As a ritual consultant I can help you design, plan and execute a range of rituals or personal initiations to meet your individual needs. I can also hold space and act as witness if there is a personal ritual you wish to undertake.
Rituals are not related to any religion or belief. They are a natural function of human consciousness and an incredibly important aspect of human life. We incorporate many rituals in our lives: weddings, funerals, birthdays and rites of passage are all examples of different types of rituals.
Rituals serve two purposes: they symbolically commemorate a rite of passage or transition in life (a wedding or 21st birthday, for example), or they deepen our relationship to an aspect of life through symbolic action (the Catholic eucharist is an example of this). Sometimes they may do both.
Rituals re-enchant our lives. They provide a greater understanding and appreciation of life’s depths and they can also serve as concrete markers for different stages of living.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ritual?
Ritual is a symbolic representation of some aspect of human existence. Rituals are performed in a defined space using specific objects and gestures to create a symbolic sense of meaning and purpose. They can be used to mark rites of passage or to connect ourselves more deeply to different parts of our lives.
Examples of formal rituals in our culture include weddings, funerals, religious rites and
Examples of informal rituals include hazing or some of the pre-game routines employed by many athletes to focus their attention and awareness.
Why are rituals important?
While our conscious minds tend to use words to create meaning our unconscious minds operate symbolically. That is, they respond better to images and symbols.
If we wish to process information or experiences at the level of our unconscious, which is where most change and development takes place, then we need to speak its language.
Every human culture in history has understood this to some degree and created rituals that express the language of the unconscious. The lack of deep ritual in Western culture is a relatively recent development.
What is the difference between an initiation and a ritual?
Put simply, a ritual is a formal and symbolic representation of some aspect of life while an initiation is a rite-of-passage that marks a transition from one state to another, such as adolescence to adulthood. Not all rituals are initations but all initations are rituals.
Isn’t this dangerous?
No. We’ve all heard of ritual hazing in gangs, workplaces and universities. Hazing is an unconscious form of ritual enacted to substitute for the lack of conscious ritual in our society. Unconscious ritual can be dangerous and leads to physical harm and psychological disintegration. Conversely, conscious ritual is safe and leads to psychological integration.
What can I use ritual for?
Rituals can be employed for all manner of purposes. Some of these include:
- Life transitions (new jobs or relationships or to mark their end)
- Healing (marking off illnesses or experiences)
- Focusing (for a talk or performance)
- Connection (with partners, families or ancestors)
- Grounding (within oneself or to a place)
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