Many of us yearn for the kind of beauty, meaning, and coherence reflected in traditional rituals. We admire cultures which give ceremony and celebration their proper places in the center of the private and public lives of the people. We marvel at the stories of Celtic men and women who structured their days and deeds around blessings and prayers. We are deeply moved by the ways Native Americans honor the traditions of their ancestors with regularity and respect. We are inspired to hear of a tribe in east Africa in which ritual fosters the art of true intimacy even before birth.
In fragmented and frantic modern cultures, ritual is usually given short shrift. Most people are barely conscious of their everyday rites as when and where they get their first cup of coffee, ways of greeting others, or their bedtime routines. We try desperately to muster enthusiasm for birthdays and anniversaries. And in the context of weddings and funerals, we're often so concerned about whether we have done it properly, we fail to honor the meaning of the event.
Anthropologists and historians of religion have pointed out that ritual assumes a prominent and resonant place in people's lives during periods of great stress and widespread soul-searching. That may explain why there is a renaissance of ritual experimentation today in our world.
This e-course offers guidance on how we can use and design rituals that honor our connections with our souls, others, community, nature, the world, and the whole cosmic dance. After a few readings on the value of rituals, we move on to give you concrete examples of intentional activities, ceremonies, blessings, and celebrations. These rituals span a range of spiritual traditions.
When you sign up for this e-course, you will receive:
- Emails sent at the pace that you choose, building a repertoire of rituals (27 sessions in all).
- A link to our review of the book where we found each reading.
- A suggestion for how you might respond to each ritual, with an invitation for personal practice and journal reflection.
Through our rich resources — book reviews, quotes, practices, and book excerpts — we have found rituals for your use and ideas to spark your imagination as you create your own. "Over time, as we become more conscious of the rituals that shape us, we become more able to shape them," writes John Izzo. Let these rituals help ground your yearnings and your devotion in concrete activities.
(choose your own start date and frequency)