“Our lives come from our rituals.” – Esther Hicks
Rituals are a beautiful and creative way of expressing and directing thought and energy. They can be as elaborate or as simple as the practitioner desires; think royal wedding versus courthouse marriage. The process can look vastly different in each circumstance, but the outcome is the same: being married. Both weddings can have profound meaning and importance to the participants, it simply depends on the energy they bring to each ceremony.
At one point in our history, people relied heavily on rituals to both celebrate significant events and ease transitions. There were rituals for changing seasons, hunts, planting, harvesting, birthing, becoming a woman/man, becoming an elder, and so on. Today, our western culture has eliminated all but a few. Most people are familiar with weddings, funerals, birthdays, and baby showers. Although even these have become severely commercialized. However, you don’t need to have an extensive guest list, a wad of cash, or fancy supplies to experience the benefits of ritual for yourself. Your most important assets are creativity and intent. Experiment to see what works well for you. Make them up! Do what speaks to you and has meaning for you.
Here are few simple ideas you can use to get you started. Use daily or as needed. Remember, the more you perform your special rituals, the more powerful and effective they will become:
*The Good Morning Ritual– Upon waking, before you start your day, find a beam or patch of sunlight, (even better if you can step outside for this). Allow the sunshine to fall on your exposed skin. Notice its warm caress. Close your eyes and place your hands in prayer position over heart center. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Smile. Say aloud or in your mind , “Thank you for this day”. Then allow your mind to just be. Don’t think about the day ahead, simply concentrate on the feeling of sunlight being absorbed into your body. In this way you begin your day from a place of peace and presence.
*The Healthy Skin Ritual-Massage all natural coconut oil into your skin. Start at your feet and work your way up your legs, torso, arms, and face. As you rub the oil onto your body envision your hands infusing it with a gold shimmering light which forms a protective and nourishing layer over your entire body. Don’t miss a spot! Practice this daily and experience the noticeably improved health of your bodies largest organ.
*The Shower Ritual– As you shower, visualize the streams of water shooting through your aura and cleansing it of any energetic debris. As the water rolls off your body, any lingering negative vibes are swept away.
*The Anger/Tension Releasing Ritual- Select a specific scent of incense to only be used for releasing anger and a specific herbal tea or tea blend to only be used when anger is present as well. Store them in a special place. The next time you have an argument with your spouse/ partner/child, or are simply feeling icky and aggressive, light your incenses and brew a cup of your special tea. As you smell and sip, allow the tension to melt away. It helps if the other party also gets involved and has some tea as well, even if it is a separate room. Over time, the scent of your specific incense and taste of the tea will automatically trigger your brain to calm down, recenter yourself, and approach the situation in a calm and collected manner.
*The Home from Work Ritual– Sometimes it can be hard to transition from a work
environment to a home environment and vise-versa. Many of us would like an easier way to keep work energy from interfering with family or personal time. Make an amulet or select a certain, meaningful piece of jewelry, (this is a great opportunity to have fun with crystals and symbols), which will be worn only when you or in work mode or only when you are in home mode. For example: The last thing you do before you head out the door to work is put on a delicate gold necklace from which your birthstone hangs, signaling to your subconscious that you are now in work mode but also reminding you to always remember to be true to yourself as you go about your day. Later, upon returning home, you remove the necklace and return it to it’s special place, telling yourself the work day is done, and you can focus on yourself, home, and/or family. Or perhaps it is the opposite. Maybe you have a wonderful crystal ring, large, colorful, elaborate, and very noticeable, however inappropriate or impractical for your workplace.
Once you arrive home, you are able slip on your magic ring, and leave work at work.
*The Hair Goddess Ritual- Use this ritual to bring awareness to the Goddess and to your own inner divinity throughout the day: Braid your hair. That’s it! But do so mindfully. You can braid all of your hair or simply select a small portion underneath. As you braid, note that the three strands represent the maiden, mother, and crone, and think about what lessons can be learned from each. Note how they weave together, creating one beautiful braid. Add charms, beads, or thread in colors that correspond to a mood you wish to invoke or chakra you wish to be mindful of. When you eventually undo your braid, visualize the unraveling as releasing all the love and joy of the goddess out into the universe.
*The Grounding/Re-centering Ritual- I like to use this simple ritual whenever I find myself beginning to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable in any way, for example, if I am in a large noisy crowd or heated debate. To begin, simply bring your awareness to your pelvic bowl, or uterus. Take a deep breath and visualize this area filling with a shimmering, bright, silvery light. On the exhale, see and feel this light travel up through your Fallopian tubes and into your overlies, which now sparkle like fiery stars on either side of your womb. Know that here, in your womb, you are rooted to the Earth, to the Goddess, and to all woman. You are a creator and life giver. All the answers to all the questions you ever wanted answered lie here, among the magic of your core, if only you learn to listen. Breathe deep as many times as needed, allowing this twinkling light to fill you completely and extend down into the center of the earth. You will now be more present and centered to face whatever life is throwing your way with as much strength and awareness as possible.
These are just a few easy ways you can bring both magic and positive change back into your day-to-day. One of the things I love most about witchcraft is the artistry behind it- the way it promotes and encourages individual creativity. No two rituals need look alike. The ability to personalize and adapt is part of what makes ritual so effective. On the flip side, there is also immense power that is created and activated when many people perform a ritual in the same manner, i.e. using the same words, movements, ingredients, etc. Many rituals are shrouded in secrecy for this very purpose. Rituals that have been passed down for generations hum with a potent energy all on their own, an energy body which is added to (or subtracted from), each time another person performs the ritual, adding to the collective power behind it. Of course, as with all things in life, it is the intent, as well as the ability to focus and direct energy which will really bring these acts to life. The most guarded, mysterious, ‘powerful’ rituals will fall flat, (or perhaps have unintended consequences), if the practitioners heart is not in it and there is no feeling behind it. Similarly, the simplest rituals can prove to be life altering if they are done whole-heartedly and with good intent. There is no right or wrong way to go about using ritual to add a magical sparkle to your life, except to say, as always, listen to your heart and your intuition. Honor your imagination and your creativity. Work for the greatest good of the All , and you will find that all you do becomes blessed by the Great Spirit and supported by the Universe. If reality is a mirror, your rituals are a focused way for you to send out a message making it known as to the reflection you would like to receive back. This life is a co-creative experience after all, and an awe-inspiring one at that.
What are your favorite, easy rituals and how do you use them to sparkle up your life? Let me know in the comments and share in the bounty of magical creation!
“A daily ritual is a way of saying I’m voting for myself; I’m taking care of myself.”- Mariel Hemingway