Archive for the ‘fall’ Category
Every year near Oct. 31st, Full Circle, a spiritual practice group at the UU church of Annapolis, marks the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. A canvas labyrinth is set up and used in a walking meditation to remember those who have passed away, and to be mindful of things that need to be released from ones life.
At the center candles are lit to to honor those who have passed. As participants walk out following the labyrinth, they meditated on letting in new things into their lives for the new year. Below are photos of the altars that participants set up prior to the ritual. The individual altars have photos and objects of friends and family that have passed away. Past events including the full ritual outline can be found here .
Themes: Going on the Divine Hunt; Goddess as Huntress and Warrior, Artemis; Getting in touch with sources of strength and empowerment
Prepare everyone by talking about the Divine Hunt with the goal to find your sources of strength and empowerment.
Sacred space will be dark except for altar and candles at stations
- Smudge with sage
- Process into Sacred Space with chant: “Every Step I Take”
- Face paint available for everyone who wants to paint their faces for going on the hunt
- Drumming/percussion in Circle once you are done painting
- Casting the Circle
- Calling Quarters and Center (standard calls)
- Check-in Question: What is your source of strength? Check in item is an arrowhead.
- Introduction of theme and Huntress Goddesses
- Discussion of the Huntresses and Strong Women archetypes
- Druid’s Prayer
- Spirit-Writing exercise which will tap into our collective and internal thoughts about our empowerment
- Visualization/Meditation by Mikaela on Strength and Power Animals
- Going on the Divine Hunt – everyone will look for one of the “hidden” bundles tied with glo-sticks containing Sharpie and paper. The idea is to prowl the room and “hunt” for whatever concept you are doing mental or physical battle with in your life, then write that idea down, and shred the paper. Bring the shreds back to the circle.
- Movement: Yoga Warrior poses and Power Vocalizations
- “She Changes” Chant
- Grounding the energy raised – Thanking of the Animals/Sources Prayer
- Thanking the Quarters and Center
- Close Circle
Deer came to watch.
We also had “war paint” on our faces. This can be viewed at our Member Site.
Even though we are entering the dark time of the year, this is a time to celebrate, to enjoy our harvest, to set aside seeds for the future, and to let go of that which no longer nourishes us.
- smudge- chanting We all come from the Goddess
- cast circle
- call quarters, check-in (What nourishes you or what do you need to let go)
- briefly talk about the Harvest Moon
- song/chant- corn & grain, or something else that seems right at the moment
- meditation from Seasons of the Witch
- pass out a leaf & an acorn to each woman – take a few minutes to charge leaf with the things that she wishes to let go of, and the acorn the things that she would like to put aside to plant in the spring; choice to burn the leaf in alcohol & epsom salts fire or to let it go outside; acorn to take home to a special place or we can put out for Stumpy
- Listen to the song “Breath In Breath Out”
- farewell to quarters
- open circle
On November 12st we celebrated the Full Moon in Scorpio. This was 2nd in a 12 part series, loosely based on the zodiac. We focused on the aspect of Scorpio that involves strong dramatic emotion and relationships. With the holiday season coming up, we felt it was important to talk about grounding oneself to be more present and also take care of ourselves.
This moon was more of a “teaching” ritual, where we explained why we do what we do at certain times of the ritual. Specifically grounding and centering ourselves using circle casting and greeting the directions. We had all levels of experience from “first ever circle” to long time circle-er.
We all talked about what is circle casting and how it creates an energetic protection, as well as serves as a meditation to transition us from the mundane to sacred space. We called the quarters/elements and then did a short meditation where we used all our senses to experience them. We then talked about the meditation and whether or not we had a preference towards one element or another. We then talked about candle magic and spell work. We talked about ethics, prayer, and the importance of visualizing exactly what we need. We made anaologies to how athletes use visualization to improve performance, as well as speakers to large audiences, and professionals who do goal setting.
The picture above shows samples of candles for use in candle magic. I wish we would have gotten a pictures of the actual votives we used. They were plain voitives in their little metal tins, but we added a special touch. Whatever we wished to bring into our lives for the spell, we associated it with an element and it’s correlated color. We had colored duct tape in red, yellow, green, blue and purple (center). Some of us used multiple colors becuase we felt our spell called on more than one element.
Also in shown in the picture, is Full Circle’s Goddess Figure “The Lady of The Wood”. She currently wears a crown of curly ribbons, giving her a bit of a Mardi-Gras look. Each ribbon represents one of the Weavers, who meet on the new moon to plan our full moon rituals. (This statue was purchased at Sacred Source.)
On Oct. 28th we joined together to mark the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. This celebration is known by many names: All Hallows Eve, Hallows, Halloween Samhain, and Dia De Los Muertos.
At the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, we
pause to remember and honor the dead.
We honor ancestors.
We honor those we have loved.
We honor, too those we never met.
We honor all humans.
We honor all beings.
We honor the perpetual cycle of life.
Death / life /night / day /winter / summer,
All are part of the sacred cycle.
Tonight we remember the wholeness of our selves and our earth community.
We remember the sacredness of our selves and our earth community.
What is remembered, lives.
Around 6:30-7:00pm participants constructed altar’s to honor friends and family members who have passed away. Photos of these altars can be found below. Click on the image view a larger version of the image.
At 7pm we held a brief ceremony. We smudged (wafted burning sage smoke) ourselves as we walked into the sanctuary. This helped cleanse ourselves and clear our minds to transition into sacred space. We walked counter-clockwise around the circular 35 foot canvas labyrinth. This direction is rarely used in an earth base tradition, but in this case used to mark the occasion of the passing of the year.
We sang “Blood of the Ancients“, “Every Step I Take is a Healing Step“. We held hands and imagined a circle of energy protecting the sanctuary. We then welcomed the Directions. We each sat and meditated briefly on friends and family that have passed away, and also things in our lives we would like to release. Quiet drumming music played as we walked the labyrinth. At the center we lit candles (again to honor those who have passed) and walked out following the labyrinth and letting in new things for the new year. We ended by saying farewell to the Directions, held hands and removed the sphere of protective energy. We sang our closing song of “May the Circle Be Open” If would like to hear the tune and words click here
We then joined together for refreshments that we had all brought to share. We also had a vegetable “Stone Soup” from donations people had brought. Bread was broke and we talked of qualities our loved ones had taught us.
Many thanks to all those who helped setup and cleanup.
Oct. 13th we celebrated the full moon in Libra. This moon was the second in a series of 12 honoring the sun sign the month. Topics were communication & balance.
As you can see by the balanced blocks in the picture, we had a short tactile exercise in balancing. Each one of us added a block after talking about areas in our lives that we currently felt balanced in. We also did some balancing yoga exercises.
For communication, we played “Telephone”, the game where you whisper in someone’s ear and it goes around the circle. Apparently as adults, in a room with no distractions, and short phrases, we were 3 for 3 for getting the phrases correct.
We briefly journaled about things we want/need in our lives. Those who wanted to shared their items with the group. We of course sang some songs (One of our favorites “Breath In, Breath Out” and played with chimes.
A full moon rises at the same time as the sunsets. This Oct. we were blessed with a spectacular display.
Every month the UUCA displays items of a different artist in the Art Gallery. This month, among other lovely items, was a display case with “Goddess Whimsy”. These are carved abstract Goddess figures, wire wrapped with small crystals. (you may want to click on the image to see more detail).