When I came away from a lengthy sojourn in organized religion, I forsook the idea of ritual and spiritual tools, books, etc. I felt trapped in a box, spiritually suffocating. My path to healing required that I seek the spiritual without the tangible. Through my studies of world religions and ancient practices I came to understand the importance of tools and ritual, though I still embraced the freedom we have in not using any of it. Truth is, humans seek rituals and tools for spiritual growth. It offers us the tangible feeling of being included in something greater than ourselves.
In modern times, we see humans seeking ritual and inclusion in society through sports (Superbowl anyone?). Though a majority of Superbowl fans are men, women likewise will wear their sports colors, jersey, face paint, and cook up those smashing tailgate burgers. We also have holiday rituals that many don’t attribute any religious significance such as St Patty’s Day with green ale and gathering at the local Irish pub.
We participate in a variety of practices with tools from blowing out candles on a birthday cake to toasting a bride and groom at a wedding. Our modern lives still welcome and honor ancient traditions meant for inclusion, identity, and growth. Many have been modernized, but we’re also in a time of resurrecting the ways of the old world.
The most practical way I like to describe the use of spiritual tools is by giving an example.
When a woman goes into labor she is encouraged to have a focal point to use during her breathing exercises. The focal point doesn’t literally bring the baby into this world, but it assists the mother in keeping focus on the work she is doing, giving birth. Bringing an infant into this life is excruciating both physically and mentally. We want to make the birth a beautiful experience in every way, though messy bedsheets and sweat isn’t the most glamorous. So we pack special clothes for ourselves and the baby. We bring focal points, music, and even holy books for blessing the baby’s birthday. We invite special people from our inner circle to come gather, support, and love the family. We deliver meals to the home and watch the baby so mama can shower. This is a spiritual event filled with practices, rituals, and tools.
Life is like the birth canal. We go through travail, sweat, tears, pain, and joy. It can be quite messy, but we can transform it into a beautiful journey with gorgeous tools and practices to highlight the best parts of the paths we travel.
Then we have another way of describing the importance of spiritual tools. I called it intuitive art. Through our creativity and intuition, we can craft spiritual practices with a colorsplash of natural elements. We pull together seeds, leaves, flowers, crystals, shells, and so much more to be used on the canvas of life. Creating meditative grids, mandalas, and even sculpting, painting, and gardening are all intuitive ways we can use our tools to manifest wellness and abundance.
We use spiritual tools to ease our discomfort in this life. We develop rituals to bring meaning to what we’re experiencing. We create artistic expressions of our journey to tell our stories to those coming after us.
As I mentioned earlier, I embrace the freedom we have in not using spiritual tools and practices. However, life is so much more enjoyable when we do.
I’d like to invite you to join my class Magical Tools so you can learn all about the different ways you can incorporate the elements into your practice. You can learn more about it here.