The Practice of Ritual


I haven’t always understood the concept of ritual. I was and always will be a skeptic and when I thought about the word ritual, I immediately associated it with belief systems to which I didn’t adhere. I didn’t think ritual was relevant to my life. Then one day it clicked. I took a step back and realized ritual wasn’t at all what I thought it was and that many of the things I had participated in throughout my entire life were indeed that of practicing ritual. We all have rituals, mundane or obscure, they exists in everyone’s life. Brushing our teeth, showering, or celebrating a holiday are all ritualistic and are practices that have been around for a long time. We all do things whether it’s daily, weekly or yearly that we continue to do because they ignite something in us. Something as simple as cleaning our bodies for the day ahead, being regularly physically active, journaling or practicing meditation are all things we do because it makes us better in some sense, even if it’s just for ourselves.

Our subtle energetic being has a lot more in common with our physical being than we think. Just like our physical being benefits from ritual, so does our energetic being, but for some reason we struggle to look at them the same way. Our bodies are tangible, we eat certain ways to fuel our bodies and we do certain activities to make our bodies more able. We participate in rituals regularly to knowingly make our bodies healthier. These types of rituals are widely accepted in society and participating is encouraged by society because we know the benefits as proven by science. Ritual becomes harder to understand when we start to look past what is physical and tangible to what is energetic and unknown. The unknown is a fun place to play and incredibly scary simply because the things that happen in this place cannot always be perceived by our limited five senses. As intellectual beings, we don’t like things we cannot know for sure or things we don’t understand because we have to start trusting in ourselves and in our ideas which is usually the scariest part.

We are starting to see more and more scientific evidence for the benefits of meditation and this is exciting. We are starting to see that by working with our energetic, internal, intangible being that our physical being also benefits. What was once unknown in our perception is starting to become known and that is conscious evolution. As a lover of science and spirit, a teacher of the physical body and the subtle mind, this place of bringing the intangible into our tangible world is my happy place. This is why I celebrate the full moon.

The full moon is just another ritual. It is just another practice. It is another opportunity to strengthen our minds and subconscious in conjunction with our bodies. It is an opportunity to work past our desire for immediate results and realize what can be achieved in the long run. We don’t stop working out and eating well just because we don’t see physical changes right away, we know that over time we will change and become better so we keep going and we keep practicing. We must strengthen and develop our minds the same as we do our bodies. Motivation can difficult to sustain as results come slowly and will often never be visible to the outside world, but the changes can be more significant and longer lasting than physical changes. We start to change who we are at our core and as our subconscious mind adapts to the changes, eventually the body and conscious mind feel them. The mind-body connection works both ways and ritual for the mind and body help us bridge and connect that gap between the two. We start to feel the state of disconnect to ourselves and each other fade as we become self aware in both body and mind.

You don’t have to be a “moon child” or even believe in the energetic effects of the cosmos to love and practice ritual and ceremony with the full moon. Very similar to the concept of celebrating a new year, I look at this ritual like a reset button. I look at it as a space to focus on and celebrate growth. Once a month we get to take the opportunity to connect with ourselves, body and mind, to look back and to look forward at our lives. We get to the chance to review our lives in the moment and to review the things that benefit us and things that do not. We get to take the benefits with us and leave the things holding us back behind. Celebrating and connecting each month with ourselves just creates frequency in practicing self improvement and the full moon is simply a day we can ritualistically do this. We don’t go to the gym once a year and get in shape, we don’t make resolutions once a year and change our lives. We must do these things over and over and over again with discipline, dedication and consistency and trust in the bigger picture. We must love ourselves enough to want to be the best version of who we are no matter what and like anything, this takes practice. Practicing ritual that is true to you and to what you want in your life is a great habit to get into. Ritual can be, but doesn’t have to be traditional, it can be completely unique to you and that is beautiful. Bettering your life in any form is literally all any of us can do to improve the world we live in together.

The future is unknown so why not practice getting comfortable with that? Why not find unique ways to consistently better ourselves and to find new ways for others to benefit and grow? Why not try something different, something we don’t believe in, or something that has never been done before? As someone who absolutely loves science and tangible evidence, I’m not afraid to say that I think the future of evolution for us is going to be something we have never seen before. I believe the future of evolution for us is conscious evolution and that there are many avenues to explore. We need to disturb what has become normal and change our perceptions. We cannot limit ourselves with what we already have or progress will be impossible. We must look past what we know and into the unknown and that is liberating as fuck! Happy full moon and stay skeptical!

- Brittany Kish