In this crazy modern world, many of us are desperately seeking to find something to put us in touch, even if just for a moment, with the divine (whatever you perceive that to be). We’d love our lives to have more meaning, more purpose, more beauty. Rituals can help. Years ago, I wrote a book called Rituals for Sacred Living, and I still firmly believe in the power of a good ritual.
Several months back, I went on a blissful retreat in Portugal, called Blush Love. It was one of those weeks that seep into your soul, that change you subtly and sweetly, that stay with you forever. One of the things that made it so special was the way the leaders took simple things (lighting a candle, eating a square of chocolate, sipping a glass of wine, picking an oracle card) and made them special, moments to be savoured – little rituals.
Then there were the bigger rituals. One night we mindfully walked a labyrinth made up of lights – coming to our centres – it was beyond magical. Throughout the week we created a medicine wheel, tying on bundles of the things we wanted to release, along with our hopes and dreams. We ended the week with a powerful fire ceremony that sent tingles down the spine.
‘Rituals are a beautiful way to honour our essence, develop spiritual connection and intuition, as well as a wonderful way to nurture creativity,’ says Kate Taylor, co-creator of Blush Love. ‘The importance of ceremony is a basic need that cuts through the complexities of our busy lives. They are a way to slow down and connect to the divine with meaning and grace.’
Absolutely! Sadly many of us have been put off the idea of ritual, linking it with religious ceremonies that have no personal meaning, or of turgid family rituals, set in stone. I’ll never forget a friend explaining how she was dreading Christmas because it was an absolute nightmare having to make her young daughters wait until after lunch for their presents. ‘Why not open them earlier?’ I asked. She shook her head: ‘It’s the tradition in my husband’s family.’ I felt so sad for her, and her daughters and, indeed, her husband – all stuck in a ritual that didn’t serve any of them. Good rituals, healthy rituals, need to be vibrant, meaningful – they need to make the psyche smile.
‘There are so many ways you can create your own rituals, and it’s really down to what feels good to you,’ says Kate. ‘They can be as simple as creating an altar using crystals, candles and incense and setting an intention towards your personal desires, or love and blessings for another person in your life.’
I couldn’t agree more. One of my favourite small rituals is a ‘start the work day’ ritual. I light a candle, anoint myself with ila’s Vital Energy aroma roller (£29; www.ila-spa.com) and set my intention for the day. It gives me clarity.
So play with ritual, see what works for you. Of course, if you want a totally delicious crash course in the joy of ritual, get thee to a Blush Love retreat – I can’t recommend it highly enough! As it happens, I’m going back for another dose of deliciousness in a couple of weeks (this time in Somerset). Apparently there are still a few places left – so why not join me?