Draw sacredness into your life whenever you need it with simple intentional rituals.
I’m a big believer in rituals. Rituals, whether experienced alone or communally, can help us process change psychologically. We celebrate birthdays and holidays to mark certain moments of the year, and we come together for weddings, funerals, and graduation ceremonies to celebrate or mourn the transition from one phase of life to the next.
There are plenty of small changes that happen in our lives, too, for which we have no formal rituals. Heartbreak, saying goodbye to a friend who is moving away, or getting a new job are all moments that could use a little bit of ritualized intention. Every moon cycle gives us an opportunity to acknowledge and move with the natural changes of our lives: new moons are times for setting intentions and making plans, and full moons are times for saying goodbye and letting go.
Lately I’ve been practising small rituals I’ve been thinking of as intuitive spell-casting. They are loosely inspired by witchcraft without really having any solid ground in a particular tradition. I’ve been taking everyday objects in my home that have some symbolic meaning for me and creating a sequence with them, making everyday spaces sacred in the act of the ritual.
Burning sage is one of my favourite ways to bring intention and energy to any space. I’ll sage my little third floor indoor patio and sit with the windows open and the sun shining on me. I’ll have a bowl of water, a pen and paper, and other objects related to my intention. I might burn a letter from an old lover on a full moon or a list of intentions on a new moon over the water. I might pour out a little wine for joy or honey for sweetness into the water. I might add flower petals from my mother’s garden for growth. I let the smoke from the burnt paper and cleansing sage float out into the world, creating a connection between my indoor space and the external city space outside my window.
After a full moon ritual, I’ll take a jar filled with some of the sanctified water outside and wander the city’s green spaces looking for a tree that is willing to help me in my work. When I find the right one, I put my hand on its trunk and ask if it is willing to receive my offering and recycle it into earth, roots, and leaves. If the tree says yes (if it feels right), I pour out my offering, symbolically letting it go.
A new moon ritual is more about setting intentions and making wishes, so I might keep a jar of the new moon potion and add a little bit to my bath. In this way, bath time becomes a mini-ritual as well, reminding me of what I wanted to draw into my life, making the bathwater sacred as it soaks into my skin and cleanses me.
Sacred spaces don’t have to be somewhere far away that have been blessed by some anointed person. You can anoint them yourself with nothing but a few everyday objects and the intention to do so. You can draw sacredness into your life whenever you need it with simple intentional rituals. If you have practices from a tradition that you follow, that’s wonderful, but you can also make it up as you go along, choosing objects that mean something to you and acknowledging them as sacred. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Every moon phase is an opportunity to ritualize the phases of your life, to acknowledge yourself and your space as always already sacred.