14 February 2022
Preparing For A Ritual
Rituals are physical acts that are undertaken with meaning and intention. Preparing for a ritual is symbolic. The purpose of a ritual is to set up a connection between the conscious mind, and the unconscious. To be more precise, to establish a line of communication between the two. The aim is to access knowledge contained within the unconscious, and make it conscious. That is, to glean valuable insight, for acknowledgement and integration. In other words, for psychological and physical transformation.
In this way, ritual requires reverence and respect. Thus, personal growth requires recognition of our whole self. As the conscious mind works from a conceptual mind state, it understands itself in “parts.” That is, through conceptualisation from past experience. Thus, what it doesn’t know, remains hidden within the unconscious.
We can find the “missing” parts of ourselves in the unconscious. As the unconscious represents the Formless Dimension, it is thus, abstract in nature. Therefore is it boundless. Meaning, it is not governed by the conceptual mind. But, impressions found here need a physical representation too. This helps give form to the formless, so to speak. By giving impressions form, we are able to relate with them on a deeper level. By impressions, I mean, thoughts, feelings, colours, shapes, and images. Anything that the mind’s eye sees. To make the unconscious conscious, is the beginning of awareness-based transformation.
To acknowledge and accept all aspects of self is to move closer to wholeness. Ritual allows the unconscious to transport messages back to the conscious mind. This is important, because the unconscious is the original source. Meaning, its contents contain organic material that has not been mass manufactured. But, we must go there to find it. Not only that, it is the gatekeeper of our attitudes, beliefs, and values. Going within gives us a method to process these on several levels.
Ritual facilitates communication with our many selves. It allows us to form bonds between what we know, and don’t know. We are able to set up a dialogue. When this happens, we form bonds and establish trust. It is important to note that in this process, judgment is not helpful. Whatever comes up needs acknowledgement. In some form or another. Denial will only strengthen its presence. All aspects and characteristics are within us. At different times, for many reasons, some are more prominent than others. To recognise this is to accept the polarity of life. Good and bad are relative concepts. As our self-awareness grows, so does our connection with consciousness. That is, with all things. Herein, lies the basis for change.
Transformation occurs when new thoughts become conscious. They arise out of the unconscious. This is the benefit of ritual. To access the unconscious by intention, in a state of receptivity. Change can take many forms. Including greater inner peace, clarity, but also, physical healing and wellbeing.
Intention and reverence makes our experience of ritual more enjoyable, and purposeful. Preparations need not be extraneous, elaborate undertakings. Actually, the simpler the approach, the greater the effect. Simplicity, after all, denotes refinement. Also, simple routines are more likely to form part of a consistent practice. And, consistency is the desire. Because, it creates the opportunity for change to take effect. What’s important is that preparations have personal meaning and significance. Only you know your own preferences, and your specific needs.
A Simple Way To Prepare For A Ritual
1. Prepare the room by purifying the energy with sage, palo santo, or incense.
2. Light a candle. Low, natural lighting creates an ambience of serenity, imbuing the atmosphere with an ethereal, mysticism, enhancing relaxation, and receptivity. When our experience combines the physiological, with the psychological; body, mind, and spirit become united – so our total self becomes more receptive to the experience.
3. Physically cleanse your body by bathing or showering. Consider the beauty products you use. I prefer natural, efficacious products. Anything less would be counterintuitive to creating a pure environment.
4. Dress in something comfortable, effortless, and that supports movement and fluidity. Feeling restricted in any way is counterproductive. I always opt for weightless, natural materials, in black, navy, or neutrals, with simple lines and relaxed silhouettes. These give a sense of clarity, constellating a connectedness with the earth, as well as adding a touch of luxury.