Symbols and Ritual

Today after seeing the cross in the lawn of the church I attended decorated with beautiful flowers I wrote the following poem:

flowers sprout

against the grain,

stretching toward april skies.

where once was death,

now life.

I found myself thinking about religious symbols and ritual and what they can mean to us. Each faith has some items that carry a certain weight, certain practices that resonate with “believers” and help them focus.

I find myself wanting to know more about what stirs the spirits of others. What symbols are important to you? What rituals or practices speak to your spirit?

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2 thoughts on “Symbols and Ritual

  1. Lovely poem. I especially like how the sound of the first three lines develops as they lead into “April skies.”

    At my previous residence, I would go for walks and sometimes would pass a house where the owners had erected a small wooden cross in their front yard with ivy growing on it. I do like the idea of turning a symbol of death into one of life and new growth.

    For me, though, there is no more powerful symbol than the Tree of Life. I especially liked in the recent update of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series where they used that image to describe the evolutionary tree of life on Earth. Symbols that connect all living things together are very potent for me spiritually.

    I have a ritual that I engage in fairly regularly where I will lay my hand on the trunk of a tree and meditate both on what it is like to be a tree (i.e. “thoughtless”) as well as how I am allowing the universe, including the tree, to experience what the tree feels like. Then I will usually look for some piece of trash/recycling to pick up and take away with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spring is a special time of the year for me, with all the flowers and trees putting on new growth and most animals having their new young. God has always seemed closer to me thru nature, the birds singing at dawn, a rainbow after the storm, a gentle breeze on a warm spring night, these things cause me to feel a closeness to God that I don’t always feel at other times !!!! As far as symbols go , it would have to be the cross, the proof of how much God really cared for man, no matter how flawed we were in His eyes !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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