Ever since we started offering our Ritual Kits, I’ve been asked more questions about rituals than I thought was possible! This is great and I love talking about all the ways we can connect to plant spirit energy. One discussion I’ve been encountering centers around routines versus rituals. Let’s take a look at the difference, the overlap, and why both are important:
ROUTINE – When I think about routines, what comes to mind is getting ready for work in the morning or brushing my teeth before bed at night. Our routines have a fixed amount of steps and are often done for an immediate outcome based typically in necessity and not enjoyment. Routines may be solitary, done with others, or done on behalf of others (think, packing lunch for your kid to take to school). Many of our routines might be so common that we overlook them as part of our normal day. When we don’t have to think much about what we’re doing, we might not be investing in that act in a way that deepens its meaning or outcome. There is nothing wrong with this! We all have daily, weekly, monthly routines we engage in that keep us on track and functioning.
RITUAL – When I think about rituals, what comes to mind is the moments when I slow down and do something for me. Whether it be an act that aids in my physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health (or a combination there of), these slow, deliberate moments are just for me. Much like routines, rituals can be solitary, done with others, or done on behalf of others (think, ceremonies to honor ancestors or deities). Rituals tend to flow out of us naturally or be based in traditions that meaningful (holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, etc). Many of us engage in rituals when it feels right and we have the time to devote to them. It can be very powerful to designate time, space, or tools specifically to rituals and our personal health and healing.
Routines can be rituals and ritual can be routines. For me, the difference comes down to intention.
We all throw around the word ‘intention’ and thankfully most people don’t snuff at intentions as woo-woo anymore. At it’s core, intention is commitment and dedication. When we set intentions, we are putting energy in motion to achieve a goal. When we make decisions with intentions, we are considering all outcomes and making the choice that is the best fit. When we live with intention, we take time to be thoughtful and considerate, knowing that our lives are an ongoing journey that have an effect on others as well as our own long term health and happiness.
So the big question is: why should I do a ritual? Rituals are deeply personal and can only be truly fulfilling when the person performing the ritual invests with intention in their actions. Your ritual reflects who you are, where you are, and what you are focusing your energy on. Your ritual might be thinking of a loved one who has passed and lighting a candle for them on the anniversary of their death. In this case, the ritual can be done relatively quick, with supplies you likely have, and without drawing attention from others (especially important if you’re not comfortable with sharing your personal practices or spirituality). A more complex ritual might be gathering with a group of peers on a Solstice to honor the season, have a meal, and engage in dancing, singing, art, or other acts. In this case, sharing the energy with others helps the energy to grow and reach further through interaction. This ritual will involve more planning, gathering supplies, and likely coordinating schedules with the others involved.
As with most things in life, what you put into your ritual is what you will get out. There is no quick fix or magic spell, regardless of what others might say. Take time and invest in the long run. Hold on to your intentions and grow them with love and care. You have the power to attain and manifest wonderful things for yourself and those you love, one ritual at a time.
With love and magick, Kristen