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Jeruba's avatar

What do you do regularly as a matter of ritual rather than practicality or necessity?

Asked by Jeruba (48719points) October 21st, 2018

This doesn’t necessarily mean bonfires and incantations or incense and photographs. They might be tiny things that nobody but you notices or cares about. But you do them for reasons of your own and not because there’s any practical purpose behind them.

For example, you might have a set procedure for making your coffee, and I wouldn’t call that a ritual. A good, solid habit spares us from having to solve the same practical problems again and again. It also helps us make sure we don’t miss any steps.

A ritual, though, has some symbolic or spiritual component. It points to something beyond the act itself. If I light a candle in my window every night when it gets dark, it’s not because I need it to see.

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6 Answers

josie's avatar

Take target practice
Play my guitar

They are all transcendent

Demosthenes's avatar

I can’t think of a specific example at the moment. There are things that I do regularly that might not seem practical, like reading or listening to music, but ultimately I can formulate reasons for why I do them that benefit me in some practical way. I wouldn’t call it ritual in the spiritual, religious sense that I imagine. And although I have OCD, it’s characterized more by intrusive thoughts than by performative rituals.

kritiper's avatar

What all men do.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I got through websites for online shopping. Also the TV guide and library. I rinse my mouth with tap water every so often.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s not a daily thing, but most rituals I do are religious based. I light candles for Chanukah, and make potato latkes. I make my grandmother’s Passover candies for Passover.

I can’t think of any daily rituals that are just for the sake of doing. I watch TV every evening, but it’s my way of relaxing, and I need to relax, so I’m putting it under necessity.

Maybe when I see other answers I’ll realize I do have more rituals, as you define it, than I think.

longgone's avatar

My family has holiday-related rituals. Special books and baked bananas for Christmas, waffles for New Year’s. I also make a point of observing St. Martin’s day, which is a holiday in November. It’s made up of a walk with lanterns and songs, followed by sweet pretzels and hot toddies.

Every year in autumn, I find a chestnut and keep it in my coat pocket for a few weeks. I think that’s a remnant of my childhood, an era of chestnut collection.

When I hear wild geese, I always stop and watch them pass.

I’ve been meaning to incorporate some other rituals. Many people around here bring in branches in spring, that’s an idea I quite like. I’m also trying to create a weekly music ritual at the moment.

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