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The Rite of Ritual

Why ritual is so powerful for generating change

One of the best descriptions of ritual and its transformative power that I have heard, is through the analogy of a match stick. 

The fire is contained within the tip, inert, dormant. Yet through the intentional action and energy generated through the strike, the fire is released and realised. Ritual is that strike of the match. Through the weaving of symbolic meanings, intentional action and energy generation, transmutation of our state occurs. What lies dormant and inert within, sparks into action and life. 

Ritual subverts the critical mind and stirs change from a deeper place within – our causal aspect. For this reason, it is integral to all my teaching and mentoring work. In context and with guidance, it is incredibly effective in healing and generating change.

Expressing our spiritual selves through symbolic energised action is a human, archetypal thing that doesn’t belong to any one religion or system. The earliest archaeological evidence of our ancestors engaging in ritual hails from Botswana, 70,000 years ago, 30,000 years earlier than the oldest European finds. Ritual no doubt is much older; it’s just that the evidence of such has been lost in time. 

 Having researched and practiced many different forms of ritual in my life, I think you can boil them down to nine key elements:

  • Intention – a clear, simple, articulated goal with measures
  • Symbolic representation – usually through symbols, colours, actions, numbers, or sounds, for example
  • Altered states – achieved through meditation
  • Raised energy – achieved through working with the energy body
  • Decree – the purposeful sounding of the intention
  • Visualisation – ‘seeing’ the desired result in ways that engender a felt certainty or propriety
  • Linking the ritual to supportive energies such as astrological movements, the lunations and archetypes
  • Repetition
  • Detachment

Many reading this may have engaged in some form of ritual to generate change, like for example making a vision board, using affirmations, or casting a money spell, but to no avail. The reason for this is that unless there is a clear alignment within the practitioner first, which requires preparation, introspection and honesty, any form of ritual will not yield. We are the source of any emanations we send out into life and we experience those emanations reflected back to us as experiences. If there is dissonance within ourselves in regard to a desired intention, we will experience dissonant results. 

 “Until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung

This process of alignment is called Metanoia in western Magic, a process of ‘reversing the flow’ within. So rather than our actions and thoughts being governed by unconscious fears and beliefs we hold around our intention, we ‘make the unconscious conscious’ and start to intentionally work with our creative capacities. When intention, desire and actioned choice are truly in a cozy threesome, we can generate pretty much anything, which participants in my Shape Shifting community can attest to over the last eight years of manifesting their many goals through the process. 

the rite of ritual danielle van de velde

Many of those fears or distorted beliefs about what’s possible are formed through our childhood, families of origin, and for some of us, traumatic experiences, and they can be sticky. We build our identity and stories upon them. They are familiar and perhaps have helped keep us feeling safe, yet also contained us in a looped pattern of experiences. Yet with support and a community that can help you acknowledge your blind spots, ritual can dissolve them very efficiently and allow new experiences to rush in. 

And it doesn’t require anything too complicated either. With Metanoia achieved, any action can be converted into a powerful ritual, even ironing shirts, or taking a shower. And this, my friends, is Magic!

75 per cent of the adult population of the Western world holds some belief in Magic. And whilst there are many forms and expressions of Magic, at its very essence, it accepts that we have a connection with the Universe, and that the Universe responds.

the rite of ritual danielle van de velde 

My signature course Shape Shifting offers perspectives that open up possibilities, tools for Metanoia and rituals to make change happen, along with a dazzling community of magic-makers who support each other through the process until goals manifest. I have also created some incredible guided meditative ritual tracks to support you. Zone Rite was recently released on the InsightTimer app. You can stream it here.

I am reopening Shape Shifting for the final time on the September Equinox, 2022. Registrations are now open. After which this beautiful process will be released into the wildlands of my mind and allowed to reseed itself into its next iteration in late 2023/2024. 

Are you ready to create change in your life, find meaning and reclaim your creative capacity? Join us and get your magic on!

If you are looking to join groups, retreats or circles with like-spirited people, do get in touch or go to for current offerings. You can also register for the Shape Shifting course or explore other courses and useful content on the website to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. If you would like to explore more about a spirited life, my book, ‘Spirited – A guide to your innate spiritual design to transform your life’, is now available. See stockists here

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