One aspect of paganism I truly appreciate is the lack of demand on me. I don’t have to do ritual if I don’t want to, or prayer on certain days, or do anything I don’t feel that is right for me. But daily ritual, I’m finding offers benefits not previously considered.
So what exactly is ritual? Must it include candles and a prayer? Rituals denote a level of sacredness or inner mindfulness. It can include a prayer, but simply taking a moment of peace or consideration is enough. Ritual includes motions or actions that touches upon the sacred, and doesn’t necessarily require religion. Its patterned behavior, but something a bit more because it touches upon basic human need of spirit.
I know of pagans who ring a bell before meditation, or touch a statue of the goddess before starting circle, or they sit with morning coffee in their garden to watch the sunrise- these are all rituals that hold as much power as anything you would consider as ritual because they are all personal.
And what are the benefits? Well, for starters, doing these little rituals attune us to the world and energies around us, bringing back the reminder of what’s important. It provides moments through the day to reach out spiritually and commune with Deity.
Even short 5-10 minute meditations prove time and time again with lowering blood pressure, improving mood, and even re-energizing a person.
Try it yourself for a few weeks and see if you don’t start to feel lighter or brighter in moods. Pick a time of day or night to perform your ritual, and then select the motions, words, and action you want to include. You might want to try a positive affirmation or simple prayer, or maybe you find you already do some form of ritual and never realized that you did.