Interesting comments, all. I agree that most often, for most people, ritual does appeal to a higher authority. And there is the communal spirit it lends to when group ritual is performed.
However, ritual can certainly be personal, appeal to no higher authority than ones' own higher self (whatever that exactly might mean), and have a different purpose than bonding to a culture.
I know a number of people who create and perform their own rituals with their own, personal, symbolism. There are certain frameworks that have been tested throughout time (or a certain amount of time) that have been found to work best. Although the truly free person should certainly experiment as they see fit.
The most "successful" and powerful rituals combine elements that excite all the senses (or also elements, in the old sense... earth, wind, fire, water, spirit, which should not be seen as literal) of a person. However, the daily ones which keep a person focused in the egregore she is creating, or keeping "alive" will typically be more along the lines of a prayer or some other relatively simply act, or an adoration.
One rather common daily adoration I have used before is performed three times a day, at daybreak, at noon, and at sunset, each time facing towards the sun. (Yes, rather solar-phallic in nature. Someone of a more neo-pagan sort is likely to use something more lunar in nature, I'd imagine.)
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe
Holy art Thou whom nature hath not formed,
Holy art Thou, the vast and mighty One!
Lord of the light and of the darkness, Amen.