The definition of a ritual is a rite, ceremony, procedure or series of symbolic acts that, when repeated, with the same intention, focus and dedication, produces effects or affects.
Thus a ritual must have intention; there must be a purpose for the ceremony and there must be method. Rituals work on many levels by interacting upon the physical body as well as the mental and spiritual. It is the inner response to the outer action which effects the changes, both within our vibration and our surroundings.
So why do we do rituals? We do rituals every day. The way you brush your teeth, butter your toast or turn on the TV but few actually have any ‘magic’ capability as there is no focused outcome except for clean teeth, to eat toast or to watch a TV program. A ritual which involves and provides a connection to Spirit or Mother Earth inevitably engages other parts of our consciousness. We not only access our individual unconscious but we summon energy from the collective unconscious as well. With ritual, you are increasing balance and connection in yourself, with one another, the world, the rhythms and energies of life, which in turn brings stability and light to our lives, whilst establishing a fundamental sense of unity.
Hence ritual offers an enhanced meaning, an opportunity for increased social connection and a deepening of tradition. Halevi from the School of Kabbalah, states “Ritual is the mode of formalising action and giving it not only meaning but creating a contact with other worlds”. In ancient times, rituals were used for spiritual experience and as an enactment of myth, providing a connection to the sacred which goes beyond our perception of reality.
As an individual, a people and a planet, we can use the balance and harmony that ritual brings to facilitate healing and unite us consciously as members of a global family. Becoming more aware of our inner and outer relationships, including our sense of Spirit, allows us to recognise the sense of unity and oneness among all things.