Tag Archives: Ritual

Now is the perfect time to honor our ancestors and ourselves!

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There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, 
which through the summer is not heard or seen, 
as if it could not be, as if it had not been! 
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Each season moves us through a period of transformation.  It is always beneficial to harmonize with the energy of nature and the season. And, as autumn and spring tend to be the times of more intense change, it can be especially beneficial to take time to connect. Traditionally, autumn is celebrated as the harvest season.  It is the time to allow our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. As the yang/outer energy of summer gives into the growing yin/inner energy of the approaching winter, there is strong contraction of energy occurring.

In Chinese Medicine, the organs most active in this season are those of the Metal element – Lung and Large Intestine, both of which have strong functions of absorption and elimination.  With the Lungs this has to do with respiration and with the Large Intestines it has to do with digestion.  It is a natural time for gathering and letting go. Also, it is a time for us to nurture ourselves.

The emotions associated with this season are grief and loss and it is not uncommon to experience a lot of sadness bubbling up this time of year. By moving into harmony with what is natural arising in our being and nurturing these parts of ourselves, we can support ourselves in creating greater balance, joy and ease of well-being.  We can also create a strong foundation for moving into the stillness of winter – one that can support body, mind, emotional and spirit.

In many cultures around the world, Autumn is seen as a time when our thoughts turn to those who have left us; we think about our ancestors and their legacy – what has been left behind.  It said that the “veils” are thinner this time of year and that our ancestors often come home to visit their loved ones or “kin”.  This may come through memories, dreams or other surprise visits, too.   Often this “remembrance” arises naturally as our feelings of sadness, loss and grief come to the surface.

Autumn offers us a powerful time to honor our ancestors through ceremony & ritual. This can be for the gifts we have received and also for what we might like to let go of. It is a good time to allow ourselves to release feelings of loss and grief, limiting beliefs and/or patterns that are no longer serving us.  Sometimes we have a need to come to greater completion with our ancestors or loved ones or even to honor our own life experiences. Perhaps there are ancestral patterns such as addiction, abuse, shame or isolation that it’s time for us to let go of for ourselves and future generations.

Ceremony and ritual can be a potent vehicle for finding connection, honoring transitions and letting go.  It is something that is part of many cultures and that is a bit lost in our modern culture today unless we choose to create space for it in our lives, our families and our communities.  Learn more about Finding Connection Through Ceremony & Ritual…

Suggestions for this season:

  • Take some time to think of your ancestors. Are there any memories surfacing or visitors in your dreams?
  • Is there someone who has passed that you need to work with to move to a place of greater peace in your life?  
  • Are there are feelings of loss or grief that you need to share or honor that are unresolved?  
  • Is there is a pattern or limiting belief that you have become aware of in your ancestral lineage that it might be time to work toward transforming?  
  • What might you do to honor your ancestors and yourself this autumn?
Now it the perfect time to do this type of soul work. Take some time to reflect. Simply connecting and asking your ancestors for help is a place to begin. And, consider taking some time to create your own ceremony or ritual to honor your both ancestors and yourself!

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Come Explore!

If you would like to explore this type of sacred soul work in community, I invite you to join me on Saturday, October 29th in Annapolis, Maryland for Letting Go, Embodying Life: Honoring Our Ancestors & Ourselves ~ A Shamanic Journey Workshop for Autumn. It’s going to be a day full of rich exploration and connection.  Learn more or register at https://lettinggoembodyinglifeworkshopoct2016.eventbrite.com.

If you are not local to the MD/DC/VA area and would like to explore Letting Go, Embodying Life: Honoring Our Ancestors & Ourselves this season, I am available to support you in exploring your own sacred soul work and creating your own ceremony and ritual through One-on-One Shamanic Healing Sessions via Phone or Skype. Visit http://www.bethterrence.com to learn more or schedule a complimentary consultation today.
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Winter Solstice Meditation & Message

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For those of you on my email list, I shared a Winter Solstice Message & Meditation yesterday.  And, tonight I led a Solstice Ceremony & Meditation in Annapolis.  This is one of my favorite times of year and as we approach the Solstice at 11:49 PM ET here, I wanted to share this message with the Heart of Awakening community, too!

Many blessings to you for love, light and peace on this Solstice!

Beth


 

The Solstice is a powerful time of transformation ~ one in which we can connect more deeply our natural world and to the true essence of who we are.  I am sharing with you an audio meditation and message for this Winter Solstice time. You might like to listen to it at the time of Solstice or sometime in the day before or after.  Click here to lookup what time the Solstice is in your area.

Listen to Beth’s Winter Solstice Message & Meditation…

I hope you will take some time to tune and celebrate the Solstice energy wherever you are.  I often share that I believe that one of the greatest diseases of our time is DISCONNECTION.  As we take time to harmonize with the energies of nature and with our own deeper essence, we are able to experience connection and harmony in our lives, our relationships and our world.  This may be something you wish to do on your own or in community.  You can use this meditation or there are many ways to create your own ceremony or ritual – it’s good to be creative and explore what resonates with you.

Read my post on Finding Connection Through Ceremony & Ritual to get some ideas for creating your own Solstice Ceremony or other ways to incorporate ceremony and ritual into your daily life.

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Poem Of The Week: A Ritual To Read To Each Other By William Stafford

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The Way of Council

It’s only Day 4 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge and although my list of ideas is growing, I am finding the writing is slow going.  One of the things I have wanted to do is share more poetry as regular part of the Heart Of Awakening Blog.  So here goes with the first official Poem Of The Week Post.  I can’t guarantee how things will unfold but look forward to seeing weekly poetry posts and if you have suggestions or favorites please feel free to share your comments.

Today is our Independence Day here in the U.S. and there is a lot of focus on Interdependence as well.  There are many benefits that we experience here in America.  I know as a woman I have had many opportunities and privileges that I may not have now, had I grown up in another country.  For that I am grateful.  And, there are certainly many areas for growth and change as well.  As we are existing in a more global system, it feels so important to focus on connection today and how we relate with one another in our own countries and in the world.

So, the poem that I felt called to share is one of my absolute favorite poems.   It speaks of the need to be open, honest and authentic as we relate with each other.  It is called, “A Ritual To Read To Each Other” by William Stafford.

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

by William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Finding Connection Through Ceremony and Ritual

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One of the greatest diseases of our times is the sense of disconnection that is felt with ourselves, others and the world.   By bringing ceremony and ritual into our daily lives, we can begin to reconnect to the sacredness and beauty of life.   It can be a way to rediscover ourselves, to align with our soul purpose and to deepen our sense of connection with all things.

Many of us have come from backgrounds where ceremony and ritual was some part of our religious upbringing.  For some, that is something that we continue in daily life.  For others, it is something we may have abandoned as we grew and changed our views. For others, it may not have been part of our experience at all.   The new paradigm is about bringing it all forward; so, whatever your path has been, now can be a time to explore and reexamine your practices to see if they are in alignment with who you are today and how you intend to be in the world.

Some of the ways that ceremony and ritual can help us include:

  • Paying tribute to important life events and honoring our transitions
  • Being in harmony with the seasons and rhythms of nature
  • Creating sacredness in our lives
  • Honoring our ancient traditions or creating new ones
  • Releasing attachments to energies, relationships and situations, which are no longer serve us
  • Calling in energies and intentions we wish to bring forward
  • Evoking an ecstatic state of being and connecting at a soul level
  • Helping to heal our fundamental spiritual wound – the illusion of separateness from creation
  • Supporting specific healing for ourselves, others and the world
  • Aligning our energy with the present moment
  • Helping us to be more fully conscious and awake
  • Gaining clarity and understanding our experiences
  • Accessing spiritual guidance and wisdom

Ceremony can be something we do individually, with others or in community.  However we choose to create it, ceremony is a way to step out of the busyness of our lives and the world of linear time into sacred space where deeper understanding, healing and wisdom resides.  Ceremony, in and of itself, is a paradigm shift.   It can help us to focus on our visions and intentions and begin to draw them into the world of matter, allowing them to become manifest.

Rituals are the specific rites or tools we use as part of ceremony.  They can be used to create sacredness in any moment.  Many shamans begin the day by honoring the directions and connecting with the elements of nature.  Many people begin their day with meditation or prayer of some kind.  Whatever it is, beginning the day with some type of ritual or spiritual practice is a powerful way to move consciously into your daily life.  Some ways to create ritual include:

  • Lighting a candle
  • Setting an intention
  • Burning sage or other healing herbs such as sweet grass, yerba santé or cedar
  • Setting up an altar and arranging spiritually meaningful articles or pictures on it
  • Drumming, rattling, chanting, singing or listening to music or sounds of nature
  • Reciting prayers silently or aloud or reading from a sacred text
  • Cultivating a meditation practice
  • Being in silence and honoring the sacredness that comes from that space

Whether you choose to practice ceremony and ritual with others or on your own, it is important to create practices that support you in the present moment.  Here are some questions to consider in creating a ceremony or ritual practice:

  • What is your intention?  What is the reason for the ceremony or ritual?
  • Will it be personal, with another person or group?
  • What elements or tools need to be gathered?  What preparation needs to happen?
  • What will the structure of the ceremony or ritual be? Who will perform it? Where will it be done?
  • Are there any prayers, readings, songs, poems, and dances, etc. that you wish to include?
  • How will you open and close the ceremony?

Ceremony and ritual can be a beneficial part of daily spiritual practice.  It can help to align our energies in the present moment and to bring increased harmony to our lives.  Take some time this week to consider what you would like to create in your life and how ceremony and ritual may support that process.  Whether it is creating a ceremony with a specific intention or incorporating a ritual into your daily life, notice how this invokes a deeper sense of connection with yourself, others and the world.  Let your heart be your guide as you create your own new paradigm.