Highly Sensitive People pick up on the emotional vibrations of others, much like a sponge soaking up water. This can be extremely draining. It's extremely important to learn to protect yourself spiritually (energetically) in order to maintain physical and emotional balance. One way to do this is by engaging in creative ritual.
Creative ritual may sound a bit creepy. A wedding ceremony is a ritual. Blowing out birthday candles on a cake is a ritual. Baptism is a ritual. If you give it some thought, you can come up many everyday rituals. Even brushing your teeth and combing your hair in the morning, after getting out of bed, is a form of ritual. One of the most popular rituals you can perform is the ritual of exercise. Most do not think of exercise as a ritual but it is, and a very powerful one, in that it heals your body, mind and soul all at the same time.
You don't have to believe in spirits or an afterlife to engage in protecting yourself spiritually. But, you do need to grasp the fact that you are an energetic being and no just a physical one. There's just no way to deny energy. Everything in life, including you, has an energetic vibration. And, energy vibrations can be high, low or somewhere in between.
To protect yourself spiritually means to protect your vibration for lower vibrations (negative energies) that can be a negative influence or threat to your to where you live, which is in and around your body (your physical body and your electromagnetic energy field, your aura).
When it comes down to it, it makes no difference whether you feel you are protecting yourself from a ghost, an object, or someone else's vibe. Spiritual protection is really all about protecting your energy.
There are no rules here, except perhaps one. Never intend to harm anyone through your prayers. Whenever you involve yourself in a ritual do so with an attitude of hope, love and gratefulness.
What is Ritual?
Think of ritual as a physical form of thought or prayer. It is something that you can do in the physical and material world that parallels and symbolizes your intentions. Your thoughts, or intentions, go out into the universe as energies. Everything you think, say and do effects yourself and others, either, positively or negatively. Rituals are powerful in their own 'rite' because of the intentions or energies that fuel them.
When Should You Practice Prayer?
You may practice prayer whenever and as often as you like. However, it’s not just the daily heart-to-heart talks you have with God that are implied here. It is more than that. The words we speak in prayer are formed with letters. The letters in ritual are spoken with objects and tools. In creative ritual, your prayers become active, rather than just spoken, when you use materials, such as flowers, candles, incense, and stones to use for specific purposes, or intentions.
What Can Creative Ritual Used For?
The 8 Major Festivals (Rituals) of the Year
Some folks like to correspond their rituals with the 8 major festivals of the year shown below.
Creative Ritual Tools
Those who practice rituals on a regular basis usually have some common ideas about where things are to be placed on alters or ritual trays.
It is not necessary to have an alter or tray, but you may want to have some special place to put the things that you will be working with and it helps if that something is portable just in case you want to move to another room.
Most of the things you will be using are beautiful and can be placed as lovely decorator items in the home. A dresser top, fireplace mantle or small cupboard will usually do for storage. Think of it as being no different than gathering together all of your manicure equipment and arranging it on a tray before you begin your weekly toe painting ritual.
Imagine a coffee table with beautiful river rocks, a copper bell from India, scented candles and incense in a lovely container. Add some fresh flowers and chakra music to the environment and who would ever guess that a half hour ago you were deep in personal ritual, tapping on your drum, placing sea salt in the corners of your home to reduce negative energies, or planting a prayer note in a flower pot. And the few drops of water on the carpet, do you think they will guess that it is stellar water?
The following lists will direct you in the placement of possible tools, the meanings of colors, stones and flowers. Some folks like to be dazzled by the preciseness of everything; But if too much information places you on automatic overload, stick with simplicity and convenience. It is enough to just to know what color, or smell, you might want to use in your celebration of life and in offering up your prayers. If, on the other hand, you are one who loves details, then you might choose do more studying on the subject of rituals by studying symbolism or mythology.
Directional Objects and Placements for Alters or Trays
If you would like the objects on your tray, or alter, to symbolize the four directions of North, West, East and South, you shall want to place them accordingly. Certain philosophical groups who are more than willing to give you their interpretation of what elements correspond to what directions. However, none of these groups seem to agree with each other. Try using your own geographical location as the basis for direction when it comes to placing objects on your alter. For example, if you live in the north side of your city or town, you should be able to figure what direction south is, then east and west. Or, if your loved one is in the east, you may wish to place an object of love, or a picture of the both of you, in the eastern corner of your alter.
Since we all have come from spirit into the world, you could use an all together different rendition by arranging your alter contents in the shape of a tree, The Tree of Life. The philosophy of Tree of Life comes from the teachings of the Jewish Quabala (or Kabbalah). Place your objects in the following order.
At the top of the tree (the Northern section of your tray or alter) would be Fire symbols, with Air below Fire, followed by Water, and with Earth following Water. This represents the Four Worlds, beginning with Spirit and ending in Physicality. It is our job in this lifetime to find our way back up through the Four Worlds and back to Spirit. The following tools can be used to represent the four worlds.
The Use of Color in Ritual/Spiritual Protection
An alter or tray is most often placed in the center of the room in which you will be working, unless it is in a fixed position, such as over your fireplace. You may want to place a colorful cloth on your work space before you place your objects on it. Objects may also be chosen based on color.
The Use of Symbols
Fire burns away impurities, while smoke carries those impurities and bad spirits away from us. When smudging, light the incense, herbs or smudge stick (usually sage). It is often safer to light the herb in a shell or fireproof dish, rather than to hold it. You can use a feather, or just your hand, to gently wave the smoke from the dish so that it is pushed into the air about the room as you walk through the house in a space clearing ritual. Cup the smoke and waft it over your face like you would water, keeping your eyes closed if you are sensitive to smoke at all. Smudge over your eyes to see the truth, your ears to hear the truth, your throat to speak the truth, and your heart so that it is opened.
You may use bottled spring water placed in a glass, or ceramic bowl, but not a metal one. Metal belongs to another element, Earth. On a bright night, when the sky is full of stars, set your bowl of water outside, or on the windowsill, for at least an hour in order to absorb the star light. Stellar (star) water is good for making dreams come true and bringing joy into one's life. You can store your water on your alter, but make sure it stays fresh and re-energize it every so often by spiraling (stirring) the water. You can do the same for Lunar (moon) water when the moon is bright. Lunar water is good for healing. It is gentle.
You might also add some flower essences to the water such as Bach Flower essences, especially if you would like to use a flower in your ritual that is not readily available.
For Solar (sun) water, do the same while the sun is bright. Leave your water in the rays for at least an hour. You can even drink it if you need a lift (see below), but make sure to have kept it covered in some way, for sanitary reasons.
To sprinkle your holy water around the house, use a twig or your fingertips to flick the water.
Believe it or not, one way to internalize color is to drink it. Gather together at least 7 or 8 glass jars or bottles (with covers). Colorful wine bottles will work just as well. You can wrap clear bottles in colored cellophane. You may also purchase colored filters from color therapy suppliers to wrap your bottles in if you can’t find the right colored bottles.
Fill your bottles with pure water and place them upon the windowsill for at least one hour in daylight. Make sure the bottle tops are covered so insects can’t get in. Bless the water with a prayer of thanks for its healing properties (as indicated below) and after your hour is up, drink it down. You can also store it in the fridge for later, but it is best to discard after 24 hours.
Rain, Salt, Sand & Willow
Rain - Use winter rain for courage and endurance. Spring rain is for love and attraction. Summer rain is for playfulness and sexiness. Fall rain is for enthusiasm, thankfulness and closure. Use left-over Rain water as a hair rinse after shampooing. It makes hair so very soft.
Salt - Using salt to ward off evil may seem superstitious, but no more so than using cinnamon for prosperity. Salt is known to absorb negative energies when placed in the four corners of your home, or the corners of the room you are clearing. Salt is to be left in place for 24 hours and then removed. Discard ritual salts down the sink or toilet. Never keep the salt, or reuse it. And, whatever you do, don't eat it!
Sand - Use sand to bring like-minded people into your life. Sprinkle it in your plant pots and watch your friendships grow, or place sand under candles as an attractive centerpiece.
Willow Tree - Have you ever seen those wonderful curly, naked branches they have in gift shops that have crystals or tree ornaments hanging from them? They are often Willow branches, although Grapevine branches are also used. Although dead flowers and plants can bring negative energy into the home, Willow helps us to adjust to new situations. Use a branch or two in your ritual, perhaps as a wand or to disperse holy water. When out in nature, standing under a willow tree can strengthen you. Tell the tree your problems. Trees offer much wisdom. Be sure to thank the tree if you pull off a small branch or a few leaves.
Also see Stones & Crystals for a stone for what ails you and gemstones according to your zodiac sign.
Space Clearing Ritual
Before You Begin the Ritual
When cleaning your home or environment spiritually, it helps to make sure that all the material clutter is cleared away and the garbage is taken out first. It may be wise to include house cleaning as a precursor to your ritual, especially when performing a space clearing ritual, say the day before.
You may also want to bathe in order to wash away any negative vibes. Some choose to do this afterwards rather than before, or both. Afterwards, put on some comfortable, relaxed fitting clothes.
Put out a 'Do Not Disturb' sign and don’t answer the door. Turn off all radios, televisions, washers, dryers, telephones and anything else that makes noise. Put the family pet outside or in a separate room.
This may sound weird, but your home has its own energy and that energy responds to everything you do. Make a little announcement of your intentions. If you intend to bring more love into your home, tell your home this is what the intention of your ritual is. Your home will work with you in achieving your desired results. Yes. Just mumble something out loud and your home will understand you. Put on some soft, lyric free, background music, and you are almost ready.
Blessing the Ritual
This is very personal. There is no way anyone can presume to tell you what to ask for and how to ask for a blessing from your creator. This is between you and god, whoever or whatever you see that to be. You will want to be in a state of love and grace during your ritual and protected from any negative forces. Therefore, a moment of spoken prayer, whether silently or verbally spoken, is necessary for peace of mind and for focusing on one's intentions. It is also a good way to signify your ritual's beginning. Remember, ritual is a prayer in action.
How to Perform Your Own Space Clearing Ritual
As stated before, if you prefer not to use tools, or don’t have anything on hand, you may perform a ritual without ever making a sound and without using anything other than your hands. Your own body, internal voice, and thoughts are enough.
You can use your hands to perceive negative energy. How? Rub your hands together until you feel them warming up. Then, cup your hands as though you were holding an invisible ball. Your fingers should be about an inch away from each other at the tips. When you pull your hands apart you'll feel less energy between them. When you close them over the 'ball' you will feel more energy. The feeling is subtle, but it is there. Your hands can work the same way to feel the energies in your home by reaching high and low as you flow through your rooms, sort of like a psychic barometer. Many times, what your hands don't tell you, your spirit will. Something just doesn't feel right.
When you run across an area in your home that feels heavy, or negative, during a space clearing, you can clap your hands to break up the congestion, rather than use a drum or bell, and then sooth that area with your hands just the same way you would pet a cat, with soothing downward waves of your hands.
When using tools, choose your tools based on your intention, or ritual purpose, and the kind of 'vibe' you wish to create. For example, if you want to create an atmosphere of love and invite more tenderness into your home, you might wish to use different shades of pink in your cloth, candles and flowers. You might choose Rose Flower Essence in Lunar (Moon) water, a feather for Air, a chalice for Water, a Rose Quartz Crystal for Earth, a piece of gold jewelry or Ylang Ylang incense for Fire. You might even choose to perform your ritual on Saturday.
After the Ritual
Give a prayer of thanks. Again, whatever you say in your closing is very personal. Remember, a happy heart is an open one and gratefulness is a cure for many ailments. As ritual is a prayer in action, you'll want to say your 'Amens', at least.
It is time to go wash your hands, up to your elbows, shake them dry and breathe happily. What you are doing is getting grounded again after your spiritual experience. It is now that some choose to bathe.
Holy water (that you created) can be left in glass containers around the house, but don't ever let the water stagnate.
Never leave candles unattended. You can let them burn all the way down, and you should, but make sure you are in attendance. I use votive candles because they burn down in a reasonable length of time, come in many colors and fragrances.
Make sure the salts that were used during the ritual are thrown out within 24 hours.
Flowers can be left out as a symbol of beauty for as long as they are fresh.
Artwork: Miriam by Sir Edward Burnes-Jones
Personal Exercises for Spiritual Protection
The Two Armed Cross
To avoid negative energy from draining you as much, cross your arms over your chest (heart and upper stomach region). This protects the Solar Plexus Chakra, which processes your feelings and gut reactions. We naturally do this without even thinking whenever we are afraid or anxious. It actually protects us from negative energies.
This works great for when you finally get that moment alone. Pretend you are a dragonfly. Reach up and gently hold on to the tips of both wings. Now, bring them down and fold them around you. Imagine your wings draping you from your head to your toes. Do this a few times until you feel cocooned, safe and warm.
Putting on God's Armor
Pray. The power of the Creator is stronger than any other force.
"My enemies come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. They scavenge for food, but they go to sleep unsatisfied. But as for me, I will sing about your power, I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress." - Psalm 59: 14-16
Light & Mirrors
Imagine your body full of a loving 'White and Gold' light that lights you up from the inside out, bursts from the tips of your fingers and toes, and swims around you like a warm blanket. Know in your heart that this is 'God' in you. For extra protection, now imagine that you are wearing a velvet cloak, in which the outer side is made up of mirrors. These mirrors can be a single sheet, many singular ones, or in so many numbers that they glitter like diamonds. You decide. These mirrors are there to deflect any negativity sailing your way. These techniques can be used separately, but together are a double whammy to any negativity that would try to harm you.
The Magic of Everyday Items
Apple: Health and vitality.
Black Tea: Strengthening.
Corn: Harvest, abundance, fertility and blessing.
Daffodil: Childlike joy and laughter.
Daisy: Innocence and happiness.
Grains: Prosperity and renewal.
Green Tea: Health and energy.
Iris: Delicate sensuality.
Lily: Purity and perfection.
Lily of the Valley: Springtime and new life.
Marigold: Joy and longevity.
Peach: Immortality, marriage and emotional tenderness.
Pomegranate: Fertility and unity of diversity.
Rice: Good fortune.
Seaweed: Employment opportunity
Sunflower: Optimism and joy.
Tulip: Vitality and sensual love.
Violet: Trust and tenderness.
Wheat: Abundance and harvest intuition.
Essential Oils & Incense for Ritual & Space Clearing
Bergamot: Calmly uplifts.
Cedar Wood: Relaxes, draws good things.
Eucalyptus: Tonifies, heals, cleanses, protects, energizes.
Fennel: Warming, positive success.
Frankincense: Spiritual Clarity and Will Power
Honeysuckle: Encourages eloquence.
Lemon: Alertness, alertness, purification.
Lemon grass: Cleanses
Neroli: Reduces stress.
Passion Flower (herb or tea): Overcomes negative feelings.
Patchouli: Sensuous, grounding, stabilizing, wards off negativity.
Rose: Increases loving energy.
Sage: Purifies, Drives out evil.
Sandalwood: Releases fear.
Vanilla: Sensuality and happiness.
Ylang Ylang: Comforts
Useful Corresponding Days, Planets & Rulings
Sunday - Sun - Health & Success
Monday: Moon - Magic & Travel
Tuesday: Mars - Military & Conflict
Wednesday: Mercury - Study & Communication
Thursday: Jupiter - Luck & Wealth
Friday: Venus - Love & Beauty
Saturday: Saturn - Calmness & Spiritual Ideas
Apple (Green): Prosperity
Apple (Red): Love and fame.
Avocado: Calm and beauty.
Basil & Bay: Protection
Cilantro: Awareness, creativity.
Cinnamon: Prosperity, luck and favor.
Clove: Stopping slander.
Dill: Spices up sex life, money.
Fennel: Success in many things.
Garlic: Protection. Drives away evil.
Honey: Luck, fortune.
Lemon: Love, beauty, purification.
Lemon Drops: For wooing.
Marjoram: Lifts depression.
Milk: Job success.
Mustard: Good memory.
Nutmeg: Increases chances of winning and good luck.
Nuts: Playful communication.
Onion: Dispelling anger.
Paprika: Healing and loyalty.
Parsley: Purification and other-worldly communications (can tone down unwanted ghostly activity).
Pepper: Raising energy.
Vanilla: Beauty and love.
Wheat Flour: Financial security.
Witch Hazel: Focus