What do you think of when you hear the word ritual?
We hear it all the time in some Spiritual circles especially if you study Shamanism or Wicca. They are often thought of as dark magic, scary things we should stay away from. This could not be more wrong!
A ritual is making coffee in the am.
Taking a bath after work.
Having a glass of wine at the end of a trying day.
When we talk about ritual in a Spiritual sense there may be other reasons why you choose do them and the why they are important is what I want to chat about today.
A ritual is a prescribed order of actions and the reason why I like rituals is because they help me to set my intent. I don’t need them… But I do find when working with clients that they help them to get closer to the mindset I’m in when healing. I’m focused and I need them to focus and set the intent for themselves so the benefit lasts longer. This also teaches them they can do this too. All it takes is a bit of focus and intent along with determined energy to make life a bit easier.
I don’t need to burn sage to clear someone but as a client myself, I always appreciate when my instructor comes over to me with her sage stick or bowl. It becomes sacred time. A time I know someone else is caring for me and being gentle with me, ensuring I get exactly what I need out of the upcoming meditation or class. It brings me back into focus for what I want to enjoy. I certainly don’t want to go on a shamanic journey with the days events plaguing me.
Many times rituals are done outside after a house clearing. Generally the ashes from the sage bowl are either buried in the ground or scattered at the end of the driveway- all this is is adding to the intent that the home is protected and clear from outside negative baggage. (We all have baggage and sometimes it gets out of control because we are busy busy)
Some of my favorite rituals are a few from a shamanic tradition I’ve learned in classes.
Blessing and thanking Mother Earth for her gifts and the gifts of the universe by putting a mound of cornmeal (jiffy corn muffin mix works fine- it’s the intent!!)and pouring some milk over it on New Year’s day to show gratitude for abundance, blessing a glass of water before I drink it and then pouring a sip or two into the sink to bless the waterways (I do wish I had a stream in my yard… Ah, someday) and my absolute favorite is driving with no music on and just enjoying the quiet and ready for the day. This is when I set my affirmation for the day.
Many cultures have rituals and some of them are just amazing and beautiful. The Mexican Day of the Dead, Church feast days, the Catholic Church is all ritual and tradition that seeks to bring comfort during difficult times. Meditation is an important ritual all churches advocate for in praying, it isn’t just eastern religion that meditates, Western religion just has a different more accepted name for it and doesn’t always encourage action to go along with it.
All a ritual is, is setting intent. Creating sacred space for yourself and your client. It is super important to explain everything to your client in advance, why you are doing the ritual, what it’s purpose is. Generally I just tell them it’s to create sacred space and get us both in the correct mindset for healing. Because, after all, that is all it is.
Just remember, you may not need them but your client may and will certainly appreciate them.
What are some if your favorite rituals?