Rituals are the tools we use to invoke the Christ Consciousness. They are composed of a few basic elements. First, there is intention, your intention, the combination of your desire and mental focus, your thoughts and words. Next, there is symbolic action—movements and objects arranged in symbolic ways that meaningfully represent what you are trying to do. Examining altars and how they are arranged can lead to a much greater understanding of living symbology, which is what ritual actually is.
- The altar symbolizes the human heart, the core of your being, which is creative, intelligent, and loving.
- By approaching the altar physically, you are expressing your intention to go within.
- Many altars have three steps, which you must climb to reach them.
- Climbing the three steps symbolizes rising above bodily, emotional, and mental concerns.
- Raising your hands to God symbolizes submitting your will to the Divine Will, because your hands are the expression of your will and intention.
- Fire, which should always be present on the altar when in use, is the connecting link between the earthly and heavenly planes.
- White linen symbolizes purity – what you do at the altar should always be for the GOOD of all. Never, ever approach an altar with ill intent, lest you corrupt the innermost part of you.
Deeper and more intricate aspects of the symbolism will reveal themselves to you as you work with the basics.
The most common mistake is to think that it is your consciousness that you are invoking, as though the purpose of ritual were to access higher levels of your own mind. While this might be technically true, most do not come to this realization until much later. Those who assume this posture prematurely usually succumb to megalomania, not realizing that they must decrease while God must increase.
The consciousness you are trying to invoke comes from above, sometimes quite literally; you can have the distinct feeling of a powerful presence accompanied by light descending, filling, and surrounding you, without you having to use your imagination to create it. In other words, when it happens, you will know that you didn’t cause it. This is the surest sign that you have made the connection with the Christ Consciousness and that it is infusing itself into your being.
Once you have experienced these kinds of movements of Divine power at the altar and have put them to work through prayer, you come to the realization that you can invoke the Christ Consciousness wherever and whenever there is a need. The outer symbols of ritual are tools only, not magical formulae that you must use in order to get results. That would be superstitious thinking.
Note: By saying “Christ Consciousness,” we are drawing attention to a particular aspect of God. Too often, people take any concept or experience they do not understand and throw it into a closet labelled “God.” Part of our work is to make distinctions in the heaven worlds, just as earthly life involves making distinctions here.