Never forget the rituals of lifeMay 15, 2022
An update on Sheila will come a little later, as work progresses but, in the meantime, I thought you may be interested in this…. (If you missed Sheila’s story, it was in the last blog post)
I have been thinking about rituals, we all used to have rituals of life, birth and christening, marriage, death, and funerals. Also, of course, Christmas family gatherings, Easter parades, the coming of age at 18 and 21, engagement parties and milestone birthdays.
Nowadays not so many of us attend religious institutions, so some of these events have become commercialised and we have lost the spiritual aspects that are meaningful in life. Baby showers and gender reveals do not have the gravitas that, for instance, a christening or naming ceremony has.
In all cultures, there have been, and still are ceremonies and rites of passage. Our ancestors created customs and habits that marked the year as it passed, the equinoxes, planting and harvest and yule, now Christmas.
It is good to have rituals, we need to stop and focus on one area of life, or death and make it inclusive for all family members and friends. Like a Jewish Bar Mitzvah, or Islamic Eid at the end of Ramadan, these people know how to give thanks and party, and the reasons for most of them are deep and meaningful. Our western culture is missing out, our parties have become rituals of extravagance, of one-upmanship and we have lost the significance of the ceremony.
Of course, a private ritual is important, my day starts with yoga and a short meditation, it’s not long but it is important to me. It calms the mind and connects me to God/spirit and stops me from worrying about things I cannot change. We all worry about something, for instance, why do we worry about dying, because we see nothing coming after? The stories of the afterlife have been lost in the rush of a modern world.
Rituals, including the ritual of death, are important, it will happen to us all and those left behind will need some time to grieve. Like we always did, when we lost a precious soul.
Funerals are for that purpose so please don't sign up for a 'simple cremation’ with no funeral, currently advertised all over the TV. Yes, it may be cheaper, but it deprives our loved ones of time together in remembrance. Going to the pub for a jolly is not quite the same, though, of course, most families do both.
This is not being morbid, just practical, and thoughtful, grief tends to kick- back when least expected, so wail, cry and be comforted within the family, that is the best way to cope with death and release those powerful emotions.
As we need rituals, create some for yourself, these are easy; at the full moon, collect any crystals you may have around your home, wash and let them bathe in the moonlight. Or light a candle for a loved one in memory on the anniversary of their passing, fill yourself with wonder walking in nature, create a little altar of natural treasures, plants, rocks and feathers for instance.
This is a great idea if you have young children around, they can make their little finds important and often will want to keep them. I had a place to keep my treasures and even when I got older, I kept them in a box, they meant something to me that had nothing to do with anyone else, childhood memories are very precious.
Find more meaning in your life and pass those customs onto your own family, make a difference that is better and more loving than technology, and more enduring than words.
Never lose that connection with life and death, the turning of the earth, the phases of the moon and feel the power that moves the tides.
Diane – with love and blessings
If life is not treating you well, get in touch and together we can make a difference and change your life for the better.