Friday, August 29, 2014

R is for Ritual

What do you think of when you hear the word “ritual”?   Does it evoke images of smoking incense, candles, a wand, chalice, and athame?   Or do you associate it with your pre-Pagan days?  Prayers murmured in unison, standing up, sitting down, hymns?   All of the above?

I personally don’t do rituals, per se.  The last time I was in a formal circle, it felt very hollow and a bit silly, even.  Calling the quarters.  People using pen flashlights to read notes.  I dunno, there just wasn’t much appeal. 

Instead of formal acts of worship, I prefer daily practices.  I’ve written before that ritual, for me, largely includes cooking and feeding people.  I see those things as an act of worship – of nature and of the Divine.   The principle is similar, and the practice also has some similarities.  Instead of a wand, I use a wooden spoon. Instead of a cauldron, I have pots and pans.  I sometimes light candles when I cook or bake, and I use herbs, but in a different way most of the time.

I think that acts of reverence for the Divine and for nature are things that should be a part of my daily routine.  That’s one of the reasons my head is always covered.  I try to remain prayerful throughout the day.  I try to give thanks for many things throughout the day.   I personally don’t need to gather together with a group of people and make circle to do it. 

Sometimes it’s nice to be in the company of others, and I do attend gatherings from time to time, but I don’t participate as much as I observe while thinking my own thoughts and conducting a celebration in my own mind.  That’s just what works for me.  Everyone’s practice is different, which is how it should be. I believe the path to the Divine – however you see it – is deeply personal, and no one can tell you how or where to walk it.  

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