Ceremony Augments Life Experiences and Connection
Ceremony in essence is a place we can reflect, reset, and touch the liminal. This is how I feel after each Sabbat ceremony honouring the points within the wheel of the year, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, Autumn Equinox, Samhain, Winter Solstice.
To me ceremony feels like home. I have been attending druid ceremonies since i was 24, and other pagan, shamanic style ceremony prior to that. When I first stood on the side of the hill at the feet of the Long Man of Wilmington, I felt I was home. It was the people I felt at home with, their openness and acceptance for all walks of life. It feels right to honour nature, the seasons, the energies of life, outside in the same landscape, as each season changes, as we do within Anderida Gorsedd at the Long Man of Wilmington.
When I stood in that circle, that Imbolc in 2005, I felt as though I had stepped into middle earth and it was actually real. I felt as though Gandalf could join us and every one in that circle would welcome him, because we all believed in similar things, we all believed in the magic of life, and the wisdom of the earth.
I have been on quite a journey with Druidry since, I loved the ceremony but not all sunk into my being straight away, it has taken many years. I wasn't sure about the druids prayer, i took years to understand the directions and prayers to each. I loved the Awen. In the opening and closing of a druid ceremony druids the chant the word Awen three times to connect with the Awen, to bring it down through you from sky to earth. Its vibration is felt in your heart and solar plexus, and when you sing the word in circle of 50 plus people it is just incredible!
When lockdown happened I have to say it was the ceremony at the long man with these beautiful people i missed most. (aside from seeing my family). I realised how important it was in my life, in my being to be connected to these people, to this land, and these ceremonies.
Ceremonies moved to online, I felt so emotional doing them away from everyone in our own homes but knowing we were connected through the ether, through love. Knowing we were all honouring nature, our place in nature, together as one, but apart. It was hard.
This last weekend, for Spring Equinox/ Alban Eilir (as it is known in Druidry), was my third time in this circle in person since life opened up again post lockdown. Standing beneath the long man again since lockdown. Not much else in life touches my being like standing in circle, hand in heart, and heart to heart, speaking the druids prayer, oath to peace and sounding the Awen. I realised 17 years i had spoken these words, chanted these sounds in this circle, in this place. I cried as i spoke them this weekend, as they resonated through me, they felt like old friends. I felt at home, at home in my soul, with people I've grown fond of, become friends with, and many new faces who i know would all have amazing conversation with.
Why am I writing this? honestly, because I felt inspired to after noticing my emotions during and after each ceremony I have attended and facilitated within the past two years. Because I love ceremony, because it centres me, and brings me peace and connection. It reminds we are part of a great web of life. It brings me together with like minds. I feel ceremony, and ritual ...not religion... is something so lacking in our culture, not having it in life, or within rites of passage, I feel can genuinely send us off course. To have ceremony or ritual can bring focus, peace of mind, connection, magic, the sacred, connection to the liminal spaces, it can plant seeds of imagination, and can help us through so much. It can help us quite simply through each day, like in lockdown, through illness, or through rites of passage, stages of life, marriage, divorce, birth, it can help us in grief.
Ceremony can augment life a great deal.
I would like to leave you with this quote by Shaman, Sandra Ingerman.
'Ceremony brings the sacred into ordinary life. For tens of thousands of years, ceremonies have been universally used to help communities navigate change and welcome in new cycles. Performing ceremonies creates a bridge between the material world we live in and the world of the unseen, the divine, the power of the universe. In modern terms, ceremony opens a phone line between you and the power of the universe, God, goddess, the Creator. Through this line of connection, you can have direct communication between yourself and the spiritual forces creating a partnership to manifest your desired outcome’s a phone line between you and the power of the universe, God, goddess, the Creator. Through this line of connection, you can have direct communication between yourself and the spiritual forces creating a partnership to manifest your desired outcome’
And Ill leave you with this song by Damh the Bard which says it all for me about Sabbats and the wheel of the year!
If you want to learn more about the wheel of the year you can join my newsletters by popping me a message or email.
Blessings of life, Eva x