“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert So what are the rituals that are a part of your life? Do you turn to them in times of loss and pain? Do you seek them to honor and celebrate? Have they become part of your spiritual essence and bring a depth to your practice and a beauty to your life?
Our current culture has its rituals, though we do not often call them that. For some reason that word does not flow so comfortably from one’s tongue as it could and possibly should. Yet, look around you and you will see the many rituals that we have in our day. We have rituals to honor our country with the pledge of allegiance to the flag, we have rituals around our birthdays with the singing of the Happy Birthday song, and we have rituals around our holidays with the lighting of a Menorah, the decoration of trees and homes, and the attendance to religious ceremonies. We also have rituals tied to certain meals that we make and clothing that we wear. All of these rituals are done to bring special attention to a life event, a specific holy day or a right of passage.
But what other rituals have you looked for or even created to honor situations in your life that the more traditional does not cover and society accepted rituals do not address? In our home we celebrate the summer and winter solstice and spring and autumnal equinox of the year. We honor the cycle of the moon. We have rituals around intention setting and more. We have created very personalized rituals around specific rites of passage for our children and our role as parents.
For myself, personally, as a shaman many of my rituals use tools that are in direct relation to my practice whether it be the use of my soul stick to gather and send energies, the use of other altar tools to set intentions, the observance of symbolism or the reading of runes or cards to interpret messages and meanings. Rituals aid in setting a specific tone and draw in the essence of what we are seeking. Additionally, rituals act as a release to the emotion and presence that surrounds what we are honoring. Ritual connects our body, our mind, our hearts and our soul together as one. In this union we combine the humanness of who we are to the spiritual of who we are. In the energies created within this amalgamation we cross from the ordinary of our everyday to the sacred and revered of our life’s journey. Bringing ritual into our daily life creates spiritual space and presence within our regular everyday.
Blessings ~ Lisa
©COPYRIGHT 2013 Lisa Meade