There are many life transitions that our modern cultures don’t recognize as requiring significant effort to navigate (pre-death, moving, pet adoption, etc.). Unfortunately, traditional and religious rituals either ignore these transitions entirely, or do a poor job at helping. Modern life also has increased psychological pressures combined with a dissolution of or alienation from traditional community institutions.
Rituals can be a powerful way to help people deal with these transitions and create new institutions. We have constructed a toolkit for designing secular rituals - i.e., rituals that do not require a religious belief system. Our toolkit is meant to be open to everyone, supports a variety of design and facilitation skill levels, and is built for co-design.
We believe that empowering people to make sense of and navigate these challenges is of universal value. Our initial experience with using the toolkit with others shows that empowering people in this problem space is transformative in and of itself, by altering their beliefs about their own agency and ability to construct their world.
We want to enable everyone to create rituals, regardless of their religious orientation. The challenges of modernity are faced by everyone, and we hope that by supporting as many kinds of people as possible we have greater impact but perhaps also do something to heal the divides we see in societies today.
Rituals work because they provide a nameable container for managing transformation: creating meaningful experiences that can connect to intention-laden stories. Read more about this in our guide to ritual design.
Interested? Get the toolkit.
Who we are
The ritual design toolkit has been created by Adam Menter and Arvind Venkataramani.
However, this would not have been possible without the generous support of people who have been willing to design with us, explore the idea and value of rituals, and share their stories with us.
We are humbled and thankful, and this work would not exist without you.