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Each to his own. I find ritual quickly loses meaning. By it's nature it is often repetitive, pre-planned, structured, in ways that quickly prove themselves stifling. Still, if it speaks to a given individual, go with it. It's just not for me.
I find ritual important. To quote an anthropologist, Evan ZuesseQuote
Ritual … is spiritually more profound than any theology, it accomplishes more for those who participate in it than any number of rarified mystical treatises …
The deepest form of knowing is through doing. Being is less adequate a religious good than Becoming. In the final analysis, it is only when we act out concretely our deepest convictions that they become our real convictions, that we truly experience their truth — or discover their falsity. As human beings we are in constant flight from our own concrete existence ; we take refuge in idealities such as myth and theology, we long for primordial being, and we thirst for ultimate states that will remove us from our own insufficiencies and mortality.
[ritual] not only announces our limits and humbles us by showing us our bodies, but it also indicates that our limits and bodies are sanctified participants in a larger marvelous whole, a divine order.
Ritual … may be rooted in the body, but it achieves expression only in otherness. The transcendental center of symbolic action is the real heart of ritual. Ritual mediates between real and ideal, flesh and mind, material and spiritual, giving each a shape which is that of the other.
On 11/25/2019 at 8:24 PM, Stonehugger said:On 12/14/2019 at 10:47 PM, Ellinas said:
As time has gone on, I've found ritual becomes increasingly unimportant. If we regard deities as intelligent, I don't really understand why we need to do anything more than talk to them.
Ritual is a way of connecting with your deities, if you have any. If you don’t need it (or don’t have any deities) or just choose not to do it, then that’s fine.
I also like to do ritual for the festivals (if I can) because it marks them out as a special day. Apart from that, I’m not really a ritual person.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Has given me much to think on.
I would echo what others have said, that there is no "right way" or "not enough" when it comes to communing with your deities. I think the quality of your conversations is much more important than whether or not they adhere to any kind of ritual process. Ritual certainly has its function, but please don't stress if you don't have the time and space to do it every day.
I don't have quite the same challenge with my partner as I am very open and she very supportive of my practice, but when life gets really busy and I find myself losing touch with my spiritual side, I try to squeeze in some meditations (I sort of converse with some deities, sometimes, but am still exploring that) in bed, morning and/or evening. It makes for a nice start/finish to the day and I find it's a nice, quiet time with no interruptions or pressure to talk or anything. Any mundane tasks, like brushing your teeth, can also be a good time to check in.
Also, showers! You're skyclad, you're cleansing yourself, and you're (presumably, at least most of the time) alone- what better time to have a conversation with your deities?
What I find useful is a meaningful mantra (repeated silently in the mind). When I'm out in the hills or fells it is a gateway to 'the other place' and during the day it helps me stay grounded , especially when at work. Another ritual I find useful is every morning on the way to work I stop at the beach and pick up a pebble and keep it in my pocket. During the day I hold it to remind me of 'the other place' - the next day I replace the pebble back on the beach and pick up another one. For me ritual is a practical way of keeping focus on what is important, it's all to easy to get lost in the world and overwhelmed by negative energy.
As time has gone on, I've found ritual becomes increasingly unimportant. If we regard deities as intelligent, I don't really understand why we need to do anything more than talk to them. I suppose magical practice might be another matter, and it is of little importance to me, but even then, if magic is the use of will, why not just will what is desired?
This is not to say that you need to adopt this approach. If you feel the need for ritual, carry on. Might I suggest that a statue need not be justified as anything other than aesthetic. If you can't say anything further to your wife, tell her it is there because you like it. Say "thanks" when she's not around. Or forget the statue and use your garden - create a sort of unobtrusive sacred space (perhaps just a stone). If you don't want to explain going outside in all weathers, position it where you can see it from a window.
Or create a mental sacred space which you can visit anywhere and anytime there is sufficient peace. That has the advantage that you might meet some interesting unexpected images. Mine is a wide, grassed ledge on a steep hillside where I've built a mental stone altar. Mind, I've not been there for quite a while. And be aware that if you try this in bed at night, you will be liable to fall asleep.
If you want to say hello and thank you, have you tried writing prayers? I have one to Brigid whenever I turn the hob on and I dedicate any divination to The Morrigan.
You could also ask the deities to give you daily tasks to do, but be selective as you don’t want to end up inundated with things to do.
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