I have been thinking a lot about ritual. About how we humans have crafted rituals and ceremonies to help us make sense of the world around us. Rituals happen across cultures and have existed for as long as humans have been around.
Some are known by most: things like weddings or funerals, graduations or birthday parties.
Others are less known, less discussed. The rituals of morning pages or leaving offerings for our animal friends or spirits of the land for example.
Some are even less seen, more private: grief rituals of keening in solitude, silent prayers sent up as a plane is boarded.
Rituals can be as simple as stirring an intention into your morning tea, or as complex as casting a circle, invoking deities, and dancing prayers into being.
This morning as I walked with a dear friend, we revisited the idea of being witnessed.
Of the many thresholds we cross in life, the milestones and markers that are never spoken of or are cast to the side. The things we do not take the time to name and acknowledge that might require just that, a naming, an acknowledgement, an honoring and perhaps a witness.
Being held in ceremony or ritual is one of the beautiful things about community. It is one of the gifts we give each other.
Before my wedding my Circle held a ceremony for me. A marking of moving from single to married. It was elaborate and there was a blindfold and gates to cross and surrender in trusting these women to guide me as I moved blindly through the portals. It was powerful and moving and consisted of deep magic and love.
This was not the ceremony of marriage but a ceremony acknowledging my own shift, my own claiming of a new role and an honoring of who I had been before. It was as much a celebration of something new as it was an honoring of a letting go.
What rituals do you participate in? What are the daily practices or prayers that hold space in your life?
In what ways do you long to be held by community in ritual?
In what ways are you already?
I’d love to hear from you if you want to share. You can reply to this email.
Just a reminder, that if you are longing to gather in community and share in ritual and magic, the Summer Solstice retreat is being held here, in Sonoma County June 19th-21st.
Details can be found here.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT