Do you ever feel like you’re starting your days off in the worst way possible? Laying there scrolling IG, then rolling out of bed at the last possible moment, grabbing a cup of coffee and off to work, (or to the couch and your laptop, as it were. #COVIDtimes).
If this is you, (and it has certainly been me so I get it), then you need a magickal morning ritual! Morning rituals and routines of all kinds can be super helpful and supportive of a happier, healthier lifestyle overall. If you’re interested in working with intuition, witchcraft, and the occult as forms of self-care, then a magickal morning ritual is even better. As the author of The Modern Witch’s Guide to Magickal Self-Care, this is one of my favorite topics and I’m so excited to share my process with you for creating your very own ritual!
7 Steps to Finding Your Magickal Morning Ritual
Before we dive in, I want to put your fears to rest. CEOs and celebrities of every variety have reported that waking up at 5am, followed by 2 hours of meditation and nothing but green juice before lunch, has transformed their lives…
And sure, with a staff of a dozen people, endless funds, and a desire to rise at the crack of dawn, that may very well work great for them. However, that’s not what we’re talking about in this article.
Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief.
Your morning ritual DOES NOT need to include waking up at any particular time. It does not need to include fasting or cardio or even meditation – all that should be included in your magickal morning ritual is what makes you feel magickal. In fact, that’s exactly the point.
Your morning ritual is not about being more productive, although it can be a lovely side benefit, (if productivity is something you’re looking for). Your morning ritual is actually about starting the day by nourishing your needs, whatever they might be. The needs of your body and your mind, your need to express your creativity or process your emotions or connect with the people you love. Like most things in life, morning rituals are not one-size-fits-all.
What Is A Ritual?
First off, let’s define what a ritual actually is: a ritual is a series of actions that are often repeated, especially with a spiritual significance.
There are literally no rules as to what a ritual has to contain, what tools you have to use, what the purpose of the ritual needs to be… literally, none!
But that makes the idea of creating one for yourself seem kind of nebulous, doesn’t it? If there are no rules, where are you supposed to start?
Here’s the thing: I can almost guarantee that you’re already doing some rituals. We all have routines, the things we do every day without even thinking about it. Brushing your teeth, putting on your makeup, choosing clothes for the day, making lunch, etc. Some of these routines are purely mundane but many of them can become rituals with a much greater significance.
For example, maybe the only time you have totally to yourself in the mornings is while you’re doing your eyeliner. First off, that means you’ve already created some kind of boundary around that time and that activity and designated it as sacred to you. Maybe that’s because you enjoy the meditative experience of focusing intently on something that makes you feel beautiful. Or maybe that’s because as you apply that eyeliner, you feel your confidence rise and like a badass queen.
Maybe it’s only five minutes, but it’s a part of your day that you look forward to and cherish, even if you’ve never really thought about it that way before. Think about what it is in your real, daily life that makes you feel this way – are there even a few minutes of your day that you guard fiercely as your time? They may be the beginning of your magickal morning ritual.
The actions that we repeat over and over again can transform us – for better or worse. Mindless, meaningless actions that drain your energy and make you feel depleted are not going to help you create the life you desire. But even just a few, small, mindful actions that are aligned with your truth and fulfill your core, essential needs, can create infinite, abundant happiness and opportunities.
Creating Your Magickal Morning Ritual
So let’s get started creating your own rituals for happiness, rituals for wisdom, and rituals for success!
The very first thing you need to do is figure out what time and space you realistically have to work with. It can be really easy to get swept away by Pinterest and Instagram and come up with all these inspiring, magickal things you want to do… only to realize you don’t have the time, space, or resources for them and figure it’s easier just to scrap the whole thing.
Here’s what I want you to do: put a notepad beside your bed or leave your notes app open on your phone tonight. Then, tomorrow morning, as soon as you wake up, write down what time it is. Throughout your morning, before you go to work or school or get started with your day, keep track of how long each task takes. How long does it take to brush your teeth? How long does it take to make breakfast?
Once you have this record of approximately how long you spend on must-do tasks, you’ll be able to find where the potential gaps or space is for your morning ritual. See if you can move things around to make some room whenever it feels right for you, however much time it is, even if it’s only five or ten minutes.
Now we have a canvas to paint on, rather than throwing paint at a wall!
Discover Your Unique Needs
It’s really important to understand what you need your magickal morning ritual to include and what it needs to feel like in order to be fulfilling, inspiring, and nurturing for you. Pinterest and Instagram are loaded with great ideas, yes, but if you’re just choosing things at random or because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to do in the morning, it’s likely that your ritual will fizzle out in no time.
You can think of your unique self-care and spiritual needs as falling into five essential categories: mind, body, intuition, nature, and devotion.
Let’s break these down:
- You need to nurture your mental health and keep your mind active, engaged, and positive.
- You need to nurture your physical health and keep your body feeling good.
- You need to nurture your ability to tap into and trust your intuition and your emotions.
- You need to nurture your connection to nature and the natural world.
- You need to nurture your devotion to the things/ideas/people you care about most.
If your spiritual morning ritual can encompass all of these, even in tiny ways, you’re more likely to be able to stick with it long-term and to feel great doing it.
One of the best ways to start to discover these unique needs is simply to start reflecting and journaling on each category. Ask yourself:
- What activities, sights, smells, tastes, and sounds make you feel really happy, alert, and focused?
- What activities, sights, smells, tastes, and sounds make you feel good in your own skin?
- When do you feel like you can really trust yourself? Are there any specific signs or feelings you get when you know something for certain, even if it isn’t logical?
- What spaces in nature make you feel most alive and uplifted? How do you engage with nature in your daily life? (Note, this doesn’t have to mean being in nature. It could be drinking herbal tea or always noticing the squirrel outside your window, for example.)
- What are you most devoted to? What causes, people, or ideas do you care about most?
- These are big questions so really give yourself some time to sit with them and allow the answers, (the deep, true answers), to bubble up from within you.
As you start to discover what your needs are, you can choose activities and items to include in your ritual that specifically fulfill those needs. Some of these might be very magickal or witchy, some might be more generally spiritual, and some might seem totally mundane on the surface but are meaningful to you, (which is all that matters!)
Here are a few ideas in each category to inspire you:
- Mind: Journal or write, reading books, meditation, aromatherapy, listening to music, coloring or making art
- Body: Yoga, stretching, healthy eating or eating foods you find nourishing and delicious, drinking tea, self-pleasure, facial massage with gua sha or a jade roller
- Intuition: Tarot or oracle cards, using a pendulum, asking/looking for signs from spirit
- Nature: Going for a walk outside, drinking herbal tea, using essential oils, paying attention to the moon phases or seasons
- Devotion: Self-love, praying, worshipping a god or goddess, activism, showing love to your family, cooking healthy food, (could also be any of the above items in other categories depending on what you’re devoted to!)
I recommend choosing one activity in each category. Even if multiple things call to you, as you experiment over time with your morning rituals, you’ll likely find that there are a few things that are truly foundational. You can always add to or play with other activities, but choosing one thing in each of these categories will help you form a strong foundation of holistic, magickal self-care.
Remember too, that your ritual can include all sorts of fun, witchy and magickal tools but you truly do not need any specific tools to perform a ritual. So you can shop it up if you feel called and inspired to but don’t feel that you need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff just because – the magick that comes within you is even more powerful!
Develop A Structure For Your Magickal Morning Ritual
One of the things that make rituals so powerful and transformative is repetition. Not only doing the same thing daily, (or regularly), but doing the same motions, saying the same words, can make your rituals a form of moving meditation where you’re creating and building exactly the type of energy that you want to start your day off with, (and to stay in all day if possible!)
That’s why having some kind of structure can be helpful so you don’t have to think about what to do next! The following structure is by no means required but it can be a great starting point:
Open Sacred Space
This is just the process of bringing your attention and awareness to the sacredness of what you’re doing. It’s about shifting the energy and it can be very simple and subtle.
A few common ways of opening sacred space include burning sage or another cleansing herb, lighting incense, spraying a cleansing oil blend, doing some deep breathing, ringing a bell or chime, playing some music, or lighting a candle.
Moving your body is a great way to get into the heart of your ritual as it’s very activating and helps to move stagnant energy out. This isn’t about exercise unless you want it to be – it’s more about getting grounded in your body and awakening your own inner fire.
Depending on how much time you have, you could do some stretching, sun salutations or a full yoga flow, have a dance party, go for a walk or a run, or even just move your hands over your body.
Connect With Your Intuition
Tuning into your intuition is a powerful way to start your day. If you can manage not to check social media before doing this, even better, to avoid any outside input before you listen to your own wisdom, (but don’t beat yourself up if you start the day with social).
This can be as simple as placing a hand over your heart, closing your eyes, and asking yourself what you truly feel and need in this moment. Or, you can make it as witchy as you please with tools like tarot cards, runes, pendulums, or even gazing into a crystal ball, (yes, that’s a real thing!)
I often ask my clients this big question that I asked you above: what are you most devoted to? And more often than not, they’re not sure what to say. And then they’re kind of horrified or embarrassed that they don’t know!
If you felt the same way, don’t worry – it’s totally normal. In our modern society, we really are disconnected from this idea of devotion and of caring about something with our entire heart and soul. We might equate devotion to religion or to marriage but we don’t have much of a context for it outside of that.
But devotion is actually the magick potion that takes your morning ritual to the next level. As you explore and reflect on what you’re truly devoted to, you may find that you have some layers of shadows and limiting beliefs that need clearing. Often those who come from strong religious backgrounds, find that they think they’re devoted to a god or goddess or at least to some form of spirit or higher power, but that when it comes right down to it, they don’t necessarily want to connect with that power every day.
For me, I discovered that I’m devoted to being in flow with my own energy and to having an awareness of the natural cycles around me. My morning ritual includes checking to see what sign and phase the moon are in that day and reflecting a bit on how that impacts me personally, (which I know after years of tracking and paying attention to this sort of thing).
If you really struggle to discover what you’re devoted to, I encourage you to start with self-love. Every day, express devotion to yourself. Tell yourself you’re beautiful. Work on a creative project that’s not a gift and not a side hustle but is just for you.
Close Sacred Space
At the end of your ritual, you’ll want to close your sacred space so you can move into the rest of your day feeling grounded and empowered. You can close your sacred space by simply blowing out the candles or extinguishing any smoke bundles or incense, turning off the music, doing some deep breathing, or ringing a bell or chime.