Rituals have become an important part of my life. I’ve read about it, learnt about it, studied it and there is sooo much information about rituals, depending on cultures, times and spaces. To give you a little glimpse, I tried to summarise some information about rituals for you.
What is a ritual?
Rituals have been held for thousands and thousands of years. Cultures have been creating rituals and rituals have been creating cultures. Back then (and still today) a common language, a connection to the community and to spirit has been created, with the help of rituals and ancient wisdom. Rituals transmit orientation and meaning and serve our need for repetition, security and transcendence. They have messages that work directly, without words and long explanations. It is a beautiful form of interaction with the environment.
With rituals, we connect intention and action, by doing something in our mind and feeling something in our heart while simultaneously connecting to an action with our body. We can lift an everyday act into the realm of sacredness by turning it into a ritual, whether it is drinking our cup of coffee or tea in the morning, preparing food or taking a shower. Rituals help us to exit this reality, to look at what lies beyond and to express the sacredness of life. There are rituals that are created by cultures that have very specific rules and procedures that should be respected, and there are rituals that are created by yourself and are very personal. There are community rituals, family rituals, and couple rituals - sometimes even done unconsciously. Shamanic rituals invite the four sacred directions, East, South, West and North to be centered and protected by them. Indian rituals are called Puja, calling in all devas, gods and goddesses to work with their spirits and energies. Every culture has some deeply rooted rituals and to connect back to our roots we can discover our own rituals or the ones of our own (ancient) culture, and identify the ones that resonate with us and help us to connect on a deeper level.
The purpose of a ritual
The practice of rituals can provide a deeply needed anchor in the moments of our lives where we experience ongoing transition. It helps us to slow down, and soften the pace with which we’re running through today’s world. A ritual brings us back to the current moment and lets us forget time and space by connecting to ourselves. It is just us and the ritual that seems to count in this very moment. The rituals help us to see what is important for us, to decrease the loud voice of fear in our mind, and to connect with our intuition and our inner knowing as rituals ask for our devotion, awareness, and attention.
Rituals help us to brighten the darker corners of our souls and to reconnect with all parts within us. Rituals are the language of the sacred. It can connect us more deeply to our place and ourselves, to the cycles of the seasons, and the demands of nature and our planet. It can mark the passages of our lives and help us to make the transition into a new phase. It can support us in grief and loss and can link us with the pure joy of celebration. A ritual speaks to our inner self through the language of the senses, using color, smells, tastes, actions, rhythm, music, poetry, and dance to make us all participants and heroes of our own stories.
Although we might be doing the ritual for ourselves, our ritual is always connected to multiple levels: the cosmic, the community, and the personal. In the end the rituals help us to connect deeper and to help the world around us to do the same.
The timing of rituals
Rituals are keyed to the cycles of nature, the rotations of the sun and moon, the seasons, or other celestial events. There are repeated rituals that are celebrated every New or Full Moon, at the beginning of spring, when harvesting the ripe fruits of nature. There are also moments in our life that are marking a new dimension, lifting us onto the next level of our life, for example coming of age, childbirth, and marriage. To live these moments of transition as consciously and intentionally as possible, many cultures have certain ceremonial rituals, the so called “Rites of passage”. Depending on the culture we grew up in or live in, these can vary, but the essence of these rituals is an assistance in our transition into a new stage of life. The community serves as a witness for the transformation.
Other times for rituals:
* The change of seasons
* Cosmic Events
* Something is coming to an end
* Something starts
* Inauguration of new rooms, cleanup existing
* Celebrating success or relationships
* Clarity for an important decision or change
With every ritual we are able to set an intention, either for ourselves, for others or our community, or for our planet. As all is connected, your intention will also touch all of these spaces. Our intention sets the tone of the ritual. A clear feeling of what we wish to create helps to design our experience without pursuing any concrete result and remain open to solutions. According to the intention, we can choose the symbols, design the atmosphere, and set the tone. Our intention is elementally supporting our own purpose and is at the same time radiating to the ones around us and to the collective. With our conscious intention we’re influencing the collective vibration. What do we want to bring more of into the world?
"The legends tell that the 'dreamtime' and everyday reality were one. When people fell out of unity, these worlds were separated. The beings of the Otherworld gave humans objects and rituals with which they could reconnect with the Spirits and Beings of the Dreamtime until the worlds were reunited." Jeanne Ruland
Rituals are a conscious experience and conscious transition into other realms and the Otherworld. With rituals, we are able to change our energy and our vibration by setting and living our intention. We are powerful and create the world we live in - as soon as our inner world changes, our outer world will change and adjust to our inner world. Rituals are processes to actively change our worlds and our energy. Although every human being, every country, every culture, has different rituals, we are all connected through them, celebrating the beauty of our community, our planet, and all realms that are supporting us on our way to reuniting the two worlds.
Beautiful Art by Heather Heininge ♥︎ Text by Nina