The diversity of religious, occult, community and personal ritual is evident in the colourful display of human society and history. We have ritualised our lives not simply on a spiritual level, but in all facets of it. We conduct rituals in the name of our deities, self-improvement, health, cycles of time, major events, new life, inevitable death and countless more. It provides humanity with an expression. This expression aids our mind, body and spirit in coping, adjusting and mastering the challenges of our collective and personal realities. In a religious sense, we understand there to be a spiritual power and right to these rituals, where unseen forces take on the duty to empower our intended needs, hopes and wants. In a psychological sense, we understand the power that this intent and mindset can have in shaping our perception and actions. There is a principle of magnetism subtly veiled and powered by our will that shapes our experience of the past, present and future. Whether we are aware of it or not, a ritual creates a ripple of subtle energies that permeate through space.
A personal ritual is a ritual or behaviour that is designed by the user itself. In this way, the personal power of whoever is creating and using the ritual is expressed. This ritual is then authentic the user itself. It entails silencing of the mind combined with intent and focus. A large variety of ways is available to express and focus on the intended purpose of the ritual. This includes an affirmation, prayer, mantra, purposeful movement, visualisation, physical action, etc. It may also include objects from outside of oneself, such as deity statues, crystals, candles, etc. The purpose of this article is to have you understand the various ways in which you can channel energy on a spiritual level toward your focused intent or outcome. It is not an attempt at explaining specific exercises, rituals or ceremonies of religious and ritual groups from around the world, but instead for you to be able to make your own. Some esoteric schools and philosophies may oppose this, however, I have always felt that the authentic self and its expression is capable of harnessing sufficient energy for any intended effect. Often it is even more powerful.
A personal ritual is abundantly diverse in its application and execution. No two people on earth think or perceive in the same way, meaning that there is no true single way to perform a personal ritual. It is literally up to our own creativity and sincerity when it comes to designing and using our intended ritual. These rituals can be made up on the spot, but will be ineffective if they are not expressed through sincerity and symbolism that one understands or resonates with. The power of one’s intent and will remains the strongest fuel for such a ritual, while the physical and symbolic ceremony attached to it is a secondary reinforcement. The physical and mental symbolism that we attribute to the ritual serves to reinforce the sincere intent and purpose of the ritual. This can be compared to the physical act of creating something, where the intent and willpower fuels the action itself. Without intention and will to create the object, it will not be produced. A variety of materials and tools can be used for the creation. In the same way, certain techniques and objects can be used to construct such a ritual to one’s liking. For if it is to ones liking it is more powerful to your personal identity.
On the mental plane of a personal ritual, each person is free to use whatever words and symbols that they wish. A certain prayer, song, poem or mantra applicable to the intent that you wish to reinforce is required. Religion and philosophy is an abundant source of inspiration that can be directly copied from. The conventional religious wording has power and meaning due to what the person has attributed to it in the past. If for example, a person is of a Judeo-Christian background then temple song is more efficient than Nordic mythological poetry. The choice of words does require a sufficient background of understanding from the person creating a personal ritual. If a meaning has been engrained into the psyche and spirit of the user, then it will provide sufficient reinforcement for the ritual. There are, however, those words and songs that resonate from within the self. Since these are created directly from within one’s mind, it clearly holds a powerful position within one’s conscious and subconscious minds. Writing a personal prayer, poem, song or affirmation is a reflection of oneself, and is thus more inclined toward one’s true intent behind the ritual. This may require some creativity, but will become easier as it is practised more often. If one is not efficient in writing, it is best to start small and increase the duration and length of the writing over time. The key is to have one’s meaning expressed efficiently, not necessarily fancifully.
When it comes to writing a personal ritual, it remains best to do so by hand as there is a direct flow of energy from within oneself to the words on the paper. After a while, it will be as if the words are writing themselves. Do not overthink it or have outside opinions and influences affect the writing. This will only place resistance and strain on the intent that one wishes to express. There is no limit to the length, nor a minimum amount of words required. For example, it could be a basic affirmation that is repeated over and over, or it could be a longer song or poem in which a story is told. The primary requirement is for you to believe and trust in it. If you are familiar with symbols and sigils of a specific myth or tradition, then feel free to use it. For example, nordic runes and Christian sigils are very powerful in what they express, as long as there are no negative connotations that could instil doubt or fear in the intended ritual. The purpose of this is to ingrain the message that you wish to express into your conscious and subconscious mind. This provides a focus and sincere meaning to the message and reinforces it to be carried along in daily consciousness.
A certain image that carries the intended message can be just as powerful. This may vary from a complex painting to a simple sigil. What matters here is the meaning that the image carries with it and how well you are able to ingrain it in your thought. Mandela art and sacred geometric symbols are potent in this aspect as they have an intrinsic hypnotic harmony attributed to them. These, however, still require a linguistic addition in order to fully convey the intended meaning. The benefit of mandalas and sacred geometry is that it contains within itself a message that the mind harmonises with on a subconscious level. This is especially true if you were the one to have drawn the image in the first place. The drawn image is a direct reflection of your subconscious mind. It is then important to simply draw and not try and overthink and plan the image, but instead, have it grow while you draw it. While drawing, keep the purpose of the ritual in the forefront of your mind. This may seem difficult at first, but once one starts drawing the rest of the image will fall into place. It may be surprising as to how instinctively the image comes to fruition as one continue to draw it. When these forms of art and sigils are focused on, there is no need for visualisation, as long as the meaning is understood and sincerely accepted.
A physical image to focus on is not necessarily required. Instead, inner visualisation can be used which is just as efficient, if not even more so. In most forms of esoteric training, the faculty of visualisation is placed emphasis on. This skill is trained alongside other prerequisites for advanced esoteric practice. In a personal ritual, visualisation is also to be determined by the user itself. The visualisation is not limited by the physical reality such as with art but is restricted only by the imagination. In the imagination, therefore, the image is not static, but dynamic and ‘alive’. It is capable of change. This change has the ability to run away with our thoughts, but if held in focus will only serve to reinforce our intent. An image applicable to the intended purpose of the ritual is required, or an image that can easily be related to the ritual. For example, imagining a seed that grows into a tree, taking in sunlight, rooting deep into the ground and producing fruit is a good visualisation for many different purposes. As long as the image can be related to the meaning and reason of the ritual, it will be sufficient.
The creative play in designing a personal ritual is not simply entertaining, but valuable. As one advances and continues the practice of this kind, it will start to come forth from the subconscious mind much more easily. Since the ritual was designed by the user themselves, there is a true and personal meaning attributed to it. This tends to be more powerful as the user fully understands why and how the ritual works. The subtle energies permeating from within oneself is only reinforced by truth and authenticity of the user. In part two of the article on designing a personal ritual, the influence of movement, energy manipulation, effigies, statues, crystals, incense and other ways of reinforcing the ritual will be explained. All of these outside influences carry valuable energy and reinforces the intent of the ritual in the conscious and subconscious mind to a great extent. In the meantime, go have some fun writing, drawing and thinking of visualisations that can be used for your personal ritual.
Be blessed friends.