Thank you dear Kristina for your thought provoking essay.
“Put quite simply, do whatever you need to do, so long as your head falls below your heart. It’s the quickest and finest type of ritual to move you from one state of being to another.”
So well said. Each year my heart wants a different ritual around the harvest full moon. This year, if I could, I’d love to have a ritual near the ocean under the full moon and watch the waves play with the shoreline. I am imagining a place of solitude up on a hill, near a light house, as the full moon pours its beams onto the vast ocean. So this is more or less a ritual that engages my imagination, not my current reality. As Campbell said, rituals are enactment of myths, and myths —- “Myth, like dream, is an expression of the human imagination thus grounded in the realities of the psyche and, like dream, reflecting equally the influences of a specific social environment ” So I am imagining~~~~~~
Kristina you wrote, “For me, the purpose of myth (whether personal or societal) is to feel our lives. And ritual is as meaningful as myth. The intention of ritual is to invite the relational presence of the divine into our lives. To appreciate the sacredness – the reverence of human life – and all that is holy. We need rituals because they structure the sacred.”
Societal rituals in natural settings, like the forests, lakes, oceans, and hills, speak to me a lot. For me, it enhances the sense of sacredness, and defines my geographical horizon. Such rituals bring me closer to the sun, moon and stars and the landscape around me. This was not always the case because I grew up in a tradition where rituals were more around death and resurrection (societal and group rituals) – forty days of mourning, and then celebrations, but not in nature-settings.
In Norway, I participated in nature rituals, and since then, the longing to be near a forest, to walk there on a moonlit night, trekking a dark path, lit only by a few lanterns, looking for a place to rest, but where? The land, sometimes covered with soft snow, and sometimes all wet with rain, offered no rest, and all one could do was keep walking. The smell of hot chocolate and a few hand held torches beckoned one to dry boulders, where a surprise awaited. That’s a ritual, I wish could be global rather than just Nordic.
Thank you again Kristina.