- Religion and Philosophy
Preparing For Ritual
Ritual can mean a great many things to many people. To some it can mean a general routine, such as getting out of bed, brushing teeth and having coffee. To others it can mean something religious and spiritual. For some, it is the motions one might go through before meditation.
I would like to outline a way of calming and centering the self for a concentrated task. It is to help clear the mind, body and spirit of any distractions, negativity, or general noise.
Relax during the bathing process. Inhale confidence, setting your mind to a positive state of success. There is no failure, only lack of energy. Exhale worries and negativity. Inhale mental clarity – it might be a good idea to burn mint, eucalyptus or tea tree oil in an oil burner during this time, or place drops of said oils in the bath for aromatherapeutic effect. When you are ready to leave the bath, feel your worries and lingering thoughts go into the bath water, and as you pull the plug and it begins to drain, so do your concerns.
The bathing process has two functions:
Often we carry too much weight within us, on our shoulders. Bathing, whether it be sitting in a tub, wandering into the lake, or standing under a shower, can help the muscles and body to relax. So often we have our own morning rituals which includes taking a shower before the day begins. Without realizing it, this is not just physically cleaning, but it is an attempt to wash away the previous day, to wash away the night, the sleep, and refresh the self for the day to come.
Showering for the day is different when bathing for a purpose. The bathing process before a ritual has two functions:
Yet see how a morning habit and bathing for ritual can have the same purposes which hold completely different meanings.
Acquiring a robe is not terribly difficult. There are a couple options:
- Make it
Here are some useful links to help you with either of these tasks. I do recommend making your robe though, as it will hold more significance with you.
Air-dry if you can. This means, if your environment does not prove too much discomfort, allow yourself to dry without a towel, without cloth, or anything but the atmosphere of your environment.
Dress yourself in your special robe or gown – white if possible – that you only wear for this purpose. This puts your mind set in a magical place, alerting your subconscious that you are about to make use of the pineal gland. If you do not have a robe, that is fine. Going Sky Clad, or in the nude is just as effective.
- Make a Ritual Robe
Although many Wiccans and Pagans prefer to practice skyclad, sometimes it's just not practical -- and that's when you need a good ritual robe. You can buy them commerically, but for a lot of people it's just more satisfying to make their own. You can
- Ritual Robes : 13 Moons - Supplies for Witch, Wiccan, Pagan & Shaman
13 Moons - Supplies for Witch, Wiccan, Pagan & Shaman : Ritual Robes - Altar Items Athames Bath & Body Books Herbs Oils Candles & Holders Cauldron Magick Chalices Clothing Divination Home and Ritual Incense Jewelry Music Instruments CDs &
A Note About Your Ritual Space
If you are gearing up to practice a spiritual ritual or meditation, you want to make sure the mood is set, so to speak.
Your ritual space should be dark, and private. I have heard of some having to make do with the bathroom for their privacy. Some people have the luxury of a bedroom, but it is just too small to have any of the extras. That is not a problem. Where the will is determined, the ability to make-shift will be present.
If you are in a standard room, the curtains should be drawn and if possible, doors closed. Your space should allow you minimal disturbance - none if at all possible. If doing spiritual practices, it is important to remember that you are doing this for your own personal growth and inspiration, and not as tricks for other people.
Once again, mood-setting is of importance. While I mentioned before to have your space be dark, you still want to be able to see. Candles make an excellent mood lighter, and provide energy as well. Mimic-candles are good as well, though you may not draw the same inspiration from them. The presence of the tiny flames allow for the subtle energies to change slightly.
If you have an alter, or any tools to use, they should be in the middle of the room, facing to the east. When the time comes you will sit behind your alter, also facing the east. A chair is preferable, though not necessary, to be behind your alter or in the center of your sacred space.
If a concern is unwanted energies crouching in corners or hidden spots, you may go to each of these nooks and clap your hands three times or ring a bell three times. Should you ring the bell, please know that this bell should only be used for this purpose and part of your alter.
You are now prepared for Ritual.
Take a moment to become aware of your breath, and breathe.
The simple act of breathing as been more beneficial than many anti anxiety medications. Breath is part of life, is a necessity of life. It is an involuntary act which we take for granted. Through each breath, our bodies take in oxygen which is deposited into our blood to carry out to different organs, including the brain.
With everything you do, you should be conscious of your breath. This will allow you to remain calmer, clearer in thinking, and in tune with your body.