Thursday, 23 August 2012

Creating Ceremony, Creating memories

One of my very favourite things, is creating Ceremony.

Regardless of our spiritual or religious direction, I believe it is an integral and deep rooted part of our soul and our community that we nourish, when we come together to celebrate and mark our passage through life with meaningful Ceremony. 

Our society is ritual poor and it shows; in tired, consumer driven "Baby showers" full of gifts but lacking in substance; in women approaching birth in fear and isolation; in our young men and women coming to adulthood unmet and unacknowledged in their teen thunder; in both grief and joy equally muted by pale traditions and conventional stereotypes...

Don't get me wrong, I know that not all traditional ceremonies are like this but I have borne witness to my fair share and it has angered, saddened and deeply distressed me at times. 

And so I love to Create Ceremonies. Just writing this sentence makes me smile. 

In joy, the height of our happiness is declared as we introduce a new baby to our clan, to the elements and to the earth our home. Rhapsodic, we declare our commitment and love for one another in a Handfasting or Wedding Blessing. We can recognize and embrace the changing shape of our families as we welcome in adopted children or blend existing families together into a whole new loving entity.

There are so many happy moments in life when we are moved to celebrate and there are also painful and sorrowful times that it feels just as imperative to mark, such as divorce, a passing or the anniversary of a death. At such times, heartfelt, personal ceremony helps us to mark time, to remember and to process our feelings. It is a way of saying, 'you are not here but you are always with us' to those that have gone on ~ and how beautiful to sing our loved ones on their path into the next world lovingly and uniquely, in celebration of who they are and have been in this lifetime. Importantly, it is within these moments that we honour and draw comfort from the fact that life goes on, and the wheel goes ever round.

Ceremony is a chance for us to give thanks for what we have, what we have let go of and for what we will have in the future. Through rituals such as the Phoenix Ceremony, we can choose to let go of what no longer serves us, in gratitude for the lessons that we have learnt. In doing so we are allowing the possibility of new growth from the flames of our past. This is the place where we can nurture and create intention, our vision for the future, and strike out towards it with purpose and clarity. 

We honour each other and the very essence of life in our festivity and so it feels right to me that each and every Ceremony should be unique and tailored to those celebrating. We should chant, drum and dance; raise our voices and our hearts in prose and song; we should laugh, cry and smile with eyes and hearts full. Every emotion is accepted here as living, breathing, heart thumping, messy proof that we are indeed, here on this human journey. Acknowledging and celebrating our path, we are creating Ceremony and weaving a rich blanket memories to keep us warm for always.

Please get in touch if I can help you to create a Ceremony however large or small ~