Of seasons, rituals and sensual delights
Nature is full of patterns and we humans love finding them, creating them, repeating them. This is the core of language, math, music, and even ritual.
~ Sasha Sagan
Seasonal rituals support the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. We relish the rituals that bring us together to celebrate the special seasonal holidays.
In this time of COVID-19, many will isolate and avoid their traditional seasonal rituals. The absence of significant rituals may leave us with the feeling of disconnection, apprehension, and loneliness.
In this unique time, it is important to create new, more personal rituals to mark the season.
I like to start by performing a letting go ritual.
I call this my “I wish it had been different” ritual. I take three stones and blow my regrets into them. I stack them on my ancestor altar. My ancestors hold them for me.
Seasonal rituals reflect the abundance of the natural world.
I set my intention to orient myself to this time and this place. I invite my new rituals to delight my senses.
Each day I walk in my neighborhood looking for natural objects – seeds, grasses, rocks – to create a centerpiece for my dining table. I am amazed at the wonderful shapes and textures I find in the late fall. Plus, my vision is more acute as I peak behind trees and under bushes.
This season I am attracted to chanting which is delightful to hear but I also enjoy the powerful sound vibrations I create within my body. Chanting calms my nervous system.
I sit quietly and listen to chants from various faith traditions. I feel connected to ancient wisdom keepers in this present moment.
Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and lemon are the smells I want to surround myself with this season. They make up my morning brew. The aroma alone is uplifting. Plus, I have placed them in the bath to inform the moisture to invite in the elementals to create some magic.
For me, orange is the color of this season. It began with the marigolds of Dia de los Muertos and is stimulated by the plethora of pumpkins. I want the vibrancy of orange in the flowers I buy, the foods I eat, and the clothes I wear. Orange reminds me to choose joy.
Sharing meals is a traditional seasonal ritual. This year my husband and I will dine alone but we will share in a neighborly feast. One neighbor is roasting a turkey with dressing. Another is making cranberry sauce and baking an apple pie. We are making Fatty Cue’s Brussel Sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes.
At 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day, we will leave dishes at each other’s front doors in gratitude to our community.
Each of these ritual activities will meet my intention of establishing my sense of self in this space and time.
I am committed to being fully present as I gather, cook, and chant my way through the season.
I invite you to create your distinctive rituals. I know it will boost your spirits and enhance your resilience in these challenging times.