written by Black Women Healing Retreats
Rituals have been part of black culture since the beginning of time. Our ancestors worked with the elements, and connected with the sun, moon, and stars to bring forth manifestation, sustainability and healing. The Dagara Tribe in West Africa often used spiritual practices such as communing with nature and using rituals to tap into the spiritual realm. The Yoruba practices encouraged prayers, spiritual dances and connections with deities like Oshun and Ogun. Spirituality for black people has always been about connecting with the Earth. Today though, black people have been disconnected from rituals. During slavery Black people had their culture, original faith and spirituality taken away from them. They were conditioned to believe that their own spirituality that once healed them was a dark witch craft. Like many African traditions, Many things which were once positive are now presented as negative, this is why it is necessary to understand our history.
All rituals done properly have good intentions. The purpose of ritual is to allow the individual to tap into the spiritual realm. We are more than just physical manifestations, we are spiritual beings, anytime that something takes place in the physical world, it is also happening in the spiritual world because everything is connected. Rituals can be used to bring forth healing, to bring forth manifestations and abundance, to connect with spirit and the ancestors and so many other reasons.
“The purpose of rituals is to take us to a place of self-discovery and mastery. In this sense ritual is to the soul what food is to the physical body… Rituals are participatory activities that involve the whole being: body, spirit, mind, and soul. In our rituals we call in spirits, ancestors, and dimensional beings to guide us each step of the way. Rituals are a form of continuous prayer. They help us to consciously incorporate healthy, genuine spiritual evolution and to dwell in the sacred in a way that truly heals us.”- Sobonfu Some
There are countless kinds of rituals. In Ancestral rituals you can create an altar to receive guidance from your ancestors. Water rituals can require you to connect with water through chants and songs sometimes calling on Yemayaya, New moon rituals are related to the moon by using the energy placement of where the moon is you are able to bring forth what you are looking for. Rituals can be done in community and in solitude, when practicing rituals the foundation is that you must go into it knowing exactly what your intentions are so that there is no confusion for the healing being asked from spirit. Black people must begin to return to the way that our ancestors healed, because this is where peace, healing and resilience lives.