Over the past 4 weeks we’ve been exploring ways to engage with the plant spirits practically. In this our final installment, we’re getting our hands dirty (literally and figuratively) with ritual! To start with part one, CLICK HERE.
The word ritual shares etymological roots with some other important words like right, art, heart, hearth, and harmony. We can see how ritual is a way for us to engage intentionally in ways that create more harmony both within ourselves and within the wholeness of the universe. Ritual, like it’s related word art, should be a thing of beauty that is pleasing and brings a sense of things fitting together in good ways.
Sorcery, like all ancient pagan traditions that are essentially animist and nature-centering, is an orthopraxy and not an orthodoxy. This means that our right action is valuable where right belief is less so. What we think and believe means less than how we show up and what we do. Ritual is an invitation to show up, do good, create beauty, and assist the cosmos into leaning ever-further into states of harmony.
Rituals can come in many forms, and there are no hard and fast expectations on what they look like for each person. If you follow a traditional model like I do, you can work with that framework to guide you through seasonal cycles, ritual orders, specific workings, and so on. If not, you are able to find ways to create ritual that is meaningful and powerful for you- and ideally effective in creating the desired outcomes whatever they may be. For me, the outcome is more often connection than anything else. I rarely do ritual for anything other than completing cycles of sacred reciprocity with my allies and participating in the wholeness of the cosmos. Some rituals have very defined goals that make them bored on magical workings, others are simple rites of acknowledgement whether that be a season, a spirit, or an inspiration.
A ritual of lighting a candle and inviting your allies to join you at your sacred ire for communion is a valid and powerful ritual when performed with the fullness of your being. Nothing grandiose, complex, or expensive is needed- your investment of energy, time, and attention is a fertile soil upon which all good work can grow. From there, you may add important things like sacred symbols, prayers, charms or other spoken words, offerings and sacrifices, dances or other intentional movements, recitations of myth and story, or visionary journeywork.
No matter what you do or how it’s done, the power is in the doing.