We can probably all admit to having gone through phases where ritual work became less-than-consistent. When Prayer / Meditation became intermittent. Communication with Source-energy / Universe / Nature / God + Goddess felt more like a job than an integral part of opening to joy and abundance.
The truth is: ritual doesn’t require a schedule.
I do find it important to have, at minimum, both morning and evening ritual practices in place. Aside from that… everything can become ritual. The act of cooking a meal. Going to the grocery store, even. Skincare. Being a taxi service for your teenager (yes, even this). The goal is working to be in communication with Source / Universe / God + Goddess / your Matron or Patron deity in an everlasting conversation, and especially to incorporate gratitude in that conversation.
The important thing to realize is that the Pagan path is not about “making time” for ritual work; it is about deepening one’s relationship to the Universal oneness and the Higher Self. There are plenty of things to distract us from that very simple and very beautiful pursuit.
I am at a place along my journey where I have opened up to the idea of multiple deities, however I understand that these divine energies have been personified by us in order to make more sense of them. I also don’t think that these deities (and other multidimensional beings) are anymore ‘divine’ than the rest of the Universe, nor do they exist outside of the Universe, but are rather just another unique and special element of Nature — each with their own individual essence, like the Trees, or Sky, or you and I. I’ll talk more about that in future posts. When it comes to invoking and working with these energies, I have come to a standstill at many points along my path — not feeling quite worthy enough — and now I know why: prioritizing daily ritual work. We cannot do clumsy, inconsistent ritual work while at the same time calling on the Elements or Deities / Universal oneness / God + Goddess / Source whenever we need assistance. I have seen a lot of talk around the web and on YouTube regarding invocation and even “spirit guides” but seldom with an emphasis on how important it really is to be committing your life to honoring a relationship with the Universe through daily ritual work.
Sidenote: I personally prefer to use the word “Nature,” “Nature-Consciousness,””Universe” or “The Cosmos” when referring to ‘God + Goddess’. My mentor uses “Spirit” which I’ve come to enjoy and use sometimes as well. I find that it does matter to find and use words that feel reverent for you. There is power in the way we feel when we use certain words that can strengthen that energetic relationship. The word ‘God’ hasn’t felt good to me in many years and around 2010 I replaced it with the word ‘Energy’ or ‘Source-Energy’ based on my personal beliefs, even though I do understand that there are many different applications of the word God. I can even get down with using God-energy or Goddess-energy. And I fully respect that others’ use of the word God will be different than my own.
Okay so what do I mean, then, by “Divine Karma” and what does it have to do with ritual work? Dianne Sylvan says it best in her book “The Circle Within” :
“I find it a bit novel, and rather laughable, that a lot of Wiccans (or ritualistic Pagans) want their [practice] to serve them as quickly and efficiently as possible with a minimum of personal investment. This, actually, is true of almost everyone in the modern West. (13). The dictionary definition of the word devotion is to give wholeheartedly to something. …..the more you devote to your sense of the Divine, the more Divine will devote to you. ….to turn our belief in the God and Goddess [or, Nature-Consciousness / Source, etc] into reality, immersing ourselves in our relationship with Them / It is the surest way to turn our belief into knowledge. (10).
If you only call your friends when you need something, eventually they aren’t going to want to continue that relationship. In the same way, we have to invest into our relationship with the Universe. We need to be gracious and grateful and to invest ourselves into our practice, we need to cultivate a very personal and authentic way of doing ritual. We cannot just decide one day that we need some help with a love-relationship and start calling on specific Goddess-energies to step in support us through it if we haven’t been showing up to honor our relationship to the Universe with passion and perseverance. This is what I mean by ‘Divine Karma’ — if we are investing very little into our spiritual practice, we can expect to receive very little in return.
I also want to quickly mention that the point is not to commit to a ritualistic practice in order to get whatever we want. The purpose of ritual work is about honor — honoring Self and honoring the whole of the Universe. It is about making ritual Sacred to us and increasing the joy in our lives through it. And it is about keeping ourselves in resonance with the vibration of gratitude.