Of Ritual Pull and Push
For the past few days the question of how to explain ritual has been weaving its way around and through me.
Some things can’t be explained well with words, ritual is one of them. It is experiential. It speaks the language of emotion. The wisdom of embodiment. Our bones know about ritual, but our modern minds have been trained to forget.
Ritual is different each time. And is experienced differently by each person in attendance. There is a way it is deeply personal whilst simultaneously holding the potential for profound connection.
This connection can be a deeper connection with our human community, Nature, the Ancestors and helpers from the spirit world. It can be a deepening of connection, a reconnection with self. It can be all of the above.
Each ritual has its own theme, its own flavour, its own aliveness, it’s own energy.
Yet in the lead-up to every ritual I still experience the pull of being drawn to ritual, and the push of wanting to run from it. It may look a little different each time, but the push-pull, or pull-push as it may be, is always there.
I traveled half way around the world to attend my first ritual. As soon as I saw it announced I knew I had to be there and I had no idea how that would be possible. Yet once the possibility became a reality I cannot remember how many times I nearly backed out of going.
This nervousness presented as all kinds of real life barriers as well as questions about whether this was really for me, whether I was ready for this, my safety, what people would think, the list went on.
In my bones I knew that something would be different if I went.
That I would be different if I went.
I came home changed.
Each time I step into ritual space I change a little more. I become a little stronger. I become a little clearer. I become a little more me.
And each time, I still feel nervous in the lead up.
If you’re feeling the push-pull, or pull-push about attending a ritual, know you are not alone. Reach out if it you need to.