Here's the magic question of the day for you:
What's the difference between a ceremony and a ritual?
The answer may vary according to the tradition in which you study, but based on my review of multiple tribal traditions (along with my own observations and experiences), a ceremony is a reenactment of some past event and is meant to bring that event (and its meaning) into present time. For instance, certain dervish sacred dances are ceremonies that reenact past events. A ritual, on the other hand, is a magical act that has an intended magical effect, and therefore must be suitable to the here and now, even if that means adapting it for modern times.
Just a little magical tidbit to think about.
And while you are pondering the possible implications of that, here's something else to play with. Recently we had some of the more advanced students in our school design their own magic rituals as part of their original research. One student came up with what I thought was a fabulously fitting ritual, very in keeping not only with the here and now, but also with the effect that he wished to create.
The Very Cool Magical Ritual
So here was his situation: he had just moved into a new neighborhood and had had some less-than-positive encounters with his new neighbors. Wishing to restore harmony, both within himself and in his relations with his neighbors, he used an ordinary landscaping task to create a powerful ritual.
He needed to trim an olive tree that day. As he approached the tree, he realized that olive branches are the traditional symbols of extending peace to another party. Perfect. As he trimmed the olive tree, he used the Navajo Beauty Way Walking Litany to create a sacred space around himself, the tree, and the entire area surrounding the tree.
Then, to expand the circle of sacred space and restore harmony, he carried an olive branch to each border of his property, saying the Walking Litany as he went. Those of you who have used the Walking Litany know that this form of the Beauty Way is actually a spell in motion. By saying the Walking Litany as he carried and placed each of the olive branches, he was in effect putting up a magical spell matrix around his property and in contact with his neighbors.
He reported that he felt appreciative of his neighbors' efforts to beautify their yards after performing his self-created ritual to extend peace to his neighbors. Prior to the ritual, his emotions ranged between anger and scorn toward those neighbors, especially when the neighbor's yard improvement projects overlapped with his own.
The external results have yet to be fully played out, but without a doubt the ritual created an internal effect. Because an internal change in us always leads to an external change in the world, this student is bound to soon see the positive physical effects of his personal ritual.
Pretty cool, huh? I think so.
Daily Magic Rituals for You
You can learn more about daily magic rituals in our "Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want in Life Ebook" ebook. This ebook features numerous magical rituals that you can easily incorporate as a part of your everyday life, plus teaches you the process of creating your own magic rituals.
Check out the ebook here:
Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want Ebook
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristic/ / CC BY 2.0