“Whenever I light a candle in my home I send blessings and protection to those I love, to the world for peace and for my home to be filled with love. What rituals do you have and what rituals can you change?” ~ Michele Knight
As most of us should know by now, the power of ritual or the microcosm is an essential thing to change if we are wishing to change the larger ritual of our lives, the macrocosm of our particular universe.
As right thoughts lead to right speech, and right speech lead to right action, and they in turn lead to right destiny, we must take care over the little things; the hundreds of thousands of things we do throughout the day.
Sometimes changing seemingly inconsequential habits and rituals throughout our day can give us the strength to gently but determinedly steer our lives into the direction we want them to go.
Crafting your daily ritual can be a creative and important practice, and requires a balance that honours all cycles inherent in life. Just as we welcome the sun and honour the new and limitless potential a day can bring, we also honour the night and those shimmering moments when all is still and we can rest.
Taking great care to get this right, also honours love for ourselves and (without aiming to be too productive as this can actually dampen our qi and stress us out) can naturally make us more creative in the long run.
The Stomach 7am-9am
Our days generally begin when the sun rises, and if we rise with the sun we can hope to gain more energy and clarity as a perfect way to start our days. I like to try to start the day with the affirmation: I am enough. That way, I remind myself that just my existence is enough to accomplish for the day to come, which stops me from beating myself up about anything I don’t get done, meaning I usually end up doing so much more than I even intended to.
In Chinese medicine, the hours between 7 and 9 am are ruled by the stomach. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast is essential; something raw and lovingly prepared like a fruit salad with fresh mint and yogurt can make the difference to the whole day. (Although according to The Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia, it’s better to have a protein-rich diet in the morning)
Imbalance happens when we are too anxious or taking on others energy without letting ourselves enjoy life. Breathing meditation to our chakras, Kundalini yoga or some light qi gong will loosen up this area and help us be innocent and bouncy like a child.
This is usually the time when we are naturally at our most productive, although again we must avoid too much worry and keep our intentions for the day clear and positive so as not get stuck in negative patterns which might escalate as the day progresses. This is generally the time to move at warp speed if you are going to, but keep it playful and unattached to too rigid a goal.
Working meditation, in particular working on the land meditation will help balance this element in your body as it is ruled by Earth. This will help you be grounded, at peace and cleansed.
This is the perfect time to sit outside with friends or family and soak up the sun, eating your largest meal when the fires of your body and the joy of the heart are at their height. This is also the time when, if experiencing a weakness in heart energy might suffer from heart palpitations if we are working ourselves over our limit and not taking enough breaks.
Small Intestine 1pm-3pm
Having eaten a hearty (pun intended) lunch, this is when the body has optimal time for healthy bowel movements. It’s also a good time to have a nutritional snack to get your vitamins. Having achieved your most productive part of the day, now is the time to do some creative but relaxing activities as well as some socializing. Our bodies will be slowing down and more sleepy at this time. You might even want to take a quick siesta, depending on how hot the country you live in is, and split the day into two making you feel like you’re getting so much more out of your day than you already are!
Either the time for building up to your second wind or possibly a time for some reflection and study of your deeper fears. The bladder and imbalance and disharmony in the bladder can lead to fears, something to be examined through dream interpretation and Jungian analysis. Writing down your fears and any sensitivity’s during this time will apparently help them pass out in your urine. If you are balanced in your water element this will be a time for conserving your energy and relaxing, or beginning to get the last of those tasks tied up.
Another water element, this is the time to get your energy back up, laugh, sing and dance around but with a deeper understanding and freer way about yourself as you prepare for the night and your evening meal. This is the time of courage and self awareness, as excitement and the days obstacles are all but faced.
The time to eat your evening meal, enjoy others company, chant, do an evening meditation and engage in loving and healthy sexual intimacy! The time before bed is when we honour the divine feminine with the protector of the heart; the Pericardium. This is when we deliver gratitude and open ourselves to receptivity, praying for loved ones and radiating in perhaps our most potent spike of energy since the day began.
Fire ceremony, song and chakra meditation are best at these times, and it is the time when we turn inwards and wholly accept every part of ourselves and other; not trying to progress, not trying to succeed, but just resting in our essence and under a carpet of stars.
Triple Burner 9pm-11pm
As we get further into the night, the festivities are winding down or perhaps our bed is calling, we are ruled by the Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis. The Thorax controls intake, the Abdomen transformation, and the Pelvis eliminations. This is the most potent time for transforming blockages and receiving insight and a great inner knowing.
Gallbladder, Liver, Lung and Large Intestine 11pm-7am
Though perhaps we will be sleeping, the Gallbladder time is worth making notes of our dreams as it can be disharmonized if ruled by anger, as is the time of the liver, between 1-3am. If you wake up between either of these states it may mean you are avoiding a suppressed anger that needs to be addressed.
The Metal time of the Lung is when our minds (ironically considering we are generally asleep) is at its sharpest and most productive. Waking up at 3am and working until 5am can be an incredibly productive time; when we are nurtured by our dreams yet the rest of the world is asleep, it truly is the witching hour. If you try it yourself you will probably find that you will feel sharply awake and have a great clarity for creative or difficult projects that require maximum mind power.
And finally, the Large Intestine between 5-7am. This time before the sun rises can be an optimal time to rise, when our dreams are still close to the surface and we are at our most reflective. This is also the best time to wake and drink a glass or two of warm water with lemon juice to clean out the system before you break your fast and begin any rituals for the day ahead.