For centuries women have been performing sacred ceremony, and magical ritual in the name of The Goddess, and also for Her many personifications, which are the goddesses of cultural pantheons, such as Isis—whose true name is Auset, being the goddess of the ancient Egyptian pantheon.
A recent archaeological discovery in Botswana, Africa reveals that ancient peoples living there, who were (and still are) called the San, engaged in elaborate ritual practice about 70,000 years ago, which is about 30,000 years earlier than any known rituals practiced in ancient Europe. This discovery includes artifacts and carvings found within a secluded cave, where the rituals are thought to have occurred. Also discovered, was a ‘secret; chamber, where it was thought that the shaman of the tribe sat during the ritual, and when he—or she spoke, it was as if from the mouth of a carved python, which is an animal that has been revered for thousands of years by the San people. My mind wanders off in deep contemplation of what these primitive, early people worshipped, and what their rituals entailed. Were their rituals very different than the ones we perform today?
Performing ritual is a way to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, and to elevate the mundane to the sacred. It is also a way of honoring the magnificence of The Divine, The Goddess, and any one of Her personifications…and it can also be a way of honoring this divine presence within you, for we are Her, and She is us…we embody Her with all of the grace, and specialness that being female is.
When performing ritual, one may experience spiritual ecstasy, deep peacefulness, union with The Divine, and often we may receive special messages, and intuitions from our Higher Self, the goddesses that we invoke, and sometimes from the pure, and radiant essence of The Divine Feminine.
Ritual does not have to be elaborate; it can be very simple in fact. One of my most favorite ways to ritualize my day, is to light a single stick of fragrant incense in the morning, take a deep, cleansing breath, and then offer this prayer to The Divine, which I consider to be both the Divine Masculine, and The Divine Feminine essence, as the Sacred Whole, and also the underlying power of the Universe;
Hands in prayer at my heart chakra, I say; I love You.
Hands in prayer at my third eye chakra, I say; I see You.
Hands in prayer at my crown chakra, I say; I know You.
Hands in prayer at my heart chakra again, I say; I thank You.
Below are some steps that I have created to prepare myself for ritual when working with a goddess personification, or with The Goddess Herself.
In addition to choosing a goddess, I also like to set an intention to work with during my ritual. It can be related to the goddess that I have chosen—or not. Having an intention means to have a specific goal, plan or purpose in mind.
You may not immediately know what your intention is, but you most likely had a very strong response and a very strong feeling that moved you to work with a special goddess, both of which will help you to discover your intention. Take a moment right now, and ask yourself; what is my purpose or goal for working with this goddess? This question may help you to discover your intention for your ritual. Take time to recall the feeling you had when you thought of her. Jot down any notes in a journal, or on a piece of paper, and allow your mind to wander as it comes closer and closer to identifying your intention.
I support whatever intention comes forth for me, and I encourage you to do the same; allow yourself to be in a process of discovery, and inquiry, rather than to force an intention to appear. Here are some possible intentions to inspire you:
- To become more aware of and more in touch with your femininity
- To better understand your feminine nature
- To learn to love and accept your body
- To develop a deeper relationship with The Goddess
- To bring more feminine spirituality into your life
What if you do not have an intention? That is perfectly fine, and honestly—not having an intention is an intention! Many times I have started spiritual quests without a single idea as to what I hoped to receive, and those journeys were often my most profound. To come to The Goddess in full surrender, with your heart and mind wide open to receive instead of dictating what it is that you desire, is an incredibly courageous and wonderful way to be with Her. I often say this when I am not sure of my intention:
Dear Goddess, Divine Mother, please use me as You will, and direct my life as You see best. I trust You, and I surrender all of myself to You.
If you haven’t already, set up an altar that is dedicated to The Goddess—or one goddess in particular that is in a designated space where you will perform your goddess rituals. Your altar can be set up on a small table, a shelf, or even a tray that you move from place to place. Magically speaking, this is where you are creating sacred space, where you are declaring ‘this is holy, sacred ground, magic will happen here’. Place upon your altar candles, statuary, flowers, crystals, images, and anything else that you would like…your altar acts like a portal, or doorway where the realm of The Divine, and the earthly realm converge.
Before performing your goddess ritual, it is very important to cleanse your physical and energetic field and to bless your body. Remember that you are creating sacred space, and your body should match this vibration. Sacred bathing, and the blessing of your bath water will cleanse and purify you, releasing any negative energy that may be attached to your energetic field, while anointing with an aromatic oil will bless you.
As you soak, release your worries, doubts and fears. Imagine that when you emerge from the water, your body, aura, mind and soul have been washed clean, and are now free of lower energies and negativity.
Once you are out of your bath, or shower, anoint yourself with an aromatic oil upon your heart, third-eye, and crown chakras, and anywhere else that you would like.
Now that your altar, and body are prepared, there is one more step; light a piece of white sage leaf, or Palo Santo wood, and gently pass the smoke around your body for further blessings and purification. You may also wish to do this around your altar.
Facing your altar, and standing with your bare feet on the floor; say these words:
O, (say the name of the goddess that you are working with),
hear my words,
know my heart,
and come to me.
(Then, still facing your altar, say the words that you have written on your intention scroll in a powerful voice.)
O, Great Goddess, Divine Mother,
witness to my words,
keeper of my heart,
please come to me.
I am open to your love,
I align with your power,
I receive your wisdom.
And, so it is!
Close your eyes, give thanks for all that has transpired during your ritual, and spend a moment or two in sacred space, with the goddess that you have chosen, or The Goddess Herself, with The Divine, and with your intention.
Know that your intention has been heard, and The Goddess has received the wishes of your heart, and now you must deepen your trust, and open to receive all that is yours, and all that is on its way to you. You may wish to journal your experience at this time.
The above article is an adaptation of a lesson from Into The Heart of The Goddess course, which is now open for enrollment
All content © 2018 Renée Starr