The ceremony itself can vary with different traditions and the one that I work with the most is in four to five sections of prayer:
. the first prayer is about naming and releasing what we no longer desire within ourselves
. the second prayer is about naming and releasing our inappropriate behaviours towards others and the world around us
. the third prayer is about setting our vision for the incoming season
. the fourth prayer is in the form of a meditation to connect with what it is we need to help us achieve our vision.
. the fifth prayer is a living one during the following three months as we live the intent we put out into the Universe through the four prayers.
Very often the content of our prayers are literally connected to the Seasons. Have a look on the website at the current write-up and those for the rest of the year.
Here are the dates and an example of words associated with these times. The dates for the Fire Festivals are constant whereas the Equinoxes and Solstices may vary slightly. Throughout different cultures these dates are significant times as they reflect not just the change of season but important points in the movement of the sun and moon:
Samhain (31st October) – Winter Solstice 21st December – Imbolc (1st February)
Rest, Long nights, Celebrating during the time of great darkness, Old age, Wisdom, Remembrance of the ancestors, Meditation, Reflection, Death, Rebirth, Lighting the hearth fires, Cutting back old growth, Introspection, Hibernation, Indoor crafts and games
Imbolc – Spring Equinox 21st March– Beltane (1st May)
Time of Spring, After the Winter’s rest we make plans, Beginning in the dark and coming into the light, Icy days, Distraction, Seduction, Becoming warmer and lighter, Stealth, New Growth, Surprise, Renewal, Celebrating birth, Hope
Beltane – Summer Solstice 21st June – Lughnasadh (1st August)
Rising sexual energy, Growth, Sociability, Strong life force, Long days, Least darkness, Sloth, Celebration, Hero, Heroine, Peak of Life, Long Shadows
Lughnasadh – Autumnal Equinox 23rd September – Samhain
Harvesting: physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, Looking back over the year, Preparing for the Winter, Abundance, Generosity, Preserving and Give away time, Gratitude, Entering the labyrinth, Multitude of fears, Battle with the Elements
Enjoy the journey, walk in peace ……..
This is an example of a ceremony to welcome in each season. This can be done whilst going for a walk, sitting in a favourite place in nature or creating a sacred space where you live.
Make the process your own so that it has meaning for you. Very often a week before the turn of season a sense of what these prayers might be about becomes apparent.
We can become farmers of our own lives, an urban analogy would be being a shopkeeper and needing a stocktake. The purpose is one of support, to connect with the fact that what is happening to us is also happening to others. We are part of a Universal plan reinforcing that all things, including us, are interconnected and nothing exists in isolation.
Around mid-point in the season you can see the changes you have made and/or capture the "ahas". During the last month and a half is about really putting these into practice. Keeping a journal can be a useful way of capturing the journey of that particular season