Ceremony and Ritual

“Rituals are helpful because they are a physical expression of your inward desire. They make manifest your intention and move that intention beyond the realm of mere thought and into the world of action.” Don Jose Ruiz



Ceremony and ritual have been used for generations to connect with the Divine and mark events and experiences. They offer many benefits including reducing anxiety, increasing happiness, and offer a sense of grounding and stability. These moments are personal expressions of the spirit and they allow the mind to settle into the body, to get quiet and to connect inward. These are times you can create something meaningful just for you, and not necessarily because it holds importance to someone else or to the culture at large. At their core, ceremony and ritual are a bridge between humanity and the Divine and humanity and Nature.


Why Ceremony and Ritual


There are many reasons to hold a ceremony or ritual. These include:

- Help us reach attachments to people and situations that are no longer purposeful

- Pay tribute to important events in life

- Helps to heal one of the core wounds – illusion of separateness from the Divine and Creation

- Healing

- Call upon spiritual assistance

- Follow natural rhythms of the earth

- Convey the substance of spirit into our minds and hearts


Types of Ceremony and Ritual



There are experiences and moments in life when ceremony and ritual truly serve to mark the occasion or to process the emotions and feelings we have as a result of trauma, loss, or even needing to separate ourselves so that we can move forward without carrying the energetic weight of the experience. Here are three major reason we engage in Ceremony and Ritual.


- Healing – physical, trauma as an overwhelming experience, releasing fear and control, PTSD, stress, letting go


- Transition – passages, milestones, life cycle – births, baby blessing, blessing of house, family, friends; the tooth fairy, changing into a young adult, adult, elder, vision quest, initiations for men and women (as children, middle age, and crone(elder); parents’ releasing their children into the world, midlife, death, death of loved ones, loss of job, way of life, etc., marriage, ending relationships

o Midlife (35-55): habits, behaviours and beliefs left over from childhood, addictions, internal pressures to bring forth that which is within (things needing healing, to be let go of, to be expressed, etc) which if ignored or denied can create suffering in your life


- Celebration – personal (birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, marriage renewals, pregnancies, graduations, promotion, paying off a debt, recovering from an illness, etc) and those related to earth seasons (solstices and equinoxes, cycles of the moon, Christmas, New Year’s, Halloween, etc). Characteristics of gratitude, expressiveness (dancing and music) and enthusiasm


Components of Ceremony and Ritual


Every ceremony and ritual needs a framework or structure to give it full meaning and power to the mind and subconscious. These components include pieces, stages, and principles.



Pieces:

· A sacred alter – sacred space

Alters are power sources and can be used for many purposes including but in no way limited to:

Fireplace

Seasonal

Healing

Prosperity

Happiness

Inspiration

Love

Crystal


· Elements (earth, air, fire, water, spirit)

· Things to be blessed or cleansed

· Crystals, candles,

· Herbs: sage, palo santo, etc

· Essential oils

· Sacred objects

· Cards


Stages of a ceremony or ritual:

- Invocation – calling guides and the elements, sacred circle

- breathwork

- Separation – release what needs to be let go of, healed

- Transformation – using symbols, oils, blessings invite in the new energy, charge the objects

- Incorporation – new intentions, acknowledge the new space

- Close the circle, thank the guides


Principles involved:

- Intention

- Timing

- Container – beginning, middle, end


Creating your own Ceremony or Ritual


With these basic pieces it will be easy for you to create a ceremony or ritual that works for you and allows you to honor your sacred connection with the Divine. Remember the most important element required is Intention. Your intention will be the driving energy bringing force and purpose to what you are healing, transitioning through or celebrating.




Grab this quick guide to help you get started

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