Ginny here. As we have been writing about the Sacred Return workshops, I’ve been aware that lots of people don’t know what we mean when we refer to ritual. It all sounds really woo-woo—maybe a little too out there for everyday conversation. Well, let’s rip off the New Age label and talk about what ritual is and how it appears in our lives. All the time. Every day.

We all have personal rituals that punctuate our days. Every morning do you make tea or hit the coffee pot and take your cup to the same chair to look outside or watch TV or check your emails? That’s a ritual. Personal rituals make us feel at home, give us a sense of belonging to a place and time, make us comfortable.

Now let’s make that a little bigger. Do you put up your holiday decorations at the same time each year—maybe Thanksgiving weekend? Do you carve pumpkins for Halloween and place them in position on the porch or walkway? Do you return to the same restaurant, maybe the same table with the same view, on your wedding anniversary? Those are all rituals too. They make certain times of year familiar, cozy even. Ask anyone. The answer almost always starts with the phrase, “Our family always…..goes, does, has…” and often those traditions, those rituals, are passed down through generations. They provide continuity.

Sacred Return is about an even bigger picture—intentional  ritual. We all experience the year as it turns—in both our popular culture and the natural world but often it slips by us and we go, “Wow, is it already Valentine’s Day, or Fourth of July, or time to go back to school?” But if we acknowledge and celebrate, if we participate in that turning rather than just letting our time slip by, we feel better—more peaceful, more connected, more festive, less harried and stressed. We can find meaning in each season, in each occasion if we create rituals, very simple or more ornate, that draw on our past and present experiences. The important thing is our attention. We can enjoy the passage of the year intentionally.

Next time we’ll talk about exactly what those rituals might look like and how they can occur in your own creation of sacred space, another impossibly woo-woo term that we’ll take back now for everyday use!

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