A ceremony is a group of rituals and actions of a physical and metaphysical nature that are performed to pay homage or respect to an event or important day. The focus and energy put into a ceremony creates an atmosphere of high energy towards the specific event or deity, allowing the practitioner to merge one’s energy with the energy of the occasion. Most ceremonies have historical or religious lineage; they hold a metaphysical significance beyond the practitioner.
The celebration of the eight festivals or an initiation rite are examples of ceremonies.
Chanting is the art of focusing one’s will through the physical manifestation of sound; this solidifies one’s intent and directs one’s will.
Chanting creates a vibration; depending on words, tones, and inflections, these vibrations correlate to universal frequencies of vibration. Focusing one’s intent and aligning one’s energy is the primary goal of chanting.
Meditation is more than a method of relaxation; it is focusing on one’s inner self; this happens on many levels. To achieve a state of meditation, one must obtain a level of mind and body relaxation. Breath is the energy of life. Breathing must be slow and rhythmic, allowing the prana to recharge the soul.
Meditation is exploring one’s self, confronting one’s actions, accepting them, and releasing them to the universe. Through meditation, one connects the higher and lower aspects of one’s subconscious and conscious and touches one’s higher self. Meditation is the journey of self-discovery; one must accept the good and the bad, and allow one’s blocks and the albatross of the past to be released. In the darkness, one will find the path to the light.
Music is used to align one’s energies with purpose. It focuses one’s mind on a subconscious level, freeing one from the conscious mind. Music has the ability to alter one’s state of mind, distracting the conscious mind allowing a practitioner to operate detached from the physical reality. Music allows a practitioner to connect to the universal energies more freely, and one’s divine self. Music, in one form or another, has been used by cultures since the dawn of time to free one’s mind and align the vibrations to purpose.
A ritual is a group of actions of a physical and metaphysical nature designed to create an atmosphere of belief and focus. The complexity of the physical actions, combined with the direct manipulation of one’s will towards a defined purpose, creates an atmosphere of high energy.
The mind is in an ambiance that is free to accept the supernatural. Rituals thin the veil between the physical and supernatural plane, bringing the practitioner more in-tune to the universal energy, the One.
A few examples of rituals are: calling the circle, paying respect to a deity, prayer, and performing a spell.
Spells are a way to focus one's intent and will on a particular matter. Casting a spell requires the practitioner to enter a trance-like or meditative state, bringing one closer to one's spirit and the universal energy. Casting a spell incorporates physical movement, mental focus, optical, and olfactory sensation; this directs the mind and body's attention to a purpose. The key is to focus the mind, body, and spirit to a singular defined endpoint, change the vibrations of the energies, and will it into being. Spells are usually repetitive, rhythmic, involve several physical actions, and writing out or clearly stating one's intent.
In ancient times, many metaphysical practices, like Druidism, Vedicism, and Egyptianism, spells were created that combined the right words spoken at the right tone and inflection. Speaking the spell alone altered the vibrations of the energies. Sadly, the effectiveness of ancient incantations has slowly been lost due to lack of fluency in ancient languages, and the inability for us to know the tone and inflection used.
Most spells are passed down verbally, changing a syllable or tone changes the vibration.
A vision quest is a ritual in which the practitioner places themselves in a physically demanding or uncomfortable situation - forcing the practitioner to exert their will over mind and body in an attempt to connect to the universal energies. Prayer and meditation are vital components to a vision quest; the practitioner stays solely focused on a metaphysical journey.
Extreme physical conditions like pain, dehydration, hunger, extreme heat, and solitude, cause the conscious mind to lose control allowing the subconscious mind to take over. The subconscious mind is the gate to the divine self and the universal energy, and in this altered state, the practitioner focuses on a divine purpose.
This condition of an altered state and the extreme exertion of will for the purpose of contacting the divine allows one to connect to the true self.
Visualization is a skill; that some people can do naturally; others need to develop it through practice and repetition. Visualization is the art of using one's mind to see in your mind's eye what one will. Once one has perfected the skill, a person will be able to see their minds-eye with their eyes open. The thoughts merge with reality; an example would be seeing the energy leave the athame while casting the circle.
Another form of visualization used in meditation; one sees in the mind's eye, a dream-like state as real as if one were awake. This state allows one to direct their actions and explore the mind.
Yoga is a practice that combines meditation with physical and mental control. Yoga is designed to quiet one’s mind and hone the mental will in the pursuit of harmonizing one’s energy with universal energy. In yoga, abnormal and physically challenging positions are performed and held for varying amounts of time. The reason behind the diverse stances is mind over matter, the mind and the will are being trained to exert and maintain control.
During the physical practice of yoga, one engages in meditation; the physical and mental exercise performed together trains the mind and the will. Yoga is predominantly a Hindu system, and there are many types and schools of yoga; many religions practice it in one form or another. Today yoga has been adopted by western nations as a form of exercise, and for the most part, the spiritual and metaphysical nature is overlooked or forgotten.
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