Today, the popular conception of the word ritual has come to conjure up images of indigenous (native) peoples spending their time and resources performing quaint, albeit beautiful, ceremonies that do not seem to benefit them. Others may think of the dry litany of words recited by rote in houses of worship, or the mysterious incantations of witches. Like so many other aspects of modern life, ritual does not so much need a new definition as it needs to recapture the essence of its original meaning.
The indigenous peoples are not wasting their time when performing traditional ceremonies, they are re-affirming their connection to the natural world. The litany heard in our houses of worship was originally designed to re-affirm the faith and to awaken the religious experience in the participants.
The various offerings, chants, prayers, songs, stories and any other ritual techniques that were employed before the occurrence of fortunate events were duly noted and used again and again. The most successful of these rituals and myths became a basic part of all religions, and have survived until this day in a surprising number of secular customs as well.
We like to create our own special rituals to renew and connect us to nature, transitions, intentions.
Try creating a personal, meaningful ritual to mark the start of this new season.