Design

ancestral fire

A ritual space is like the central fire of our ancestors.

To re-new the tradition of Passage Rituals, we probably need to go back to our earth-based ancestors’ fire. We must penetrate into our deepest memory and search out our internal instinct to do ritual for initiation. To recall it, use vision, imagination, intention, and design.

The standard information about Rites of Passage comes along a century old string originating with Arnold van Gennep, who performed the field research in cultural Second Alter Earlyanthropology to offer in 1906 a language for transitions: rites of passage. Thankfully, the form has stood the test of time.

When designing a ceremony, consider this first form: separation. In the past, mentors took 15 year old boys or girls from their sleep. I am more delicate and more cautious. Yet, separation is the most important part of initiation and can be accomplished in many ways. A threshold ritual makes separation a distinct severance. Drawing a line to step over is a favorite of mine. Any manner of decorum may be used. Years ago, we used a soft jute rope as a symbolic umbilical cord and gave the scissors to the girl. Her mother left for a week. Away from mother, that is my first rule.

So look how easy this is: across the threshold an initiate enters liminal space.  The liminal or between space is rather firm rule: a place away, perhaps secretive like a cave, perhaps overnight or over a week or even a month describes that between place, where one used to be and where she is moving to. Away does not have to be far, but it does have to allow her psychological temperament to be altered. This is the space where the transition happens. Some activity must take her out of her logical mind. That is a liminal space.

When I say reincorporation, everybody expresses puzzled looks, but if I say integrate, most women understand: old self welcomes some new essence, a new stage, symbolized by a new energy. The old skin has been shed which demonstrates the value of severance and a liminal space. Symbols like a bracelet, a crown, or the anklets we used this summer allow the initiate to display her change and through the symbol, a story can be invited.

Design

Altar-altar

Do you remember your ancestral elements? They used five to perform ritual for celebrations for living, for harvest, for abundance, slowing down to express thanks. Those Grandparents would not have left them out of the design for initiation, so we use those same elements. Can you name what you use? I use earth, air, fire, water and nature, they roll off my tongue like I was born with them. I was. You were born with your combination, do you remember what it is?

Planning a Passage Ritual to celebrate growth requires slowing down to a quiet mind and reaching for the matches. Once the candle is lit, the ceremony design may begin. With a candle, one seeks only to make a holy moment, to create a sacred feeling, a spiritual feeling. A candle will also focus your attention.

I recommend all women, Mothers and Grandmothers, do ceremony to feel ceremony, to have it in your bones, to understand what you want to give to others.

What is your question?

moose

Do you feel your age?

Are you living your dream? Do you understand your purpose?

Do you wish to have a Passage ceremony to honor your growth?

How can you reclaim all your lost-soul-parts?

Can you locate yourself on the Life-Spiral?

Does your desire include ritual to celebrate growth?

Would you like to step back and come forward slowly?

Who in your community will step up to collaborate?

Do you want to feel the rightful maturity of your stage?

Many have been stuck somewhere in time; do you feel that?

From the moment and celebration of your birth to now is an incredible journey and highly desirable. Who better to invest those free moments than in yourself?
Even if you want to offer this for your daughter or your granddaughter, shouldn’t you begin with yourself?
Let me know about your interest, gail@ninepassages.com

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