When we think about ritual, we often go straight to religion—where rituals were created to show reverence for a certain deity, to help community members atone for their sins, to give sacrament, or to mark rites of passage.
In witchier circles, talk of ritual can also conjure images of, well…conjuring! With the crystals, and the sigils, and the dragon’s blood. Serious business for professional seers, sorcerers, and shamans—and also currently trending with the #witchesofinstagram. Ritual baths meanwhile, with their complex herbal compounds to soothe your soul as you soak, have got to go down as a self-care trend for 2017.
This sort of restorative work can seem super appealing in a world where many of our daily rituals go no further than our crazy-complicated morning Starbucks order. The reality in what we call the Now Age (like New Age, but for now) is that making time and space for more meaningful rituals in our lives often fizzles out at the "good intentions" stage.
But rituals are an ancient human technology. They're the first spiritual practices on Earth and an essential part of life that has been swept aside in many cases by the advent of…technology. A way of anchoring our unique experiences and communicating what’s in our bodies and our souls, rituals are how we tell the Universe our story.
So when Alexandra Roxo and I created Moon Club, a digital spiritual mentoring program structured around the phases of the moon, a return to ritual was essential to us. And we also recognized the importance of making these rituals fit seamlessly into busy, multifaceted lives. We record them and share them in a community, so we all have one another to lean on. Syncing our syllabus with Mama Moon was the first step, since simply honoring the lunar cycles is a ritual in and of itself. In a world where many things have lost meaning, coming home to the cycles of the Moon gives us a framework and a connection to our roots. (Literally and figuratively!)
We still approach rituals as a portal to our inner lives, our deep spiritual work, and a place for transformation to occur within. But you also don’t need to buy a bunch of crystals or cards (though we love those things, too!). You simply have to come with a willing and open heart and some focused, uninterrupted time. And we begin with a ritual for each New Moon—like tomorrow morning’s New Moon in Scorpio.
Coming off the season of Halloween, Day of the Dead, and descent into the winter, it’s a time of year to look deep inside ourselves and see what shifts are ready to occur. Most cultures have myths about the descent into the Underworld—like the Greeks with Persephone and Hades, or the story of Inanna.