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Thread: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

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    Sr. Member Ravenix's Avatar
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    My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    So, my Pagan Society at Uni went to a local woods yesterday and did a ritual, written by one of our members, in which we gave an offering to the genuis loci of the place and honoured the Gods of the Old Craft (intentionally a very vague term, we're a varied bunch) :P

    It was the first time my boyfriend had done anything quite like this- he's just getting started in Paganism- and tbh the ritual turned out to be a bit more powerful/complex than expected (the guy who wrote it works with some pretty potent deities, it seems). My boyfriend was fine up to a certain point, but then said that, when his eyes were closed, everything went white and he stopped feeling everything around him as much (pretty standard so far)... Then he suddenly felt what he could only describe as 'really horrible', as if he were going to pass out, and as if he were swaying violently on his feet (in fact he wasn't moving).

    After a lengthy discussion with my boyfriend and other members (including the guy who wrote the ritual), we're all pretty much agreed that nothing got into the circle and that my boyfriend was merely overwhelmed by the energy. I'm just annoyed that I didn't sense that he was in trouble, although I did want to ask if he was ok at one point but didn't want to disrupt the ritual... Now I know why *eyeroll*. We've all learned from it for the future, but my boyfriend is now reluctant to do any more rituals (understandably- he had done an open ritual that was pretty much a guided meditation and said nothing much happened for him).

    So now, I'm a) hoping to clarify that our suspicions are right (that it was just a bit much for him) and b) wondering how I ease him back into things without scaring the life out of him again. I feel pretty awful for not doing enough to prepare/protect him!
    "The Germans do not think it in keeping with the divine majesty to confine gods within walls or to portray them in the likeness of any human countenance. Their holy places are woods and groves, and they apply the names of deities to that hidden presence which is seen only by the eye of reverence." (Tacitus, `Germania', 9)

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    Silver Member Caelia's Avatar
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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    I agree it sounds like he got overwhelmed. Maybe you could start with more simple rituals and have him ground afterwards? That way he can get the idea to ground. If it also helps maybe (with his permission) develop an exercise where you introduce him to certain amounts of energy and, teach him to direct it, then increase it over time. That may help him differentiate between too much energy and "bad" energy.
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    Sr. Member Ravenix's Avatar
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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    I was thinking that, just to get his confidence up thanks!
    "The Germans do not think it in keeping with the divine majesty to confine gods within walls or to portray them in the likeness of any human countenance. Their holy places are woods and groves, and they apply the names of deities to that hidden presence which is seen only by the eye of reverence." (Tacitus, `Germania', 9)

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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    For most people, the point of ritual is to help enter a state of altered consciousness, but for a novice, the process can be uncomfortable and frightening. It sounds like your boyfriend is actually one of the 'lucky ones' for whom ritual is powerful and effective, while others sort of just go through the motions.

    Do you or your boyfriend practice breathing exercises at all? Have you worked on any grounding or centering exercises together? Usually that's the best introduction to energy work. Grounding & centering gets you used to working with your own personal energy levels and returning them to 'baseline'. Breathing exercises & visualizations, if done correctly, can induce a similar euphoria and lightening of the body without the loss of conscious control that ASCs can have.
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    Sr. Member Ravenix's Avatar
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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    It's weird as he went 'through the motions' in the first open ritual we went to (the guided meditation thing) and said it didn't really do anything for him. I should really have worked through some stuff with him first, however I did explain to him how stuff like grounding worked. Those are good ideas though
    "The Germans do not think it in keeping with the divine majesty to confine gods within walls or to portray them in the likeness of any human countenance. Their holy places are woods and groves, and they apply the names of deities to that hidden presence which is seen only by the eye of reverence." (Tacitus, `Germania', 9)

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    Member PhoenixMask's Avatar
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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    Sounds like it could have been an anxiety attack or he may have not eaten/slept properly.

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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    It's always a good idea to also look at the possible mundane causes, as well. Over-tiredness and anxiety over a new and mysterious-seeming experience are not unknown problems.

    There is the entire "auto-suggestion" area, where a person unconsciously sets themselves up with their imagination beforehand, which can result in a dramatic over-reaction to what actually is happening.

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    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: My boyfriend freaked out during his first ritual....

    I third looking at some mundane possibilities.

    One more: I have known someone who had something equally dramatic happen at an event and passed out. Turns out they were nervous and locking their knees while standing up

    Another thought is considering your boyfriend's religious/spiritual culture of origin. Some faiths ingrain the idea that what you were doing is wrong or bad much harder then others. I still run into stress and moments of panic because of that at times. Because of that, I've only recently felt any desire for looking into a local group, before now it pushed my buttons.

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