Following on from my last post about how to create sacred spaces for your soul, in this post, I discuss how to use rituals to nourish your soul. Sacred spaces and rituals definitely work well together, but you don’t necessarily need to do rituals in your sacred space – rituals just need to be done with the right intention.
In a workshop I attended recently with Alana Fairchild, she spoke of the soul’s need for rituals.
What are rituals?
Wikipedia defines a ritual as “a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence.” Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterised by formalism, traditionalism…sacral symbolism, and performance.”
In the workshop, Alana walked us through a couple of different rituals which gave us the opportunity to connect even for a few moments with the Divine (or Spirit, or God or whatever higher force you choose to believe in).
“A sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence.” Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterised by formalism, traditionalism…sacral symbolism, and performance.”
While all of the rituals we did at this workshop were done in the context of a sacred circle (that is, a gathering of like-minded people who held the intention of creating a beautiful space), it would be completely appropriate to do use them at home in your own sacred space or perhaps out in nature.
Some examples of rituals to nourish your soul
The first ritual involved walking up to the altar (which had flowers and crystal singing bowls, some crystals and other sacred pieces) in turn, and in silence, and simply offering something up to the Universe. We were invited to declare it out loud, saying something along the lines of, “I offer you my strength” or “I offer you my creativity” – or whatever we wanted to offer up, and then just taking a moment to envisage this offering being sent up to the Universe. This ritual doesn’t even have to be as elaborate – it might be as simple as when you wake up each morning, putting your hand on your heart and making your offering.
In the next example, we all stood in a circle, and one by one, walked into the centre of the circle. We were invited to raise our hands above our heads and receive acceptance and blessings from everyone in the circle and from the Universe; and to pull that energy down into our heart. Again, even if you don’t do this as part of a circle, it’s a powerful ritual to do alone in your own space each day. Know that you can call upon the Universe at any time to do this!
In the final example, we spent 15 minutes chanting with music to the Goddess Kali (a powerful being to call in if you want to let go of anything which no longer serves you). We then took turns again to walk up to the altar, and call upon Kali to cut energetic cords with someone or something. On the table, there was actually a sacred knife object – I believe Alana called it a Kali Knife, which I had never come across – and it was to symbolically cut the cords during this ritual. I do similar cord cutting processes with crystals – and again, when you put your intention into a process like this, it can be really powerful.
So any or all of these could be done daily or weekly in your own space – or while you’re working through a particular issue.
Other examples of rituals
Rituals, particularly soul-care rituals, can be really be whatever you want them to be.
I visited Prema Shanti, the beautiful yoga and meditation retreat in the Daintree Rainforest, earlier this year. Each morning, we arrived for the morning meditation class at 7am in silence, meditated for 30 minutes, then had a cup of tea and breakfast. Each evening at 6pm we’d arrive for the yoga class, do the class, then prepare for dinner. It was a beautiful way to start and end each day. The “ritual” in itself was fairly simple, but it became powerful in its repetition over a period of a week. Imagine the long term benefits of doing 30 minutes of meditation and 60 minutes of yoga every day – I haven’t quite maintained that level of commitment, but I strive for it.
Meditating, and creating rituals around meditating is definitely great for the soul. Whether you meditate in a special place indoors (or outdoors), put on special music or light special candles etc, this all amps up the energy of your ritual, and makes the connection with Spirit stronger. If you aren’t meditating regularly, or struggle with it, you might like to consider taking my 3-Minute Meditation Challenge, which eases you in to meditation by starting in 3-minute blocks of time.
Other examples of ritual can involve body care. I started using aromatherapy products from the Twenty 8 range a couple of years ago, and I particularly love founder Kim Morrison’s Daily Body Boost. The video on the linked page shows Kim explaining how she combines essential oils, magnesium oil and a carrier oil, in a daily ceremony (or ritual) to honour her body, mind and soul.
Full and New Moon Rituals
Lots of people use the Full and New Moons to do releasing or manifesting rituals. A few months I wrote a post about my Full Moon ritual and what I learnt during that process. My Full Moon ritual involves crystals, crystal grids, journalling and other elements – and there’s no right or wrong. Yours can include whatever feels right for you!
It was out of that particular experience, that I created my Lunar Cycle Crystal Kit. This kit contains specifically chosen crystals to help support your Full and New Moon rituals.
Some people love to get involved in Circles and do their rituals with others during these times, while others prefer to do their rituals alone.
These are just a few examples of rituals to get you thinking about what you might like to add to your life.
The key takeaway I got from Alana’s workshop, was the reminder of the importance of intention in ritual. Just as we act in a certain way in a sacred space, we must treat our rituals with the importance and gravity they deserve. This doesn’t mean rituals have to be totally serious and not fun, but I believe their energy is amplified when we treat them with reverence and respect.
I’ve updated this post to include a link to a newer post about how to energise your morning ritual and set yourself up for a fantastic day.
Do you have regular rituals to connect with Spirit? Feel free to share in the comments below 🙂