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Ritual
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March 10, 2012
12:07 am
vampyremage
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Sorry for all the topics today, I guess I've just felt inspired :P

 

How does one go about beginning to incorporate ritual as an active part of one's life?  I think I've been fairly clear here that body modification all ready has a profound spiritual meaning to me but ritual is something that I'm new at.  Recently I've been feeling like its time to take that next step in my own spiritual development and, more and more, I'm thinking ritual is something that needs to be incorporated into that next step.  I am not, however, entirely sure where to start.  I'm not even entirely sure what it is I hope to accomplish quite yet but I have learned to trust my intuition in such matters as it rarely steers me wrong.  I know I'm ready to take that next step, I'm just trying to work out exactly what that next step is and where that next step wants me to go.

March 10, 2012
4:53 am
Oakbear
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I suppose working out what you want is the main thing you need to do for a ritual!

Having said that, a ritual to find an answer is not uncommon at all…

You can start with very simple. Lighting or snuffing a candle to signify something for example. If you are unused to ritual start small and get used to the idea. Perhaps practice meditation and get used to putting yourself in a calm focussed mindset. 

If you have a belief about outside spiritual influence, familiarise youself with the concept of drawing a circle.

As for planning what to do…..

Start with intent, what do you want to achieve? What may represent that symbolically? You can look to things which have significance for you already, new challenges or acts, or correspondences (related items culturally or magically, such as colours or herbs).

Plan out stages of how to achieve this, and how each part will be done. Detail is often good, as it can build the significance, but not so much that you worry about forgetting things!

Preparing yourself is also useful. What are you going to wear and why? Are you going to bathe prior, and maybe add something to the bath? Are you going to use oils or perfume?

With ritual modification, often that is the climax to the ritual, and can generate a lot of power. Do you intend to harness that and how? 

You also need to consider the practicalities of modifying safely. How can you work this into the ritual so as not to divert from your mindset?

 

Sorry if this sounds vague, but i feel ritual creation is very personal, and it's hard to guide from a distance. There is plenty of info out there suggesting correspondences and more set rituals, but it's not for me to tell you what will work for you. Learn and safely experiment!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 10, 2012
6:43 pm
vampyremage
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Thank you very much for the feedback Oakbear, you've given me a bit to think about here.  I am physically moving from one place to another later this week and, as I am undergoing a relatively significant life change, I think this has inspired me to try and cultivate other sorts of changes in my life as well. 

 

For the moment I think I am in the position of seeing, trying to divine what that next step in my spiritual development or path might be.  After that, well, I suppose it will depend on how this step goes.  Sometimes I just need a little something extra to nudge me in the right direction, so to speak.

 

Also a question and I apologize if this comes across as a bit of a silly question, but what are some of the common reasons in which people engage in ritual?  What are some of the roles ritual can fill in an individual's life?

March 14, 2012
9:59 am
Chris Carter
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I'm surprised no one has answered this yet! Possibly because your last two questions can be difficult to answer.

I think most people take part in ritual to get something out of it. Knowledge, strength, sight- all of which either literal or figurative. Some people perform rituals and meditate as a way of seeking an answer to a question. I've known people to even perform rituals in order to influence a particular event's outcome.

As far as roles go, the above examples can answer that question a little. I also think rituals can be used to communicate with the universe/personal deity, etc. 

Church of Body Modification, President

March 14, 2012
2:52 pm
Oakbear
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Sorry for the delay, i'm having laptop issues!Confused

I think Chris indicates the main categories for me; Self development (meditation, soul searching, testing boundaries etc), attunement to another power or mystic experience (prayer, communing with a deity, feeling 'oneness' with the world or divine) or to harness energy and will for magical purposes. I think maybe here's also a category about group bonding and connection would be valid too in non-solitary ritual, as this can be very powerful.

Ritual used to put me in a space to feel the presence of what i then referred to as God and Goddess. I find over the years this happens much more readily, but ritual can still help deepen this connection.

Likewise i used ritual to raise energy and focusing my will to create an exterior change. It's rare i do this nowerdays as my views on influencing the world in this way have changed.

Now much of my ritual experience is about connecting with the divine through myself more directly. It's hard to explain, but through understanding and learning about myself, my own inner space, i can recognise that we're all part of the same essence. While not so focused i find it brings me peace and makes my judgement better. 

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 16, 2012
12:21 pm
vampyremage
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Thank you all so much for the feedback. It has given me something to think about and a place to start in preparation for the first real ritual I have engaged in in a very long time.

 

Another quesion, if no one minds.  What sorts of activities might one engage in in order to really get into the right mindset of the ritual?  What I mean is, what can be done to immerse oneself into the experience?

March 16, 2012
12:40 pm
Chris Carter
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vampyremage said
Another quesion, if no one minds.  What sorts of activities might one engage in in order to really get into the right mindset of the ritual?  What I mean is, what can be done to immerse oneself into the experience?

I'm not specifically recommending any of this, simply naming a few that comes to mind. People can use music, drumming, a white noise machine, or complete silence. Some people fast to put themselves in the "right" mindset, some people smoke tobacco or use psychotropic drugs. I don't think there's any one right answer as long as, whatever you do, it's done in a safe, sane way.

I don't know why but your question made me think of a book called The Art of Learning. It's certainly not directly related to your question or you spirituality but I can see how that book helped me in seeing how to be in the present and how to control certain experiences and aspects of what's around me.

Church of Body Modification, President

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