I’m writing this after just having finished a full moon meditation ritual. It’s a thing I don’t talk about, mostly, worrying that it comes across as woo-woo, weirdo, what-does-that-really mean. How do you explain the things that come to you in silence?
I have this odd relationship to ritual, and to magic. I dive in, remembering there are senses that aren’t spoken of most of the time. And still, I want to guard it, keep it held on some secret level just below the normal workings of the world. But. It cannot be denied: I need a relationship to nature. I need ways of understanding phenomena that are larger than what my individual perception lets me see. I need some regular remembrance of magic.
I love the quiet excitement of gathering items for ritual. Cutting plants and herbs, lighting candles, burning sage or palo santo or angelica, preparing the altar. It’s not that I think these things will solve anything, exactly. That’s not the point. The point is that, when I take the care to create a ritual of any sort, I’m brought into an internal space that knows how to relate well to things.
Magic is simply that, I think: remembering our relationship to the natural world, and to the terms by which life runs: time, space, cause and effect (sometimes known as karma.) When we decide to become active in that relationship—rather than simply letting life happen to us—we stake a little claim for our own magic.
You know that little thing at the beginning of yoga classes where the teacher asks you to set an intention? That’s a ritual of sorts, and it makes you capable of a particular type of magic that is pretty damn awesome: the kind that puts you in charge of your own experience. Had you not shown up, and mumbled to yourself even the simplest intention for what you wanted to experience for that hour, your day may have taken a different turn. One that you didn’t choose.
Sometimes that’s okay—it’s nice to let go and just be surprised at times. I must say, though, that more often than not, the best surprises tend to show up when I’ve done the work to put myself in their path. Habit, inertia, and letting things happen by default don’t tend to produce that outcome. Ritual and magic do.
As October unfolds its beauty in front of you, we hope you’ll find some quiet time to cultivate your relationship with the changing leaves, the changing light, and the shifts both internal and external that are part of your experience. It’s a magical time.
Much love and thanks for reading,
Erin H/Indi Yoga