Ritual and Ceremony: Connecting Deeply to Oneself and The World
Ritual and ceremony are the little and big ways we intentionally weave ourselves into the sacredness of life. We step out of ordinary time and space and into something greater than ourselves. These are ancient ways to realign ourselves with what is true for us. Most cultures on earth have a rich history of ceremonies and rituals that are specific to them and their deep interconnection with the land that sustains them. While many of these practices have been lost, or are not of our heritage, modern people still feel the deep yearning to experience the felt connection to tradition, place, and meaning that ritual and ceremony embody. We long to know ourselves as meaningfully embedded in the ebb and flow of life; that our experience matters to the cosmos. The modern explosion of interest in cacao ceremony is one way we are learning to express and experience this profound sense of wholeness that comes when we partake in plant medicine, in community, and on our own. In this way, we are reconnecting with more primal ways of being in our bodies, on this planet, at this time.
So much is changing.
For better or for worse, change is often remarkably unsettling. It's so easy to get swirled up in the tide of current events, lost in our heads, trying to make sense of it all and trying to figure out what the future may hold. And so, a kind of forgetting happens. A forgetting of who we are and how we fit in. This is challenging, even in normal times. And these are not normal times, are they? Humans have always faced the inevitability of change and the possibility of forgetting, and so perhaps that's why ceremony has been so important throughout time. It has always been an anchoring force, bringing us back into the remembrance of our place within our community and within the universe. It connects us to the movement of stars and constellations through the night sky, the location of the sun and moon, the tides, the rain times, the agricultural cycles, the hunting and gathering cycles. When we connect with what is unchanging, we root ourselves deeply into our world. We feel grounded, safe, and held.
At the same time, as Sandra Ingerman suggests in “The Book of Ceremony" ceremony is always about transformation. So, as we root down into stability and that which is real in the here and now, we also gain the courage and momentum to allow transformation to happen. This transformation is about aligning that which has come out of alignment, either within or in the world around us. As our culture grows increasingly disconnected, our desire for inner and outer transformation grows equally. We feel the impulse to create change within ourselves and within our societal structures. As we practice ceremony, we open ourselves to transformation, and in the process emerge with greater empowerment, authenticity, and connection to purpose. This is perhaps another reason why the call to ceremony and ritual has grown because the need for transformation has grown.
As we open ourselves to transformation, of necessity, we must also confront the pain of what is not aligned. This often opens a well of grief, anger, and fear as we process both current and ancestral trauma. As the tears flow, so too does the healing as we release what we were holding in. The container of ceremony creates space for this work and acknowledging the sacredness of it because it connects us with the world as it is. With each dive within, we emerge more whole and ready to engage the world. This cycle of doing the inner work and then embodying that in the world is the true power of ceremony. It is a continual process of refining lead into gold, daily, weekly, seasonally, and over the years. It becomes who we are and how we see the world.
A regular ritual is a form of self- care that helps us acknowledge and invite in the sacred in day to day life. Our lives can feel hectic, jumbled, and confusing. Ritual is centering and grounding and helps us move through our day in a more intentional way. Life's circumstances may not have changed much, but after taking time to realign we feel a new level of ok-ness with how things are and act from that place. Instead of trying to change the world around us from a place of scarcity, we do so from a place of love and connectedness.
Here are some tips on incorporating ceremony & ritual into your life:
- Take a moment to feel and express gratitude before a meal so you can slow down and truly receive the gift of nourishment
- Replace your morning coffee with cacao to bring intentional heart-opening to the start of your day
- Sit with an altar, light some incense and send love & positive thoughts to those in need
- Gather friends together to celebrate seasonal changes, such as the solstices & equinoxes
- Host a cacao ceremony and invite others to dance, sing, share from the heart, meditate, do vision boards, or any other practice you find powerful
- Sit quietly by yourself and pay full attention to the life coming in and out of your body in the form of breath
- Mark life stage transitions with rites of passage that acknowledge what is being left behind and what is emerging
If you'd like to join us in ceremony, we have a monthly virtual series where we connect deeply to our inner world and interpersonally with the other participants.