Podcast Intro, Women's Moon Wisdom (00:01):
Stories, teachings and guidance. Welcome to the Women's Moon Wisdom podcast with your host Rebecca Rankin.
Rebecca Rankin (00:18):
All right. Welcome back to another episode of Women's Moon Wisdom podcast. I am so excited cuz today we have a beautiful, wonderful guest with us, Aria Everts. Aria is an expert in transforming the lives of conscious leadership through spiritually integrated coaching. We're gonna have a conversation about ritual and what that looks like in our day to day lives and, and how that can show up and how we can lean into more ritual as a way of just putting more purpose into our days and leading from a more mindful place while we're here on this earth. So Aria, tell us first just a little bit about your path, what brought you into spiritually integrated coaching, what that path has looked like and how kind of ritual has been woven into your journey?
Aria Everts (01:11):
For me, it's been a journey and, um, I certainly have not always been someone who has practiced rituals. I, uh, grew up evangelical Christian and in that process there's a lot of beauty and, um, strength there in those teachings. And, um, in my particular tradition there, wasn't like really a lot of ritual. Wasn't really something that came into the mix. And then, um, as I journeyed on, I got deep into activism and then, uh, kind of identified as an atheist for a while. And like any sort of ritual was really, really distant during that period as well. And, um, I share a little bit about like those chapters in my journey, just for folks to know that, um, uh, you know, part of my background and part of my story kind of where, where I've come from and how I am, where I now am.
And, um, so then as I began to explore and get curious about like what, what was a spiritual path that was authentic for me and how, um, how was I relating with that part of myself? Then there was this kind of way that rituals started to organically show up just through different communities I was a part of, different women's communities and different, uh, programs and, and things that I was studying. And so it really emerged for me in this very, like, I'll put it this way. Had I seen it coming? I wouldn't have jumped on the boat, you know, like I like run the other way. Um, probably cuz I was real, I was skeptical. I was like very skeptical about anything that might be inauthentic for my path at that time. So it sort of snuck in rituals. But it wasn't something I was looking for.
Rebecca Rankin (03:23):
Yeah. So for you, like what, like what does define ritual for you and what does that look like for you?
Aria Everts (03:32):
Yeah, so for me, a ritual is very, very simple. It's a space that I create with an opening and a closing and in between is a component of sacred space. And I use that term sacred space to describe what for me is like often connecting with my heart, you know, connecting maybe with an intention or a prayer of some kind, um, and, and connecting with, uh, with my higher power, with spirit in that space and, um, and, or, you know, guides or my higher self, you know, kind of whatever is coming in in that moment. And in that space between the opening and the closing of the ritual is this amazing playful space of creativity. And that to me is one of the really beautiful things about having practices, um, such as rituals or any sort of daily spiritual practice where we get to really feel into like what wants to happen in this moment to express this part of my self, this part of my heart that's, you know, intending or praying, whatever it may be. What about you Rebecca? I want to hear your thoughts on this one too.
Rebecca Rankin (05:03):
Well, and I think that like the, the way you phrased it is, is perfect in that there's this, this opening and closing, and then you have kind of this, this journey that happens between those two book ends and what happens in there is yeah, is this place of creativity. It's in a way having that set container in a way that beginning the end, the, the opening, the closing, it offers, yeah, this space in your day to be really intentional, like with like what wants come through? What creativity, like, what thoughts am I bringing earth side? And for me it's really woven into just like intentionality, cuz it's, it's easy to, I think throughout your day and great way to phrase it as like life happening to you. Through a ritual, you have this opportunity to, you know, work with life, right? You have this like space that you hold. This is my time to, to really weave in intention and in a way that I can play with the outcome more.
Aria Everts (06:12):
Kind of like making life more like a relationship. Co-creative in that way.
Rebecca Rankin (06:18):
Yes. Yes, exactly.
Aria Everts (06:20):
Yeah. Love that.
Rebecca Rankin (06:21):
And yet, like you said, like having that opening and closing, right. So that you have this kind of designated opportunity to see what comes through to connect to, you know, whatever it is that you're aligning to and that particular spiritual practice. But the idea is that like it is done so as a way to kind of harness that energy to like really feel into it and create this really sacred moment in time within your day.
Aria Everts (06:47):
Yeah. And there's like a focusing in, you know, in the, between the chapter bookends, as, as you said, it's like, there, there becomes like the ability to, um, align and focus in, you know, what, what it is that you intend to create or, or receive or whatever it may be.
Rebecca Rankin (07:06):
So with this idea of, of ritual being, we will say like loosely defined as this sacred moment in time has a beginning, a middle portion and an end kind of this trajectory, this arc that makes it into this, like this sacred, spiritual practice in your day. Like what would be examples for you in your life?
Aria Everts (07:28):
Yeah. So in my life, like I have a, a morning ritual that, um, I can describe, um, to just, you know, kind of maybe get wheels of creativity, turning for others. And so I have a space in my home that has an altar and so that's, you know, can be a component of a ritual, can be like creating an altar, it doesn't have to be, but for me having like visual representations and different significant objects helps me kind of find my center and find, and like drop into that space. And so in the mornings I'll go and sit, um, at my altar. And the very first thing that I do is sort of the opening declaration of like I'm here is to light the candle in the center, bring in that fire element. And then, um, from there I have a couple other things that I do as part of that opening declaration.
So there's the, the lighting of the candle, the fire. And then I will, um, ring, I have a couple Tibetan singing bowls and I'll ring those bowls. So then there's the sound, the vibrational energy of, again, I'm here, I'm, I'm also receiving the medicine of the fire and of the sound. And then I bring in typically sweet grass as a smudge. And so, um, with the fire, from the candle, I'll smudge the space, I'll smudge myself, which smudging simply means allowing the smoke from the burning of the herb to kind of clear and be in, in the mix. And then I will take a little bit of a medicine that I work with, which you're familiar with the Fern medicine and I do those four steps before I drop into my meditation practice.
So that's those four things are kind of my, my anchor opening. And then I drop into my meditation and for me that, um, that sacred space of my meditation practice, so many things can happen in that space, you know, um, for anyone who meditates, you know, you can, you maybe relate that like a lot of days nothing happens, you know, you're just watching the mind and doing the things. And I have a particular somatic meditation practice from Tibetan Buddhism that, that I practice. And some days there's like these big aha moments, last week I was so blessed to receive a song while I was meditating, kind of like these raindrops started falling on me and I was like, oh, I better grab my phone, even though I don't like to have my phone by me. . And so I start, I started to receive a song in that space and I like recorded it real quick and then went back into my, into my meditation.
So sometimes there's things like that that happen again in that sacred space that's designated, that time to connect with my heart and connect with my central channel and my body in that way. And then, um, from there, you know, as I come to my close of that, that practice, I'll give a little, you know, Namaste day bow and I will often close with a song, um, as a prayer and allow that to kind of come through, whatever's called for in the moment. And sometimes my dog Mahena howls along as you know, , which is really sweet. Um, and then, and then to close, I will simply blow the candle out. And so in that, you know, it's usually, I'm usually there about 40 minutes to an hour in that space each day. And for me having that ritual as my anchor point is so incredibly crucial, like the days when I don't drop in at least, you know, like 20 minutes of my meditation , um, I notice it so intensely. And, um, and if I'm traveling or other things, like I still, I still do the practice, even though I maybe don't have all of those same opening components of like my altarand things with me, I'll still, um, bring, bring the energy of that practice with me wherever I am. And it helps me anchor so deeply to myself.
Rebecca Rankin (12:02):
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And I think that point of creating a ritual, whatever it may be like, that like that your morning ritual, that you are anchoring with that place in you, that is your true nature. Like your higher self, like the place of you, that's calm, that's peace, that is love. And the more that you can anchor into that each day, whatever that looks like and your practice, you're then like that much more connected to it and tethered to it so that when you move about your day, you're doing so from that creative space, that space, that is your higher self. And like you said, especially when life gets busy, it's that much more important to like connect to that. So whether it may look different, if you don't have all the bells and whistles, you still have the practice that you still have that foundational like root of sacred time, sacred space, you know, within regardless of where you are.
Aria Everts (12:56):
Yeah. And I mean, I, I give, like, I share that almost a little hesitantly because it does sound like maybe for someone who's new to rituals, it might sound like a lot of things and like a long time Right? So maybe you could share your beautiful, um, like morning tea practice? Cause that's maybe a little bit more accessible and practical and like you're a mom and you, you know, you're navigating more things than I'm navigating in the morning.
Rebecca Rankin (13:22):
And I, and I think that, that that's exactly it. Like you, like ritual can look in so many different ways. Like you can have an altar, you can have these like really beautiful, sacred places in your home, that like call to you, that remind you that are the visual reminder of connecting to your higher self. And it also can look like, like for me, I have a very different lifestyle. I have two little ones. So while I don't have a altar in my house, I have little things placed around that are my visual reminder of, you know, they're like the miniature altars, like I have
Aria Everts (14:02):
Lttle touch points!
Rebecca Rankin (14:02):
Yes! Like I have a sea shell and next to a piece of Selenite, next to a candle. And while I don't light the candle, because oftentimes I've got little ones around me and acandle just doesn't seem appropriate to be lighting if we've got little ones playing.
But that visual reminder is, and it's so small does not take up any space, like, is that like touchpoint to be like, yes, I'm anchored in. And for me, my mornings are a little different because I have, my little ones are typically joining me in bed at like, you know, the crack of dawn. So my morning ritual isn't necessarily my meditation practice. I typically do that in the evening after they've gone to bed. And before I go to sleep is when I close my day and reground myself. I clear myself of all the days and pull all the scattered parts of me back, back together. But my morning looks more like, I, I make tea every morning. It's something that I, I always do. So I create just a, a ritual around it. So it's, it's taking the everyday thing that I do anyways, but making it with like intention, filling the tea, kettle with water, as I do that, that to me is the opening, if you will, of the ceremony. It's silently to myself, I give gratitude to the wate as I fill it up and I like give thanks, and then I heat it, you know, on the stove and I'm giving thanks to fire. And I have kind of this more, I'd say like less structured, it's still structured in the same way, but it's, um, kind of less, uh, I, it's more fluid in that, like I'm giving thanks. And as my, my water's warming, I'm able to find just quiet and literally just standing next to the stove and it from the outside would look like I was literally watching like a tea kettle boil and that's kinda what I'm doing! But internally, like the, the sacredness of just honoring the, the piece honoring the quiet, honoring the elements that are, you know, offering me this opportunity to check in.
And then as I, you know, steep the, the tea and I hold that and I speak blessings into the water. Like, so whatever that day I'm looking intentions to hold, it may be, you know, may I have patience and, and grace, give myself grace today or different affirmations, or just different intentions that I wanna work with - especially if I know it's gonna be a, you know, a busier day. That too can be kind of the arc of the ritual. And then the closure for me in that sense would be I finish my cup of tea, I put it down or it it's usually sometimes like if I get distracted by the little ones, then I'm like, I do a quick, uh, gratitude closure and, and that's that. So I think that's, it's important, ritual can look in so many different ways. And I think that sometimes there's like this thought process of, 'Am I doing it right? Am I doing this right? Is this right?' And it's like,
Aria Everts (17:11):
Well, how do you know?
Rebecca Rankin (17:12):
Yes, exactly! Right?
Aria Everts (17:13):
How do you know if you're doing it right?
Rebecca Rankin (17:14):
Right! You don't know, but you know, within.
Aria Everts (17:17):
Like, that is, I mean, I think that there's something there that I want to speak to of just for anyone listening, who has European ancestry and other, other ancestories as well. But I think, you know, in terms of their, just an acknowledgement of, um, how much was lost culturally in the crusades and the witch hunts around like the practices of rituals. And again, this could, could be for, you know, many places in the world. We could say this for, and I'm speaking with myself having mostly European ancestry that like, there was just so much that was lost around, like how normal ritual used to be in life, you know, and like the, the festivals, the celebrations that would mark, you know, the different kind of points of the, of the seasonal changes. And we talk about cycles and rhythms, you know, and like the rights of passage too, you know, for young women, for young men, that would be, you know, show up as rituals, which some cultures have kept some of those things alive and are vibrant. And for some of us it's more of a, can be more of a practice of like refinding what is authentic, you know, in what got lost along the way. And being able to really deeply listen to like, what - it's not like it's gonna go back to looking this exact same as what it used to be either. We're, we're evolving it, growing it, consciousness is changing. And so it's like, what are, what are the rituals that are like relevant and supportive, like here and now for you and, um, what a beautiful gift to get, to explore and play, you know, like what that deep inner truth is.
Rebecca Rankin (19:29):
It really comes through when you just give yourself the opportunity to, to play with ritual. Rather than getting stuck on the, like, how do I do it? Where do I start? Like, what do I like, just starting, just doing. Having a sacred space, maybe it looks like, okay, in your meditation practice, create like a little bit more, just a little bit more, I don't wanna say structure around it, but you... intentionality, I should say like, when you sit down to meditate, maybe it's 'Okay, well, before I meditate, I'm going to use like smoke to clear myself. I'm gonna use air element to clear myself, or I'm going to use sound to demarcate this point in time so that I know I am entering into this sacred space. So it gives you just a little bit more intentionality to carve out that space.
And I think for my myself, at least, when I do that, like when I am very, even like, when I come to work, another example would be like, when I come to my office, I usually have my own little ritual that I do. I do a quick smoke, I use cedar to kind of clear the space. I do a grounding kind of breathwork. And I do just a quick, like meditation to, to kind of sink in just and align. And in that space that I've created offer myself some intentions. And I'm talking that all this is within like five minutes. Right? And I like anchor in like what my intentions are and then I close it, usually gratitude. I hand on my heart and hand on my low abdomen, um, and gratitude. And then I move on offering myself that little moment, that five minute practice, makes it like that much more like moving forward that much more in alignment, that much more connected to my truth.
Aria Everts (21:26):
That's a great example of just, yeah, how simple it can be, but you're, you know, really setting yourself up to be connected with yourself through those practices and in that way, and that intentionality, and I'd love to share too, just a little bit on the note of like gratitude and offering in ritual. Cause that's another direction that we can, you kind of talked about that of giving gratitude is the water and the fire in your tea, morning tea time, um, tea time sounds very English. , you know, we get to be here with you fire or we get to be here with you, you know, lake whatever, whatever it may be, um, tree, you know, flowers and to really be able to, you know, have time that we dedicate to just giving thanks in that way, you know, regularly, not just at Thanksgiving, , it's like such a funny cultural thing, like today we're gonna give thanks! It's like, like all the time, like it's such an amazing world, like, and so a really simple, uh, kind of, I, I think of it as a gratitude ritual that, um, was taught to me on the banks of the Ganges river in India in Varanasi um, is just simply, uh, to like greet and thank the water. And you've seen this one I should do this, um, where like, anytime I am, uh, coming to a river, a lake, an ocean, um, to just go and, uh, dip a finger in the water and then, uh, touch it to my third eye.
And I do that three times and it's, uh, you know, really I, in, in that moment and again, a couple seconds really, it takes. I usually, if I'm, if I'm someplace where there are waves, I'll wait for three waves to lap and, and kind of catch each one. And, um, and in those few seconds just saying like, thank you so much water. Wow. You know, like I'm here and I'm, I'm wanting to make my presence known to you, and I'm saying hello, and I'm offering my heart. And just thank you for being here with us. . And so that's a ritual where, um, it's so, so short and so sweet. And I don't even know that I could quite identify the open and the close of it. But yeah, yeah, just as another, another, you know, way to, to start to look at what this could be.
Rebecca Rankin (24:55):
Yeah. And, and that's exactly it, is that, I mean, there's so many ways to, to weave this into your day to day life and that feeling that that's cultivated when you do have this moment, even giving thanks to the elements, like you feel just in that, creating that sacred space, you feel this like deep connection, you feel that like connection to whatever it is that you're acknowledging, and it, that much more helps you just realize, like your relationship to those around you, to the world, around you, to the, you know, not just the people, but like the place where you live, the place where you interact daily. And the more that you, you see that interaction, the more that you acknowledge it, the more that you give, thanks for it, you know, for that space, that natural space around you for, for being there and you being a part of it, you feel that interconnectedness.
And I think that, that, you know, helps you, uh, helps us all stand a chance at honoring mother earth and, and standing the chance for actually living more sustainably. Right? I think the more that you can carve time out like that, just the acknowledgement of, of, of water or whatever the practice is. You're better able to see your, your place in the cycle of life. And we're better able to see even, just feel the support and feel that we're, you know, you're not alone and you can then live in a more sustainable way. You're you're then able to just see like your impact on, on the, on the world, the world's impact on you and live just more sustainably with more intention, rather than like I mentioned earlier, rather than feeling like life is happening to you. Like you are co-creating life, you know, with the world around you.
Aria Everts (26:50):
Ritual is relationship, that it is a chance to really acknowledge the, the relationships that are, they're always happening anyway around us, with us. Right? We're in them!
Rebecca Rankin (27:05):
Aria Everts (27:07):
Why not? Well, you know, whether it's our relationship yeah. With our own body, with our own cycle, right? Um, with our wombs. Right? And certainly so many rituals that can be created around that. Oh my goodness. So many. And then, and then you know, as above, so below, as within, so without. So also then looking at the relationships that we have with all the other beings that we're sharing this earth with that are part of nature too, and, and potentially things in unseen realms, depending on your spiritual orientations.
Rebecca Rankin (27:49):
Yeah. I'd love for you to share with us, your relationship with lion and your work with just sovereignty.
Aria Everts (27:57):
Absolutely. I love, uh, lion medicine, as you know, mm-hmm, it's um, yeah. Lion has been in my life, uh, since I can remember, um in a deep way. And, um, I relate now with the, uh, kind of, one of the, one of the energies that lion helps me connect with is this energy of sovereignty and the embodiment of sovereignty as, uh, um, really like the, kind of the archetype of it being the, the part of us that can see our vision and bless our vision for our lives. And so the sovereign, um, being often depicted by like the inner king and the inner queen, uh, the kind of the masculine and feminine sides of that energy within each of us. And, um, when we can like tap into that part of ourself, we can get really clear on what it is that we are, uh, feeling called to create in our life.
And we can, uh, you know, then kind of have the, like through that knowing of the vision, um, we can manifest it here, you know, which is so fun. And so, um, I mean, even this podcast, like I remember when this was just like an idea in the, in the ethers and you kinda like brought it down to earth, right? And like how fun that process is like, um, different from giving birth to a baby, but in some ways, energetically similar when there's, you know, sort of a theme floating around us and we, and we make it happen. And so, yeah, that's, that's the energy that, um, for me, and you know, lion is very connected with that sort of Regal, you know, kingly, queenly kind of energy. We see a lot of depictions of lion in that way and in media and culture. And so there's a strong, there's a strong thread there, um, between those energies
Rebecca Rankin (30:22):
And you have like a, a free resource right?
Aria Everts (30:26):
I do. Yes. So on my website, right on the top of the, the homepage there, um, anyone can sign up and receive the beautiful PDF illustrated by some friends of mine. And, uh, it's just, it's a guide, it's a guide to create a ritual, to connect with lion and connect with your sovereign vision for your life. And, uh, so it's a lot of fun. And, um, yeah, I invite anyone who's curious about, you know, maybe it will be your first ritual ever, and you're just like, what is this about? And you want a little guidance, or if you've been like doing rituals for decades and you wanna deepen in with something that offers a little guidance, maybe in a direction, maybe you haven't gone before. Um, it's fun, fun either way.
Rebecca Rankin (31:20):
It's beautiful. So I'll link to it in the show notes. You guys can definitely,
Aria Everts (31:24):
And I wanna say something here too, of just cuz I'm thinking about it. And I know I have like a pretty sure actually I haven't looked at it in a while. I'm pretty sure there's like a bring list of like materials and we've both talked about things that it can be nice to have, right? Like to create a ritual there's a candle or, you know, something that like as a prop. Right? But I just wanna really emphasize that, like you literally don't need anything, but the light of your own heart to create a ritual. And you can imagine anything that you don't have with you, you know, like for instance, uh, at, at the water's edge, if I, I often like to give like flower to the water, but I don't often have like a flower on me. So I'll just imagine a flower
You know, like just like imagine like from my heart here's a rose, you know, and like offer it in that way. And the water receives it, I believe in the same way as if it were an actual flower, because it is, it's it's happening in, in my intention of it happening. Um, so just that yeah, like simple is good, simple is sweet. And yeah, there can be all these bells and whistles and we could have a whole conversation about spiritual materialism and you know how that can show up, but like really at the end of the day, just your heart and your intention and your gratitude, it's all, it's all, any of us need.
Rebecca Rankin (32:57):
What we all need to hear is that you don't need extra things. You can, and that's beautiful, begin to, to, to make spaces in your home and, and create altar spaces. And you can also just, you can be the sacred space. You, your heart space can be that. So thank you for, for sharing that Aria, and reminding us that we are enough. Well, this has been such a pleasure Aria. I am so thankful that you have made it on the podcast for, for the first time. And I know there'll be many more, so I so appreciate your time and you sharing your guidance and, and your perspective.
Aria Everts (33:35):
Thank you so much, Rebecca. Yeah. And, uh, just so grateful and honored that, um, you invited me here and that again, thank you for creating this and putting us into the world. So, so beautiful.