Rituals and ceremonies don't hold some kind of mysterious power or esoteric magic hocus pocus. They are spaces that allow for and create deep connection and *magic* which we are basically capable of when we realise we are all God. It's the power of intention, of operating from a place of knowing you are God, and everyone is God. Then from that place we commune with the natural world, and there's all sorts of wisdom that natural beings hold that we cannot access alone. The power of story weaves our human journey with that of the natural world, and imbues the natural world with meaning and a reality where we (humans) have a place in that general ecology.
Engaging in indigenous ceremony makes me see how simple it really is. Where is our respect and reverence for certain plants? Where is our belief that certain plants and herbs and ointments have the power to open certain doors for us, and heal? We (white culture/Western culture) have rejected it all and hedged all our bets on science, only. We need science (please don't take this as a rejection of science - I r scientist), but we're really coming full circle when we start to see the "magical" healing properties of the "placebo effect" which is basically the power of intention and the permission to heal ourselves, and for our bodies and spirits to self-organise in healing. Not to mention all the data coming out on meditation > antidepressants, epigenetics, "mind over matter".
So we end up in the same place but without all the colours, the tradition, the story, the sacredness, the feeling that being alive on Earth is one big mystery that we have the privilege of playing a part in. Why did we make this choice? Is it too late to see what we've done?
Big rant, very unformed, probably full of holes, but I'm feeling passionate!
I also wonder why it is that in the West we have problems with addiction to tabacco, alcohol and drugs. These are historically ritual medicines. But we disrespect the plant, while deeply craving ceremony and initiation, and it all gets muddled. Our ritual medicines are giving us liver cancer, lung cancer, heart failure. Would addiction to these medicines stop if we replaced chain smoking and binge drinking with ceremony and initiation?