What Is Ritual?

Ritual seems to be a buzz word that is everywhere lately, especially when paired with self-care. Beyond all the elusive trendiness of fancy photos and lofty ideals, what actually is ritual?!

I see ritual as a systematic approach that purifies and prepares us for something else. It is a series of steps we do to calm down and quiet ourselves so that we can be more present. Ritual is a predictable routine that supports us.

Rituals are ongoing regular routines. They can be daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. Ritual can be broken down into three categories: individual, familial, and collective.

 
coffee and book
 

Individual Ritual:

Relate to us personally. The things we do for ourselves. A few examples of individual rituals are brushing our teeth each night before bed, making our bed, reading, sipping our morning coffee or tea, a meditation practice, or going to yoga once a week.

Familial Ritual:

Involve our family, both blood and chosen. Some familial rituals could be a weekly movie night, ordering pizza on a Friday, Christmas dinner, or birthday celebrations.

Collective Ritual:

Expand outwards to our greater communities. These could involve volunteering, an annual weekend away with a group of friends, the call to order of a meeting with an organization you belong to.

 
rose and lavender bouquet
 

Focusing on personal ritual has been deeply enriching for me, as I tend to struggle with structure and always want to rebel ;) What I have learned from ritual is that it creates predictability which then allows me to feel safe, secure, and settled. Ritual is a system that supports me to focus on the things that matter. We can find freedom within the structures and rhythms that support us.

Some of my favorite individual rituals include buying fresh cut flowers every other week, journaling, making and drinking my morning coffee, taking a hot bath, and lighting candles during the winter months.

Our familial rituals include Friday night movie nights, supper out with the kids at our fave burger joint once a month, picking my grandma up for lunch, and having coffee with both my parents and in-laws.

Collective ritual includes attending a quarterly charity event with friends called 100 Women Who Care. We always have supper together and it’s something I really look forward to. The Moon Wisdom group I run with Meghan Lynn and my Lunar Love letters are both community based rituals that I tend to each new and full moon.

Embracing ritual is a practice. It’s not intended to be super rigid or confining. Healthy ritual is flexible and supportive. When I start my day with ritual, I end up being more productive, present, and calm.

It’s often the simplest of tasks such as lighting a candle or taking a few moments to close our eyes that can help us feel supported. My guided visualizations and candles are complimentary to any practice; whether you are just establishing ritual or you want to enhance what you are already doing.

I would love to know what rituals you have developed. Let me know what your personal, familial or collective rituals are below!

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What is ritual? Recognizing the ways we already use simple rituals in our day-to-day lives.
 

How To Choose a Crystal

I’ve been working with and collecting crystals for years! Beyond simply being pretty to look at, crystals can be used as a tool to strengthen our intuition thus bringing more awareness and intention into our lives.

When talking about crystals, or any spiritual tools, it’s important to be mindful of where we are placing our expectations and therefore our personal power. I view crystals as merely a physical reminder of that which we are calling in or working towards, either intentionally or subconsciously.

I see crystals as the outward tangible manifestation of our innate power within. They assist us with practicing, listening to, and trusting our intuition. They can become beautiful allies that symbolize our growth and evolution.

 
raw quartz in hands
 

Keep It Simple

The first step in using crystals is to actually choose one. I suggest starting small and with one stone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a raw stone or tumbled or carved. When I began working with crystals, I would simply go to my favorite local metaphysical shop and select whatever stone caught my attention. Interestingly, the same gemstone I picked up every.single.time was citrine.

Be Present and Trust

When selecting a stone stay curious and choose something for the joy of it, without having to know why. Take a few deep breaths and sink into your body. Tune in by listening, following your gut instinct, picking the crystals up, and noticing what catches your eye. Don’t complicate things, selecting something that is pretty is reason enough! The simple practice of slowing down and being curious allows us to tune into some of the ways our intuition can work with and for us. It encourages us to get out of our heads and become more present in our bodies. It also assists us to connect with our inner child and tend to our innocence, which often gets buried in all the responsibilities of day to day adulting.

First Impressions

Once you have selected a crystal, spend some time looking at it. What do you like about it? Examine it’s shape, color, how it feels in your hand. Jot any thoughts, impressions, and observations you have down in your journal.

Research

After you have spent some time jotting down your first impressions, research it! Type it into google and see what you unearth. This is where we use our heads to connect with our intuition and therefore cultivate more trust within ourselves. Finding information that affirms your instincts is a powerful process. I see our intuition as the key and our ability to research as the lock, when we meld the two together we unlock our potential. If you prefer to use a book, I recommend The Crystal Bible for reference.

Embrace the Process

Carry your new stone with you. Place it somewhere you will see it regularly either beside your bed or at your desk at work. Each time you look at it, it will act as the physical reminder of trusting yourself and learning something new. This isn’t a process to rush or accomplish, it is a practice. One that will evolve over time and at a pace that feels good to you!

When citrine came into my life, I was just starting to create talisman jewelry. Citrine is like sunshine in a stone, it reflects back to us our own inner light. It represents willpower, confidence, and joy. More commonly citrine is referred to as the stone of abundance and prosperity.

When I look back five years ago to when I first started working with crystals more intentionally I can see how citrine has represented ALL the joy, creativity, and warmth that was itching to come out. It continues to be one of my favorite stones. It reminds me that my creative gifts matter, that I matter, and that I deserve to be confident in who I am. It represents hope, optimism, and happiness.

Most of my crystal talisman pieces come with a story of their own. Practice strengthening your intuition by browsing through them. Jot down which one’s you feel drawn to and what your impressions are of them. Then read their story, do a bit of research, and see what comes up for you.

Come back and tell me what you discover.

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How to choose a crystal using your intuition!