Mishkan ha-Echad

Friday, 11 September 2009

The Ritual Voice

Performance of ritual, especially in a group setting, requires a number of things, but one of the most important (and yet frequently overlooked) aspects is the ability to act out the role in a way that creates an impression on all present. This requires firstly that the officer read their part with vigour, not simply a dull recitation. They are no longer Frater "Bob" but Frater Hierophant, for example, and represent forces greater than the physical enactment of the ritual makes apparent. Thus a certain ability to perform is required and one of the most vital aspects of this performance is how each part of the ritual is read. Too many times I encounter barely audible voices of officers or a reading as if the ritual was the most boring thing on earth. It is not boring, and it should not be made to appear that way by a monotonous tone.

Z3 gives explicit instructions on how a ritual is to be read and performed:

"The Ritual should be read in a loud, clear, stern and solemn voice so as to impress the Candidate with the solemnity of the occasion. In this, there should be no foolish nervousness or hesitation, but the Ritual as performed by an initiated Hierophant should become in his hands something more than this."

And further on:

"Let him speak, then, not as if unto an assembly of mortals but as to an assembly of Gods. Let his voice be so directed as to roll through the Universe to the utmost confines of space."
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