Ritual, Story, and Reality

Where Spirit Stops

To me, ritual is a story enacted with the intention to activate it. Ritual brings story a step closer to ordinary reality and a step away from extraordinary (fantasy) reality. When we talk about thinning veils this is, I believe, what we mean: accessing elements of the extraordinary by transporting them into the ordinary. Or, when a shamanic practitioner journeys, she may look for elements of the ordinary world amid the extraordinary realm of spirit or imagination, so she can bring back answers about daily life. But nothing we can experience is wholly ordinary or wholly extraordinary. It is always some ratio of the two.

So ritual is one means of changing our relationship with the ordinary and extraordinary realms. Yet my previous understanding and experience of ritual leaves me uninspired. I dislike the heavy use of rules and symbology that doesn’t resonate with me. In fact, I dislike practicing anything…

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