The Importance of Ritual During A Pandemic

The Importance of Ritual During A Pandemic March 29, 2020

When your world is turned upside-down due to a pandemic (or any major life event), what do you do? Do you drop all the things that bring you comfort, or do you hold onto them even tighter? I urge you to take some time and consider the rituals you use in your daily life, and those that may have fallen to the wayside, and reinvigorate your ritual practice. It will help during these stressful times.

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How, you may ask? When life is in constant turmoil and upheaval? Who has time for altars and ritual when the world changes daily? Ritual and spellwork are the very things that keep us grounded, which is something we all need when everything is topsy-turvy.

Start with your altar: If you don’t already practice daily meditation/prayer/quiet time, then I strongly urge you to try and incorporate this into your life. Everyone has five to ten minutes to spare in your day. If you don’t have an altar set up, then take some time to do so. Find a small space, whether it is on top of a bookcase, or a small table you’re not really using (move that pile of books elsewhere) or even a corner that is not in the flow of home traffic. See what calls to you as an altar focus, whether it be your deity, the four elements, nature items, or honoring your ancestors. The most rudimentary altar can also be the most soothing and beautiful. A candle and a leaf? If that is what calls to you, then do so. If you honor deities or ancestors, be sure to leave them offerings such as alcohol,  coffee, or little treats. They enjoy that, and you will feel their appreciation.

Ritual: Pick a few things that you may already be doing as a ritual, and really notice them. Do you have your morning coffee or tea in a certain way, time, or manner? That’s a ritual. Now apply that to other things, such as bathing, doing some daily divination, or gardening. The list in endless. We are no doubt noticing being quarantined at home, that there are things we are doing out of the usual routine. Always been interested in yoga? Look up some short You Tube videos, and give it a try. Do you follow the journey of the moon? Plan for your next new or full moon ritual. Cooking appeals to you? Look into different methods of cooking that you always wanted to try.

Organize: Do you have supplies haphazardly all over the place? Organize them. Is your Book of Shadows dusty and not used? Update it. Add some rituals you always meant to add to your Book of Shadows, but never did. Look back on what you’ve done, and note what worked and what didn’t. Interested in kitchen  witchery, but never got around to it? Begin now. Work with your Tarot or Oracle cards, or practice with a new deck. Start a Tarot journal: pull a card a day and note down its meaning. That can be used with any sort of divination, including pendulum work, cloud and fire scrying.

Gratitude: You can make the act of gratitude itself a ritual. Begin or end your day with some quiet time in your favorite spot, and write down what you are grateful for, including all the little things you used to take for granted. Light candles and incense to really enhance your environment, and see what comes up on your gratitude list. Thankful for the friend who checks on you? Write that person a card or letter. Email them if easier, and let them know how you appreciate them.

Community: With today’s technology, even the most die-hard introvert has experienced community. I have participated in novenas, prayer circles, online rituals and spiritual discussions these past few weeks, feeling the presence of my friends and community across the world. It is a treasured experience, and I am one not overly fond of video, must less interacting on video. Not sure where to start? Do some research, and be curious about our world. There are lovely people out there, offering or participating in all sorts of events, rituals, classes, group energy work or more.

Boredom: I used to teach preschool, and some of my favorite moments were when little three or four year-olds would come up to me and announce with great emphasis, “I’m bored!!!” I would smile delightedly, and say, “That’s great!” and walk away, relishing the confused look on their faces. They were used to being entertained at the drop of a hat, or being shown what to do, and to watch them figure out the freedom of choosing what to do themselves was priceless. Apply this to adults now. If you find yourself bored during this time, I strongly urge you to take the focus off yourself, and look at the world. Learn something about the world, whether it be a new language, watch documentaries, or see what you can do to help others. Check on your quiet and elderly friends. See if your local spiritual community is helping others, and learn how you can contribute. Order food for the local healthcare community, and have it delivered. They are in the front-lines of this pandemic, and could use our support.

Go Inward: So many people are used to the constant go-go-go of their daily life, so when that is taken away, many are noticing the echo of the other areas they failed to nourish as much as their “busy-ness”. Missing friendships and community? Noticing you have no hobbies, interests or attention span? Go inward, and listen. Find out what is important to you, and if you have no clue, begin simply: how would you like your life to look  like? Surrounded by community, feeling your purpose daily, healthy, happy, contented? No one knows you better than yourself, so if you’ve forgotten, enjoy the process of getting re-acquainting with yourself. Learn to love being with yourself, and really take care of the person that you are. Because when this is over, and it will be one day, to plan emerge from it as the best person you can be. We will need you. So mote it be.

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