It seems like anytime I hear something about practicing any form of Paganism, I hear about rituals. Rituals for the holidays, rituals for marriage, rituals for the phases of the moon, etc
All of these seem to be things that you do with a large group of people, or at a festival with other pagans. What about at home? Are there little rituals? Rituals to do yourself if you’re a solitary? Is there a book on rituals and I just don’t know where to find it? Or am I supposed to just know how to make one because I am pagan?
All of these questions are ones I’ve had for a long time, and I never really got any answers. but one of my favorite things about being pagan is that it is an everyday religion. This got me thinking that maybe it’s time to pay more attention to the little rituals that everyone naturally creates.
Probably the best ones to use are bedtime rituals. Everyone has one (especially once you have kids). For us there are some variations (depends on who is home, day of the week that type of thing). But it’s all very standard:
1. Brush your teeth and get ready for bed. This ritual changing from day clothes to night clothes is so similar to changing into ritual clothes. It grounds us, we know this is the time to release the last energy of the day so we can sleep.
2. Choose your book (or if you don’t read books at night) a tickle fight, story, hugs etc. Building on that grounding in the first step. Also expressing thankfulness, for our day, each other and those powers that helped us through another day.
3. Goodnight kiss and turn out the lights. This is the end of your ritual, you kiss your little one or spouse and say your special words (lately mine have been some days you drive me nuts, but I love you so much. Yes, you do need to stay in bed…no, you already picked your clothes for tomorrow… no, your little stuffed monkey doesn’t need to go to your brother’s room right this minute. Yes, the cat will be in later. Yes, I still love you very much… yes, daddy will be up in a moment.)
With those words (however many there are) and the turning off of the light, you’ve closed the ritual and released the energy. You are calmer, you hope your children are as well and there is a wonderful peace within you. (For at least a second or two) well there is a reason we do it everyday.
Another of my other favorites is the kids’ morning ritual:
From good mornings called across the house, to the great scramble for the bathroom in the morning, this ritual is not specific to our house. The pattern of who is in first and who is woken by getting tickled, and who lies in bed listening to the alarm clock.
There is sometimes morning yoga (which consists of my rolling out mats, shooing cats off them then trying to convince my son that yes, he can touch his toes if he is willing to actually bend his waist) and usually ends in a wrestling match. There is breakfast and getting ready for the day. This bustle and building up of energy is what gets the day really going for us (sometimes with lots of annoyance, so I focus on the energy build).
What about the ritual of making lunch or eating a meal together? Even sitting down to watch a t.v. show or movie. I’ve discovered that we have a little ritual for bicycle riding.
What are your favorite little rituals?