The practice of ritual has been a constant in my life since I was a little girl. At the breakfast table, my mom and sisters and I would recount our dreams every morning: discussing the lively, bizarre, enigmatic mysteries of our nightly escapades. Sometimes we would help each other find deeper meanings, other times working them out ourselves as we attempted to explain these cryptic night puzzles to each other. Sharing our dreams in the morning was a ritual we enjoyed, a blend of magical sharing, sisterhood and cereal.
What is Ritual? How can it be defined? Merriam Webster gives a few definitions: “always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time”, “done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol”, and “ the established form for a ceremony; specifically : the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony”. There are more definitions to be found, but I would like to define Ritual for myself. To me, Ritual is an act that is performed repeatedly, with reverence.
I love living with the philosophy of “Life as Ritual”, which encompasses the daily acts of my life into reverential, sacred, meaningful endeavors. Making tea is one of my favorite rituals. Boiling the water, placing the dried herbs in a teapot, waiting for them to steep, pouring the healing liquid into my favorite mug gives me peace and pleasure. Another favorite ritual is playing with my tarot cards. I have quite a few decks. I love choosing one that calls to me, holding the cards, imagining a question or concept I’d like more information about, and giving reverence to the cards as I divine some new perspectives and answers while pulling cards. Rolling and smoking my herbal smoking blend is another ritual that gives me deep satisfaction. What if we could truly enjoy these little acts every day, instead of just going about life on autopilot, we gracefully give these rituals meaning and love, adding to the enjoyment of small deeds.
Creating rituals for ourselves is very personal. I would not expect you to enjoy the same daily acts as I do! Riding your bike to work, taking the dog for a walk, writing in your journal, making food for your loved ones, are all daily acts that can be turned into rituals with a shift of perspective. When we cut vegetables, imagine all the energy that has already been expended to get the veggies to your home, and then as you infuse them with love as you prepare a meal, the effects of this ritual ripple out as your family eats the nourishing meal and feels the love of your work. Here are some ideas for creating rituals for yourself. Please add to this list, share with us, and stretch your imagination to consider what else could be added to your ritual acts.
- Cooking for your loved ones
- Writing in a journal
- Making tea or coffee
- Lighting and burning incense and candles
- Playing with tarot cards
- Stretching your body
- Making your art
- Enjoying nourishing food
- reating a sacred space or Altar (more on Altar Making coming soon!)
This is just a short list to get your imagination sparked. Try creating rituals for yourself and see how the joy in your life increases! Create your life as Sacred, it already is.
With Love + Reverence,
Califa Coyote Weiss