When Ritual Doesn’t Go As Expected
I usually spend a few hours planning what I hope to do in ritual days before I get around to the actual ritual. I enjoy planning out my weeks and day (or events for groups), so planning ritual is a natural way for me to approach things. I like getting all my ideas out on paper first. It’s easy to discover what is going to flow or not flow together when I see all the pieces beforehand. There is inspiration to be found in books, past journal entries, music, and of course what I might find and gather on my walks. I write out what I hope to do in my journal and gather any supplies. When the day and time comes around for whatever I have planed I eagerly get to it. I always have confidence that the time I’ve spent planning will allow ritual to go smoothly and provide the opportunity for me to just be in the moment rather than focused on what comes next.
Yet, every once and a while things do not go as planned. The day has been a clusterfuck and I’m exhausted. Maybe I wasn’t able to find all my resources or the right tools/symbols I wanted. Sometimes, family or friends call or need my help with something right then. There are more people around in whatever setting I was planning on using than I anticipated. Things can easily pop up and throw me out of my element.
When I first started practicing, things that didn’t go according to plan would dramatically detract from my experience of that ritual. I would still do the ritual to the best of my ability, but I knew that it could have been better. It was so easy to obsess about what could have been. I guess, really, that this was something that I would do in every day life, too. Every time I continued to work through the ritual despite whatever didn’t go according to plan, it got just a little bit easy to let go my worry and obsession about the “wrong” part of ritual. It helped me find more patience in life for the little things that didn’t go with my plan. (It’s the little things not the big things that trip me up and turn me into a giant ball of anxiety. Emergency room trips or big disasters, however, put me in an easy-peasy, flexible, helper mode. Just so we understand one another. lol)
Now I approach ritual planning more as a chance to discover an outline of what I want to do. I allow more space and time for the Universe and Deity to add whatever flavors and elements need to be added. My practice has deepened and my connection vibrates with the added peace this space brings to my ritual. Maybe I’ll even get to the point where do ritual with others will be comfortable and easy!