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Describe some of the roles individuals might take on within the context of ritual. (minimum 100 words)

1) Priest/ess:

The priest/ess is the single person responsible for everything working in the ritual. S/he is responsible for the ritual working correctly and achieving the aim the group wishes to achieve. This role does not necessarily need to be a position of authority, but it should be one of experience. Many Neo-Pagan groups have rituals where everyone is equal, but even then there needs to be a person in charge of the energy flow who knows what to do when the shit hits the fan. Many Neo-Pagan groups will have more than one priest/ess, but I feel that there should be a single person in charge of energy flow and keeping things moving well in the ritual.

In ADF ritual, this person is usually the Senior Druid of the Grove, though this is not necessarily the case. This person is responsible for the energy flow and makes sure that the ritual is properly facilitated. Until recently, the priest/ess in Three Cranes rituals has been doing most of the invocations and many other jobs. Those duties are lessening as time goes on and more people can take work from him/her. A priest/ess does not necessarily need to do a significant portion of the ritual.

Usually, the priest/ess maintains connection to the upper realm, to the Deities.
2) Bard
The bard helps the ritual attendees learn the chants (if any) to be used in ritual, leads the Praise Offerings, and invokes inspiration or a creative force. If so skilled, s/he will play an instrument to aid in the acquisition of trance state. Bards should have some form of voice training, and be proficient in using a commanding tone if necessary.

In Three Cranes, the bard does several invocations. Often the bard is a connection to this realm and the Nature Spirits.
3) Seer
The seer takes omens, gives visions, etc. during the rite, and announces the interpretation of said omens.

Most often, the seer is connected with the lower realm and the Ancestors.
4) Warder
This is a person (usually large and slightly intimidating) who is designated to act as a bouncer of some type. Most often, they answer the questions of people who stumble onto the ritual, remove unruly persons from the rite, and keep people who want to break up the rite away. Often, s/he is armed with literature, a cool temper, a cell phone, and a big stick (for emphasis).
5) Sacrificer
This is a person who gives the proper sacrifice to the proper deity at the proper place at the proper time. This frees up the person doing an invocation to use gesture or movement to increase the power of the sacrifice.
6) Liturgist
This is the person who writes the liturgy, deciding what sacrifices go to which deity where and when, the orientation of the altar, and other miniscule matters that sometimes mean nothing and often mean everything. Itís a nitpicky job.
7) Bit Parts
Occasionally, actors are required for certain parts, such as representing a deity or putting on a short skit in the middle of the ritual.
8) Fire Tender
Keeps the fire going, and keeps the sacrificer from catching on fire. If the sacrificer does catch on fire, the fire tender puts them out. Also responsible for making sure the fire is out at the end of the rite.
9) Altar Boy/Girl
Three Cranes once found it useful to have an altar boy to hold a liturgy the priest had not memorized. It was actually very useful.
10) Participant
Not to be overlooked, there are the people who participate in the ritual. Their job is to lend energy to the other people in the rite.


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