17 February 2022
The Art Of Ritual
The art of ritual is to live a life fulfilled. If art is life, then life is art, because one cannot exist without the other. Ritual is the consciousness that exists between the two. In a nutshell, rituals are deliberate, symbolic acts. The purpose of ritual is to create a connection between our unconscious and conscious mind, to make the unknown known, by integrating this knowledge into our consciousness. Through this process we become more integrated and whole, as mind, body, and spirit reach a state of equilibrium. Traditionally rituals are undertaken with careful preparation and deliberation, but simple, intentional acts communicated with reverence and respect, are just as powerful. As modern living demands our attention elsewhere, simultaneously, our connection with ritual has been severed; and we have lost touch with our inner-self and the art of existence. But this need not be the case, we can reconnect with this art—ourselves—and existence with intention.
Incorporating the smallest, simplest acts into daily life with conscientiousness can have far reaching benefits. In fact, the most powerful rituals are often the more subtle, unassuming ones. These tend to hold the greatest personal significance because the most important aspect of ritual is the intention to establish a connection with Quintessence. A line of communication, as it were, between the conscious and unconscious states, because it is within the realm of the subconscious that we are able to connect with Quintessence. When we do so we discover the depth of our Being and when this is brought into the light of our conscious reality, our consciousness expands. In this way, ritual provides a means for our unconscious matter to become conscious. Only when the gold of our unconscious material is harvested into consciousness, is it able to take form in our outer reality, where it can be utilised and traded for our transformation into our Unified Self.
A conscious ritual has the power to transform us by creating new thought forms. Originality and ingenuity live in the unconscious; it is the domain that governs inventiveness and creativity. When we experience the breadth and depth of the Formless Dimension—that is the unconscious—these experiences are transferred back to the conscious mind. The significance is that this has the ability to change the very structure of our mind patterns. That is, our beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and values. These are all examples of conditioned thought forms that bound our creativity and restrict our understanding of our True Self. When new insights arise from the unconscious, our understanding expands, and transformation follows. We are then able to integrate this into our conscious awareness, and by integrating these into our daily habits our circumstances change. In other words, they begin to reflect our new state of consciousness; one that reflects our essential nature. The art of ritual is the art of life—alignment with purpose.
To experience beauty through the art of ritual in one way of fulfilling our purpose. Our purpose is to resolve conflict and find harmony and connection between ourselves and others—to experience/understand the web that connects all things—Quintessence. Beauty is the ultimate muse because its essential nature is harmony, because it is a reflection of purity. Our purpose then is to exemplify purity and establish harmony through balance. Above all, life is a balance of opposites, and harmony represents the midpoint; it is the state of equilibrium. Therefore, harmony reflects a state of peace and tranquillity—it represents the fluidity of life into wholeness. Moreover, the soul seeks the refinement inherent within beauty because it reflects an underlying structure of cohesiveness. To say it another way, we strive for balance, and we aspire to reach a state of wholeness.
Through ritual we can connect with beauty through its essence and its form. In truth, any act undertaken with awareness and intention constitutes a ritual. A ritual is both simple and complex, and depending on the intention they serve different purposes. In modern life, time is a commodity that is traded for instant gratification. With this, it is only natural that elaborate rituals are forsaken. So more than ever it is important to find ritual in our everyday existence. All art forms constitute ritual, because they express the beauty of life. By expressing beauty we cultivate our connection form and the formless. What is expressed is the purity of existence itself. The Beauty of Form expressed through ritual is the gateway to consciousness. Experiencing beauty expands our awareness and appreciation for harmony and balance. It does so by attuning our focus to seeks beauty and refinement and this, in turn, raises our awareness and provides us with the grace and serenity that is harmony. We become unified and balanced as our inner harmony is activated and this state of consciousness is reflected back to us in a state of wellbeing.
To this end, the art of ritual and beauty offer a pathway into unity, through connecting with harmony via the unconscious. As the unconscious is the creative well of all potential, it is here where a plethora of gold awaits our discovery. But it must be stated that these discoveries— these creative impulses, need integrating into consciousness; they must find manifestation in the world of form. Stated differently, awareness, ritual, and beauty need actualisation through form. Ritual is the rite of passage through which self-realisation is made manifest, and beauty is the apparatus that inspires us to do so.
The Art Of Ritual
Intention | Approach the Heart – Set the intention to connect with your genuine, authentic, decisive, and resolute self.
At this stage, it’s nice to set the tone by preparing the scene. Create an atmosphere that’s conducive to relaxation and receptivity. I prefer to be in darkness, beginning the process of initiation by lighting a candle.
The Scented Candle: Edition 03 – Incense – is so enticing…“A scent of spirit-clearing smoke, mystical resins, forbidden spices, and holy woods, this candle is deceptively simple. Based on a small collection of gorgeous materials—a rare green frankincense from Oman is the glimmering, woody-airy star, prized for its deeply spiritual aspects and combination of depth and clarity—the magic of the scent unfolds in the balance between the individual notes, from juniper and black pepper to cardamom and cedar. The push and pull of the elements amplify one another, and smolder into a scent that’s ever-unfolding, twisting and turning like a trail of smoke from an ancient encampment along the Silk Road.” Goop Beauty
Inquiry | Set the Stage – In list form, note down everything that’s occupying your thoughts now. Keep writing until the moment you feel you are beginning to search for things to write. Be natural. You may have a little on your mind, or a lot. Quantity is not important. Quality always is. Try not to censor anything. Whatever is at the forefront of your conscious mind is the point of inquiry where you should begin.
Action | Establish a Connection – On a fresh page in your journal, in free-from, write whatever comes to mind. Again, approach this with a sense of ease. Do not censor your thoughts and don’t bother worrying about correct spelling or grammar, just write. If you get stuck, that’s fine, continue with the next available thought. This is not an IQ test. Proceed with confidence. I recommend using a journal that appeals to your aesthetic sensibilities, that you keep private, and hold sacred.
Ritual | Create a Ritual – Without analysing, re-read what you wrote in the previous step. Is there anything attractive, unusual, or curious in what you wrote? What word, or phrase stands out to you the most? Choose one word that you feel drawn to the most.
On a fresh page, write this word in the centre. Anywhere on the page, in free-form style, write everything you associate with this word. These can be single words or short phrases. For example, if the word is Ocean. You may write: Cleansing, mysterious, deep, colourful, or The Little Mermaid. After you feel you’ve had enough, stop.
What is one physical act that you can do to honour what you have discovered today? Do what you feel is appropriate. Don’t force this step. Let something arise in its own time. It may take a minute, an hour, a day, or a week. It’s helpful to let go of everything and give your mind a break. Do something physical, like walking or swimming.
If you feel you haven’t had a breakthrough, take heart. Your greatest insights will come from taking the journey itself. As your state of consciousness changes, your perception will heighten. You will begin to perceive messages and opportunities.
I encourage you to continue this whole process as often as necessary. Often the mind is so conditioned that it takes persistence and patience to get to a state of receptivity. In time, the conscious mind will become more receptive to unconscious material. Original thoughts, ideas and clues will begin to arise when you least expect it. When they do, acknowledge them by returning to your journal and repeating the steps above.