*A note...rituals are actions we are intentional and purposeful about, habits are things we do that we don't need to think about (they are automatic).
We are in between Halloween and Christmas (or Samhain and Yule) and no matter how you honour the holidays or seasons, it's a time where our rituals are more obvious.
So many of us may think that we don't have rituals or that we don't practice them...but we do. We all do.
That first cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning.
The listening and shuffling and pulling and writing that comes after.
The shhhick sound of a shuffling tarot deck.
That family recipe for pumpkin cake that you all do at the same time of year (without planning it) but that you all make in a slightly different way.
The same walk every morning in the same woods that change every season.
The picking up of a nature thing to add to your altar.
The awe that comes each month of the full moon in all her glory.
Knowing that the photos you take of the full moon (in all her glory) will be shitty and blurry, but taking them anyways.
The cuddle, kiss, hug sequence that your growing boy insists you do each night, just so.
The filling of your bath; only hot til just the end then a little cold top up infused with the perfect amount of salt.
The lighting of a candle
The kiss goodnight
The love you
The special day
The shutting down
You may think you don't have rituals but you do. And honouring them is a gorgeous thing.
Identifying and honouring our rituals allows us to feel more connected in our lives. More connected to ourselves, our families, our ancestors, our communities, ours days/months/years, our cycles and phases and seasons and nature (and so much more).
When I started noticing what I did, or felt pulled to do, as ritual rather than habit, I was able to be more intentional about what feeds my heart and soul.
They don't have to be big complicated things, they rarely are. Noticing that my first cup of coffee had a strong ritualistic feel about it allowed me to slow down and take it in. It signifies waking up, getting started, an opportunity to set my pace and intention for the day. It became more spiritual. It became a really special time for me.
Realising that my son has set his own ritual for how we say goodnight meant that I got to add it to my own. It means i slow right down in that moment and be with him. I clear the to-do list and the thoughts of being so tired. This is an honour for me and really, how many more years will it last? Maybe he'll do it with his kids if he decides to go that route?
Connecting to daily rituals is a way that I let myself notice what's already here; what's already good. It slows me down and brings me so much more ease and joy. I can always tell the days that I don't have these moments. I'm more rushed and anxious. I'm chasing my tail and trying to do too much. And I can always come back to it (thank goodness).
It's also worth thinking about the rituals we engage with that maybe aren't for us anymore. It can be hard to let go of things that we are told to continue, especially when it comes to family or culture. We can feel like we are letting folk down. But we really don't owe anyone our ritual space and energy. We get to choose.
When my son was first born (and before that) I felt like I had to make our Christmases just like my mom made ours. My mom went flat out at Christmas. She loves it. My dad, however doesn't so it was on her to do it all. And it was a lot. And she was exhausted with it and she often missed things because she was doing so much. I can see that now as a mum. I'll always be grateful for that experience as a kid. I tried to do it all the same and it was just not working. I'd be upset if i didn't do it all just right then upset at the thought of letting things go and then upset and tired from trying to make it work. And it didn't leave any room for my husband in it all. It also doesn't include the way I like to honour the seasons and nature with more pagan and celtic traditions. I kept some things, I change some others and I leave room for our own rituals to come about. You need to make room for things to grow right?
For me, honouring rituals is about honouring ourselves. It lets us spiritualise our daily exisitence, on our terms. And you know I'm here for that.
I hope you are able to find ways to honour your own rituals, and to release those that are no longer working for you.
Here's to us being in the moments of our own lives.