Woo 101: Spiritual Rituals for Beginners

  • Written By:Elizabeth Kendig
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We want answers, we want hope, and we want meaning.

by Elizabeth Kendig

There was a time, not so long ago, when astrology was considered ‘new age’ and getting a psychic readings involved calling someone named Cleo. Now that there’s an app for that, it’s safe to say that spirituality has gone mainstream. One of the biggest reasons: as the world becomes an even more uncertain place, many are looking for something—anything!—to believe in. We want answers, we want hope, and we want meaning. Connecting to a higher power, whether you call it God, Source, or the Universe (to name a few), can provide all of the above while also offering an immense sense of peace when you discover that you are not alone and that there is support all around you. Here are a few practices and rituals to get you started:

Pull a Card

Contrary to popular belief and the intimidation of a traditional 78 card deck (don’t even ask me what the major and minor arcanas are!), you don’t need any special powers to pull a Tarot card for yourself. By nature, the Tarot allows you to connect to Source and access guidance and wisdom from your deepest self. Next time you have a question or are struggling with a decision, consult the deck. Most come with a guide book but a quick google search will also reveal the meaning of any card. The key is to set an intention for your highest good, and trust your instincts about whatever messages you receive.

Smudging

Smudging yourself and your space has roots in many cultures dating back centuries. As the technique has become popular in Instagram memes and earth-toned boutiques, it’s lost some important nuances—namely what ingredients do what. Here’s a starter kit: Sage cleanses the energy, Palo Santo grounds it, and the humble Cinnamon stick can bless, protect or spice things up in the bedroom. Light up a stick next time you want to feel the love! And with all smudging, be sure to open windows and doors to release old or unwanted energy.

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Hug a Tree

It’s not just a bumper sticker! Forest bathing, earthing, hugging a tree . . . these are all free and easy ways to harness the healing power of nature. There’s a reason your mood shifts after a walk in the woods: trees offer protection with their branches, grounding and stability with their roots, and a calming force when you lean against them. Trees can also absorb what we don’t need, so if you’re feeling sad or anxious, go lay your hands on one and ask it for support. Cry into the trunk if no one’s looking. This may be the hippiest thing you’ve ever heard, but once you try it you’ll be a tree-hugger 4 life.

Channel Writing

If journaling is your thing, or if you feel blocked in some way—with your career, in a relationship, whether to move or have a baby, for example—channel writing can provide immediate insight into what your higher self wants. Start by posing a question to yourself at the top of the page. Now close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths, and ask your spirit guides (or whatever higher power you trust) to write through you. Write a response to yourself without thinking. Just let the words flow until they stop. Look back and read what you wrote. Oftentimes you won’t remember even writing, or recognize the words and phrases, but they will undoubtedly ring true.

White Light of Protection

People carry all kinds of energy and it’s contagious. Think of that co-worker, neighbor or mother who gets under your skin and you’ve got the idea. Most healers I know start their day with this simple practice. It sounds too easy but it works, and will get you in the habit of creating healthy energetic boundaries with difficult people and situations: Close your eyes and visualize a white or golden light surrounding your body from head to toe. While holding the image, ask the Universe to keep you safe from any thoughts, feelings or energies that don’t belong to you. Start your day this way, and perform as needed!

Elizabeth Kendig is a writer and founder of Healers.

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