Set Intention How to distinguish ritual from routine.

Set Intention How to distinguish ritual from routine.

  • Words Alia Gilbert
  • Photograph Gustav Almestål
  • Styling Andreas Frienholt

The distinction between a “ritual” and a “routine” can oftentimes be blurred, given that both types of action share the descriptive commonality of regularity. Does a ritual have to include traces of spirituality or elements of one’s own cultural lineage? Can the same action be a ritual one day, and a routine the next? 

It’s easy to put our noses up at what other people call their “personal rituals,” particularly on social media where people seem to be seeking outward validation for what you might logically imagine to be their most private habits. But Karen’s mug of coffee with a splash of hazelnut creamer on the porch every Sunday could be a ritual just as much as Celeste’s daily three-card tarot pulls and monthly brew of herbal medicine, passed down to her from her...

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