Rituals and Ceremonies

“The need for rites of passage at various points in the life cycle is not just a desire to celebrate change. Self generated rites of passage invest the change with meaning it would not otherwise have. Human beings can handle even deeply traumatic experiences if these events are given socially supported positive meaning .”
                                                        —Virgina Hines

 

Weddings…. commitment ceremonies….coming of age…..the birth of a new baby….the death of a loved one…mindful divorce… leaving the nest…coming out…celebrating the change of life into Crone-hood.

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There are so many passages in life; a few are celebrated, mostly with culturally sanctioned rituals. Many times, we might be facing a passage, but feel unmoved by the ones from the childhood tradition — like we would like to commemorate the major moments in our lives in a different, more personal way.

In this modern era, it is more acceptable than ever to veer from tradition and create markers for such transitions that are deeply meaningful to those involved. Many people experience the Divine as separate from “religion” but still want to feel a sense of the sacred as they navigate these waters of change.

It is a great passion of mine to create such rituals and ceremonies to mark the important passages in clients’ lives. Working together with you, I can help design a ritual or ceremony that is intensely private, jubilantly public, or anywhere in between. We can uses passages from sacred or secular texts — poems, songs, written by you or others — as can develop something that has great meaning for you and helps mark the transition.

Grief and Loss: Funerals, Memorials and Celebrations of Life

In grief work, it is commonly known that people can move through the process more healthily if they are supported by community. Often these days, there’s the funeral, a meal afterwards, and three days later, we’re expected to return to work.  “Get on with our lives” is something we tell ourself.

But grief, death and dying are profound doorways into our souls. They are a journey. If cared for, nurtured and properly acknowledged, while we may still feel shattered by loss, we won’t be consumed by a grief that has no support. Please be kind to yourself, and reach out if you are wanting to memorialize a relationship, an ending, a death.

Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies:

Perhaps the most joyful ritual and celebration is the joining together of two souls in a commitment ceremony. As rules and regulations have relaxed, couples are able to ask anyone to marry them — it no linger needs to be a priest, Rabbi, Imam or any other formal clergy. Thankfully, we are now free to create the kind of lasting memories we want from designing our own vows, readings, and rituals. A combination of the old and new is also done quite frequently.

I would be delighted to meet with you to plan a ceremony for your special day that has depth and meaning for you both.

“Croning” Ceremony:

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Growing old used to mean ill-health, diminished mental capacity, and society shutting elders away in nursing homes. However, the ancients knew that elders possessed great wisdom, and should be an important part of the family until the very end.

Additionally, in our modern culture, youth and beauty are the predominant goals. When women age, and their bodies change, skin loses its youthful glow, and the bones are a little more creaky than before, we have traditionally become depressed and sorrowful, that life as we knew it is coming to an end.

While it is true that we will not have the bodies, minds or energy that we had at twenty, there are profound spiritual riches that can be accessed through inviting the Crone energy into our psyches. As www.goddess.com puts it,

“The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, together with the Mother and the Maiden she represents part of the circle of life.

 

“In today’s society where we worship youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she represents our destruction, decay and death. Traditional societies however, view death as part of a cycle.

Here, as in nature, the death of Winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the Spring. Her colour is black and she is associated with the waning or new moon, Autumn and Winter.

In her positive aspect she is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. The word Crone is derived from the old word for crown, suggesting the wisdom that emanates from the head like a halo. Her own child bearing days are past; she is the wisdom keeper, seer and healer and midwife, whose knowledge is sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. 

Unfortunately in the Middle Ages the church feared these wise women and the esteem with which their communities held them. Many of them were killed during the Inquisition and the wise woman of old was relegated to the Wicked Witch and Hag Archetype of our fairy tales. This is a corruption of the original meanings of the word witch and hag which respectively derived from the word wit, denoting wisdom and hagio meaning holy. Today as more woman live longer and take more prominent roles within society the tide is starting to turn as they start to reclaim their power. ”

It is a powerful thing indeed to welcome a woman into her crone-hood. Gather her sisters, her daughters, her nieces, her fellow-crones, and we will create a ritual that will help the Crone-in-training to be birthed to her truest and most authentic self.

This gives you just an idea of some of the ways we can work together to create special and meaningful rituals and ceremonies to honor, deeply, the significant passages in a woman’s life.