Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 26th. 2013 ...
Casting The Wiccan Circle
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Learning To Live Your Own Life
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ritual in the Modern World
Article ID: 11536
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,275
Times Read: 2,594
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Author: Wyrdwind [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 4th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,594
As someone who has a lifelong experience of ritual practice, I have seen that people feel disconnected from participating in any sort of rites beyond the most mundane. People have no expectation of receiving meaning from the performance of a symbolic act, and therefore feel uncomfortable to be present at any sort of solemn passage.
As Pagans, we know that ritual has always existed to serve and assist us to survive and thrive by connecting us to Nature and our community. We don’t have to practice any particular rite or become proficient at any symbolic act. Ritual exists for us, and teaches us what we need to know by connecting us to our world, our ancestors and our own spirits. We can re-create it any way we like to guarantee that it will continue to work for us in our changing environment.
The sabbats connect us to the world in which we live by celebrating the passages of fertility, growth, community, harvest, abundance, and even death. The people who learned these lessons and adapted to their world became our ancestors. Because of their connection to nature, we too have the opportunity to survive, thrive, and to hopefully pass on something of our experience and ourselves to our descendants. These rituals we create energize our purpose to live, innovate, and succeed.
Honoring passages like birth, personal and mutual achievement, marriage, and death connects us to the community at large, fulfilling our great need to interact and succeed as social beings. We take well advantage of the experience of our community if we are to become an ancestor. It won’t be Grandma’s house or other accumulated wealth that will most help my grandchildren but her wisdom – something she said that I never forgot because it is as true today as it was in her day.
Ancestry isn’t just about biology and physical reproduction. Our gay and lesbian ancestors passed as much knowledge and experience on to us as any other ancestors because they are part of our families just like anyone else. Much of what we know came from them and we honor them by recognizing their contributions. We are all part of the community.
Ritual for personal purification and advancement connects us to the incredible untapped human potential within us – the power that appears to make us different than other species of animal (that we know of). The Iceman of the Italian/Austrian Alps of 5, 300 years ago whose body and belongings were found mostly intact carried a bow and arrows of a design which would serve a hunter of today just about as well as any design of its type we have invented since . He was obviously an incredibly efficient hunter, as good as hunters of today.
One doesn’t need to believe in the Dreamtime or a repository of human knowledge kept in another dimension to access this power we possess, though this idea works for some cultures. The ability to be open to change, to adapt, and to look deeply within oneself is all one needs to tap this incredible power. It doesn’t matter exactly where it comes from.
Ritual exists to help us do the things we want to do and to find the meaning we need as humans. We need to feel we have accomplished what we came here to do .
Most humans now live in cities and so are disconnected from Nature for the most part in their daily lives. One needs to make an effort just to notice the natural world around them it seems, so it can be said that our modern world rejects these concepts of connecting human ritual and Nature. Yet we are capable of contemplating all things.
A city is merely a locality and a part of the whole. One can see nature reflected everywhere in the modern world. We are seriously trying to become a space-faring civilization and will truly become citizens of the universe as well as of the Earth if we succeed. Science is only as good as our understanding of Nature and progresses as we learn more about our world. We embrace it because we are not really disconnected from Nature and never will be. So notice it. Nature is all around you and will always be with you and at your service.
Celebrate a solstice if you want it to help you connect to your source and to Nature, your world. Skip it if you need to do something else. Strengthen your relationship with your dear friends by honoring them with your presence at their wedding when they commit their two lives to one path. There is meaning to be found here.
Take a walk in Nature if you need to feel something other than concrete beneath your feet if only for two hours. Read a book to learn something new. Use the internet to look up any fact, subject or thing that inspires you to know more about your world.
Anything you can do can ritualistically connect you, can feel sacred, and be meaningful. Respect everyone’s right to discover their world as they choose. Always remember that ritual exists for you to help you discover your world.
Major religions tend to focus ritual on some task to be performed for deity out of a sense of religious duty. This was never the point and is what takes the fun out of it, frankly. To practice ritual privately will help one to become re-acquainted with the performance of symbolic acts without feeling uncomfortable about other people watching.
To discover ritual existing in a simple act where it was not intended is to see Nature entering our lives even though we thought we had disconnected from it.
To extend that concept by creating our own public or community ritual in the modern world will re-connect us to Nature, serve us in our turn as ancestors, and return to us the meaning we were missing.
 2005 Digging For The Truth- “The Iceman Cometh”. Josh Bernstein, Nat’l Geographic Channel.
 Dr. Andrew Weil, on legacy.
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
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