Rituals have been manifold through human history, being it done in temples, in houses, short or long ones, it is something we find again and again in every society that exists or ever existed. Rituals have been performed to ask for certain intentions, like healing of someone who is sick, to obtain something, to express our gratitude, to offer to the gods, to celebrate, to achieve a higher level, etc., etc. ,etc….
To see, what ritual can mean for each of us, let us first look, at what wikipedia describes as being it:
A ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence." There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions that may be incorporated into a ritual. The rites of past and present societies have typically involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, and much more.
This is already enough to baffle most of us, but let’s put it into an easier context. Ritual is every act, that connects us with a higher being or energy, in what ever way and for what ever goal we perform it.
If we aren’t used to work with any type of rituals, it’s best to keep it simple. Let us not forget, that lighting a candle is also a ritual, and one of the most basic. For example, we can light a candle, for someone who is sick, while we do it, we aim our thoughts to the person, and send out energy of healing, or prayer/ energy to which being/ god we are connected with.
It’s not the candle that will perform anything, it are we, doing the simple, but effective ritual. We aim our thoughts to a certain goal, we send out energy, and as action equals reaction, a response will follow. Sometimes it is difficult to obtain what we desire, as simple things are achieved easily, more complicated matters take more time.
It’s important, that you believe, that what you are doing will cause a difference, however this may manifest itself in the end. Without a deep belief in what you do, each ritual or manipulation is useless.
We can perform elaborate rituals, with expensive incenses, candles, wines, clothes, sword, etc. Which can all help to aim your thoughts to the goal which you want to achieve, but which can be done in a very easy way also. The power of ritual lays not in using expensive items, but in the belief that it will work. Building up the power of accepting and believing that you, through your will can achieve things around you in the material world, takes time, but through exercise you can achieve much. Here the sky isn’t the limit, your mind is.
What ever you desire or want to achieve, basically nothing is impossible, only we can hinder ourselves to reach our set goal. If you use rituals, in what ever form, keep them simple, in your own language, or a language you do comprehend. The more you can follow, what and why you do it, the more you are connected with the working and the stronger the energy is, you can put into it. As to the duration of a ritual, it’s best not to prolong it to much, as it’s difficult to remain focused for a long time, but of course that differentiate for each of us. Once you are more advanced, you can use a more elaborate working, if you so desire. But always remember, it’s not that which holds the power, that force lays inside of you.
What ever way you choose, may it be successful and a wondrous path of discovery.
More and more we hear about the archetypes, or at least it seems as such, as it’s already an old concept, which has brought forward more through Carl Gustav Jung. The archetypes are seen as an ancient or primordial form or image, for example the mother, the king, the warrior, the healer, the priest, the creator, the sage, etc.. The list can go on and on. Most of these archetypes are used, whenever we speak of a role model, a set image of a task, or what society has made of it.
Though this all may sound a bit too far from daily life, the archetypes do influence what we do, or better said, what we can do with them. Whenever moving into a new step in our lives, we can fall back on these ancient form, to aid us. Most of the time, this happens unconsciously, while we prepare ourselves to take a new path in life, which can range from starting a new job, becoming a mother, changing religion, etc. the possibilities are factually numerous, and only end with what you permit yourself to accept or belief.
If you are starting a new project, or taking a next step in life, and you are nervous or scared about it, look up which archetype resembles what you wish to do, or comes closest, then meditate or do a visualization on it. Try not only to imagine how the archetype would present itself, but also how it acts and reacts to certain matters it’s faced with. If anything valuable is found, why not use this to your advantage? It’s not just a copying, but making it your own. Maybe you will use certain things which you see or experience in meditation/ visualization, but when you start using them for you, you will change it for your specific need.
Ok, this theory may sound good, but how to use it practically? Well, let us look at a few examples.
A women is expecting a child, she is nervous, as it’s here first. She got a lot of advice on what to do, but it didn’t really help her. While she goes through books and reads whatever she can on the internet, she is making an unconscious connection with the primordial mother, she starts making connections, she didn’t see as first, and slowly but certain, she becomes prepared for her time of labour.
A priest, just freshly ordained, is worried, will he perform his office in a good way? He reads about the life’s of well known priests, he takes in him what they did and how they did it, and he molds it into a form for himself, as such preparing himself for his duties.
A man is setting his first steps on the magickal level, he wants to do a ritual, but doesn’t know how best to perform it. He looks on youtube for video’s others posted, while performing rituals, he looks into some text examples, and slowly but certain, he sees the ritual developing in his mind. With that he is taking the first step, he is living the ritual in him and already giving it power. It is as laying the foundation stone for the coming work.
An actor is asked to play a role, he has never done before. It’s rather scary, as it’s something completely fresh. He reads what the part is about, what and who the figure he is playing is, how he acts and why. As such he is getting a deeper sight in his role, maybe he will see how to use elements he already knows, in a new way, combining skills in another form. Factually becoming the person, he is asked to play.
It still may sound a bit ambitious, but the only thing holding you back, to reach what you want, is yourself. If you are open for new challenges, prepare for them, except them as a part of yourself, you have already crossed the threshold, which usually is the hardest step to take. It’s like learning a language, sometimes it seems so difficult, but that is because we often stay thinking in our mother tongue, while trying to speak the new language. The same goes for changes in our lives. Too often we are comfortable in what we are, or what we are doing, but sometimes we need to take a step in the dark, without challenges no growth can be reached.
May whatever your path brings you, it be fruitful and great, and confirm that this is something you have reached, you have build. It’s a wonderful experience, that will build your self-trust and self-respect, and lay the foundation for even more wondrous things to come your way.
In our “civilized” society there doesn’t seems to be a need any more to rites of passage or initiations. We have become developed and brush all those things aside as ancient or superstition. Yet with doing this, there has come a great hollowness in our lives, there are no more special events, that distance parts in our lives and make us grow.
The monotheistic religions of the middle east, which spread over a large part of the world, have eradicated, or at least attempted what they saw as pagan and demonic rites. But with doing so, the stole a part of our soul. The spirit of our ancestors and our people was lost as such.
In some monotheistic denominations, we still see a vague remembrance of those ancient rites, but lost due to all philosophy or theology draped around it. And it makes mankind weaker by it.
To really grow, people need challenges, not only it can be a strive to reach the goal, but also it can widen our view on life. As such it makes us more whole then before. For example, a rite of passage can be combined with a show of strength and courage, for which one needs to practice and even prepare on a psychological level. It can be a hard experience, transforming ourselves totally, but in monotheism or other modern religions and philosophies we won’t find this back. Instead they have produced empty rites, which al to much doesn’t contribute to a deep and spiritual connection with ourselves, or how we see the higher/ divine realms.
As such there only grows emptiness, we don’t feel fulfilled and look for experiences on other levels, trying desperately to find something worthwhile.
In ancient cultures they didn’t have this issue, as they knew how valuable rites of passage and initiations where, they put forward a time of change, and a separation between for example boyhood and adult, or between the mundane and spiritual world.
If we as a race wish to survive, we need to challenge the habits which have controlled our society, our thinking for to long. We have become weak through it, and it is bringing us to destruction, of who we are, our folk soul and our cultural inheritance.
We can create and bring forward rites of passage in many ways, in the family, brotherhood, through a knighthood, etc. The possibilities are endless, but what is important is that they renew the ancient traditions, maybe in a more modern way, put us before challenges, through which we can grow and blossom, as such becoming a more whole man or women..
This is a challenge for the future, as our fast growing civilization is forcing us to choose between going with or against the flow. Yet there is no necessity in the end, all depend on the choices we make, and what we bring forward in our lives. May whatever comes your way, be a wonderful experience, transforming you till your inner core and connect you with a deep spiritual element in your life, which can carry you through the hardest challenges, which may lay ahead.