Today’s book was born out of a desire to show how and why ritual is critical in our everyday lives, using examples from across the animal world, including elephants, chimpanzees, orangutans, wolves, dogs, lions, zebras, whales, flamingos, fish, and even insects.
Although social animals exhibit many rituals, this book focuses on ten important rituals that are essential to our well-being: greeting rituals, group rituals, courtship, gifting, spoken rituals, unspoken rituals, play, grieving and healing, renewal, and travel and migration.
Ritualized greetings, such as mouth-licking in wolves or a handshake in humans, are a form of information gathering, and they have evolved among social animals to strengthen bonds and build trust.
Let’s take play For example, play affords individuals the opportunity to experiment with their surroundings and come up with creative solutions critical to a species’ survival. Examples include a lion cub practicing hunting skills by pretending a littermate is prey or a toddler building a fantastical world in a sandbox, which fosters coping skills for later life challenges.
Reincorporating the lost art of ritual will better equip us to discover new ways to reconnect to others, to ourselves, and to the natural world.
More about Caitlin: https://www.caitlineoconnell.com