So… As I’ve grown and changed over the duration of my life so far I’ve found myself less and less inclined toward being attached to ritual of any kind. My life still entertains a number of rituals, some mystical and some mundane but the over all less and less. Generally speaking, the increase of freedom I know in my life is directly proportionate to the decrease of ritual therein.
I have, however, in the past had a tendency to implementing ritual the most when it’s needed the most. And is that not what it’s for, after all? Ritual could be described or defined as an algorithm. It’s a set of steps in a set order that solves a problem. There are lots of different kinds of problems, so naturally there are many different ways to tackle these and solve them. To be clear, when I use the word “problem,” I don’t mean it strictly in its typical negative usage. I think there are lots of so-called “problems” that are good to have. Good problems.
I think, too, that it makes me rather typical that I care most about ritual when I perceive a greater need. I don’t feel bad about it, though. Using ritual just when you need to solve a problem or accomplish something isn’t any better or any worse that using a hammer when you need to drive nails or a screwdriver when screws need tightened. Ritual serves a purpose and nothing can be better than knowing and honoring that purpose.
Two years and one day ago I employed ritual like nobody’s business and achieved a goal I’m still unsure I’d have succeeded at otherwise – or at least, I perhaps wouldn’t have succeeded so terrifically. And I’m right back at it – and crossing religious lines to do it!
We’re selling our townhome and I’m told that the Catholic Saint Joseph is the man to make it happen. The maternal side of my gene pool is very Catholic so some of these things I’m a bit familiar with. Still, St. Joseph isn’t super familiar to me. In fact, it wasn’t until I decided to do some homework that I even realized that this Joseph was the step-dad of Christ Almighty. A dear Lutheran friend of mine insisted that I give Joseph a shot. Willingness wasn’t much of a stretch for me. Here’s what I understand about the ritual surrounding using St. Joseph helping to sell one’s home.
1) St. Joseph was THE family man and a prime example of what fatherhood should be.
2) St. Joseph is the saint of departing / departed souls, selling houses, and maybe a few other things.
3) If you have a back yard, you bury him upside down, facing the property and exactly 3 feet from the structure.
4) If you have only a front yard (as with my property) then you bury him right side up, facing away from the property, exactly twelve inches into the ground.
5) If you have zero yard, then you can simply place him on a shelf or some other prominent place in the home.
6) The image of St. Joseph is supposed to be owned as a gift from a friend and not bought by the person selling their home.
7) There can be found a prayer or two that a person is supposed to say to invoke the blessings and intercession of the saint.
8) Once the sale is a success, it’s said that St. Joseph is due lots of glory and credit and so forth. Some literature on the matter even indicate that Joseph is supposed to be exhumed and brought with to the new home location.
I don’t know Joseph well at all. It took me a bit of reading before I even realized that THIS guy is the same as the one who was an adoptive parent to Jesus. I’m not planning to “be” Catholic or anything, although that would thrill my grandmother. I just want my house to sell, and sell quickly, and Saint Joseph is apparently just the hammer needed to drive that nail.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha