What is ritual?

In the paraphrased words of Elder Malidoma Somé of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso, ritual is the indigenous technology of manipulating the subtle energies of nature for a desired effect. Oftentimes, this word is used interchangeably with ceremony but they are considered different in many traditions that practice both. It also can be likened to spellwork or Conjure. 


Ritual can be practiced by one person on their own but community is a vital part of healing amongst indigenous peoples and they are often linked. The greater the collective connection to the energies of nature and to the ritual, the greater the result may be.

Elements of ritual

Rituals tend to be more spontaneous and less scripted than ceremonies. They are created by the people present and require active participation of all in order to generate and maintain the energy necessary to bring about the desired change. Rarely is ritual ever the same, however, they often have four things in common:


  1. Prepare the ritual space

  2. Invoke the spirits: prayer of invitation

  3. Healing practice

  4. Closing the ritual

The SUSU offers Rituals and Ceremonies at various times of the month/year. Visit our Workshops & Classes page for upcoming rituals and ceremonies