Ceremonies for Recovery

Rituals Against Relapse: Using Ceremony as an Affirmation of Recovery

Individuals who suffer from the chronic disease of substance use disorder have three paths open to them- they either sober up, get locked up, or are covered up. Sadly, many do not choose that first path. This disease is strong and over time only gains in strength.

For those who do surrender and are called to action, who follow the long and difficult path towards recovery the destination is both a release from the physical and mental compulsion to use and the beginning of a meaningfully useful and an engagingly productive life. It is a Hero’s Journey. One fraught with doubt, denial, distrust and dread but the prize, the hard won awakening to a renewed life, can be achieved and brought into a world made fresh in recovery.

Why do so many relapse? After having slayed the dragon of compulsion in its lair why do we revive the beast only to fall into the pit of despair once more? It is like someone who after years of pounding their head against a brick wall in a dark alley finally escapes into a life free from self-inflicted misery and then suddenly one evening, seemingly out of the blue without malice aforethought, walks back into that same dark alley.

If you or your loved one have recently been discharged from an inpatient treatment center or have completed outpatient care for a substance use disorder consider the powerful techniques of staying sober by using ceremony and ritual as a part of your discharge plan.

The surest way to walk back into that dark alley is by sleepwalking. The use of ceremony to actively embrace your transition into sobriety and the leveraging of personal rituals to recharge your mindful intentions each day will revive and maintain your spiritual condition and keep you alert. Such a practice will keep the slumber of relapse at bay – preserving dignity and self-control, providing peace of mind.

Engaging in ceremony and practicing rituals that you create will help bring your internal desire for recovery out into the world and make it more real, give it substance and power. Learning to craft effective ceremony and ritual is a bold approach to sobriety and can be a vital tool to add to those you have already gathered in your journey of recovery.


Call me and we can explore new alternative methods to avoid relapse and how you can stay you on your path of recovery. If we seem a good fit we can arrange a no-obligation meeting. We can walk each other through our experiences and design a recovery ritual plan tailored to your needs for moving forward. As a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant steeped in the knowledge of ceremony and ritual you can rely on me to provide you exclusive one-on-one help as you create a customized ceremony that recognizes your crossing of a threshold in your return to the world. In our private sessions about your goals in recovery and relapse prevention we can explore your ideas to create tailored daily rituals that will help you stay on your path. You have truly undertaken a Hero’s Journey. I would be proud to work with you.

The Labyrinth, a photo by Rohan Talip