What I see out there on the internets and what I experience right here in person is a massive rise in women coming together together in ritual. It’s a beautiful thing.

So many altars being made, candles lit and blessings offered. How many times have you read the word sacred on your social feeds today? Crystals and incense sales must be heading though the roof!

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I heartily approve and totally understand where it’s coming from. So many of us are responding to a shifting tide in consciousness, brought together by a rejection of the mainstream and a quest for something more than.

We are resonating with the ancient words of mystics and seeking out the magical symbols of alchemists. It’s beginning to spill out in our words, our art and our fashion – even for those who are not entirely sure what the symbols mean.

I wholeheartedly approve of it all, for I believe that it is when we live a symbolic life, mindfully tuned into the mythical, that we are more easily able to find greater meaning and fulfilment.

desk altar

A cosmology which describes the formation of the stars but doesn’t account for peoples’ wonder at those same stars, other than to say they’re the result of sparking electrochemical circuits — what does that really explain? Michael S Schneider

Taking time out of our mundane existence to engage in ritual exists in many forms and isn’t limited to the spiritual or explorer, of course. It’s a human experience and makes for happier, more engaged people.

When it comes to a ritualised personal practice for the contemporary mythical woman, it isn’t always easy to know what to do. Through cultural, societal and familial conditioning we have become used to being told what rituals to participate in, how to show up and what to do. When we reject the rituals of our tradition, or find ourselves seeking alternatives, we commonly fall back on this notion that they must be performed in a certain way – and so even these new rituals become practiced in line with an alternative dogma, but a dogma all the same.

It makes for great disappointment in many cases, as we fail to meet the challenge set down… yeah, I know for many paths that’s the very essence of the practice itself – to overcome our failures and to stay on the path. But personally, I don’t thrive by that method.

You see, I am fluid – I am paradox – I am mythical – I am more than – I am woman. And so my personal practice follows its own path, as fluid as my personality, my weight, my hair length, and all of my wants and desires.

For me, ritual is one of the main ways I stay connected, tune in and turned on and so I dedicate a great deal of time to it, especially when I can’t circle with women in person.

It isn’t everybody’s idea of how a woman at mid-life should show up – I know that. There are a great many people who don’t understand it – I know that. But I wanted to share how I show up in ritual, anyhow – or at least, to show you how I showed up this morning. It doesn’t always look this way and on many occasions, I’ll make art instead – and I very often ritualise that practice as well.

I start out with my beeswax candle and the burning of some osha root. The osha root is a fairly new element for me, and I love it. Associated with dreams, it is said to lift the veil between the conscious and the unconscious. I find it an excellent means to do just that.

I decide that my practice today will be to spend time in ritual for the length of the Rising Appalachia album, Filthy Dirty South. So instead of yoga posturing, there is dancing on the mat.

Just like yoga, dancing usually leads to moments of stillness.  I love the engagement with the music in this ritualised space.

And it does take me to a place of deeper contemplation.

Still on the mat, I’m rooted in place. Feeling the connection, yes.

And rising upwards again for more dancing.

And that is pretty much it, bar the blessing for the day. It lasts the entire duration of the album.

It all takes place in my studio, so I show up at my desk almost immediately afterwards and when I do, I am tuned in, I feel calm, I feel whole and I am better able to take action.

What ritual is calling to you to be honoured today?

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