Here is a recap of what I’ve done for my daily ritual challenge for the past five days.
Wednesday: I had a group ritual planned for this evening. I did not prepare beforehand as much as I would have liked to. I was co-leading with my best friend, and we outlined what we were going to do, but I had a hard time moving myself into mental and emotional sacred space before the ritual.
That said, the ritual still contained beauty. I am far more likely to go to the trouble of creating an altar when I am facilitating ritual for others than when I am “only” facilitating for myself (something to think about—I don’t think it has to be this way). This particular altar (the center around which we sat during the ritual) was focused on the color red and images of women, because the ritual was focused on a celebration of womanhood. It was at heart an initiation ritual, meant to get us thinking about our own passages into and through womanhood (I should note that all the participants were women), although as it played out that was only one of many themes we expressed. (Others were: nourishment, abundance, skills, nature and natural elements, and our relationship with the Goddess in her aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.)
And, although I struggled with getting into mental and emotional sacred space, I have to say that the one piece of the ritual that was unequivocally powerful for me was playing a large frame drum at several different points. The sound of that drum as it echoed through the chapel space we were in was amazing, and it seemed to call me back to my ancient self. I could feel the energy moving with the drum, and was amazed that my own energy seemed to be flowing right along with the sound, which helped me to be more deeply present to what I was facilitating.
Thursday: I arrived back home and felt myself falling into an “energy drain”, meaning that I didn’t feel any momentum for creation and moving things in my life. So, I decided to use ritual to help me. I’d been thinking that even ordinary, daily activities could be an occasion for ritual consciousness to emerge, provided I allowed for an opening with my intention. I decided to take a shower on Thursday evening and, instead of merely washing my physical body, I intended that I would simultaneously be washing myself free of my self-imposed limitations, those things that have been holding me back. It was lovely to hold that intention, to feel it and believe it as I took the physical action of showering.
Friday: I woke up this day feeling back in alignment with my intentions for creation: using my capacity to persist, and my strength, to really move and shift things. I spent most of the day cleaning my bedroom, both in preparation for my Little Sister’s visit that evening and because it felt good to me. I cleared about six months’ worth of dust off the bedroom floor! I persisted in the task, letting the momentum work for me (I kept telling myself I was persisting because I could, because I felt it in me to persist!). I felt that this task was an outgrowth of the ritual intention I had held for myself the day before, in that I had successfully been washed free of the mental limitations that would have told me to give up. I also reminded myself periodically that I was working through old layers of experience, of things I had been letting lie where they had fallen months ago, moving and changing things, giving them new and more productive homes. I was clearing space for new energy to come into my life. (I wish I had a “before” picture for the way my bedroom looked! I didn’t remember to take one, so the best I could do was take a picture of all the dust in the garbage, on its way out!)
Saturday: Today I decided to create a vision board for Incorporating Ritual. I have been calling back to myself the dream of this venture, reminding myself of what is at its heart, stepping back into the living flow of the vision. Words are great, but images can be more captivating. I set up my supplies in my temple room, burned some sage, asked for guidance, and began choosing pictures according to my intuition. At times this felt like hard work. I doubted myself. I wondered if I was losing track of my intuition or my vision, or both. My body hurt from sitting on the floor leaning over magazines. But I persisted, and I believe my focus and determination to stay with my task created a sacred space in and of itself.
I did not finish the vision board last night, because I realized, once I had cut out pictures and placed them on the board, that I didn’t know if I was missing something, or if the way I had arranged the pictures was in the best alignment possible to my vision. I realized that my process of making the vision board was parallel to and symbolic of my process in developing the vision of Incorporating Ritual. That vision is always going through evolution. I have gathered many pieces of it over the months and years, but I do not quite feel it is complete. I think, also, that part of me is afraid to declare it complete, to metaphorically glue it down and unhesitantly and consistently bring it out to show others. So, something to think about. I did look at the vision board again this morning, and I feel good about it. Perhaps another ritual is called for, soon, in which I decide to glue it all down even if I still feel some doubt about whether it is perfect. Visions can be hardy things. A little glue in the wrong place isn’t going to stop them from manifesting.
Sunday: I woke up this morning, again, in some fear that things aren’t going to work out. I decided to create ritual space and focus on the reality of abundance. I need abundance, but I tend to think of it as though I am on one side of a wall and abundance is on the other. Abundance and I need to merge. (In fact, we already are merged, but I have not really believed it!) I lit a candle and worked on my list of financial priorities—the places I need and want to flow my money, once basic survival needs are taken care of. I also read aloud to myself a few inspirational papers I have on the concept of abundance, the power of thought, and attracting what we need. It’s amazing to me how much lack and scarcity I have created in my life, and how ingrained my thoughts are that support those experiences of lack and scarcity. Yet, what if something else could be created? I started by telling myself, while still in ritual space, that even this moment in which I am worrying and doubting is perfect. Isn’t it great that I get to have this experience, to learn so deeply what it takes to be abundant? Isn’t it great to have the resources I have? I’m doing just fine.
So there you have it. My daily ritual challenge feels good to me, and gives me something to reach for…I’m going to keep doing it!
P.S. In case you’re wondering, my “I CAN” is still on the floor in my temple room. I remind myself multiple times every day. It’s keeping me going!