I am a big believer in the value of ritual; from huge festivities with weeks of preparation beforehand to the small and personal rituals which can appear as little more than habits.
They both have their place but have very different effects on our lives. So today I wanted to write about the small personal rituals and what they do for me. My Little Rituals are definitely not habits. They are deliberately mindful, where my habits are quite the opposite. Little Rituals allow me to live my life in a conscious way, making sure that I don't sleepwalk through my time on earth. They help me connect in with myself and my life on a regular basis to make sure I am really engaging with the world.
Sometimes my rituals are very short term and changeable, some of them are things I have been doing for ages but all of them root my life and affirm my path. Some of them are magical, most of them are actually mundane, allowing me to practice mindfulness anywhere and bring a little magic into everyday grind. Because everyone's had a daily grind that they could probably do with injecting with a little sparkle. At the moment Little Rituals are to remind me that no matter how much time my current career is taking up, there are other things that are equally as important - such as writing this blog!
Some of my current Little Rituals:
1. Lighting candles and incense whenever I settle down to write at home (for work or any other projects).
2. Wearing my silver, purple and blue sparkly bangles when I am not at work.
3. Checking my vegetable patch every morning.
4. Reading for at least 30 mins every night before bed.
What are your little rituals that keep your day and week ticking over?
In the beginning this circle was purely a place of protection – covered in magical fire to stop anything disrupting or interrupting me (or even attacking me when I lived somewhere particularly scary). Then it was a place where I totally controlled the energy and could intensify it as I wished without it dissipating. Then it was a portal to another world as eventually, within the sphere, a door appeared and through that door was my subconscious, my Gods and Goddesses, my spirit guide and a million worlds to explore and find wisdom within. But establishing the sphere was always the first step.
Sometimes within the circle I work magic purely within my mind, magic of thought alone. Sometimes I perform physical rituals. It is a flexible and useful thing.
But when I do a personal practice, even a simple meditation casting my blue sphere is always the first thing I do and this is because it has well outgrown its original purpose. After using this technique for 11 years it is now a powerful psychological trigger. Beginning the through processes to cast my circle are deeply ingrained in my psyche so that I hardly have to think about them. The simple act of going through the motions alone signals to my mind that it is time to get focussed and drop into that particular headspace needed for working magic.
I would recommend any magical practitioner to get a regular magical practice, something that you could do for the next 20 or 30 years, something simple you can keep coming back to because the discipline of the practice alone is invaluable – regardless of the other purposes of the practice. Attaining the ability to switch into your magical head state as easily as possible is probably the most important thing I have achieved so far.
One of the first and most consistent magical practices I still use is a variant on the casting of a circle. The reasons why I use this casting have changed a lot over the years; but the beauty of circle casting is that is has so many applications and uses. This is probably why this practice has never left me and the nuts and bolts of it have changed little in 11 years.
Everyone has their own needs and style, mine is deliciously dramatic (because in my own private practice I have allowed myself to be as over the top as I feel like) but it starts with my sitting or lying somewhere comfortable and then doing a step by step visualisation. Firstly I envisage two iron bands encircling me, horizontally and vertically so that they create a spherical space around me. At this stage I always here an audible “ker…chunk” when the bands lock into place. Then the rest of the sphere bursts into life with licking tongues of blue fire which I hear hissing and spitting. Finally bolts of blue electricity arc around the iron bands crackling as they go. Inside I am snug and tucked away from the world.