Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Spirituality and Ritual: Tending the Garden of the Soul

This article was written by Sandra Kynes
posted under Pagan

It may be a cliché to compare spirituality to a garden, but there really is no better analogy because our lives come into blossom and grow lush when we cultivate spirit. With springtime unfolding, this is the perfect time to pay attention to our spirituality, and a good way to do this is through ritual.

Author Elizabeth Fisher noted that “to be in ritual is to be in the river of life.”1 Ritual is separate from everyday life, and yet it nourishes every facet of life. It allows us to pause and step out of our everyday existence. When we do this, we move beyond the familiar into mystery, where we can seek answers to age-old questions about life. We are continually drawn by mystery because we are seekers. We want to find who we are, what we are, and where we belong. There is a deep part of us that needs to search for answers, that needs to find connection with something greater than what is presented to us in daily life.

Through ritual we seek connection with the Divine as well as connection with inner self. Eckhart Tolle noted that when we reach a certain state of being, it is “a state of connectedness with something immeasurable” that is “essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form."2

All too often the inner self cannot be heard because of all the noise with which we surround ourselves, as well as the chatter of our minds. Tolle said that “this incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from being.”3 Although ritual can be noisy at times, it is sounds such as chanting, singing, and drumming that gives us focus. As we maintain focus, we move deeper into self and find our connection with divinity.

This is why ritual is never a passive event. We engage our intention and energy in an exploration of sacred relationship with self and the Divine which enables us to find that state of connectedness. Once found, we can begin to balance our inner and outer worlds. We begin to bring true self into daily life as well as find something sacred in each day. We start to live with intent. This is when life begins to blossom and we find our purpose.

Through ritual we are able to create the physical and mental space we need to define and follow our inner path to the outer world where we eventually see that many of the trappings of modern life are meaningless. I don’t believe that we were put on this earth to worry about what is happening on Wall Street or next door at the proverbial Jones household. Dr. Wayne Dyer said that “connecting to intention means listening to your heart and conducting yourself based on what your inner voice tells you is your purpose here.”4

When we develop a rich inner path, we can live in wonder and appreciation of each day. The sacred and the secular parts of our lives become intertwined. John O’Donohue noted that “each day is a secret story woven around the radiant heart of wonder.”5 To feel deep within our souls the beauty of a sunset or a seagull winging low over the water, to feel the pull of the moon and the sway of the tides is to find our place in the greater cosmos. Through ritual we are able to slow down and reflect on the things that are important on a soul level.

In ritual we create a time and place that is sacred and safe. Because we move into different levels of self that we may not frequent on a regular basis, we may encounter deep-seated emotions. These can be expressed in ways that are not scary or overwhelming. In group ritual others are present to provide comfort and support. Whether or not deep emotions are expressed, ritual serves to strengthen community. When we open ourselves for ritual, we open our hearts for sharing.

In addition, as we stand in the circle of community we connect with the spiral of past and future. We engage in traditions that reach back to our ancestors and we add nuances that may stretch forward for the many generations who follow. We find purpose in holding our strands in the web of life that connects us to every one and every thing.

Entering into ritual awakens us to what is eternal within ourselves as well as the world around us. We find that the wheel of the year does more than mark cyclic occasions; it brings our souls into the rhythms of the natural world. In this cyclical process we find the presence of the Divine in nature and as part of our true nature, which leads us back into self and the inner path we tread. We affirm what we believe and confirm who we are and weave a rich tapestry with strands that connect our inner and outer worlds.

If we set our intent, the energy that we build in ritual remains with us as we move from sacred back to secular. When we return to the multi-tasking, rush-rush world we can keep that spark of divinity kindled in our hearts and carry on with our everyday endeavors with a mindfulness that brings fulfillment.

However, in order for ritual to have such a profound effect it must hold meaning. It is vital to develop a personal understanding of the purpose of each ritual. Yes, Imbolg/Candlemas celebrates the growing light and Ostara, renewal and growth; but what does that mean on a personal level? Figuring this out for ourselves is an essential ingredient that we intertwine with the tradition behind each ritual which allows us to integrate it with our inner path. Without this level of individual engagement, ritual is mere performance. It may be fun, but so is going to the movies. Ritual requires personal perspective and depth.

If we want to find a true connection with self, community and the Divine, we must invest time and effort to dig deep. It doesn’t automatically happen just because we go through the motions. Preparation for ritual needs to include self-exploration and intent. We must prepare the inner garden of our souls if we want it to blossom and come to fruition.

May this season of renewal that is ready to burst forth help you cultivate the garden of your soul.

 

----------------------------

1Elizabeth Fisher, Rise Up and Call Her Name, p. 9.
2Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, 10.
3Ibid, 12.
4Dr. Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention, 86.
5John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes, 77.

Sandra KynesSandra Kynes
Sandra Kynes is an explorer of Celtic history, myth, and magic, and is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. Her curiosity has taken her to live in New York City, Europe, England, and New England. Spiritually, her inquisitiveness has led her...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

Sea Magic
Sea Magic
Connecting with the Ocean's Energy
Sandra Kynes
$15.95 US,  $18.50 CAN | Add to Cart
A Year of Ritual
A Year of Ritual
Sabbats & Esbats for Solitaries & Covens
Sandra Kynes
$16.95 US,  $19.50 CAN | Add to Cart
Your Altar
Your Altar
Creating a Sacred Space for Prayer & Meditation
Sandra Kynes
$15.95 US,  $18.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

As a holistic practitioner of natural medicine, I am well aware that a vital component of ongoing wellness is the healing and re-balancing that must take place mentally and emotionally. As a practitioner of herbal medicine and aromatherapy, I have long been in awe of the synergy that occurs in a well-constructed blend. Synergy occurs when... read this article
May Bush and Wishing Tree Magick for Beltane
Improving Your Habits with Lunar Help
Dispelling the Superstition and Fear of Communicating with Our Loved Ones in Spirit
Everyday Witchcraft
Tarot: Let's Talk About Strength

Most recent posts:
Driving Our Own Bus Called "Life"
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kerry Nelson Selman, author of the new Crystal Resonance. Recently, as I was meeting and greeting...

The Secret in the 7 of Wands
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot It is not often that book comes along that really changes the way we understand tarot. Marcus Katz and Tali...

May Wine with a Modern Twist
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melanie Marquis, author of The Witch's Bag of Tricks, A Witch's World of Magick, and the new...





Zeroboxer Zeroboxer
By: Fonda Lee
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot
The True Story of the World's Most Popular Tarot

By: Marcus Katz, Tali Goodwin
Price: $19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN
Dating Down Dating Down
By: Stefanie Lyons
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $16.95 US,  $20.95 CAN