Life presents itself in a vast array of cycles: the cycle of the moon, the cycle of the seasons, and the cycles of the sun and tides. Celebrating these cycles with some type of ceremony is such a profound practice and one worth considering.
This past New Year’s Eve, rather than hit the town with friends, I was snuggled up by the fire holding a ceremony to close the cycle of 2013 and welcome the coming year.
For our ceremony, we found a little shop that sold a variety of stones. We picked out stones based on their traditional meanings. Each one represented something we wanted to cultivate or bring into the new year. We included stones like carnelian for passion and obsidian for letting go.
One by one we placed each stone in a little wooden box. We spoke about each stone’s meaning and specifically how we wanted it to infuse our lives in the coming cycle around the sun. We closed the box and put it outside for the night.
The next morning, we brought the box inside and imagined bringing all the things we had spoken about the night before into our lives. The box now sits open on our mantel to help us remember our intentions.
How to honor the cycles of life
This sweet and satisfying experience will remain with me for all the cycles in my life. But not all ceremonies have to be this elaborate; it could be as simple as watching the rise of the full moon every month or having a potluck with foods to celebrate the seasonal harvest. It could even be more basic than that; another cycle is the turn of the earth around its axis, each passing day! Light a candle each morning in honor of the turn of each day as an opportunity to clear the slate, ignite an intention or welcome the sun’s energy into your day.
Ceremonial ritual is something we could all use a little more of in our lives to mark significant times or rites of passage. Although ceremony can be challenging in western society, we should give ourselves permission to make ceremony something as unique as we are as individuals. If you love the outdoors, do your ceremony in the heart of the woods or desert. If you are a yogi, ceremony can be something that happens on your yoga mat. You could even make a ceremony of breakfast!
I hope this post plants a seed of ceremony in your life and that you will be able to integrate some type of ritual into your next phase of being.
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