Ritual

We just finished Thanksgiving dinner, a family ritual repeated many times in many places this week in America. Perhaps this is more accurately a tradition. But there are certainly the rituals, some even hidden, within the traditions established by families across this holiday and across the land. It’s within the rituals where the magic happens!

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the rituals I surround myself with when I write, especially my “morning pages.” The candle and incense, the blessing and clearing of my space, my alter, my tools, pen and notebook, cards and journal, all part of creating the magic space within which I write. Ritual for me is a vital element of life; not just my spiritual life but all of my waking moments. Ritual is bridge-building; it connects me, especially vertically from the core of Mother Earth to the deepest reaches of the Universe. And it connects the inner me, welding me together, physical, emotional, mental spiritual, male, female, creating a unity, a pillar to support that bridge.

Ritual connects me to the Holy. I sit, remembering the Holy and pray that in making this connection They remember me. It is only in this reflection, this echo across time, within this ritual space that any of us can exist. If we don’t remember and are not remembered there is nothing here.

We all surround ourselves with ritual whether we recognize it as ritual or not. All the little aspects of our lives, the habits that get us through our days, the repeated functions that move us through time and space, for the most part with little thought, are our vital rituals. It is a good practice to take note of these rituals. Which ones work? Which ones are limiting? How do we separate the supportive from the limiting rituals so we can expand, evolve, grow in consciousness?

The first step, as is so often the case, is to become aware of our rituals, habits, behavior patters that get us through the days. Take note of habits that support and become more intentional about these; reinforce them; bring more attention to them and examine the ways in which they support you. If a pattern is not helping, even interfering with your life, make note of that too, and determine how you might limit or even eliminate it.

The second step is to look for new rituals, establish new behavior patterns that support your goals. This is the fun part. If you don’t have a regular practice of any kind, create one. Then practice it; ritualize it. It is through the practice that the magic happens. It is the repeated behavior that creates a thought pattern that after a few repetitions creates the “groove” that kindles the energy of magic.

The third step is to expand this process outward to additional patterns. Create a ritual about everything in your life and your life will be magical. And I’m not suggesting here that you turn everything you do into a repeating series of patterns with no changes, no expansion, no creativity! Ritual without creative expansion becomes rote and dogmatic, rigid and stifling. The trick is constant awareness and focused intention on the expanding patterns that support you through your days.

And in this week when we celebrate Thanksgiving, we need to be grateful for us, our lives, our rituals that support our ever-expanding understanding of who we are and our place in this incredible Universe.

Make it a ritual and magic-full weekend. I’ll do some ritual writing myself and see you back here on Monday.

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