Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I use the word "ritual"

There are spells and then there are rituals.  What's the difference?  Using the word spell is highly descriptive and straightforward, ritual has a more mysterious quality to it, but it also implies more in the way of the sacred.  Some people perform magical workings without any religious or spiritual framework--I have spoken to atheists interested in learning the basics of candle magic on many occasions. But for me and the type of work that I do--every component is heavily based upon my understanding of the Sacred.  Ritual does not have to be fancy or formal--the act of simply lighting a stick of incense or arranging flowers can be imbued with a sense of ritual, but there is a discernment, precision, and impeccability captured by the word ritual that spell just does not articulate.  I have described the ritual work that I do on many occasions as being a form of moving prayer or prayer with props.  My understand of the nature of the work that I am honored to perform on behalf of others is that of the petitioner.  I petition a higher power for aid, assistance, and succor in a specific individual's life usually for a specific situation.  The connection with the Source is the most crucial aspect of what I do, the herbs, oils, roots, incense, baths, washes, and curios that I work with during this moving prayer are also essential but they are absolutely secondary to that connection.  Furthermore, all of my working have a beginning (invocation), middle, and end.  They are performed in sacred space and time with a heart full of devotion and a mind fixed on what is eternal, unchanging, absolute, and divine in each of us.  To me, this describes a ritual mind set and goes beyond the scope imagined by the word spell.

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