Ceremony is an important part of life. You may notice that in our outer lives we celebrate Birth, Death, Marriages, Christmas, Easter, perhaps Mother’s day, Fathers day Valentine’s day and so on. We mark these times by sending cards, giving presents, arriving at a given time for food, wine, music, dancing, chatting and celebration. Perhaps dressing up/buying a new outfit. We arrive and leave at a pre-arranged time. These are all elements of ceremony. What about our inner transitions? These are just as important. We mark these together in a group ceremony during the Moon Circles I run each month. Coming together to voice and witness each other’s inner transitions is really important. Recently I have also been working with personal ceremony.
During this month’s Introduction to Dreawmwork Workshop I suggested a participant mark something they had shared by creating a personal ceremony and they asked, “ How do I do that?” which inspired me to write this blog.
How to Create a Personal Ceremony
A ceremony can be inside or outside and can be as short or as long as you chose. To hold the space (and your intention) it is important it has a:
- middle and
As you may know, I like doing ceremonies on the beach. I am very clear about the difference between walking on the beach for relaxation or socially with a friend and doing a ceremony. The experience is completely different. I love to just walk on the beach and I also love to drop deeper into ceremony. To a passer by, there might not be much difference 🙂
Opening a Ceremony
The way you open a ceremony can be quite simple. The important thing is to clearly open the space. Some examples are:
- a few words
- a poem
- a physical gesture, walking into a space/through a threshold
- lighting a candle.
Middle of the Ceremony
The middle part is the focus of the ceremony and may involve
- acknowledging an ending or letting go
- a celebration
- birthing something new.
Sometimes it can be one followed by another. When we let go, we create the space for welcoming in something new. We may know what the new thing is and want to name it name it. Sometimes just acknowledging the space for something new (after we have let go) is all that is needed. There may be a future ceremony for the next stage, when the time is right. Follow what feels right for you.
Simple ways to let go can be:
- burning a piece of paper with something written on it
- washing away/flushing down the toilet
- burying in the earth
- cutting a piece of string
- throwing into the wind/ using a feather to discharge
Simple ways to symbolize birth can be:
- planting a seed
- creating something
- writing down an affirmation.
Simple ways to honor or celebrate can be:
- creating something
- finding a symbolic object, i.e. a stone, a feather, a crystal, and a plastic toy.
Experiment with finding your own examples of the above and your own form for the ceremony, listening closely to your intuition. It is your intention and focus that creates the alchemy. Whatever external objects/forms you use, it is the intention you imbue them with that is important.
Closing the Ceremony
Closing the ceremony can also be quite simple:
- a song
- a sound
- a few words
- a poem
- a physical gesture
- walking out of a space/through a threshold
- extinguishing a candle
- giving thanks.
When the ceremony is closed, you are back at home/ in your garden walking on the beach for pleasure etc. Your intention has shifted. Trust that the work has been done. I ceremony can be as short as a few sentences or a long as a day or night.
Things to look out for when you are doing a ceremony are:
- Any intuitive hunches you have, however slight, follow them, particularly if they prompt you to deviate from what you have planned as this can mean the universe is co-creating with you. When the universe starts co-creating with you, listen and show you have heard by acting on what you are receiving.
- Any serendipitous accidents/unexpected things that happen. Again, this is the universe co-creating with you and sending you a gift or message. Don’t analyze it or try to understand it at the time, just acknowledge and receive it.
- Stay flexible and always be ready to move with/ be inspired by what happens rather than sticking to what you planned. Still remembering to open and close the ceremony, even if in a different way than you initially planned.
Enjoy and experiment 🙂