When it’s time for dinner, people all around the world gather together with their families or communities to share a meal. Ritual. Right before a meditation session, you burn sage. Ritual. On the first day of spring, you plant a seed. Ritual. A ritual can be anything you want or need it to be. The point of a ritual is to be intentional about what you are doing--to be fully in the moment and actively benefiting from your presence and participation. That is ritual. Rituals can take us deeper into a seemingly meaningless or mundane activity. It can create a sacred space and a sacred moment. That is the importance of ritual. That is why we feel so compelled toward it.
Ritual allows us to connect to the divine. Think of it as a sort of spiritual umbilical cord. And if you’re anything like me, you may be questioning how to go about rituals. Should I just make something up? Is there a book on what to do, how to do it and when? Are there rules to this and is there some sort of manual? More importantly, do I need to involve someone else like a priest or a shaman? These are all great and totally normal questions to which the answer is simple. Do what feels good to you.
Society would have us think that we need guidance, but this is typically untrue. Society says, “How dare you presume to know what is best for yourself.” But the truth is that you do know what you need, and it’s okay to experiment with ways to get what you need. Your rituals don't have to be elaborate or ordained by some authoritative figure. Of course, through reading and study you may come across some rituals that really resonate with you, and that is perfectly fine. You may find journaling, prayers, routines or practices that make you think, “I got this!”
A Simple Daily Ritual
For instance, my daily ritual is waking up in the morning expressing gratitude, light a "Master Healer" candle and journal my intentions for the day. I also like bath rituals. Over time I began to be more intentional about my cleansing time. I move in a very specific order and I speak to each body part as I go along. I thank my body for carrying me through this life and housing my spirit. After my bath, I spray on my aura mist & put on my homemade shellac (it’s just some shea butter and herbal oils). As I moisturize each body part I speak life, wellness and gratitude to it. I find it to be empowering and affirming. See, it doesn’t have to require prayers, libations, smoke or other people. It can if you like, but it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
For example, you can ritualize your everyday morning routine, meditation or yoga practice. By setting aside a special time and place for it, you will be creating rituals. Perhaps you begin by smudging your space or lighting a candle. Maybe you start with a libation and a prayer. It will be what you will it to be.
Whether or not you feel the need for ritual in your life, you may find it very beneficial to your journey and your growth. Every culture that has ever lived on the face of this Earth has had some kind of ritual, whether it is called that or not. It is a natural instinct that reaches out to our humanity and our spirit. Try it out and see how it feels.
Peace & Blessings!