Rich in social, religious, magical, and symbolic meaning, Ritual and Ceremony have been an essential aspect of human life for as long as we can remember. Sadly, with the burning times, these practices faded into lost or hidden realms. Promisingly however, they have seen a resurgence especially over the last decade or so.
Is this return to our sacred past a way for us to find more meaning and connection in our lives?
As the SEM founders, we have spent the last 17 years dedicating ourselves to this cause - so let’s dive in and find out!
"Throughout human history, ritualistic practices have woven themselves into the very fabric of our existence. These ceremonies, rites, and traditions have transcended time, culture, and geography, providing a glimpse into the profound ways humans connect with their spirituality, community, and the mysteries of the universe." - Claire Fearon, Intuitive Coach and Healer.
One of our key desires here at Sacred Earth Medicine is to support you to bring the sacred in to your daily life in a simple and gentle, yet powerful way – and ceremony and ritual are the foundational tools we use to weave the magic of the mystery into the mundane.
So what is the difference between a ritual and ceremony?
These words are often used interchangeably, and though there are similarities there are some differences worth remembering. It may be a personal preference as to how these words are woven into our lives.
For some, ceremony may have a more fluid, alive, dynamic, and changeable quality. Whereas ritual can signify habitual practice, a sense of repetitiveness – repeating a similar pattern or collection of actions. For others, the above might even be reversed!
It's important to remember there is no hierarchy in how these words are used, nor a right or wrong way to bring ceremony and ritual into your life.
Rather, the intention of bringing through the sacred into the everyday is a foundational aspect of any ritual or ceremony – and this can be anchored in through the most simple or elaborate of ways.
What’s clear is that both ceremony and ritual invite us to take a moment or interlude from the routine duties of daily life and shifts us into sacred time and space. By slowing things down and bringing us into presence, they can highlight to us what we truly value, join us as a community, allow us to access insight and knowing, connect us to deeper emotions and help us move more easefully through times of change and transition.
Ceremonies may occur more sporadically, or as a one-off event, some examples being Weddings, Funerals, Mother Blessing Ways, and Rites of Passage initiations. Rituals on the other hand may happen in a more regular rhythm – like your morning mug of ceremonial cacao or meditation practise, an evening journaling session, a shared gratitude practise with your family at dinner or blessing your food before you eat – and the list goes on!
As yoga teacher and life coach Andrea Manning explains, a ritual or ceremony can:
“Connect us to the magic and mystery of that which we cannot see; to our ancestors legacy and the wisdom of the earth; and can align us to our own rhythms and cycles and/or those of the earth.”
So why bring Ritual or Ceremony into your life?
Some of the beautiful benefits of incorporating ritual and ceremony into your life are that they can:
- Transform the mundane into the sacred.
- Foster connection to self, others, and the natural world, bringing communities together for a common purpose.
- Allow us to detach from the small ego-self and connect us to something greater - to the Divine/ Source/ God/Goddess.
- Be highly transformative and aid in creating balance.
- Help to clarify our place in the larger order of things, showing us our role in the web of existence.
- Support us to find meaning and can awaken or shift our consciousness.
- Offer insight to situations that feel unclear.
Kinds of Rituals and when to do them
Really you can create a ceremony or ritual for just about anything!
Our passion and desire is to remind you that all situations are an opportunity for the sacred to lead the way - remembering that truly any moment or action can be sacred if we give our attention to it.
It could be as simple as lighting a candle with intention, standing bare feet on the earth with your morning cacao to greet the day, gazing at the full moon under the stars or taking 3 intentional breaths - the central facet being simplicity, presence and intention.
Simple Morning Cacao Ceremony
One of our greatest intentions for our ceremonial cacao is for it to be brought into your life with a sense of reverence and used in a way to deepen connection -moving beyond a simple routine (like a morning coffee) and instead inviting you to stop, pause - perhaps move out of automatic pilot - and breathe in the magic all around you.
Practising as a daily reminder to be present, here is a simple cacao ceremony you can use to start your day in a sacred way!
Start by preparing your ceremonial cacao in just the way you like - perhaps you might want to check out this blog on how to make the perfect sacred hot chocolate.
Once ready, take your mug outside and find a spot you can stand with your bare feet on the Earth (if possible). Close your eyes and turn to face the east - the direction of sunrise - and even if you can’t see the sun feel its potent energy flowing down into your body and your mug of cacao. Let the energy of a new day and new beginnings flood your whole being, breathing it all in.
After some time here open your eyes, gazing into your cup of creamy cacao and whisper any intentions you have for the day. Let them infuse with the heart opening medicine of the cacao and then slowly start to drink your brew - merging your intentions and the potent energy of the sun to amplify your days desires.
Finish by giving thanks to the cacao, the earth, and the sun.
We hope you enjoy this simple morning ritual - and we’d love to hear how you like weaving the sacred into the everyday, so please share in the comments below.