As Karen describes below, a ritual is a process of reaching out to the mysterious, enlisting the assistance of "the living world," as mythologist Daniel Deardorff calls it, to help us in "this world." It is not a technical, or engineered, chain of logic which connects a ritual to any effectiveness – it is an attempt to enroll whole systems in alliance for healing, movement, birthing the new life that wants to join this world.
"Randy has been a friend of mine since I met him through my husband many years ago. He has helped and supported me through many transitions in a way no one else can. When I was 2 weeks overdue with my first baby, I was caught between the medical professionals pressure to be induced and my deep intuition that the baby wanted to come when he was ready and not before. RTJ, as usual, showed up just as the tension was mounting and suggested we do a little ritual or say some prayers.
I discovered that these ‘little rituals’ he suggests can have the affect of breaking things wide open, so to speak.
We went down to the water. I am usually nervous about praying in front of other people, feeling quite self-conscious and plagued with the worry that I’m not ‘doing it right’. One of the greatest gifts RTJ has given me is the confidence that, when coming from my heart, there is nothing that I can say or do that is ‘wrong’. He spoke words of some kind of invocation or calling for all the Spirits who could help us. Then he spoke to the baby who was snuggled quietly inside me giving reassurance, words of encouragement, apologies for the challenges any person faces on this earth… I cried.
After my husband spoke/prayed it was my turn. After starting out being quite timid about expressing myself I felt so moved by the authenticity RTJ started that the dam burst and out flooded a torrent of thoughts and feelings that had built up in me from a time long ago when I first thought of whether or not I would like to be a mother one day.
All the fears, doubts, anxieties, excitement, gratitude… poured fourth in a flurry of sobs and even laughter. I was left feeling an utter peace.
When we said our thank yous and turned to leave I immediately noticed that I couldn’t walk. Something in my hips or pelvis had shifted and I could barely step. Slowly we made our way back home and I went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night my water broke and contractions started in earnest. After a long labour our son was born. The first time he left my side was when my husband took our little bundle out in the hallway to meet his waiting Uncle RTJ.
It could easily be put down to coincidence but I’ve had too many life changing moments while in sacred space with RTJ to know better. Of all things, I hold deep gratitude for the way in which he creates a safe space for me to get in deeper touch with myself and my Spirit. The discoveries have been profound and my life has been so enriched from his skill, compassion and humour.
Karen S., Social Worker, Mother