Today is a very special day in the Pagan calendar. Not only is today the Summer Solstice, it also coincides with a full moon often referred to as a “Strawberry Moon”, “Honey Moon” or “Full Rose Moon”, for the first time in 70 years.
As the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice signals the start of Summer and we can expect up to 17 hours of daylight.
Many people choose to celebrate the Summer Solstice by going to Stonehenge at Salisbury Plain, England. Every year, hundreds of pagans and non-pagans congregate here to see the sun rise in the morning and welcome in the summer. Some pagans and druids perform a fire ritual to celebrate the occasion. This involves people with unlit candles forming a circle around a large central candle and lighting theirs off it one at a time.
Which has got me thinking about rituals, and their place in relationships. One obvious ritual is the marriage ceremony. Certain things happen at certain times and certain roles are conducted by certain people. Of course these rituals do not have to have religious significance , and couples often set their own rituals for these ceremonies – which people are involved and in what capacity, readings, speeches, setting their own vows, and so on.
But it seems that regardless or religious or spiritual beliefs, the ritual is important.
But are rituals important to everyday life? And is there a place in relationships for other types of rituals?
To answer this question I have thought about how I use ritual in my own, day-to-day life. For example, the mornings are important to me. I get up at around 5am and the first thing I do is a meditation practice, visualising the day ahead in a positive way and deciding how I want to feel about it, and thinking about all of the couples I can help today. I then journal for around 20 minutes, just writing down my creative ideas and anything else that I just want to get out of my head and down on paper that will help me to work towards this goal. It is my way of clearing things for the day ahead. Then I will write a blog post all about relationships. And then I will take Theo, our dog, for our daily walk in Nature. During these walks I often collect things that please me or speak to me – feathers I find on the ground, interesting stones, fallen leaves. I go through a similar ritual every day, and every part of it has significance for me.
All of these things help me to reconnect to my vision of helping as many couples as possible, through reconnecting and staying connected to Nature. It is a daily practice. My ritual.
And I think rituals are important for us because they are defining. They are a way for us to acknowledge the importance or significance of something in our lives. We may choose to undertake these rituals publicly (being presented with an award), or in front of a more intimate circle of family of friends (marriage), or on our own (a quick prayer or mantra before an important job interview) – but what about rituals just for the couple?
When I work with couples I often encourage them to create their own rituals. It might not be phrased as a “ritual” but that is essentially what they create. That might be the romantic ritual of a date night. The ritual of making time every day for communication. The ritual of spending intimate time together.
Or sometimes, the ritual is more obvious. In one of the modules in my Four Seasons Relationship Course, I encourage couples to create a relationship vision together, and then write it down on paper before physically burying it in soil underneath a plant, effectively planting their relationship vision so that they can watch it grow.
So I want you to take some time today to think about something in your relationship that is particularly important to you. Is it spending time together doing something fun? Is it getting out into Nature on a regular basis together? Is it communication? Is it cooking the evening meal together? Is it sexual intimacy? Whatever feels important to each of you, share this with each other. And then decide whether you can make it a special event for the relationship by creating your own ritual around it.
Good luck and please feel free to share your rituals by commenting in the post below.
And if you decide that communication is an important ritual for you but don’t know where to start, CLICK HERE to download my free Communication Guide for Couples.
And remember – maintain and tend to your relationship and watch it thrive!