As a ritualist I often will turn to my practice to bring alignment to my needs with my hopes, to highlight intention in my actions, or to shed awareness to my words. Doing so establishes an honor to my efforts and an energy to them as well.
Rituals can be found in many spiritual books and websites. My most favorite and often most effective are those though that come from my own being as they have my breath in them, my heart and passion and my longings and awareness. Some rituals have many layers to them and can be quite deep in process and ceremony, while others gain tremendous power from their simplicity.
Rituals can be done to honor seasonal intentions, life's rites of passage, healing opportunities and more. They can be done at specific times of the day, phases of the moon or during significant life stages. I think that rituals can be as unique and splendid as the person acting upon them.
For some, the word ritual creates a snag, yet we are surrounded by them in our day to day lives. Many have rituals that they perform around the holidays, for example. Take the kissing beneath the mistletoe or the breaking of a turkey's wishbone, these are rituals. Rituals can be done at life events such as the tossing of the bride's bouquet at a wedding or the showering of a mother to be at a baby shower. Rituals also can be quite sacred and based on a person's spiritual practice, such as the various rituals we perform at the time of a loved one's death.
The next time you are facing a major life event, try creating a ritual that can honor this passage. Bring to the ritual specific intentions, honor from where you have come and to where you are going on your life's path, or choose symbolism that helps embody the essence of this time for you.
Perhaps a ritual can be created to honor an intention you are setting for yourself. Where do you want to focus your energies? Are there colors that, for you, create powerful meaning about this? If so use them. Is there an action that you can do that embodies this intention that you can incorporate into your ritual?
Bringing your creative self to your ritual planning allows you to incorporate so many different things that can have great meaning to you; music, family artifacts, images, colors, flowers, crystals, food and more.
Bring your playful soul out and allow it to dance with the sacredness of your ritual. See what comes to mind, what awakens and what longs to be honored. Whether it be small and private or more festive and community based is up to you, but the sacred act of bringing ritual to your practice can create a tremendous amount of power, healing, beauty and celebration to your moment of recognition. It will most certainly create a memory making event out of it so that you can often recall the intent of the moment, the special role it played in your life and the way in which your brought your soul's energies to your spiritual practice and life event.