One of the greatest diseases of our times is the sense of disconnection that is felt with ourselves, others and the world. By bringing ceremony and ritual into our daily lives, we can begin to reconnect to the sacredness and beauty of life. It can be a way to rediscover ourselves, to align with our soul purpose and to deepen our sense of connection with all things.
Many of us have come from backgrounds where ceremony and ritual was some part of our religious upbringing. For some, that is something that we continue in daily life. For others, it is something we may have abandoned as we grew and changed our views. For others, it may not have been part of our experience at all. The new paradigm is about bringing it all forward; so, whatever your path has been, now can be a time to explore and reexamine your practices to see if they are in alignment with who you are today and how you intend to be in the world.
Some of the ways that ceremony and ritual can help us include:
- Paying tribute to important life events and honoring our transitions
- Being in harmony with the seasons and rhythms of nature
- Creating sacredness in our lives
- Honoring our ancient traditions or creating new ones
- Releasing attachments to energies, relationships and situations, which are no longer serve us
- Calling in energies and intentions we wish to bring forward
- Evoking an ecstatic state of being and connecting at a soul level
- Helping to heal our fundamental spiritual wound – the illusion of separateness from creation
- Supporting specific healing for ourselves, others and the world
- Aligning our energy with the present moment
- Helping us to be more fully conscious and awake
- Gaining clarity and understanding our experiences
- Accessing spiritual guidance and wisdom
Ceremony can be something we do individually, with others or in community. However we choose to create it, ceremony is a way to step out of the busyness of our lives and the world of linear time into sacred space where deeper understanding, healing and wisdom resides. Ceremony, in and of itself, is a paradigm shift. It can help us to focus on our visions and intentions and begin to draw them into the world of matter, allowing them to become manifest.
Rituals are the specific rites or tools we use as part of ceremony. They can be used to create sacredness in any moment. Many shamans begin the day by honoring the directions and connecting with the elements of nature. Many people begin their day with meditation or prayer of some kind. Whatever it is, beginning the day with some type of ritual or spiritual practice is a powerful way to move consciously into your daily life. Some ways to create ritual include:
- Lighting a candle
- Setting an intention
- Burning sage or other healing herbs such as sweet grass, yerba santé or cedar
- Setting up an altar and arranging spiritually meaningful articles or pictures on it
- Drumming, rattling, chanting, singing or listening to music or sounds of nature
- Reciting prayers silently or aloud or reading from a sacred text
- Cultivating a meditation practice
- Being in silence and honoring the sacredness that comes from that space
Whether you choose to practice ceremony and ritual with others or on your own, it is important to create practices that support you in the present moment. Here are some questions to consider in creating a ceremony or ritual practice:
- What is your intention? What is the reason for the ceremony or ritual?
- Will it be personal, with another person or group?
- What elements or tools need to be gathered? What preparation needs to happen?
- What will the structure of the ceremony or ritual be? Who will perform it? Where will it be done?
- Are there any prayers, readings, songs, poems, and dances, etc. that you wish to include?
- How will you open and close the ceremony?
Ceremony and ritual can be a beneficial part of daily spiritual practice. It can help to align our energies in the present moment and to bring increased harmony to our lives. Take some time this week to consider what you would like to create in your life and how ceremony and ritual may support that process. Whether it is creating a ceremony with a specific intention or incorporating a ritual into your daily life, notice how this invokes a deeper sense of connection with yourself, others and the world. Let your heart be your guide as you create your own new paradigm.