itself. There’s so much going on and there’s such a diversity of ideas and thoughts there that it’s a duke’s mixture and you can mix and match as you so desire and come away with something very positive even though you yourself are not necessarily presenting something. So that has been my experience for this long period of time and I have felt the need now, especially as I stay longer in the Craft, to be able to start realistically sharing what I am going through with other people because I think it has value and merit.”

TRW: “I know that you are including some other people aside from just the Rainbow Warriors.”

D: “Yes, we are. That’s one of the elements of this ritual that doesn’t make it specifically Rainbow Warrior, but it is still a reflection of our tradition. But we’ve expanded and opened it up in order to be able to include other people to make it even more user friendly for those who will be attending. There are members of the pagan community, for instance High Priestess Regan is going to be accompanying us on her harp. And she has her own following and she is also a very talented musician and harp player and we feel very fortunate to be able to have her as part of the group. Another friend of ours Rón Sunstriker is going to be a member of the group, I won’t tell you what his involvement is because it’s kind of a secret. But we wanted him to be part of it because he attends our rituals and is very close to us. And we wanted him to be a part of it because I know that he could accurately reflect what it is that we need from him. So yes, there are some people that are new… also too, we have a new student who is now considering studying with the Rainbow Warriors and we have literally thrown her into the middle of the pool and asked her to swim by giving her a part. And because it’s not necessarily a traditional Rainbow Warrior ritual in and of itself, the elders within the group have given me permission to go ahead and include her in it. Because we need her and I think it would be really good training for her.”

TRW: “Well, it sounds like everything is going to be a smashing success. Have you ever used live music in your rituals before?”

D: “No. Only canned music. This is the first time that we have actually used live music, which makes this even more exciting for us. It’s going to make it very fresh for us. Even though we are basically the ones who have come up with the ritual, it’s still going to be very fresh for us, because it adds a whole new layer of interest and intrigue which we normally don’t have in our rituals. And by the way, even though I did write this, I am certainly not the only author. There is always feedback from the other members of the group which is very positive. It allows the ritual to morph into something which is a direct reflection of all of the members. It’s just not my words. I am the one who will put the words on paper. I am the one who will make it all sound really fun and lovely, but they are the ones that have to make it live. And so if they need it modified or if they have ideas of their own that will actually hone in better than I have on the intent of the words or specific part of the ritual; it becomes part of the ritual too. So the ritual is not necessarily mine, even though I authored it. It is a reflection of the Rainbow Warriors as a group.”

TRW: “So that ties back to the whole democratic feel that you guys seem to have manifested within the group.”

D: “Yes. Just as a rational human being, if someone has a better idea than I do; why would I be foolish by not embracing it. I mean I have an ego, yes… Lord knows. And everybody who knows me, knows I have an ego; but when it comes to somebody being able to manifest something better than I am… I’ll go with that because it only serves my best interests too.”

TRW: “You’re a wise man, Druimaelduin.”

D: “Why thank you.”

TRW: “And thank you very much for chatting with me today.”

D: “Absolutely. My pleasure and I hope you can make it to our ritual because it’s going to be an absolute blast!”

TRW: “I will certainly try and I hope all of our readers can make it too.”

D: “Lets hope so too.”

TRW: “Thanks, Blessed Be.”

D: “Blessed Be.”

About the Author

Jayson Rivest

Facebook Twitter

Jayson combines his decades of Craft experience with his 15+ years as a Reiki Master to assist his clients to unlock their potential, release their fears, and embrace their passions!

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *