When we want to create a certain outcome, we begin by focusing on what we want. This is a way of setting intentions. Because we are powerful creators of our own reality, and our thoughts become things, intentions are a key aspect of manifesting change. The more deliberate we are about what we want and the more carefully we choose our thoughts, the more streamlined our focus will be, which allows our desires to materialize more rapidly. We may choose to supplement our intention with ritual because it is a part of our practice, or because it is a means of honoring our allies. Some choose to perform rituals because it is a way of working with intention in the physical world. Writing down what we desire, for example, on a sheet of paper and burning it releases our intentions to the universe.
Most of us participate in rituals in some form. Holiday traditions are often accompanied by rituals like specific songs or foods. Performing these rituals shifts our energy and the energy around us by helping us to focus in a certain way. When we express our gratitude during Thanksgiving, for example, we are honoring and appreciating certain things by giving them our attention, which draws more similar energies to us. Certain holiday dances are ways of expressing joy. Sports rituals can honor a certain team and can focus on a specific desired outcome for a game. Rituals can be elaborate or bare-bones simple; they can be timeless or created in a sudden burst of inspiration.
Accoutrements like tarot and oracle cards are simply tools we can use to tune into the universal energy that is all around us. In ritual, we often use objects like specific colors, crystals, and incense as ways of helping to shift the energy, concretize our intentions by making them physical (like writing down goals and desired outcomes), and to set a mood or create a sacred space. Because physical objects have certain energetic properties, they can support the energy behind our intentions as we work toward making them manifest in the physical world. Cinnamon and bay leaves are associated with wealth; rose quartz brings self-love; sandalwood supports us in protection and healing. Whether or not you choose to supplement the energy of your intention with physical objects and actions is a matter of personal preference. Ultimately, all we really need is intention and intuition.