As Pagans, we connect to the rhythms of the Earth, the movements of the planets and stars. We worship the turning of the Wheel of the Year.
We find God and Goddess in the cycles of birth-to-death-to-rebirth.
We search for perspective in the contrast between vibrant, green-growing fertility with the fallowed peace of winter, when life slumbers, quiet and dark. This give us comfort when we face darkness during the sequence of our own lives.
We attend to the natural world, and we try to bring this understanding into our sacred rituals where we prepare ourselves to be better conduits for Divine energy.
We also prepare the ritual space to welcome the Divine.
When we prepare ourselves, we are trying to open, to channel, to connect to Spirit. We want to release blocks and move energy around to make temporary and sometimes permanent change.
And in yoga, we are doing the same thing.
Before ritual (or as a daily practice), try a a breathwork and guided meditation to move light from Earth to Crown, one chakra at a time.
In yoga, prana, or life energy, fills the breath (and the breath brings us prana). In my personal spiritual work I recognize prana as something that connects my physical body, the vessel my soul occupies in this material world, to the world of spirit.
I connect to God through my breath.
Before or at the beginning of ritual, we call on the earth under our feet to ground us – we want to be connected to that support and safety when we reach for the heavens.
If we take on too much divine energy, there is a path of return for that Universal current.
Grounding yoga pose: Tadasana, with guided meditation to help us find our roots deep within the earth. We try to become rooted beings.
And yet, we are like the live oak trees – so deeply rooted, but with the tips of our branches always growing towards the stars.
Preparing the space: Moon Salutation
When we prepare the space we are recreating the cosmos with intention, seeking a place where energy is concentrated, a place that exists between the worlds.
We ask energies and entities to join us there, to teach us, to help us, sometimes to protect us.
Before you Cast Circle, try a Moon Salutation, bringing the circular, sweeping energy and the calm, focused intention of this sequence of yoga asanas to your ritual space.
The moon salutation I led at Pagan Pride Day was a simplified, standing-only version I created specifically for this event. I’ll post the list of asanas in it in the next few days.
Practicing yoga makes us better sensing and moving energy during rituals. I also believe that practicing magic can make you better at yoga.
Elements of nature: calling the Quarters
In yoga we can also pay attention to the elements (in yoga there are five).
East/Air: Warrior I to Airplane to Warrior III
South/Fire: Chair flow, Ujayi breath
West/ Water: Wide Legged Forward Fold, side to side lunges
North/ Earth: Vriksasana, Squat pose
Center/Spirit: Five-Pointed Star
Goddess Pose and flow, chant She Changes Everything She Touches