Episode 17: Spring Equinox – Ready to Break the Bonds of Winter?

Use a simple paper chain for a ritual to break the bonds of winter.

The Vernal Equinox arrived last week. The Sun has entered the sign of Aries. Spring is here.

Depending on where you live, it might still feel like winter. That’s how it is was here, until today. Soon, with a fierce determination to live, yellow daffodils and purple crocus will force their way through soil that has been frozen solid for months. They have broken the bonds of winter. How will you break those bonds?

Here in New England, winter can blanket or bury us with snow. So when Spring arrives, we may still be bundled in boots and gloves and bed-head hats. Even so, in some ancestral, cellular way, we know that winter has lost its grip. To acknowledge the change of seasons, I created a ritual called “Breading the Bonds of Winter.” 

This is a ritual for adults. You need to make a paper chain, the kind kids make in grade school.  I use strips of plain white paper, 12 inches long, 2 inches wide, and ordinary tape.

A few years ago, I performed this ritual at Meg’s Inspirations, a spiritual boutique here in Manchester. I expected 18, maybe 20, people. We sat on chairs in a circle. The paper chain had to be long enough to loosely stretch from the first person to the last. That meant about 200 links (I estimated 10 links per person). There wouldn’t be time to make a chain that long during the ritual. So I made the chain in advance. I assembled it in 4 sections and packed each section into a giant, drawstring trash bag so the paper links wouldn’t get squashed. When I got to the boutique, I taped the sections together to make one, long chain.

I wanted people to write on the chain. Now, if you’re visualizing this, you’re probably wondering how are people going to hold a floppy paper chain on their laps and write on one of the links. They don’t!  They write on white labels. I use the 1×4 inch address labels. They come 20 to a sheet. In advance, I had cut up several sheet of labels, keeping the paper backing for each label intact.  As people arrived, each one received several blank labels.

Starting at one end of the room, I gave the first person the first link. She passed the chain to the person sitting next to her. On and on, the chain snaked its way around the circle. As we each held part of the chain, we talked about the hardships of winter, about whatever had burdened, confined or constricted us. For some it was poor heath. For one it was the loss of her job. For one, it was having to replace a furnace. For one, it was the death of a pet; for another, the death of a family member. Then we wrote our burdens on our labels and stuck them to the links.  

For me, ritual is a visible act performed with invisible intent. The intent in this ritual is to release the worry, the disappointment, the loss, the pain, the sorrow that bound us through the winter. The visible act was give form to the burden by writing it down, and then to physically break it.

We stood up. Meg lowered the lights. While local musician Doug Yager played a hand drum and chimes, we passed the chain clockwise, the direction that builds energy. When the energy reached a peak, we each gripped the length of chain in front of us, silently read the message on the links…and ripped it apart! We kept ripping the links, making sure we broke all those that carried a written burden. Yes, it created a mess. Yes, it was worth it!  Not only were our burdens symbolically broken, but they were broken with the help of everyone in the circle. There were a few fist pumps, a shout or two, and a few tears.

This is a solitary version of the ritual.While this ritual is particularly powerful when performed with a group, it’s also powerful as a ritual you can do for yourself.  In a group, the energy builds quickly. If you’re doing the ritual alone, be sure to give yourself time to think about what you want to break. If you’re doing the ritual alone, you can write directly on each link before you tape the ends together. In the ideal world, write on the first link on the night of a new moon. Write on links for the next two weeks and break the chain on the night of the full moon.

Rituals for Spring

When we view the seasons like spokes on a wheel, we realize that there is no beginning, no end. When astrological symbols are applied, we can make a story that correlates the change of seasons with the turning of the wheel. We make spring the arbitrary starting point. Why? Because spring is about the resurrection of the earth, the celebration of life after death.

Colored eggs for an Ostara ritual by Zita Christian

This is when Ostara, the Goddess of Spring wakes up. She’s a fertility goddess.  Everywhere she walks, trees bud and flowers bloom.  She is Spring at its most tender.  Her symbols are bunnies, chicks, eggs, birds’ nests, sprays of bright forsythia and soft pussy willow, patches of purple crocus, bouquets of pink tulips and yellow daffodils.  She is the Goddess Oestre, from whom we get the word estrogen and the word Easter.  

Here’s an interesting side note.  Up until the year 46 BCE, the calendar year began on March 25. There were 10 months. September, from the word meaning seven, was the 7th month.  October, from the word meaning eight, was the 8th month. November for nine. December for ten. What happened in 46 BCE? That’s when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar to replace the Roman calendar. Among other things, the Julian calendar added the months January and February to the beginning and pushed the other months down the list.

Astrologically, spring arrives when the Sun moves from the 29th degree of Pisces to zero degrees of Aries. Aries is symbolized by the ram with its big, curled horns, head down, ready to charge ahead, so eager for action and adventure. When the Sun is in Aries, he is physically powerful, testosterone-heavy. He can melt snow and thaw rivers. With all that testosterone, the Sun in Aries is eager to wake up the Goddess Ostara. She lives in the Earth, in the plants and the trees. She’s been sleeping.  

A Spring Ritual for Children   

The Goddess of Spring will soon wake up!

Hold that image of a sleeping Goddess while I tell you about a spring ritual for children. I saw this performed years ago when a friend, Laura Wildman-Hanlon, led a Spring Equinox ritual that included a group of little children.

We had all gathered on the town green of a small, farming community in western Massachusetts. She gave each child a foot-long section cut from a slender branch of a tree. (Yes, there was plenty of adult supervision!)  While the adults sang, played drums, rattles, and tambourines, the children walked to each tree and tapped on the trunk, shouting with unbridled joy, “Wake up, tree! Wake up! Spring is here!”

That’s an easy ritual to replicate. If you don’t want to use sticks, tell the children to tap on the trees with their hands.  But first, give their actions context. Tell them the story of spring. Tell them how the princess of spring is called the Goddess Ostara, or simply the  Maiden. Tell them how she has been sleeping underground in a cozy bed of tree roots, curled up in a fiddlehead frond, snuggled among the plant seeds and flower bulbs waiting to stretch and pop up into the sunlight. Tell them Spring is the time to hop around like bunnies, to sing like birds, to show off like flowers and dance like faeries.

Forest of Maple Sap buckets on trees in spring

Of course, the trees already know it’s spring. Their sap is rising. Here in New England, maple trees are tapped and buckets placed just-so to collect the sap that will be boiled and bottled and poured on pancakes.

I recently listened to episode 27 of the podcast, 5 Minute Feng Shui, Host Katie Weber talks about the element of wood, its association with growth and change, with helping us get unstuck and persevere. She talks about the “sheer force of will” we can see when a simple blade of grass pushes its way through cement. …I love that podcast for many reasons. In this episode, Katie painted a vivid image of the force of spring.

Going barefoot, or “earthing,” is good for you!

Want an easy way to connect with that force? Take off your shoes.  

I’m reminded of the day my grandson and I went for a walk. He was about four, maybe five.  I live near a nature center. We were walking along a trail and came to a grassy area. My grandson took off his shoes, plopped himself on the grass and stretched out on his back, arms out wide. I said, “Logan, what are you doing?” He responded, “I taking time to enjoy Mother Nature.”  Well, I couldn’t argue with that. So I lay right down next to him.  

In an article written by Arjun Walia, published in 2017 in Collective Evolution, Dr. James Oschman, a biologist from the University of Pittsburgh, talks about the reports that indicate walking barefoot on the Earth “enhances health and provides feelings of well-being.” Dr. Oschman is an expert in the field of energy medicine. He gives a scientific explanation for what my mother, my grandmother, and countless generations before them knew. Going barefoot, or “earthing” as it’s now called, is good for you!

The benefits of negative ions, antioxidants, and electrons that destroy free-radical aside, what do you feel when I say the title of Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, Barefoot in the Park?  I think freedom. Fun. Or, as the Beach Boys would say, “Good Vibrations.”

Plant Seeds to Celebrate Spring

Here’s another simple Spring ritual. The visible action is to plant seeds. The invisible intent is to imbue the seed with some quality you want to grow in yourself.

If you have the space and the light, you can plant physical seeds for flowers or vegetables. Be sure you know the parameters of the planting season where you live. 

Closeup of female hands planting seeds into small pots. Home gardening.

Or, you can plant symbolic seeds.  Find a pretty pot. Make sure it’s clean. Fill it with fresh potting soil. If you want to grow your finances, use a red pot, or wrap your pot with red foil. Spend some time visualizing not only how your life will change as your income grows but also envision the work you will do to cultivate that growth. Red is the color of desire, will power, and sweat equity. Then plant a bright, shiny new penny into the pot. 

Or, you can plant metaphysical seeds. Maybe you want to grow wisdom, or patience, or confidence. This has been a hard winter for me and my family. I’m planting resilience. No pot. No soil. I’m using one of those little, rubber balls, the kind you’re supposed to squeeze when you feel stress. The visible act is squeezing the ball and watching how it absorbs the shock and always bounces back. The invisible intent is that I can be as flexible and resilient as that ball. This ritual is one that needs to be repeated often.    

Know What You Leave Behind

Vector wintry landscape with night sky and light moon

As one season begins, another ends. The arrival of spring means the departure of winter.  In the excitement of welcoming the new, we don’t always think about what we must leave behind.  We should.  The song of spring birds breaks months of silence. The heat of the sun breaks the cold. Just as dawn brings a new day, it breaks the dark of night.  There is peace in silence, tranquility in the cold, beauty in the dark. Whenever you move forward, always be mindful of what you leave behind.

~~~

I hope you can use these rituals. Please don’t think you can do them on one day only. Spring is a season. You can celebrate it any time.

Of course, you can live your life without ritual. You can flip the pages on a calendar or watch the date change on your cell phone. You can feel like a hamster running inside a wheel and, a year later, wonder where the time went and why everything feels the same. 

Or you can connect with the cycles of nature, honor the spirit of the ancestors, discover the patterns of your life, do something to add positive energy to the world. The world needs what you have to give. 

Stuffed toy lambs in a basket

Are you ready to live a relevant life? Add ritual. And, please, tell at least one person about the podcast Ritual Recipes. Thanks.

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Episode 16: A Valentine’s Day Ritual for One

Pets give unconditional love.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Am I late? No. What I have to say is about the timeless expression of love and about Valentine’s Day rituals for one…because February 14, 2020 will be here before you know it.

My local gift shop, grocery store, pharmacy, and post office all sell greeting cards. Annual holidays transform the rotating racks according to the seasonal emblems – witches, turkeys, evergreen trees, hearts, and shamrocks. For Valentine’s Day there were offerings for a person’s husband, wife, son, son-in-law, grandson, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, brother, sister, mother, father, and the list goes on. Why the variety? Because the greeting card industry knows that people feel good when they give an expression of love.

Back in the 1950s when I was in grade-school, my mom would bring me and my two younger sisters to the local drug store where she’d let each of us pick out a box of Valentine’s Day cards. The cards were small—about two inches high, a single layer of paper. Each came with a little envelope. Each box might contain 10 or 15 or 20 cards, so depending on how many classmates we had, we might need to buy two boxes. My mother taught us that if we didn’t have enough cards to give one to every classmate, we weren’t to give any cards.

Fast forward to today. I have a lot of friends who are single. Some are divorced, some widowed, some single by choice, some living “in the wait.” Even though I read and write romance novels, I don’t believe a person has to be in a loving, committed relationship to have a good life. That said, I do believe every single one of us needs to give love and be open to receiving love from others. How long the loving energy flows back-and-forth in any relationship will vary. To keep the energy flowing, I’ve designed a few safe and simple rituals.

But first, I want to tell you about something I learned on a recent episode of NPRs “On Being” podcast. The host, Krista Tippett, was interviewing Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They were talking about love and kindness, about how important it is for young children to see those qualities in the classroom, especially when children see love and kindness used to honor their differences.

Davidson said humans are born with an innate propensity for kindness but that kindness must be nurtured in order to be expressed. He talked about empathy as a prerequisite for kindness, and about the emotional and physical responses children have to acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity. I immediately thought of the vital role played by teachers in kindergarten and preschool.

Tippett and Davidson talked about the quality of resilience – how fast we recover from adversity – and how resilience is a key factor in predicting mortality. They talked about love as the next frontier for science. Now that’s fertile ground!

I was thinking about all this in connection with Valentine’s Day because Davidson also talked about how important emotions are in helping adults make some very important decisions, like partnering with someone, like getting married. I can see links with empathy and kindness and generosity …and ritual. I wondered, how we, as adults, work with those links to create rituals based on acts of kindness? And, will doing so open the heart to give and receive love?

For me, ritual is a visible act performed with invisible intent. Simply put, can a ritual designed around an act of kindness bring love into our lives? While I can’t make guarantees –because people are different and have their own definitions of love – I do see the potential.

Think of it this way. Each of us has a gift we can give: Time, money, things, energy. How much we have of each will vary. What’s important is to recognize that these gifts have an endless return on investment.

Hallmark cards and Lifetime movies are made around the ideas of the passing of time, of contributing money to a worthy cause, of donating items to charity, of adding sweat equity to a community project. We hear stories of the driver at the fast-food window who pays the tab for the stranger behind her. We see the television commercials about the lottery winner who leaves a mega tip for the server in the roadside diner. These acts of kindness demonstrate the truth that it feels good to give. What might an act of kindness look like when combined with ritual?

Young woman reading to older man

Suppose you volunteer at a nursing home. Once a week, you spend a few hours polishing one woman’s fingernails, reading to another, looking at family photos with another. These are visible acts. Now imagine that as you meet with each resident, you use your finger to trace a heart on the other person’s hand. As you do, you say, “May you feel loved.” Repeat the words and trace another heart when you leave. In that brief moment, focus your thoughts on the person whose hand you’re touching. You’ve turned an act of kindness, beautiful in itself, into a ritual, a ritual to bring love. Before you leave, draw a heart on your own hand and say, “I am loved.”

Suppose you’re making breakfast for your child who is getting ready for school. He has a big test that day. You know he’s feeling some anxiety. You want him to help him. A safe and simple way is to draw on the magical properties of basil. The herb is thought to bring courage to both the cook and to all who eat the food.

Dad in the kitchen making breakfast for his son

The mechanics are simple. Add fresh basil to scrambled eggs. Tuck a leaf of basil into a cheese sandwich. Spread some pesto on a cracker. Sprinkle dried basil on a cup of hot bone broth. However you give your son the basil, do so with a hearty “Carpe Diem!” the famous seize-the-day message from the movie, Dead Poets Society. Sure, you could use your best Robin Williams’ imitation and simple recite the quote. And that would be an act of kindness. Add the basil and the invisible intent to give your child courage and you have a ritual, a ritual of love. Be sure to have a bite of basil for yourself. As you eat it, say, “I have the courage to pursue my goals.”

Now let’s imagine you’re weeding out your closet or rummaging through a drawer of old jewelry. You make a pile of items and donate them to the local hospital thrift shop. That’s an act of kindness and generosity. Now suppose that before you bring those items to the thrift shop, you place each piece of jewelry in a little box tied with a ribbon, or in a pretty drawstring bag, along with a note. “I wore these earrings the day I got my dream job (or met my future husband) (or sold my first book) (or sang in public for the first time). May these earrings help make your dreams come true, too.”

Woman holds boxed earrings

Yes, depending on how many items you plan to donate, it will take some time to write all those notes and find suitable containers. Imagine how the recipient will feel. Grateful? Encouraged? Inspired? Chances are, you’ll never know the new owner of each treasure. So I’ll just remind you that destiny is a wide road. Your ritual of generosity could change a stranger’s life for the better. That’s a pretty powerful idea. So, when you drop off your donations, say to yourself, “I enjoy sharing what I have with others.”

Finally, anyone who has ever had a pet knows the feeling of unconditional love. But not everyone can open his or her home to a pet. What you can do is volunteer at your local animal shelter. They’re always looking for people to help comfort and socialize the animals who wind up there. To volunteer is an act of kindness.

Now imagine you’re sitting with an older cat whose owner died. You’ve been told that the cat is listless, has no appetite, and appears lonely and depressed. As you stroke the cat’s fur, envision the cat’s new home. Softly describe it, everything from the quiet cottage that smells like cookies, to the soft cushion on the sun-drenched window seat, to the widow who still cooks for two.

Or, imagine you’re playing with an eager mutt rescued from a devastating storm hundreds of miles away. Each time you toss a stick and the dog races to retrieve it, you say, “Go fetch the young family that’s looking for a dog just like you!” 

You see, if your heart longs for quiet companionship, or for the joyful energy of a new family, envision it for someone else first. Sometimes that’s easier than creating a clear vision of what you want.  As you repeat the ritual for other dogs and cats and they show their gratitude in ways that only they can, say to yourself, “I want companionship, too. I want a cozy home, too. I want love, too.” 

These are simple examples of ways acts of kindness and generosity can inspire rituals that open your heart to love. I hope these ideas inspire rituals of your own. And I hope you tell me about them. Email zita@moonriverrituals.com.  I’m going to assume that if you do tell me about your rituals, that’s it’s okay for me to talk about them on the Ritual Recipes podcast.

Of course, you can live your life without ritual. You can flip the pages on a calendar or watch the date change on your cell phone. You can feel like a hamster running inside a wheel, and when Valentine’s Day comes around next year, you’ll wonder where the time went and why nothing has changed. Or you can perform safe and simple rituals of kindness and generosity and know that you made a difference in someone else’s world. You can lead a relevant life, and share it with others.

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Episode 15 – Unity Rituals for Weddings

Candle light in the dark

You’re planning your wedding ceremony and want to include a unity ritual.  You think unity candle or sand ceremony. Both are lovely, but you do have other options.

In a wedding, the purpose of a unity ritual is to symbolize the joining of two people and two families for generations. A wedding adds a branch to a family tree. To see how important a branch can be, just watch the television commercials for ancestry.com and the public television show, Finding Your Roots.

When a couple tells me they want a unity ritual, I start with the elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Back in the 5th Century, BCE, Empedocles, a Greek philosopher living in Sicily, said all matter is comprised of those four elements. Later, Aristotle added a fifth element aether – meaning spirit, prana, chi, life force. This concept of 5 elements can be seen in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Paganism and probably other religions. While science has shown us that the elements of creation aren’t that simple, the original four elements are effective tools to inspire unity rituals.  Continue reading

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Episode 14: Imbolc – Brigid, Blacksmiths, Brewers, and Bards – and Swans!

Blacksmiths, brewers, and bards. What a strange group, you might say. What could they possibly have in common? All three are favored by the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Why? Because they all create with her elements of fire and water.

red hot horseshoe on anvil

Blacksmith at forge – Photo by Jonathan Bean for Unsplash

The fire in a blacksmith’s forge is hot enough to melt metal. From that heat, whatever is being created, whether horseshoe, tool, or sword, is plunged into cold water.

A brewer boils malt or other starchy ingredients to create wort, then plunges it into an ice bath. Centuries ago, beer was often safer to drink than water. Hops, a major ingredient in beer, has been used in herbal medicines for centuries to treat insomnia, depression, heart problems, some cancers, and a host of other ailments.

The bard’s fire is that of inspiration; his words drawn from the watery realm of emotion. It was the bard, the fierce poet, whose passionate speech could fire up a crowd. To an illiterate population who learned of the world by listening, a conquered population under the rule of another, the words of a skilled bard could instigate rebellion. Words could entertain when life looked bleak…and words could soothe the spirits of those in pain.

In all three cases, something, whether metal, or grain, or an idea, is transformed from one thing to another with fire and water. Brigid’s association with water also comes from her healing wells that never froze, filled with water believed to cure all manner of ailment.

Whether blacksmith, brewer, or bard, all three honored the Goddess Brigid on the fire festival known as Imbolc. There are many tales in the legend of Brigid, more than I can share with you now. Just know that she is also the patron Goddess of women in childbirth and of mothers whose sons died by violence.

 

Stuffed toy lambs in a basket

In The Milk

The word Imbolc is thought by some to mean “in the milk” a reflection of all the sheep that would be pregnant that time of year. Others connect the word Imbolc to the words “I wash” as a form of ritual purification.

Whatever the etymology, Imbolc marks one of the four Celtic fire festivals, and is celebrated on February 1, though some evidence Continue reading

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Episode 13 – Steps in a  Rite of Passage For Getting Married or Competing on The Voice

Do you watch reality television? I read somewhere that the shows are plentiful because a reality show doesn’t cost as much to produce as would a show with A-list stars. But why are the shows popular? I think it’s because the participants came from “everyday” lives, like mine, like yours.

 

A singer in a competition

THE VOICE

I watch The Voice. I love the stories of the contestants, about what life was like before they embarked on their journey to an international stage. The way the contestant packages are edited, I can see their dreams, feel their disappointments, imagine their pain, and in some cases, relate to that pain. I watch knowing only one person will win, just as I know they can all succeed. For these singers, competing in front of the world is, in its own way, a rite of passage.

As with all rites of passage, there are three key steps. For contestants on The Voice, leaving home is Step 1: Separation. They must leave home. Some have never crossed a state line or flown on an airplane. To make the emotional journey, some face fears, some defy discrimination.

They all audition. The audience can tell if they feel nervous, vulnerable, desperate, or confident that now, finally, it’s my turn. Some are selected for the next phase. They undergo rigorous training and emotionally grueling competition. Week after week, their numbers shrinks. Then comes the final round. Finally, one singer is chosen as the winner. From this day forward, he or she will be known as “The Voice.”  That’s Step 2: Transformation.

The winner is showered with confetti, congratulated by the judges, embraced by family. In the last, few on-air seconds, the winner emerges from the space of contestant to the stage of star, all to thunderous applause. And that’s Step 3: Incorporation. The transformation is visible and millions of people see it. Yes, the contestant is now a star.  Continue reading

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Episode 12 – Winter Solstice Ritual and the Infinity Symbol

Silhouette of couple with infinity symbol in sky above

The Winter Solstice is the longest night. What does this cosmic event have to do with gifts and candles, pigs and wine, freedom and fear, self-discipline, resolutions…weddings, handfastings, and the infinity symbol? A lot!

Solstices and Equinoxes

A little background first. Astrologically, the year is marked by four key events: the winter and summer solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Astrologically, each of those events occurs when the Sun enters certain signs: Aries for the spring equinox / Cancer for the summer solstice / Libra for the autumn equinox, and Capricorn for the winter solstice. Each of those four events marks a significant point in the Sun’s journey to and from the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, depending on whether you live above or below the equator. Continue reading

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Episode 11 – Animal Totems as Spirit Guides to the Underworld

Young Striped Skunk in roadside ditch

Skunk medicine is all about having strong boundaries

I learned a valuable lesson the day a skunk crossed my path.  It was about animals as totems and the magical medicine they offer. Seeing animals as spirit guides was at the heart of a public ritual I created for Samhain, the Celtic festival that marks the death of summer.  The mysteries of Samhain are at the heart of the holiday we call Halloween.

 

Samhain marks the third and final harvest of the season. The first harvest is of grain, the second of fruits and vegetables, the third of meat. Centuries ago, the third harvest marked a critical time. If a family didn’t have enough, they couldn’t simply grow more. Not with winter on the horizon. Whatever they had harvested would have to sustain them through the darkest, coldest time of the year. Continue reading

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Episode 10 – A Butterfly Ritual for Weddings, Memorials and More

In folklore, butterflies are said to come from the faerie realm. In some Native American traditions, butterflies represent a living piece of a rainbow. In many cultures, butterflies represent the sweetness of life, the beauty of dance, the inevitability of change, and the power of transformation. It’s no wonder they’re associated with rites of passage, particularly weddings and funerals.

colorful swirl of butterflies

Back in 2012, in my first “official” year as a wedding officiant, I created a ritual I called “Butterfly Blessings” for Brittany and Renn. Brittany’s father had died shortly before the wedding. She associated butterflies with his spirit. Using butterflies in the ceremony gave her and her mother a sense of comfort.

In the seven years that followed, I’ve woven that ritual into other wedding ceremonies.  Earlier this month, I recreated the ritual for Emily and Padriac. This coming summer, I’ll adapt the ritual for a memorial service. Butterfly Blessings can also be used as a healing ritual. You can use it to celebrate a birthday, too, especially for adults. In fact, the ritual can be used for any celebration that focuses on transformation. More on that later. Continue reading

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Episode 9 – Magical Soup Ritual to Heal the Earth

It’s September. The harvest season continues. If we could make a symbolic soup to heal the Earth, what ingredients should we include?  What ingredients does Mother Earth have for you? I explored all that and more in a special harvest ritual.

I’ve seen first-hand how effective rituals can connect us to our tribe, deepen the meaning of our lives, give comfort, and reveal our personal magic. That’s why I created the Ritual Recipes podcast. In past episodes, I’ve talked about wedding rituals, baby blessings, rituals to begin the New Year, and more. Future episodes will include seasonal rituals as well as rituals for funerals, memorials, and divorce…and more. Lots more. Continue reading

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Mother Earth & the Corn King – The Harvest Story

The first harvest of the season, that of corn and grain, tells the story of Mother Earth and the Corn King.  Whatever your “field” of work, this is the season that highlights sweat equity, prosperity, sacrifice, and community.

My ancestors celebrated the first harvest with the festival of Lammas, or Lughnasadh. With money from the harvest, this was the time landowners paid taxes, others paid rent, and debts of all kinds were settled. For more, listen to Episode 8 of Ritual Recipes – a podcast full of practical magic to nourish your inner life.

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