The Power of Ritual                
                                                                                by Ruth Rhiannon Barrett
        Ruth Rhiannon Barrett is a seasoned Dianic elder priestess, ritualist, and educator.  She has been teaching Feminist Craft and ritual-making internationally since her ordination by Z Budapest in 1980, is former religious director of Circle of Aradia in Los Angeles, a local chapter of Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, and has just established  the Spiral Door Women's Mystery School of Magick and Ritual Arts,  a 4-6 year program of training for ritual and guardian priestesses out of Madison, Wisconsin.   In 1997, Ruth was recipient of the L.A.C.E. award for outstanding contributions in the area of Spirituality from the Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles.  Ruth teaches and gives concerts internationally, and has recently completed a  book on ritual-making for women.  She is also a musician and award-winning recording artist of original Goddess-oriented songs. Her cds include The Early Years, Aeolus, Music of the Rolling World, Deepening, A Dulcimer Harvest, The Heart is the Only Nation, and Parthenogenesis.

        Barrett has been helping women to demystify patriarchal teachings and experiences through Goddess ritual for twenty-one years.  In her chapter, she draws on these experiences to explain how and why she believes effective ritual works.  She breaks ritual into its component parts to show how “conscious” ritual is constructed and then demonstrates her teachings with the example of a healing ritual for a rape survivor.  She points out that Goddess ritual is an active experience rather than a passive one.  It changes the consciousness of those involved by engaging both mind and body.  In order for it to be successful, she argues, the whole self must be present and involved.  It is this initial wholeness of focus that permits the development of a healed, transformed and empowered self.

Ruth Barrett's
           The  Spiral DoorWomen'sMystery School of Magick and Ritual Arts

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