Ritual Self Care
The journey of ritualizing your self care
It’s not just about pampering yourself
I’ve branded Sabbath Wolfe as a ritual self care company. While the term seems simple there’s so much that goes into ritualizing your self care routine. Self care isn’t just a salt bath, buying yourself a nice sweater, enjoying a new lip balm. Self care is keeping tabs on doing the things that bring you peace. It is an intentional and powerful act of nurturing. It’s as symbolic as lighting a candle or casting a circle. Meditation, chanting, granting yourself power on a silent (or screaming) level.
If you practice witchcraft you know a ritual is done with focus and determined willpower. Spells are cast with an expected outcome. We want love, money, power, health, and so on. Speaking the desire as reality is the key to success. While ritual self care isn’t quite as formal as say, a love spell, it is still a type of love spell unto yourself. Self care is a message to your spiritual, physical, and emotional being that you matter. Because you do matter. You matter enough to be cared for on a regular basis. Outlining your self care game can be a helpful way to highlight ways to be more consistent, engaging, and empowering.
If you’re unsure what your self care ritual is, consider what your friends are screaming “yas qween” about while sliding into your instagram DMs. Be it luxurious baths or a facemask on a friday night, enjoying a nice glass of wine, preparing a nice meal, or reading a favorite book.. Self care looks different for everyone. And it isn’t just about our beauty routine. It’s not just about eye cream or spending money on treating ourselves to new lipstick. In fact the most powerful self care rituals I practice involve spending no money at all. Self care is a rite. It’s defined by intentional acts that bring us joy.
How do you ritualize self care? I consider this question almost daily. As with any practice it takes time, energy, and focus to evolve into a priority. There was a time when I neglected to do basic things for myself. I’d find myself feeling miserable or guilty for ignoring those tasks. In time, and often with the blunt force truth from close friends, I learned how destructive that pattern was. I set out to eradicate that habit. If I didn’t want to shower I didn’t. I stopped harassing myself for what I expected and started recognizing doing what felt right instead. What’s optimistic, is not always realistic. That has become a phrase I live by!
I’m not a fan of folding and putting away laundry, but when I do it, I express gratitude for the wardrobe I’ve built over the years. It makes me feel proud and blessed to have clothes that express my nature. Not all self care is glamorous! Parallel ritual self care with a witchcraft practice. On sites like Tumblr you find “witchy blogs” filled with specific incantations and complex spells. There’s images of lush fresh flowers, beautiful apothecary jars, and curios of wonder. Is that realistic? Absolutely not. In fact, an active altar is often covered in ashes, wax, dusty crystals, and pieces of paper. It’s important to understand that life is messy and what we see being represented in media is staged. It’s not a standard to strive for, it’s a fantasy to admire aesthetically. Ritualizing self care is the same way. It’s your reality, your ritual. It’s messy, imperfect, and can be a struggle.
There will be days when you don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve learned that’s fine because there’s always tomorrow. One of my personal struggles has been understanding that progress isn’t linear. We often “go backwards” or digress. This just a simple circling back. In time I’ve come to understand this is done for a very important reason; so we can see where we’re coming from in order to keep moving forward. I’ve taken times of deep struggle and turned them into motivational power. That’s the entire premise of alchemy and magic, turning total shit into gold.
It’s easy to forget our past or toxic habits because we don’t like to think about them. It’s uncomfortable. So it makes sense we pause our forward progress on occasion to subconsciously reflect on how far we’ve come. Turning that time from a guilt or shame binge to rest and restoration has made a huge difference in my life. I give myself time, days if needed, between cleaning, grooming, or working. If I don’t have the energy, I no longer force myself to do it. I don’t hate on myself if I’m not on my self care game. It’s not helpful to do so! It can slow progress. That’s not what ritual self care is about. It’s about love. Allowing yourself to be worthy of your own attention and focus.
My witch wife, who’s notably a super libra with her Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, and Rising all in Libra, has taught me so much about self care. Libra rules balance, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with others as a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. Libra is all about self love. Tapping into that self altar. The classic symbol for Libra isn’t described as the scales, it is an altar to the Sun, representing our vitality and life force. Reflecting upon what brings us pure joy is a powerful ritual alone. If you ever need a perspective on love, ask your favorite Libra person and marinate on what they say. I absolutely believe ritual self care is ruled by Libra and Venus.
Womxn are typically raised being taught to sacrifice and do for someone else before putting the self first. Venus loves to serve, Venus is a healer. But a static or imbalanced Venus can use vanity or consumption to mask pain. Studying and understanding your Venus sign can greatly aid ritual self care! I have Venus in Virgo. So the myth of perfection was something I learned to dissolve over the years. I’ve also learned to put myself first and that took quite some time. It took patience. It took a lot of messy crying, conversations with friends who support me, and patience.
If you wanted to empower any ritual practice, you need patience and experience. As a professional astrologer and teacher my students have compared themselves to me. I remind them I’m usually at minimum 20 years ahead of them in study. Comparison does nothing but bring shame and feelings of defeat. You are enough, you do enough, you have enough. Utilizing the mindset of contentment can enrich and empower ritual self care, and self love.
Ritual self care is the same. We can’t compare our progress or rituals with anyone else. Our magic is our own! I cannot emphasize that enough. What I do to bring myself joy and peace is likely specific to what I love or enjoy. For example, cleaning my kitchen makes me feel empowered. Washing dishes can be gross, but conquering it makes me feel mighty. My kitchen is a special place for me because it represents the center of nourishment in my home. I also enjoy hot salt baths, facemasks, movie night, cooking, caring for my houseplants, and artistic activities like drawing or painting.
Working, cultivating new Sabbath Wolfe products, testing them out, using therapeutic essential oils, and imagining the potential for what I’m passionate about has become a big part of my self care ritual. That’s why I describe Sabbath Wolfe as a ritual self care company. Yes, the products are designed to empower the user, they are made with high quality ingredients, with deep focus and intention. But beyond that, they represent my own journey in ritual self care. They’re not only self care products, they’re symbolic tools of my personal magic. That’s why I use the marketing phrase “Real. Magic. Skincare.” it’s not just a brand to me, it’s my personal experience with ritual self care embodied in a company.
My goal is to show others how easy ritual self care can be. I want my daughter to see it in me, so she won’t have to struggle to care for herself as much as I did. Growing as an example for her is a huge motivation for me. Carving out time for little things both for myself and her empowers me to make more space for self care in our lives. She’s only three years old but already enjoys warm bubble baths, organizing her toys, and helping me tidy the house. Being her roll model pushes me to keep going when I struggle to be consistent. Instead of doing chores mindlessly, I do them with gratitude. When I wash my face, or have a bath I focus on being present for that experience.
Ritual self care isn’t a thing we do. Just as an Alchemist would describe their magic, the change happens within the magician first. Only then will the experience or world around us change. If you’re struggling with self care rituals be gentle with yourself. Be patient. Allow baby steps and recognize your ability to champion your way to success. Progress isn’t linear.
It may be cliché, but diamonds were once coal. In time, with a lot of pressure, some heat, and a good bit of suffering coal morphs into one of the most prismatic and desired stones in the world. You’re probably somewhere in the middle of that transformation. Keep going. The struggle is worth the progress. But keep in mind there is no end point. We’ll always be striving to do better, to be more powerful. We’re womxn. That’s kinda our thing.