Oh fer fux sake!
I nearly said that tonight when my fire wouldn't light. Everything was set: Pillars with candles at the quarters, the logs and twigs placed just so in the fire pit, the ritual items, libations and incense all ready....
Lit the candles... check.
Invoked the circle and the guardians... check.
Lit the fire.... not so much.
What happens when you run into technical difficulties? Lighter not working? Forgot something? Candle keeps going out? Incense burns too fast? Smoke is blowing in your face? Offerings fall on the floor? Wine went bad? Someone screws up their part?All of these have happened to me at one point or another. I think that's why it's important to have a sense of humor.
We worked on that fire... I promised I would let the fire burn out by itself (in the past I've helped speed it along. heh.). I used paper for kindling, we chanted, we asked the elementals to help... We tried everything from lighters to matches to placing frankencense strategically to help it catch (sine its a resin it flames up and takes a while to burn). Then after we'd had enough of asking for help, I left the Grove and got a sterno can. I dumped the fuel onto the logs and lit it up. DONE! RAWR! lol It worked for a while- long enough for us to take care of business, then the flames went out and the two remaining logs just glowed and smoldered.
What do you do when things go wrong? Improvise! That's part of the class Evil Twin and I are offering: Improvisation. You need to practice being sharp minded and quick on your feet, before you have to be sharp-minded and quick on your feet.
So back to what to do when things go awry: You do something else, you use a different ingredient, you correct your words, you go back and fix it, you call upon your energy and your allies to correct what needs correction on that plane, or you get practical -if you can- and step out of ritual and get it.
The trick is to do it with minimal drama and attention! I don't mean you have to keep on a poker face, but don't huff and puff and fuss and whine. Take it with the proverbial grain of salt. In addition, keeping a sense of humor, and your wits about you helps. Calling yourself names does not (I've seen this happen on many occasions "Oh I'm an idiot!" has been uttered by more than one person leading a ritual). Sometimes it means you need to do something else. Sometimes it's a message. Sometimes it's a Trickster. Other times? Shit happens. You just have to listen to your intuition and roll with it.