A ritual is simply a practice or routine; it's a “ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order” or “a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.”
The idea of rituals may invoke a wide range of thoughts from religious to spiritual; however, rituals can be totally secular and have been proven to have real benefits, “even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work.” (Source: Scientific American).
There’s power in positive thinking: rituals are a great way to practice positive thinking and declare your intentions. The beauty of rituals is you can make them whatever you want and they can serve many different purposes.
Rituals can be as simple as your morning routine: jump out of bed with a smile, start coffee, go on a morning walk, do yoga or stretch, meditate and enjoy a cup of coffee before starting your day. You can implement productivity rituals like taking 5 minutes each morning to make a checklist of the 3 most important items you’re going to focus on that day or setting aside time to work on your most important project before opening your inbox each morning.
You can create your own ritual ceremonies to:
“Self-created ceremonies give meaning and order to our personal lives…Rituals are tools that give us the freedom to take responsibility for the direction and purpose of our lives…Rituals provide us with a sense of renewal. They offer us a time-out from our everyday routine, habitual existence. Metaphorically, rituals are oases, a time to rest, replenish, and restore ourselves on our long and winding path through life. Rituals help us to reevaluate our journey thus far and to reaffirm that the path we are traveling is the right one for us.” (Source: Psychology Today).
“Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.” Source: Scientific American). “When we set aside the quality time and claim the psychic space for ceremony, when we assume the authority to do so, we are able to transform our perceptions, our perspectives, our experiences, and in the process, our reality.” (Source: Huffington Post).
Candles are a powerful tool and have been used for rituals dating back as far as the Paleolithic era; but like all things, you have to believe in the power of the candle for it to work for you. With candle rituals, the same idea applies as making a wish before you blow out the candles on a birthday cake; except instead of hoping for your wish will come true, you’re declaring your intent.
Burning a candle is a natural way to connect to something deeper. As a fire element, the flame represents the source of our creation and your inner light. It can be used to connect to our higher consciousness and heighten our spiritual awareness.
Before we jump into the actual ritual, please note that these steps are suggestions not rules. You can reshape rituals however it suits you and your beliefs. Always feel free to add or remove any steps to any ritual you come across to truly make it yours: that just makes it more you, more authentic. And there’s power in authenticity!
Here’s an outline you can use to create your own candle ritual. You can also perform candle rituals during different moon phases for added emphasis: the new moon is a powerful time to set intentions and plant new seeds of what you desire, the full moon is a powerful time to purge and release what’s getting in your way and holding you back.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on rituals! Please comment below.
Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rituals_b_3294412
Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-rituals-work/
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201508/11-ways-rituals-help-us-celebrate-our-lives