One fateful day, after Lammas Monologues, hosted by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, I gave my permission to be cast as a Grace for Spring Mysteries Festival 2017. Little did I know, how demanding, and how rewarding this role would ultimately prove to be.
While I cannot give many details about the journey of Spring Mysteries, because it is something we all must experience for ourselves; I wanted to share my journey as a cast member for this intrinsic and profound experience.
The rehearsal schedule was demanding. Just like any production worth their salt, the ATC takes their responsibilities to the travelers to Eleusis very seriously. By August the previous year, we knew our roles, and shortly after Hekate’s Sickle Festival in October our schedule began. Every Sunday was spent rehearsing lines, energies, costumes and more.
Silly me, I had thought that being one of the Graces would be a simple role. Just sing, and be merry right?
The Goddess has many faces, and in this assumption I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Being a Grace, means not only working with the energy of one of the Graces, but of the Furies, and the Fates as well. There is a triad of energy one learns to manage and maintain, while still memorizing lines and songs. Learning to balance, and interweave that presence with the Gods, the cast, and the participants was life changing.
One energy is that of new beginnings. The Grace energy took me on a ride of gently but firmly mastering the ability to see the new, to nurture love and joy. The second energy of the Furies is intense, and obviously angry. For myself it was easy to become the Den Mother of the ritual, the bridge between the pilgrims and the Gods. However, it was not easy to let myself be angry.
So much of our society has no place for true rage to be channeled in a healthy way. Rehearsal after rehearsal, I struggled with this emotion. How to emote pure primordial rage without succumbing to it? I tried different props, I tried different makeup, I tried screaming exercises. It really wasn’t until it was that weekend, that the energy finally fell into place and allowed me to be terrifying, and angry while consciously not invoking the Furies, or bringing unwanted energies into the Holy Rite and Sacred Space of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The third and final energy is that of the Fates. They watch, they witness the travelers on their path. This was the eternal quiet. There was no place for ego, there was no place for false modesty. This energy was almost like the witching hour. We’ve all felt that one time during the day, where we realize and acknowledge our own power and we realize that we are ‘the most powerful thing on earth’ and can do anything! Yet, with that knowledge is also a profound sense of understanding of where that energy can be channeled to the best benefit.
Graceful joy. Enraged Fury. Fateful acceptance.
Three energies, combined into one like a pyramid sheltering all those who came to seek the mysteries.
I now sing a little louder.
I now communicate my feelings more clearly.
I now wait patiently and powerfully as I observe my path and the direction I walk without guilt or fear.
Being cast as one of the Graces, was NOT simple.
This being said, there is no ‘small’ role in the Mysteries. There is no ‘throw-away’ part for the mildly committed. Every single aspect is vitally important, and touches every cast member as well as those attending in new and transformative ways.