The importance and need for ritual has been pushed away from dominant cultural norms. If primitive men and women engaged in rituals on a regular basis and acknowledged and celebrated each milestone with a proper rite of passage, modern humans deliberately and mindlessly bypass such parts of life, deeming them outdated, wishy-washy, and just unnecessary.
Instead we have a party, drink, chat in particularly superficial ways about the weather, cheer to the new whatever, then go to bed and move on with our days, ready to embrace the new Role and all its identity shift with ease. Just follow the PowerPoint training online and you will know how to do it all. Read a book and you are ready to be a parent. Take a course and voilà you are prepared to move forward. Say your vows and have a great marriage.
Yet the instinctual nature craves for a connection with a greater power – its manifestations constantly shifting from religious devotion to deities, to the same religious dedication towards rigorous science. All in search for meaning…for something beyond the visible, for some hidden string that connects it all and explains all parts, for a click of the heart. For a sigh of Ahaaaaaa!
Ritual is an ancient and inextricable part of human nature. And while it may take many forms, it remains a powerful tool for promoting resilience, healing, learning, moving forward and a deep connection between humans.
In order to unstuck ourselves from outdated modes of being, we need to relinquish old mouldy forms of existence and also some barriers. Usually the ones we have placed unconsciously on our path. Also, the ones we blindly accept because society says so, or because the herd does so…
Yesterday I had a heartfelt and juicy 2 hour conversation with a dear soul from Canada. She offered to pull a Tarot card for me. I don’t know much about Tarot apart from its ancient history of accompanying humans and offering insight…take or leave it as always.
When things really speak to you though, you just know. You know from a deeper place using your perked up inner ears, seeing with the inner eyes.
The card was n10 – wands of ones. It spoke of barriers, obstacles, burdens and difficulties on the path.
Deep breath. Yes, I said. Oh yes.
I immediately thought of Rumi “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I hit me right where it had to!
And I knew immediately what I had to do. With clarity.
I went for a walk in the woods. I am staying in the mountains for a couple of days …so what better time to engage with a slow process. With a ritual.
I gathered 10 sticks. Carried them back inside and placed them by the fireplace.
And I started writing. One after the other. Every barrier on my way. Exploring who placed it there?
Childhood traumas? Unaware carers, parents, careless peers?
Current relationships? Careless friends, shallow, envious, self-obsessed oblivious acquaintances?
Cultural norms and people around me so caught up in reproducing them over and over again?
Policies and laws that oppress free human expression and that have gone too far?
Lack of boundaries?
Shadows that are yet to be made aware of?
Me? Have I placed some of these barriers on my own path? Out of negative beliefs? Out of unawareness, pure lack of knowledge or just enough life experience?
I wrote for 6 hours. I let all of them to pass through my Mind, to stay there as long as they need to; then to stir my Heart, allowing the discomfort of feeling each one of them…;then moved them through my Gut feeling for advice on how to remove them…
Engaging in ritual brings a lot of emotions. Having an Inner guide or Inner mentor (or an experienced person to hold you through the process) matters.
Rituals bring purification, clearance and a total reset. They also bring peace and comfort, loosen stuck and stagnant inner parts, making room for vibrant new energy.
Rituals bring renewed sense of determination, integration and lightness to your journey.
Yet, another recognition hit me this morning. About the privilege that it takes nowadays to be able to slow down, to take the TIME out of the rat race to engage with ritual, to have the courage, opportunity and availability; if you are a mother, to have support and an equality trustworthy partner to hold space for you. I acknowledged this and privilege with an aching heart, practicing Tonglen, connecting with all ALL humans out there in need of this and unable to access it. I held them all in my heart and removed a stick for that.
I wish you all rituals of various intensity! Most of all I wish you a regular unburdening, relinquishing of what no longer serves, and a proper sweeping of your path.
Ps I am burning the sticks tonight! Honoring all of you! 🔥