Throughout the ages, ceremonies and rituals have been used to mark events in one’s life or recognise something significant in our world. We have marriage ceremonies. We have religious ceremonies and rituals. We celebrate birthdays; Christenings; anniversaries; graduations; achievements; changing of the seasons or moon cycles. We have rituals to mark the passing or completion of things. We have funeral ceremonies. We have memorial ceremonies. There are smaller rituals many practice each day. This can be as simple as a quiet prayer before going to bed or upon waking in the morning. Rituals and ceremonies allow us time for connection and reflection upon what is important in our lives – and also provides us with an opportunity to set an intention on something we are doing or how we want to live our lives.
I practice rituals and ceremonies in very simple ways in my own life. When I do a Healing with someone, I light a candle and set a very clear intention of my service to them. When I do my formal meditation I have a little ritual where I sit and dedicate the time to connect with myself. The evening before my hystorectomy I performed a gratitude ceremony on the hill behind our home and lit a candle and gave thanks to my uterus and ovaries for providing us with 2 wonderful sons, and hormones for me to be a beautiful woman. When I finish a body of work in my studio I perform a clearing ritual and take all my working images down, clean everything and use red-tipped euclytpus leaves and smudge/smoke my room to mark the completion of the stage in a body of work. I recently had a personal issue which I had come to a stage of resolution with and went to the ocean and swam in the frothy white waves. I immersed myself and floated in the water and made a clear intention acknowledging the completion of something and the beginning of something new.
These ceremonies and rituals give me the opportunity to give gratitude; to celebrate; to reflect; to complete; and to connect with intention.