...I have always believed the paths/wiccan,pagen or many others were more open ended and less closed mind which is what has made them more appealling in recent years.
This is true...but as a wise person once said, "Open mindedness is good...but don't be SO open minded that your brains fall out".
What seems to be the sticking point in this aspect of this thread is Free Will. Not going to Mass, Shul, Temple, or Ritual is, after all, your own choice. NO G-d, G-dess, saint, angel, demon, or otherwise is "holding a gun to" your physical head. The fact that you should
desire to be there is a BIG point. A VERY big point.
So, in summum, "ARE rituals NECESSARY"? No, I suppose they aren't. But hey, it's YOUR Karma, YOU deal with it.