Monday Morning Rituals

For eight weeks, students from XPUB prepared a ritual to perform at the top of Monday morning class. We explored cultural rituals such as the birthday cake and coffee-ground reading, but also more personal rituals such as ‘going to sleep’ rituals, a personal hard-drive purification, and the creation of worry-dolls.

Week 1, January 9th 2023: Tea and Cookies

Performed by Artemis and Lídia

Artemis and Lídia introduced us to Monday Morning Rituals on the first cold, dark, wintery Monday morning. We shared cookies with tea as a way to open up the semester and get to know each other. The ritual of a hot drink and cookies is well-known around the world as a moment of gathering, peace, gossip, and self-care.

Artemis and Lídia’s Preparations

Week 2, January 16th 2023: Coffee Fortune-Telling

Performed by Aglaia

For Aglaia’s ritual, we sat in a circle while the coffee was being prepared by the ancient Stove priestess placed in the middle. When done, it was served to the participants in special coffee cups. We drank our coffee while gossiping and eating cookies. When everybody finished, we swirled the cup counter-clockwise three times and turned the coffee cup upside down over the cup’s saucer. We waited patiently for five minutes for the fortune to be prepared. Everybody had to tell the Fortune of the person sitting on their left side by reading the coffee grounds until we completed the circle.

Aglaia’s Ritual
Overturned Coffee Grounds

Week 3, January 23rd 2023 Hard Drive Purification

Performed by Stephen

Stephen prepared a few zines with instructions to conduct a ceremonial cleansing of not only our browser history and cookies but also our trash cans/recycle bins. All operating systems were welcome. The zine was a reminder to ‘clean’ messy space up (for yourself), written in such a way that instructed us to recite sentences at the same time, with one person leading the group – a play on the magic circle.

Stephen’s Ritual

Week 4, January 30th 2023: Birthday Cake

Performed by Boyana

To celebrate Aglaia’s birthday, Boyana baked a cake, and Ada made jellies. We sat in a circle around the cake. The person who had their birthday most recently sliced the cake, and we took turns to wish them our blessings. After going through a round, we ate together.

Boyana’s Birthday Cake and Ada’s Jellies

Week 5, February 6th 2023: Special Issue Prediction Ritual (SIPR)

Performed by Ada

For Ada’s ritual, Ada brought in a deck of tarot cards to read the fortune of the Special Issue you are holding in your hands right now.

Her text made us laugh, and we have chosen to include it in full:

“The priestess Ada will start the ritual by playing the ceremonial music on the sacred Spotify. Candles shall be turned on. Then three human sacrifices will be selected amongst the group through a collective decision. The three sacrificial people will then select three cards from either of the two decks given by the priestess. While they do so, they must think of the special issue. The priestess will then interpret the cards and together we shall rejoice in having found out our Special Issue’s future.”

The reading of this special issue.

Week 6, February 13th 2023: Guided Meditation (A Nighttime Ritual)

Performed by Cara

Cara’s ritual relates to her history of having a hard time falling asleep at night. Over the years, she has found that music - especially quiet music with the sound of nature (field recordings) – really helps her fall asleep. She DJs outside of class and plays a lot of ambient, narrative DJ sets. For her ritual, she played a sound piece made of field recordings around Rotterdam (the sound of water lapping against a water taxi, the sound of wind, the sound of rain) and read a poem about sleeplessness from a collection of literature about the Night. The ritual meant to lull everyone to a moment of peace.

Cara’s Ritual

Week 7, February 20th 2023: Worry Dolls

Performed by Irmak

Irmak’s ritual was about how to ease our worries. We wrote down our worries on a pink piece of paper and shared them with a handmade doll that Irmak brought. These dolls are called Worry dolls (also called trouble dolls; in Spanish, Muñeca quitapena) and originate from Guatemala. There is one in each box of our special issue.

Irmak’s Ritual – A Worry Doll

Week 10, March 13th 2023: That Distant Future When We Share a Tea

Performed by Chae

Special Guest Chaeyoung Kim joined us in a ritual involving drinking tea, steaming glasses and collective healing through care and conversation. Over bubbling background sounds, we talked about our experiences of a recent global pandemic that had an effect on us all, and we recreated the isolating experience of wearing glasses with a mask. Finally, we wiped each others glasses back to clarity, from a distance but somehow at the same time closer.

Pointing becomes holding.
Collective clearing of the fog.