Understanding Different Spiritual Types

When writing ritual for others, I find it helpful to consider what “spiritual type” I am trying to appeal to.  Everyone responds differently to worship, prayer, music, scripture and sermons so it is good to know how to best serve your intended audience with your ritual writing.  It is not always possible to include ALL the types to the same degree in each ritual. You could focus on one “main” type in the energy work section of the ritual, with smaller ritual components designed to appeal to the other types.  This way there is something for everyone in your ritual.


Social Justice (AKA: Body/Activist/Crusader/Kingdom)

Persons of this type want action. Movement of the body and/or acts of service out in the world.

They are socially responsible and for them prayer is active. Building the Kingdom on Earth / building a better world is key.

Head (AKA: Mind/ Scholar/Theologian)

Persons of this type want to learn or new things to think about. Words carry meaning.  They want thoughts and belief to match.

Heart (AKA: Pietist/Charismatic)

Persons of this type want shared personal experiences. Faith is intuitive, relationships are important.  They contribute warmth and spontaneity to a group.

Mystic (AKA: Contemplative)

Persons of this type want depth, meaningfulness. They focus on their inner, spiritual world. Value simplicity.


After you decide what spiritual type you are writing your ritual for, use the column as guidelines to help you select worship components such as prayer, readings, music, and so on.

Type Body Mind Heart Mystic
God/The Divine God/The Divine is hidden.

We participate and co-create the Kingdom with God/ The Divine

God/The Divine is revealed through sacred texts. God/The Divine is felt in my heart God/The Divine is mystery and cannot be fully grasped.
Style of Worship Worship focussed on acts of service. Worship is organized and carefully planned. Worship is spontaneous and deeply moving Simple worship with moments of silence
Time Management It is important to have time to finish the task. It is important to stick to the time planned. It is important to be willing to extend time to fit. A sense of timelessness is important.
Prayer A “doing” faith.

“Service” is my prayer.

The purpose of prayer in worship is to encourage doing acts of service through my life/work.

The purpose of prayer in worship is for seeking knowledge or to express praise. The purpose of prayer in worship is to evoke feelings and a sense of the Divine being present. The purpose of prayer in worship is simply to BE with the Divine.
Music Music in worship should be inspiring. Music in worship expresses beliefs. Music in worship should warm the heart. Music in worship should be quiet.
Preaching We should practice what we preach. Preaching is central to worship. It should be based on sacred texts. Preaching should be loving and change us. Preaching should proclaim what the spirit is saying.
Criticism/ When out of balance Tunnel vision, moralistic. Too “dry” and intellectual. Too emotional. Not in the real world, escapsim.

(Chart adapted from http://www.tansleychurch.com/ce/spiritual%20types.htm)





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