What is a sacred ritual?
These two words might conjure up images of naked women dancing around a bomb fire, or pagan sacrifices, or maybe even a taking communion at a church. Or, like me, you could have flashbacks of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reading out of some ancient book and casting spells. It could also illicit an eye-roll or two. I'm OK with that. I get it.
If you would, please, suspend these preconceived notions about what a sacred ritual looks like or is for the duration of the time it takes to read this.
What if sacred rituals were just little actions we partook in that reminded us that there are circumstances in this world that are mysterious and out-of-of-our-control-in-a-good-way?
We typically want everything in our life to have some semblance of control. We like comfort, consistency, and safety. This makes sense! We should want to have shelter, food, and the guarantee that our life isn't in danger.
However, when we cling to this idea of needing-to-know too desperately, we are completely thrown off when things (inevitably) show us that we don't always have control.
Typically, when we do realize we're not in control our mind immediately goes to the worst possible scenario. As Gabby Bernstein explains in her book "The Universe Has Your Back" we live our lives like we're the girl in the horror movie just about to have something awful jump out in front of her. We're throwing popcorn at the screen and saying "DON'T DO IT!! YOU'RE GONNA GET HURT!!!".
The funny thing is, unlike the predictable horror movie, there normally isn't a bad guy around the corner. We're typically totally OK, and even when we're not, we typically figure it out. But we put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves by constantly being in the scene.
What if the unknown or the mysterious didn't send us into a horror movie but gave us a sense of awe and wonder?
What if instead of using our imaginations to create awful scenarios, we create beautiful ones?
Is it really that much crazier to think that taking the time to give a little offering of prayer and love to the universe could positively affect the outcome of a difficult situation, than (one of my recurring horror scenes) to feel like you're DEFINITELY going to die while you're driving in a snowstorm? We always seem to believe in the bad projections of the future and scoff at the possibility that there could be wondrous outcomes.
Here in Bali, each day people put these little offerings (called on their doorsteps and around their home and light incense. They take the time and put the effort into creating these beautiful little offerings. These offerings are a repeated act of faith by Balinese Hindus and can be infused with intentions, prayers, or just simply put out to ask for good fortune.
Can you imagine if every person spent the time and effort of putting together a beautiful little offering and lit some incense every morning?
And so I've been thinking about this question. About the role of sacred rituals and how I might be able to create them in my life in the modern world. My feeling is that if we made time for something that felt like a sacred ritual in our lives we would feel more connected to the magic in our souls and ultimately more joyful. We would direct more of our abundant imaginative energy towards the positive instead of reliving our horror movie scene over and over.
These sacred rituals are less about what we do, but more about how we do it. Whatever you do, do it with reverence and appreciation of something larger than just our daily routine, you can literally infuse anything with sacredness if you see it from a larger point of view.
We are multi-dimensional beings and acknowledging our sacredness could connect us more to the aspects of ourselves that get pushed aside in our daily grind, and turn us on to the positive possibilities that come from releasing control with love instead of fear.
So light some incense tonight. Say some prayers. Have a hot bath and honor your sacred body.
Do something that feels like it has magic in it and let me know how you feel after.... ✨💫
If you're interested in partaking in a sacred ritual but have no idea where to start I have recorded one of mine. Watch it here. Use this ritual for planting new 'seeds' in your life. A perfect time to practice this is on the night of the new moon, but it can be practiced at any time you feel you need to get back to neutral and imagine new and postive outcomes.