Question for you.
Can you be deeply mystical…without seeing coded messages from the universe in every license plate you see? Is it possible to be crazy-intuitive without having to move to a commune, clear your aura, or wear enormous scarves? Are you allowed to experience magic without having to rub sage leaves under your arms for deodorant?
OH HELL YES.
Now don’t get me wrong – I like a good whiff of sage myself.
But living a mystical and even magical life doesn’t have to be stereotypically wafty like that.
You can touch the mysteries but still remain very, very grounded.
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You can touch the ethereal without losing your footing on the earth.
Let’s look at a simple, powerful way you can bring more magic into your life– through the power of ritual.
Ritual is so important for kindred sprits, because it helps us connect the spirit world with the physical one. You know how I’m always saying, “Roots in the ground, arms to the sky”? That’s how I believe we are meant to be all the time– the midpoint between heaven and earth, both metaphorically and literally.
So what do I mean by ritual? Dancing naked under the moon with wolves?
Not necessarily– ritual is any act that gives a physical form to a spiritual, emotional, or energetic transformation.
Ritual is a powerful tool because it helps us let the intense emotions and energies we encounter (both within ourselves and out in the world) move through us.
It lets us discharge and channel what might otherwise burn us out.
It gives us a way to tangibly honor what is happening in our hearts and spirits.
Your rituals don’t have to be complicated
Please don’t get caught up in doing a ritual “perfectly.” One of the most powerful rituals I ever did for myself involved picking up some flower petals and blowing them o the palm of my hand. That simple gesture helped solidify something inside me. It let me know that I was ready to stop tolerating bullshit in my space.
Rituals help us mark the cycles of our lives—death and rebirth, openings and closings, beginnings and endings. They help us to lay things to rest or set them in motion. There are so few rites of passage in our culture, so we have to make our own. It’s a powerful way to honor and confirm our own tiny and huge transformations.
A ritual can be as simple as writing something on a piece of paper and then burning it. Holding a moment of silence with someone else. Stepping into water, or drinking it. You can bury something that you want to grieve, or plant something new. You can tie knots to anchor intentions, or untie or fray things to release them. You can use herbs, burn sage, or create an “altar,” which is basically just a highly personal and temporary art installation.
Make your ritual personal
There are many books out there on creating rituals, and there are many “magick” people who have lots of opinions about the proper ways to do them. Only listen to them if that feels helpful and nourishing to you. Some people like instructions when it comes to this sort of thing; but I believe that, as mystics, you are 100% free to create your own rituals. And the more personal and meaningful to you they are, the more powerful they will be.
If you want a starting point for your ritual, think about the four elements: water, re, air, and earth. You can add metal if you like, which some historians say was brought in originally as a stand-in for menstrual blood, once believed to be the most potent magical substance on earth.
You can also create a talisman for yourself, which is simply any object you decide to imbue with a particular meaning. For example, I bought a diamond ring for myself that I dubbed my “EFBA ring” and it reminds me all day long, every day, to live my life like an epic fucking badass. I did wave some herbs over it and have my little girl kiss it, but that part is strictly optional. Its true power is the way it reminds me to keep stretching bigger.
Simple family rituals
Each night before we dive into the chaos of dinner, we all hold hands around the table, raise our arms in the air, and shout, “Hurray!” (And if we’re feeling fancy, we follow it up with the traditional Japanese version of ‘bon apetit’– Itadakimasu!) It’s fun, it takes 30 seconds, and it’s a simple but potent way to corral everyone’s attention and help us be more present. It also reminds us that we are in it together.
I sometimes do a simple ritual with my kids before bed, where we pull color into our bodies to cleanse ourselves from the day’s cares. We pick different colors each night—some nights we want icy silver, other nights brilliant purple. It’s simple, comforting, and has become one of our favorite parts of the day.
Make life more potent with your own rituals
There is no right or wrong way to bring ritual into your life. It might seem odd or hokey if you’re new to the idea, but don’t underestimate how satisfying and helpful it can be to give physical form to the passages of your own life. And while you’re at it, you might as well go ahead and make your ritual nourishing– and delicious.
NOTE: This blog post is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Practical Magic for Secret Mystics! If you like this, you’ll LOVE the class! We start Monday, so tomorrow is the very last day to join us– come claim your own magic with us by CLICKING HERE.