Rituals – what do they consist of?
Our future is not shaped by big decisions or events, but by our daily rituals. These define who we become. Rituals can refer to a culture- or region-specific set of activities, as well as our daily habits. Rituals give us a sense of control. The practical and down-to-earth kind of ritual makes us feel responsible. However, it’s also useful to tap into cultural rituals that affect our belonging to a broader group. Rituals increase our productivity by turning small, everyday activities into more meaningful ones. They add meaning and joy to our lives. Practicing various rituals helps build our spiritual awareness, and our lives become amazing. In rituals, it is important to create a repetitive sequence of movements, gestures, words or chants.
Pagan and spiritual rituals
Ritual is a common practice among spiritually connected people. Pagan rituals have survived through the religious beliefs, ethnic cultures and family traditions of our roots. New generation rituals can also be invented through deliberate intention. If an action empowers us, it is worth ritualizing it. Butterfly releases are symbolic rituals that celebrate change. Similar to the release of helium balloons, which often represent the letting go and release of doves celebrating love or new beginnings, butterfly releases are common at graduations, birthday parties, weddings and funerals. A butterfly release can be performed at any time when you want to mark a special transitional time in your life. New moon ceremonies have to do with creation, manifestation, birth and rebirth. The full moon completes the cycle, representing death, change or tying up loose ends. The full moon symbolizes the final chapter, shedding light on things we no longer need to hold on to. The full moon is an appropriate time in the month to hold purification rituals. The light provided by the full moon illuminates those things that hinder our spiritual progress. The use of a tool for dowsing is part of many Native American traditions. Burning herbs for emotional, mental and spiritual cleansing is also a common practice among many religious, healing and spiritual groups. The dousing ritual can be described as “spiritual house cleaning.” Theoretically, smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as it cleans, it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy. Lighting a candle for a specific purpose or intention is practiced around the world by people from all walks of life. Lighting a candle symbolizes bringing light to our wishes or desires. The candle can be lit as a prayer for peace or a request for healing.
Among daily rituals, a few basic ones can be designated, such that we may not even realize they are rituals, such as prayer or meditation. It can be said that prayer is an earnest and deep attempt to communicate with our spiritual source. The intention of closed eyes during prayer is to calm the mind, while the intention of two hands folded together during prayer is to calm the activity of the physical body. When the mind and hands are quieted, the spirit is allowed more focused communication with the place of knowing. This is similar in many religions around the world.
Meditation, in turn, allows one to calm and balance one’s energies. Prayer rituals involve talking to a divine source. Meditation is the flip side of prayer, not speaking, but finding a quiet space to listen.