The Power of Ritual by Lani Reagan

We come to ritual when we are in need; when we have a sense that something is missing in our lives and our efforts to feel and experience the sacred within us, remains elusive. It’s more about transformation, than it is about superstition, religious culture or blind faith. ‍

“Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation. To do a ritual, you must be willing to be transformed in some way. The inner willingness is what makes the ritual come alive and have power. If you aren't willing to be changed by the ritual, don't do it.”
~Starhawk, American feminist & author of The Spiral Dance

One kind of ritual is keeping a daily journal.

We come to ritual when we are in need; when we have a sense that something is missing in our lives and our efforts to feel and experience the sacred within us, remains elusive. It’s more about transformation, than it is about superstition, religious culture or blind faith. 

If you think ritual isn’t for you, think again. Ritual is as old as the human race and it penetrates all aspects of life, from saluting the flag, to saying grace before eating a meal. At the global, national, cultural, familial and individual levels, rituals weave meaning into our lives and bind us together in shared values and goals, while simultaneously bringing us to our individual thresholds of limitation where we jump off the diving board of life into our successes and achievements. Even Michael Jordan had a ritual of wearing his North Carolina shorts under his Chicago Bulls shorts in every game.

But is there real proof that ritual does impact the outcomes of our efforts? Research reveals that even simple rituals can be extremely effective. In one experiment, reported on in Scientific American,  subjects were asked to recall and write about the death of a loved one or the end of a close relationship. Some wrote about rituals they performed after experiencing the loss. One person shared that she would play a certain memorable song and let herself cry and think of the person. Another wrote that after a break up they took all coupled photos, even the ones they liked and destroyed them into little pieces, then burned them in the park where they first met. Researchers reported that those who wrote about engaging in a ritual had less grief than those who only wrote about the loss. 

In another experiment to gauge the impact of ritual to alleviate a more mundane disappointment, researchers divided losers of a lottery into 2 groups. The lottery was set up by the researchers to produce disappointment. To increase the disappointment all were asked to list ways they’d spend the money. The winner of said lottery got to leave and the others were divided into 2 groups. One group was given a simple set of 4 rituals to perform and the other was told to only do the first of the 4 steps below:

  1. Draw how they felt after losing on a piece of paper at their desk for 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the paper with the drawing.
  3. Tear up the piece of paper.
  4. Count up to ten in your head, five times.

Then all had to answer questions about their level of grief or disappointment. The results? Those who performed the ritual after the lottery reported feeling less grief than those who only drew how they felt. The conclusion being that ritual is effective in both life-changing losses, as well as mundane ones. 

From the perspective of Universal Law, what are the 2 energetic factors that make rituals an important tool in self-development? 

Because energy is what you are and energy is required for any manifestation to be realized, becoming ultra receptive to energy or life force is prime. The Degree of Receptivity is the first factor in determining the rate of healing or impact. Ritual increases our receptivity levels, by focusing on our intentions, while taking action that represents achievement of our goals, or the relief we are seeking, raises that receptivity level. 

The second factor is The Degree of Constancy of Aim and Effort reflected in our follow through. Ritual isn’t about blind faith but about taking action, since action leads to outcomes. Even simple acts, as seen in the example above produce results but repetition builds up the concentration of energy needed to accomplish the intended experience. 

How can you enhance the impact of your current rituals? Make sure to connect to the heart chakra to imbue each move with meaning and feeling. Saying words of gratitude as you perform the ritual also increases the energetic concentration. Then remember to make them easy enough to practice regularly without feeling pressed for time. 

Some rituals that I practice include giving thanks for my food while energizing it with pranic energy for healing and right metabolization in my body; I do gratitude journaling  in the morning; breathing before I meditate; and list-making with a pink rose quartz crystal anchoring it, at the end of my day to set the tone for the next day. 

When I start to notice things slowing down in my financial area, I don’t bother getting caught up with worry, since it takes just as much energy to worry as it does to take positive action. Since I’ve lived long enough to understand that cycles are a normal part of life, rituals make sense as they give us space to re-infuse purpose and meaning into our lives during tough times, as well as times of plenty. Many of my rituals I practice regularly and they strengthen the fabric of my life, while others come for a time to give my new projects and purposes the boost of energy and life they need to come to form.   

What new rituals will you add to your routine? Decide what things you’d like to experience or have, or what areas you’d like to see improvement on and then build your ritual in honor of that. Take advantage of full moon and new moon energies, and let it be a feeling experience giving you focus and an ease to welcome in the healing and support you deserve. 

If you’d like to have the money-ritual I practice, DM me “Money-ritual please” on instagram @lani_reagan and I’ll shoot you over my free video on “How to Activate Your Basic Chakra and Turn the Money-Flow On In Your Life.” Blessings to you as you adopt your newest rituals! 

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