Marietta Schürholz: Reinventing Ritual (E14)

Reinventing RitualThis interview with the filmmaker Marietta Schürholz is on ritual -- a topic about which I've thought a lot and written very little. We tend to think rituals are vestiges of an earlier, more superstitious time, or perhaps elements of indigenous cultures that we need to learn from. We think we live in a society bereft of meaningful rituals. But in fact, we are immersed in rituals that are invisible to us. Medicine, law, and even technology can be understood as a highly elaborated system of ritual, whose legitimacy and efficacy are based on an underlying mythology that tells us what is real and how the world works. As we transition into a new mythology, our old rituals become unsatisfying, and impotent to address the crises of our time.

This podcast episode originated as an interview for Marietta's film, Reinventing Rituals. You can watch the trailer at The depth of understanding embodied in her questions, and her wide open heart and vulnerable listening to my responses, makes me think this will be an extraordinary film. If you resonate with our conversation, you might consider donating to her crowdfunding campaign too.



  1. Thanks for this!

    I hope you’ll post to iTunes. That’s where I usually look for new episodes from you (and others).

  2. This was wonderful, Charles. Wonderful coincidence too as I have been thinking and working with rituals for a little while now. I found it very helpful and resonating with my experiences of ritual. Coming from a Catholic background, I think this is what the sacraments were really about or supposed to be about. Now, for all the reasons you mention, they have become empty shells, devoid of all power.
    Most of my rituals are based in nature and I find that it is never devoid of a message for me.
    The condition of being receptive, open, listening feels great, especially for me, who likes to come up with answers.

    Many, many thanks.

  3. Very wonderful and meaningful Charles.It speaks to that desire in me to allow myself to be available for that which is new yet at the same time has always been.

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