Ritual: Calling back our spirit

Ritual smudging
Ritual smudging

These days ritual in its own right isn’t a high priority in our every day lives.  We have our little things we all do, our morning coffee, afternoon tea (like I wrote about here), our bedtime routine, Saturday morning cartoons (do those still exist?), our usual yoga class, etc.  But the place of ritual in our culture has largely been forgotten.  We treat symptoms of the sufferings of our spirit, i.e. anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, symptoms of trauma, etc. as biochemical, medical issues when in fact they are often crises of the soul.

Joseph Campbell writes, “The function of ritual . . . is to give form to human life, not in the way of a mere surface arrangement, but in depth.”  This form is what allows us to acknowledge, honor, even admire our pain rather than be it, which ultimately allows us to release it.  This is where the importance of ritual comes in.

Ritual itself is aimed at awakening our Younger Self, our unconscious mind that experiences life through the holistic awareness of our right brain.  Younger Self communicates through emotions, visions, dreams, and physical sensations and symptoms.  It is through ritual that we communicate with our Younger Self.  This communion with Younger Self, with our unconscious minds, with our soul is how we begin to heal, to connect with the greater mystery of Spirit, of life.  It’s about awareness, acknowledgment, and honoring our process and our journey.

In other words, ritual is one of the ways we put our lives in perspective.  It calls together all of our shades, our experiences, traumas, the “ghosts” that haunt us.  Ritual sorts it all out and puts it to rest.  So what might it be like if more of us (the greater public) created ritual and sacred space to process our  pain rather than approaching it as something that is biochemically wrong with us?  How might that empower us to HEAL ourselves rather than look to some thing or someone else to fix it for us?  It seems to me that simple step of taking our spiritual and emotional health into our own hands tells our soul that we see the deeper issue and are ready to confront and take care of it.

If you are ready to do this kind of deep and transformational work, heal your body, and nourish your spirit, but don’t know how to create the sacred space and ritual work, come over to my website Wild Grace and see if my services are a good fit for you.

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10 thoughts on “Ritual: Calling back our spirit

  1. This is a great post. I really appreciate the quote from Campbell and the emphasis that perceived psychiatric problems often exclude the importance of spiritual struggles. It seems these things are often one-sided but it is steam-diffusing to acknowledge the whole person. Looking forward to following your blog.

  2. LOVE THIS! “ritual is one of the ways we put our lives in perspective. It calls together all of our shades, our experiences, traumas, the “ghosts” that haunt us. Ritual sorts it all out and puts it to rest. So what might it be like if more of us (the greater public) created ritual and sacred space to process our pain rather than approaching it as something that is biochemically wrong with us?”

    I CAN imagine!!! x

  3. Mmmmmm, fantastic perspective. I don’t think I’d associated Younger Self with ritual so directly before, but mulling it over feels delicious. 🙂

  4. I agree with this on so many levels. I feel rituals are so important and haven’t been given enough weight in our present society. I’m all for anything that brings comfort to the soul Well-written and important post, Katie! 🙂

  5. HI Katie, I love this dicussion about rituals. They are so very important. I have found that even the smallest rituals can make something trivial reveal its beauty and inform me of a lost connection to myself or all people. I love ritual for all the interweaving that it brings. Thanks for the reminder to us all to note the significance of moments that touch our lives. ❤

  6. I absolutely agree! Ritual is one of the things that helps me to feel balanced and sane. I am so grateful to the guides who supported me in making it to this path. I would not be who I am without it. Opening up the discussion and creating a context for embracing ritual on a societal level is exciting! Reminds me that ritual theater is a powerful opportunity to share the experience of sacred space with a greater whole.
    “It’s about awareness, acknowledgment, and honoring our process and our journey.” Yes!
    Thank you, Katie.

  7. I just did a top to bottom cleaning of my apartment last weekend and then a ritual smudging… sending out the old and bringing in the new. This is one of my favorite things to do to refresh my space and bring new energy in. The energy in my apartment feels so nice now! I didn’t realize that in doing so I was communing with my Younger Self, thank you for providing another layer of depth and meaning to my ritual :).

  8. Love this connection between Younger Self/Inner Child and Ritual!!! Such a beautifully written piece. I noticed my younger self likes magic, but I didn’t somehow connect that ritual would be a way to connect to her. Thank you!

  9. Hello my fellow shaman! So with you on rituals. I used to post about self-care rituals all the time on my Self-Care Queendom page. Daily rituals, weekly rituals, monthly rituals. This is how we heal ourselves and maintain our health and wellness. Healing takes place within not on the outside….I resonate with you so much my Shaman SiSTAR! 🙂 Great post!

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