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.