Pagan Blog Project – week 24 – L#2 – Laughter
Back in the day, my dear Bishop-friend would sign his emails “laughter is the best medicine.” At the time I found it to be very appropriate for him. He’s a jolly guy with an eclectic sense of humor. And certainly he’s seen his fair share of hardship in his life, so it only made sense that laughter meant a lot to him, or in some instances, was therapeutic.To him, laughter is medicine.
One of the best lessons I learned as a Baby Pagan was that the Gods like to laugh. They do! Certainly my foundational/training coven had its serious moments, but for the most part, we loved to get together to laugh. There was no type of humor that was off-limits, from light and campy to very dark and macabre. We loved sarcasm, puns, and even the occasional fart joke.
The Coven had a favorite story from a ritual that was from before my time. In our tradition, the High Priest and High Priestess would call God and Goddess for every ritual. How they did the invocation was up to them – let it come to them, free form, complex, simple, scripted, memorized, etc. Mostly, they just made it up on the spot, or rather, let the words come to them for what was appropriate for that moment or that ritual, or whichever words came to them through Divine Inspiration. So, in this one particular ritual, the High Priestess gave a really eloquent invocation. Really top-notch impressive When it came to the High Priest (who was very well spoken and educated) his mind went totally blank! He said he started to freak out, and the only words that came to him were those from Monty Python…
Ooh, You are so big...
So absolutely huge.
Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.”
So the whole Coven started laughing and said their “blessed be's” and continued the ritual, and despite the perceived “mistake”, the group said that the High Priest's “stumble” really added to the ritual. They laughed and laughed and laughed, they felt goofy and silly, but sometimes we’re just so overwhelmed by the wonder and majesty of the universe that we can't help but get a little tongue tied, especially in the middle of ritual. Well, Gosh. We’re just so impressed, I tell you what.
Also, it’s nice to not take oneself so seriously.
So this ability to laugh during rituals is something that was instilled in me early on in my Pagan studies, and it’s something I haven’t lost. (At least, I hope not.) Gee, of all the mistakes that can be made during a ritual, I feel like I’ve made them all! I’ve caught stuff on fire, or had no fire, or spilled water, or angered the gods, or forgot all of my supplies, or spoke over someone’s part, or didn’t write a part, or skipped whole parts of the ritual, or my mind went blank, or it became overwhelmed, or someone farted, or I burped, or… anything!
And what I’ve learned is that what we do can be really serious and really solemn, yes. But we’re just humans, and humans are pretty goofy and weird, and that Deity really, truly has a sense of humor. Just look at mythology. Some of that shit is really fucking weird. So the Gods know how to laugh, and I think they like it when we laugh, too. After all, the Charge of the Goddess reminds us
“Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.”
So don’t worry so much about fucking your stuff up. It will be okay. Just laugh, diffuse the tension, gather your thoughts, and continue on what you were doing. For realsies. Laugh at yourself sometimes, because I promise, the Gods are laughing at you, too.