Ritual as Remedy
by Mara Branscombe
Publisher: Findhorn Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
This book is exactly what it says. The author’s quote before the beginning of Chapter 1 states the following and is very much on point!
“Rituals are like mirrors that we can hold up to reflect our lives’ journeys. The ceremonial process allows us to step out of time and experience something beyond the mundane, revealing the sacred turning points in our lives and guiding us deeper into our souls’ calling.”
This quote struck such a huge cord with me. I was born Catholic, so I know all about rituals. However, I prefer rituals that I choose that I feel are right for me and my soul, not what white Catholic men think are.
She discusses awakening your inner mystic. A quote from chapter 1:
“Your life is shaped by what you feed your energy body. Your thoughts, actions, words, and beliefs become your reality.”
This quote is just…wow. It is true, in my opinion. A lot of people do not realize this, but I have known it for a very long time.
Branscombe discusses the wheel of the year and elemental symbolism, which I appreciated. She gives practices throughout the chapters and suggests that you
“…read through each practice, get a sense of it, gather any supplies needed, then take time between each step to feel the healing, welcoming changes in your body and mind and always have your journal to take notes.”
Each chapter covers each of the elements and has practices at the end. The Air chapter discusses self love and compassion. According to Branscombe, when you are compassionate, not only do you become more accepting and forgiving of other individuals’ differences, but your own as well. Awakening our heart center and committing to honoring our ‘personal soul-care work’, we can mend the wounds we have in our heart from the past and in the present, will help us recover more quickly from heartbreaks, as well as heartaches, and will allow our self-love to become unshakeable.
Fire. When we think of fire, we think of passion, anger, and our spark/energy. The ‘flame of your authenticity’ lives in the solar plexus which is just above your navel in the front and back of your body. It’s the place that reminds you you don’t need external validation. Unfortunately, most of us ignore this, causing it to get out of whack, and sending us spiraling into negative thinking and wanting everyone to
like us and what we stand for. With your fire center unbalanced, your creativity goes stagnant, your self-esteem spirals downward, and you essentially lose yourself.
We also find ourselves “living life with a ‘power-over’ mentality in order to maintain a false sense of control.” This is because of the rampant sexism, racism, patriarchy, violence, and misogyny in our society. We need to recognize where these power-over constructs live in our lives so we can no longer feed into them. On page 59, she gives us questions to ask ourselves and “begin the journey towards hearing the call of your soul purpose while walking the path of the inner mystic.”
This chapter goes over the path of transformation. One of the quotes, on page 65, speaks quite loud I think:
“You are stronger in your releasing than in your constant gripping. When you let go even a little, you make way for the path of expansive and effective activation, on all levels.”
I feel this is very true. I have noticed that as I release negative feelings and negative people, my soul sings more and I feel more like ‘me’.
She gives a step-by-step guide on pages 70 and 71 for clearing your energy field. Then on pages 73-81 she provides rituals and journal prompts to ‘awaken and empower personal transformation’.
Chapter 4 covers the element of water and awakening your creative genius. Flowing, shape-shifting, and adapting to change is something we are constantly doing. The element of water is a symbol of healing, fluidity, and cleansing. Branscombe discusses shape-shifting our emotional patterns, infinite cycles, and the power of letting go. Quote from page 91:
“We are stronger in our letting go than in our holding on. Our letting go becomes our strength; it opens the gateway to intuitive messages and the positive energy of change, renewal, and release.”
On page 95, she gives a prayer to honor water and starts discussing balancing your emotions. “Understanding, harnessing, and learning to transform our emotions may be the greatest gift we can give ourselves in this lifetime.” And she is right. If everyone did this, I think our society would be much happier and nice to each other.
She gives a practice to “Transform Energetic and Emotional States” on pages 97 and 98, and then on pages 106-116 are the rituals she suggests for connecting to the element of water and to awaken flow, creativity, and intuition.
On page 117, she starts chapter 5, which covers the element of Earth. Connecting with the element of Earth helps us ground, stabilize, and generate abundance. Quote from page 120:
“Be like Mother Earth. Source your strength inside your softness and your softness inside your strength. Trust in this cycle, and the pauses in between which are profoundly rich, potent, and incredibly fertile.”
Branscombe discusses working with fear as a catalyst for transformation in this chapter. We can begin this journey by naming our fears and channel them towards living life by being authentic, being present in the moment, and bringing out our inner strength.
She gives us some steps on pages 128 and 129 to go through when we are triggered by something that causes fear and makes us feel overwhelmed or threatened. These steps are a way to track our inner child so we can begin to heal.
She talks about working with minerals and plants, how crystal healing works, and connecting with our ancestors and guides. And from page 143 to page 151, she gives us rituals to help us ground and manifest abundance.
Chapter 6 discusses connecting with Spirit. She tells us that “Daily rituals – be it prayer, meditation, visualization, solitude, quiet, creative practices, or kindness – not only bring your balance and fulfillment, but you receive energy and insight from the unseen realms.” And she’s right. I feel much closer to my gods when I am being creative or communing with nature.
She explains more about ether (spirit) starting on page 158 and it’s wonderful. Most people don’t understand what ether is, or assume it is something other than what it actually is. On page 168, she gives us steps to access a divine portal; “Helps you to bridge the heart-mind field so that you can organize the whole self together and access the divine energies available to you.”
She helps us develop our intuition by opening, building, and trusting, gives us practices for building intuition, and gives us rituals for calling in spirit on pages 178-190.
In chapter 7, she goes over the moon’s cycle. She goes over the moon cycles, and gives us rituals to align and source pure energy from the moon from page 210 to page 225.
All in all, this book is amazing for those who wish to incorporate more rituals into their daily routines and connect more with not just themselves, but the elements as well.
Mara Branscombe is an author, mother, yogi, artist, teacher, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist and spiritual coach. Her mission to is amplify wellness and creativity while supporting others to live their best life. She is passionate about weaving the art of mindfulness, self-care, creativity, mind-body practices, and earth-based rituals into her life and work. Mara has been teaching and leading ceremony since 2000. Find out more at ritualasremedy.com
About the Author:
Cyndi Snow-Pilcher is an urban faery just trying to make it in this insane world. English was her favorite subject and spent hours writing short stories and poems. She gave up writing when life got in the way with the military and family duties. Then, after meeting the love of her life in 2000 and the support of friends, she started writing again.
She co-owns Fae Corps Publishing, LLC, an indie author publishing company that she started with her best friend and partner Patti Harris. They published quite a few anthologies and single author books since they started in July of 2019.
She has been in a few of the anthologies: Through the Sunshine, Faery Footprints, Nightmare Whispers Vol I, and will be penning something for Fae Corps Halloween anthology, Fae Shivers which comes out around the middle to end of October, 2021.
Her first book was The Woodland Adventures: Nita and the Honeybees, published in 2015. Soon after, she published Keko and the Lost Bananas. Neither are available at the moment as she will be republishing them under Fae Corps Publishing, LLC sometime in 2022.
She is currently working on a mystery novel and her Faery world of Cassari.
You can find her on her blog at: RedBird’s Storytime
Or follow her on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/redsstorytime/