Brittanica defines Ritual as:
“The performance of ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition. Ritual is a specific, observable mode of behavior exhibited by all known societies. It is thus possible to view ritual as a way of defining or describing humans.”
If ritual defines and describes us, what does it mean to live in a society primarily devoid of ritual? How does the lack of ceremonial acts in our culture contribute to a feeling of disconnection and isolation? Perhaps inviting ritual into our lives leads us to a more whole, healthy, embodied society. In this article, we share four of our most loved rituals to invite lasting connection and reverence to the Earth forward.
Recently, archeologists in Botswana have discovered evidence of humans engaging in ritual as far back as 70,000 years ago (source). In the Kalahari desert, a sacred cave dedicated to ceremonial worship of the python was found, complete with a hidden space for a shaman, with over 13,000 artifacts not used for any other purpose besides ritual. The Sanpeople, native to the area, revere the python as the creature they believe all humanity descends from. Seventy thousand years ago, our species intentionally performed specific acts in community, honoring life, creation, and a sense of connection with something bigger than them.
Today, we still engage in many different rituals, yearning for that same connection. Taking communion, celebrating Dia De Los Muertos, having a Bat Mitzvah, reciting wedding vows, being baptized, and even moving the graduation tassel from one side to the next can all be seen as a ritual. However, these intentional moments are often connected to significant life events and are often too few and far between.
What would it look and feel like to honor something bigger than us, in reverent connection to our spirit and the Earth, every month, every week, and every day?
Creating space for intentional, sacred moments during the day can be the difference between stress and peace, difficulty and ease, and confusion and clarity. It’s said that establishing a new habit takes 21 days. So, here’s an experiment: try one of these rituals every day for 21 days and observe what shifts or expands within your being.
4 Rituals to Invite Space and Connection into Your Day:
Unwind + Listen -
This ritual can be done in the evenings or anytime throughout the day if you crave a reset and energy shift. Find a quiet space and put on some relaxing music, beginning to stretch your body intuitively. Roll out your neck, loosen your wrists and jaw, and stretch your back and hips gently. Close your eyes and notice where you may be holding tension in your body, and breathe into that area while you slowly stretch and give love to yourself. Allow yourself to unwind, moving without judgment, in any way that feels good and supportive to your body. Note what arises in your mind as you stretch, observing your thoughts compassionately. When you feel complete, open your Elysium essential oil, dab a few drops on your palms, and inhale deeply, closing your eyes and breathing in the soothing scents of lavender and chamomile. Invite Elysium into your being, welcoming tranquility and contentment with the present moment. We hold our emotions, trauma, and stuck feelings in our bodies - taking the time each day to move and release tension can support a more grounded lifestyle.
Nourish + Honor -
A simple yet profound ritual that can easily be added to your life three times a day is offering intentional gratitude to your food. Before you begin eating, close your eyes, come into your center, and mentally (or out loud) thank each aspect of your food and how it arrived on your plate. “Thank you to all the hands that went into making, growing, preparing, and bringing this food here to me.” While you give thanks, try adding special gratitude to the Earth for providing you with this nourishment with her plants, animals, water, and generous abundance.
If you would like to take it a step further, you can hover your hands over the meal, concentrating on sending loving, grateful energy into your food from your hands while you state your thanks. We have found that this makes the meal taste better, digest easier, and nourish us more deeply on numerous levels.
Affirm + Witness -
We love to do this ritual at the beginning or end of the day to set the morning off on a positive, confident note or to close out the evening with feelings of self-love and presence. To begin, sit in front of a full-length mirror, or if you don't have one, you can lean a smaller mirror up against the wall on the ground. Make yourself comfortable in front of the mirror, ensuring that your sit bones touch the floor and you feel supported beneath you. Close your eyes and take four deep breaths, inhaling deeply into your belly. Softly open your eyes and begin gazing into your reflection, making gentle eye contact with yourself. Open your Valhalla essential oil blend and rub a few drops between your thumb and forefinger.
Gaze into your eyes, and repeat the affirmation aloud: “I am connected and supported” while anointing (gently pressing the oil into your skin and rubbing in a small circle) the top point of your head (the crown chakra) with Valhalla. Feel free to state the affirmation a few times until it feels confident coming out.
Continue eye-gazing with yourself, and repeat the affirmation aloud: “I see clearly” while anointing the space between your eyebrows (the third eye chakra) with the oil.
Moving to the throat chakra, repeat the affirmation: “I speak my truth with integrity and ease” while gently rubbing the Valhalla blend on your throat near the Adam's apple.
Next, honor your heart by stating aloud the affirmation: “My heart is open. I receive love, I give love, I am love,” while you repeat this, anoint your heart chakra (the middle of your chest) with oil, rubbing gently to open your heart even further.
Continue eye-gazing in the mirror as you repeat the affirmation: “I respect, trust, and honor myself” while you gently rub the Valhalla blend on your solar plexus (the space between your heart and your belly button, on your abdomen)
Moving down, repeat the affirmation: “I attract and exude pleasure, joy, and abundance” while anointing the space about 3 inches below your belly button (the sacral chakra).
To finish this ritual, focus your energy on grounding into your body and the Earth below you. Repeat the affirmation: “I am rooted deeply in my being. I am whole. I am safe. I am loved” while anointing your tailbone (root chakra) with Valhalla.
When you are complete, gently close your eyes and note how you feel and any dialogue that may have arisen in your mind. If you want to journal and reflect further afterward, it’s a lovely addition to this practice. Maybe try asking yourself: “Do I believe these statements about myself? Why or why not?”
Goodnight Gratitude -
All you need for this ritual is a blank journal and a pen tucked conveniently near your bed. Before you lie down for the night, take a few moments to write down everything that comes to mind when you ask yourself: “What am I grateful for?” Let it rip without overthinking it. These entries can be bullet points of good things that happened during the day or even things you are grateful to yourself for! Anything that evokes a warm feeling of gratefulness in your heart can be shared, maybe a tender moment with your partner or friend or a delicious meal you had earlier in the day. Let the gratitude flow as a rushing stream without trying to censor or judge what you write.
Being alive means there will be challenges - gratitude is our strongest ally to remain open-hearted, no matter how difficult the situation may feel. As Maya Angelou says: “This is a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.”
We hope you try one (or all!) of these rituals. If you try the 21-day challenge, please comment below or email us to share how it impacted your life! May these rituals serve your highest good, inviting a ripple effect into the world so that one day, our human race may be defined by something beautiful, connective, and divine.
~ Written by Rohini Mauk ~