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Daily Ritual


Lehnah
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G'day folks,

So I've always struggled with daily ritual. I know each day we should say hello to the Gods, thank them for all they do for us, but I've never found anything that feels quite right. As present the closest I've come to daily ritual is listening to pagan-ish music while thinking about/ talking to the Gods quietly in my mind. This works well during my commute to work, when others are around etc, but is it enough? It feels like I'm just "fitting them in," but with all the responsibilities of life it's really hard to find time. 

I'd love to have a statue at home, like a little figurine next to my bed or something, which I could say thanks to each day, but that would involve explaining what it is to my wife and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that.

Anyway, any suggestions folks might have would be much appreciated.

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Hi Lehnah,

Great to have someone post about day-to-day practical paganism 😁

2 hours ago, Lehnah said:

G'day folks,

So I've always struggled with daily ritual. I know each day we should say hello to the Gods, thank them for all they do for us, but I've never found anything that feels quite right. As present the closest I've come to daily ritual is listening to pagan-ish music while thinking about/ talking to the Gods quietly in my mind. This works well during my commute to work, when others are around etc, but is it enough? It feels like I'm just "fitting them in," but with all the responsibilities of life it's really hard to find time. 

I'd love to have a statue at home, like a little figurine next to my bed or something, which I could say thanks to each day, but that would involve explaining what it is to my wife and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that.

Anyway, any suggestions folks might have would be much appreciated.

I think ideally each person seeks a sort of balance to their spiritual life and practise that makes sense to them. 

I personally have never see one anything in a set format on a daily basis for more than a few weeks at a time.

We hold to eight cyclic rituals each year and a member of our group undertook to give a daily offering to the grove's patron deity and the Celtic pantheon.

I personally feel that my private unspoken, un-ritualised communications with deity have been every bit as meaningful to them and myself as the rituals I've done...

In case it may be useful in any way I'll also add that in terms of statues, symbols etc. I practise several methods where the use of a visualised symbol, with its inherent conduit to that which it represents, has just as much presence and potency for me as the physical symbol itself. I think it's strength of intention and familiarity that help with that...

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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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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.

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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. 

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Hi Lehnah,

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?

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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.

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I find ritual important. To quote an anthropologist, Evan Zuesse

Quote

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.

 

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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.

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  • 7 months later...

I don't speak with my deities on a daily basis, or even a weekly basis. I don't have any set routine at all with them, and interact directly only when the mood takes me. As others have said, I believe that the gods and goddesses are aware of my inner thoughts, so I can communicate with them solely with my mind. I find it difficult to speak out loud to them (I do, but just not all the time) so I commune with them mentally. I'm pretty sure I do this on a daily basis, but even if I don't, the gods don't seem to mind.

 

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8 hours ago, Jackal Girl said:

I don't speak with my deities on a daily basis, or even a weekly basis. I don't have any set routine at all with them, and interact directly only when the mood takes me. As others have said, I believe that the gods and goddesses are aware of my inner thoughts, so I can communicate with them solely with my mind. I find it difficult to speak out loud to them (I do, but just not all the time) so I commune with them mentally. I'm pretty sure I do this on a daily basis, but even if I don't, the gods don't seem to mind.

 

There are two ways that I mainly relate to deities. One of them is to feel the presence of their energy. Often no words necessary in that circumstance though I might say something internally or outloud. I think time is a fluid concept in the realm of the gods. If you have been around for so long then what's in a week or a month or a year? 😄

Edited by Earthdragon
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2 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

If you have been around for so long then what's in a week or a month or a year? 😄

That's a good point, Earthdragon - I hadn't considered that!

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  • 1 year later...

For me personally I don’t see the point of a daily ritual. 

Does one need to be reminded of who their deity is, lest they forget?

The only time I use ritual (and this is not some pre-formulated, prescriptive, kind of recipe that has to be followed to the letter) is when I seek to enter into a different perspective/mind state/awareness. 

Such ritual for me also is very in the moment and simplistic. It is wilful expression of the moment, and so is appropriate. In that it is highly adaptive to the situation, as opposed to trying to force a specific set of fixed conditions onto the moment. 

But that is just my experience. 

Then again I do follow a daily exercise plan that is largely fixed and slowly evolving. So in a way I do follow a daily ritual in this sense. But this ritual  is not so much about connecting with my deities but more about connecting with self.

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Making tea and coffee is a daily ritual I would not wish to let go.

Daily "spiritual" rituals, also, are important to those who so deem them.

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I imagine the repetition of doing something regularly, using a clock or the sun or whatever, could contribute to its meaning and significance. For me, making coffee using a slow technique such as an aeropress has a sense of ritual about it which isn't there with instant coffee or a nespresso machine, but maybe that's because I overlap ritual with mindfulness, and it's easier to be mindful when the activity takes long enough to create some mental space (although, come to think of it, reframing the time something takes can be a useful exercise, such as the sequence of senses evoked by snapping your fingers if you can slow it down enough in your head perhaps.

I'm now wondering about filming myself in slow motion snapping my fingers...

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2 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

I'm now wondering about filming myself in slow motion snapping my fingers...

I was thinking exactly that as I read the earlier part of your post.  If you know what effect you are striving for it must be easier to focus on the task.

 Nothing to do with ritual or mindfulness but if you get chance, video bats in slomo.  Then replay with the sound on.  It’sa beautiful way to contemplate the little animals.

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On 10/19/2021 at 3:01 PM, Nettle said:

Does one need to be reminded of who their deity is, lest they forget?

Rather than avoiding the forgetting of their deity, maybe one can use ritual to say hello in a formal way. In between times there can be all the more casual familiarity that is befitting the relationship.

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