The magic of rituals and their importance to our everyday life
We have all seen one of these documentaries at some point: people – druids, wiccans, witches, etc. – going through more or less complicated procedures during what they call magical rituals. Nowadays they’re often laughed at, but those who do seem to forget that, even in the Age of Science, rituals are indispensable in our everyday lives. Without them we’d go mad. That is the magic of rituals: they provide structure in an otherwise chaotic existence.
Without rituals, life would be a lot less bearable for us humans. Our head, our ratio, would seriously get in our way and most likely drive us nuts. And however much many of us would like to believe that life is controllable and completely makeable, it just isn’t. Existence is chaotic and as unpredictable for us as it is for any other animal or plant. Once you have accepted that, life becomes a lot better.
Rituals help you live purposefully
In order to reach this acceptance, it is important to realise that the present is the only thing that you have any influence on. The past is fixed and has resulted in the now. The future is not here yet and will inevitably arise from the now. Therefore, nothing is more important than being fully present in that same now. Intentional living in the present moment ensures that you move purposefully into the future. Rituals help achieve this.
A ritual is a sequence of actions with a specific purpose in a predetermined, fixed order, often even in the same location. If a ritual has been in existence for a long time, its goal isn’t always clear to the people who perform it anymore. However, we always feel that the actions are necessary for our wellness or well-being.
Rituals are everywhere in everyday life
Rituals help us find our footing in life and are a means of communication. They confirm that you are and also what, where and when you are. They tell everything you are connected to about where you want to go. That is why rituals are essentially magical in nature. They transmit intentions to the rest of the Earth.
If you look closely, rituals are everywhere. Not only in all organised religions, but also in everyday life. Even science is full of rituals. Looking at it that way, everyone is using magic, although many people will deny it vehemently. However, any ritual loses and gains strength when the practitioner is less or more aware of its power. That is why a witch’s ritual, who transmits intention in full awareness of what’s she’s trying to achieve, is more powerful than that of people who enter a Catholic church and cross themselves automaticity.
However, more powerful may not be the right word. It remains difficult to adequately explain a mechanism like this using words. In any case, the witch knows what she is sending out, while “non-magical” people may unconsciously hurl things into the atmosphere which they do not really support. However, anything that you give attention to – whether consciously or unconsciously – will grow. Keeping that in mind, it’s better to be fully aware of what it is you are communicating.
Rituals bring and keep magic into your life
Consciously performing daily rituals is a good way to welcome magic (back) into your life. It is the best way to match your actions to your intentions. It will also firmly connect you to the web of life. The key lies in the word “consciously”. You probably already perform quite a number of rituals which have become unconscious practices.
It’s a good start to investigate if there’s anything in your life that you could consider a ritual – it has a more or less fixed order and set-up – and then ask yourself whether these rituals suit you and life as you envisage it. The next step is to replace those rituals which don’t suit you with others and strengthen those which do suit you by bringing more consciousness into your practice.
Magic is not something that you turn on and off. To be your complete, powerful self, you need to fully embrace the magic of life. You need to inhale and exhale magic and have every pore of your being radiate and absorb magic. That requires being intentional, in the moment, at all times. Daily rituals are an inextricable part of such a life and at the same time they are the way to achieving it.
Some personal examples of everyday rituals
For example, every morning, when I wake up, I remain in bed and consciously stretch for a while to feel my whole body. Then I listen for what is going on around me. I usually hear the pigeons, when I am early the magpies, and all kinds of sounds from my living environment. I stay put for a while longer, enjoying the feeling of my cat hugging his body against me. He is very affectionate at any moment, but even more so in the mornings when he presses himself against me while purring loudly. Then I get out of bed, gather my hair in a headband and start my regular series of exercises during which every movement is accompanied by an inhalation or exhalation. Afterwards I go into the bathroom where I wash myself, consciously paying attention to every motion.
This whole event takes about half an hour which I spend in a meditative state. That means that I try to be present and aware as much as possible and send any thoughts that pop up kindly on their way. I am and I feel. After thirty minutes I am ready to start my working day. Rituals come back regularly throughout the day. Coffee around noon with husband and daughter, for instance. The coffeemaker is turned on. Husband goes outside and collects the eggs. Husband hands me the eggs and takes the dogs outside. I store the eggs and then take the coffee, which is finished by now, outside. There, husband and daughter are busy taking care of our menagerie. When I arrive with the coffee the three of us sit down and enjoy our coffee on the bench in front of the barn.
Powerful and intentional in the here and now
Through these rituals I stay in the now and I maintain my serenity in this madhouse we call society. They ensure I live consciously and intentionally. Because of this I feel connected to everything around me and I am able to see and feel the web, which in turn is essential for a magically driven life. These everyday rituals thus open the road to the more mystical rituals that I perform. They make me powerful and effective and are the basis of my existence as a hagetisse and wise woman.
Which rituals affect your life?