Why Ritual?

Consciously or unconsciously, our daily lives are filled with rituals, from how we adorn our bodies to how we eat, play, work, and relate.ritual1

How we engage ritual determines how we create community. Rituals are part of community and allow for integration and healing. Ritual and art are some of the oldest human activities and are evidence of the existence of collective consciousness.

Working within ritual space together allows us to tap into the field of unity consciousness. This weekend is rich with rituals of connection that weave the sacred into our daily acts.

We will be dancing, singing, cooking together, building altars, experiencing elemental initiations and committing ourselves to our lover, the Earth.

Advances in the cutting-edge academic disciplines of indigenous research methods and dialectics, ecosomatics, ecopsychology, interpersonal neurobiology, quantum physics, phenonomonology, hermeneutics, ecofeminism and feminist psychology are merging with the grassroots movements of Wicca, shamanism, paganism, panpsychism and Buddhism to reveal that reality is, indeed, actually, an interconnected web of life.

ritual2We are less able to perceive this when relying solely on left-brain focused perceptions such as rationality and the scientific method. Right-brain oriented “soft technologies” (the humanities, art, dance, theater, etc.) provide more integrated modes of perception that better enable us to perceive the holon (the whole that is simultaneously a single part) that is reality.

The “arts of love” are skills that can be taught and learned and help us recover our “calm and connect circuitry.” Practicing these arts and skills interrupts the trance of PTSD that a constant exposure to the neoliberal economic paradigm engenders. Chances are that everyone reading these words is participating in a culture that exposes them to an onslaught of imagery, media, and information that has caused a sustained “fight-or-flight” response in their bodies. This energetically contracted, falsely-imposed, state of alarm keeps us distressed while we simultaneously enjoy the greatest consumption of resources in human history.

We need a break. It’s time to slow down and take refuge in the woods in kind and loving company. Let’s create rituals that allow us to have feelings and integrate both halves of our brain with our “mind-and-soul-inseparable-from-body.”*

*Frueh, J. (2000), Monster/Beauty.

— This page and its quotes generated by Reverend Teri D. Ciacchi, MSW, co-organizer of Surrender.

“With its mission of recalling nature’s depth and interiority, ecopsychology must embrace the poetic mode.” — Fisher, A. (2012), What is Ecopsychology? A Radical View.

“The traditional magician cultivates an ability to shift out of his or her common state of consciousness precisely in order to make contact with other species on their own terms.” — Abrams, D. (1995), The Ecology of Magic.

“From a Panpsychic point of view, knowledge should be pursued only within the parameters of respect and mutuality, established by encounter. A culture of encounter will be one in which modes of address, such as those expressed in poetry, song, ritual, and dance, will take precedence over modes of epistemological interrogation and exposure, such as those exemplified in science.”  — Mathews, F. (2003), For the Love of Matter: A Contemporary Panpsychism.