The Role of Ritual Facilitators
Updated: Jul 11
Ritual facilitators have a special responsibility with regards to communicating with the participant(s) before starting the ritual, creating the space for the ritual, assuring that the ritual is performed in a safe manner, and looking after participants after the ritual is complete. In addition to these tasks, a facilitator must focus on keeping their ego out of the way.
Talk to participants before you start.
Some people desperately want a hand to hold and some people would rather not have anyone in their space at all, the time to figure that out is before you begin rather than after.
Ask them if they have any questions about the technical aspects of the ritual.
Ask them if they have any other preferences or wishes before you start.
Explain that this ritual is for them and that you are there to open and maintain the space but that the ritual belongs to them.
Do not attempt things with which you are not experienced or technically proficient.
If you need more experience or technical guidance, seek it out.
There is no shame in declining to do something that you are not comfortable with.
You are the arbiter of safety.
You have the final say and the final responsibility for the safety of a participant during the ritual. A person may insist that they do not want to wear a harness for an inverted suspension, for example, but, if it is necessary to include a harness for the sake of safety, you as a facilitator are responsible for insisting on it.
Get your ego out of the way.
The ritual is not about you; Facilitators are not Participants. Inserting yourself into the ritual to help a participant achieve ‘success’ may well rob the participant of a very meaningful learning experience (for this reason, talk to the participant before you start and ask them if and when they might want you to intervene).
Remember that, if you have done your part correctly, a participant’s perception of their own ‘success’ of ‘failure’ should have nothing to do with you.
If you cannot separate your own ego from a ritual participant’s experience, consider becoming a ‘suspension artist’ instead.
Photo: Katarsis foto