Seasonal Salon

Personal Ritual

These are not my rituals any more.

We all know the personal value of rituals.  They calm, mark time and values, they allow for self expression and a group shared experience of the divine or community interests.  They can reduce anxiety and uplift one’s soul.  They can serve to honor and celebrate rites of passage and the Blood Mysteries.  They mark the holy days and our paths around The Wheel.  But within the Shadow of rituals comes addiction, which is ritualized behaviors that pass for true connection and seek to fulfil in ways that are dysfunctional.  Their promise is to calm, allow for self expression, mark what is important in a person’s life, and for a moment they do.  But it is a short term fulfillment of the promise and always comes with unwanted results.

For years I have ritualized eating food that does not serve me.  Whenever I wanted to.  It has taken a toll on my health, self-esteem and self-expression along the way.  In this personal ritual I thank and release those rituals, as they no longer belong to me.

I light a yellow candle and take a deep, slow breath.  The air comes to my senses with a musky smell from the creek at the bottom of our property.  There has been rain in the creek; rain that was a blessing in Texas. 

To the East, I speak these words with sun rise in my heart:

I thank The Goddess for allowing me to come this far in my work and progress, as I have peeled layers upon layers off this issue through the years, finally to find some peace. 

I light the red candle and see the flame rises up to greet me.  To the South I speak these words with passion and warmth in my heart:

I no longer eat sugar.  I no longer eat grains.  I no longer eat dairy.  I do not crave anything any more of the previous food I ate when ever I felt something, anything, or needed a quick fix for some feeling that was uncomfortable or painful.  That ritual no longer belongs to me.  I no longer stop for a cookie or three when near my bank, or lunch at a place across from my bank.  The ritual of gong to the bank no longer includes that.  They no longer belong to me.

I light a blue candle and feel the dewy rain washing my eyeballs so tenderly. To the West, with emotion and the setting sun in my heart I speak these words:

I am a Texas girl who loves her chips and queso.  Whenever I wanted it, I could find the time and money to get it.  Around every corner in Austin is good Mexican food, just waiting for me to eat it.  But that is no longer my ritual.  I don’t seek comfort from food any longer.  I must face the vulnerability of looking to my relationships for that same comfort, or emotional fix for anger or outrage, for that sense of ritual, and delicious delight. Queso is no longer my ritual. 

I light the green candle and look out into the woods behind our house.  To the North, with celebration of the Earth’s gifts of good food in my heart, I speak these words:

Here smack in the middle of the Winter Holidays, full of food traditions and rituals, I find myself missing making our family’s sugar cookies without which Yule is not right, but with which, my body inflames, and my joints burn.  This year we brought our own food to Thanksgiving with friends.  Delicious food that was just as good as all the sticky, gooey, sweet stuff that is usually involved in that tradition. It was festive food that fed my soul, not just my sweet tooth, and did not wreak havoc on my body at all.  These are now my new rituals.  I claim them to be so.

To Center, with Spirit directing my heart I speak this:

I am so thankful that I have been shown this way, after searching so long and I am happy to release those rituals of food addiction that never did serve me but seemed to.  I release them to The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names, and claim new ones that feed me in ways no food can. I thank you, Goddess, for my partner’s support and generosity in cooking and planning for the foods that feed me in this new way of being.  I thank you Goddess, for the ways I am able to change, adjust, grow and learn about myself.  It has taken 50 years.

I find myself complete and finish the ritual with the song “She Changes Everything She Touches.”  It is so true.  Blessed be.  May all people find the rituals that bless them with light and love.  May all beings be free from rituals that harm and give a false sense of fullfilment. 

Sally Jeaux is an ordained Priestess of the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess. She also identifies as a Therapist, a Ritualist, a feminist and follower of The Wheel. As a seeker, she loves to learn about spiritual practices and study The Goddess and Her ways.  Sally uses her creative energy to write liturgy, craft altars and make spiritually based art. Sally lives a blessed life, working the mysteries, with her delicious partner Boye in Austin, Texas. 

Category: Winter Solstice 2017