Yesterday’s post discussed a Pagan organization that did not do a good job of making a mildly disabled festival-goer feel welcome. I’m fortunate to be part of a community where there is a concerted effort to do things differently. They prefer to keep a low profile, so we’ll just call them the SSPG (Sooper Sekrit Pagan Gathering).

On SSPG’s e-mail list, an organizer of next season’s annual gathering is already gathering ideas for ways to include people of varying mobilities in the main ritual. She was challenged by a former dancer to come up with ways that everyone can dance — not just participate, DANCE. Among the suggestions from the group:

  • Raising energy by joining hands and making a “stirring the cauldron” motion with the joined hands.
  • Creating a center focal point where mobility-challenged people can move and drum (the outer group then performs a spiral dance, and at the center you have to kiss a drummer!).
  • An idea from a past SSPG ritual, in which participants sort themselves into Earth, Air, Fire and Water groups. Air, Fire and Water leave the ritual area to explore the outdoors and bring back symbols. Earth remains in the ritual space and does Earth-related work (I can envision consecrating a stone altar, for example).

I don’t know what the final ritual will look like, but I know that the organizers have shown courtesy and thoughtfulness in preparing for a variety of people to take a meaningful part — including listening to people who have disabilities.