The Light Itself

The Light Itself

The origins of the sacred experience

What is an Entheogenic Ritual

In its essence, the method I propose is an entheogenic ritual like shamans do. A shamanic entheogenic ritual is simply a ritual in which the shaman takes a psychotropic substance to alter his or her perception and explore a spiritual topic. It can be used for healing, for divination, to obtain a piece of information from the spirit world. 

Shamanic entheogenic rituals are a tradition in many cultures. Aztecs used to practice it with mushrooms to unify with their gods. Up until today, several tribes from the amazon use Ayahuasca rituals to heal. In Northern Europe there used to be a tradition of using Amanita Muscaria for divination and astral travel. It is also likely that the Christian Eucharist was originally an entheogenic ritual as drinking the blood of the Christ (in the form of alcohol, a mild psychotropic substance) and eating the flesh of the Christ (which could very well be the Manna of the Bible) to become the Christ seems very close to other entheogenic traditions. The Azetc’s for instance, called the mushrooms The Flesh of the Gods and they ate it to unite with their Gods. I find it interesting that cultures that had no contact developed similar shamanic principles and practices and even more interesting that most had an enthogenic ritual. Some of these traditions are still used today in some parts of the world. In truth, thinking about this fact can help stimulate the imagination during our own ritual. It feels like we are the descendants of a tradition that we uphold religiously.

Upholding the sacred tradition

Our own ritual

In our case, the ritual is designed by the practitioner (that’s you!) to focus on one or more spiritual practices. Defined simply, a ritual is a spiritual practice aimed at manifesting an intent. 

The practitioner designs the ritual around that intent by manifesting it in physical form through means such as prayer, song, physical actions (like making a sign of the cross), dance, burning incense, lighting a candle etc. Not all of these are necessary. The practitioner should decide which of these elements stimulate his or her imagination the most. The elements themselves don’t matter. How many of them you use, doesn’t matter either. What matters is that they stimulate your imagination so that you intent is clear and palpable. If you want to use just one thing that represents your intent well, you are free to do so and your ritual can be just as potent as a more complex one.

If, before taking the substance, you perform a ritual that you have designed yourself to make sure it stimulates your imagination to the point where your intent is clear in your mind and physically manifested in the room, then the substance will give you a trip that fits the intent. If you have ever taken psychedelics in a situation where you’ve been obsessed with something, you’ve probably witnessed that the trip has a tendency to revolve around the topic you’ve been obsessing over. This is the same principle, except we use consciously to our advantage. We literally make ourselves obsessed over our intent so that the trip will follow that lead. Technically, you could remove the ritual and simply force yourself to obsess over your intent and you’d get a similar result, but a ritual has an exalting and elevating power. It puts you into a spiritual mood, by its very nature.

With practice and by fine-tuning your ritual so that it represents your intent the best, you will reach a point where the entheogen gives you exactly the spiritual experience you are looking for and more.