How ritual works

The human experience is complex in the extreme. Sacred ritual is one way in which we resolve the complex perceptions, demands, and experiences of daily life, incorporate them into our personal understanding, and form a basis for continuing effective existence.

Ritual takes place in a set-apart space and time in which we employ a rich set of symbols to represent crucial aspects of our life experience and then take action, manipulating those symbols to accomplish some important personal goals or meet our needs. The symbol set provides the connection between the complex world of daily existence and our personal worldview and understanding, establishing a consistency of impact and meaning.

In a ritual we:

  • create and step into our microcosm;
  • reorder and clarify our understanding;
  • make desired changes; and
  • refresh ourselves for an orderly return to the macrocosm.

Ritual depends on and makes use of the interconnectedness of all things — that each of us exists in and as part of the multitude of patterns, forces, flows, and actions of the Cosmos, so that actions and intentions in the context of the microcosm of ritual affect patterns, forces, flows, and actions in the macrocosm.

Thus ritual has a two-fold impact:

  • it refreshes the participant for continued existence; and
  • it initiates change in the world in which that existence continues.

A Spiritual Engineering Perspective

delves into the relationship between day-to-day reality and ritual reality.

 For technical background, please see the papers investigating ritual as a process for realigning the Self.

Ritual: Refreshing Self: A paradigm for understanding the ritual process
Minimalist Ritual: Waiting in Silence: Reflections on the ritual process

Making Yourself at Home

addresses finding refreshment for your spirit in familiar surroundings.

Grounding and Centering

addresses finding your way to your own home base, here and now, in the midst of chaos