The benefit of ceremony is an open statement of gratitude toward life. It says to the universe and all those living and inanimate within it, “I appreciate you; I love you”. It is also about birth, death and re-birth. Acknowledging that an old way of life is no longer and a new transformed way of being is celebrated.
Celebrations, festivals and ceremonies have roots deep in ritual. The strict sense of a ritual is that it is a prescribed process with the intent of a very specific outcome. It is a conscious ceremony marked in time, an event usually associated with transformative properties. It is led by the community’s spiritual leader who initiates the individual(s) into her/his/their next phase of life.
In the past, a leader carried the content of each ritual in the life cycle, which the whole community respected and to which they contributed. The role of the spiritual leader was understood by the tribe to be that of transferring life-sustaining knowledge to each succeeding generation. Important aspects of ritual included acknowledging our ancestors and the natural world, the journey of the soul through spirit in all things and bringing specific experiences to the individual(s).
Traditional ritual provides the initiate/initiates challenges involving separation from what has been, minor physical stress, education about expectations, acknowledgement, love, acceptance, community, and culture. A significant ritual of indigenous cultures includes rites of passage at puberty, different for boys and girls. The tribe allowed children to be children until such time that they are to be acknowledged as adults and assume adult responsibilities for the survival of the community. In the past, the Western phenomena of adolescence as a separate maturation process between childhood and adulthood did not exist in indigenous cultures. Births, puberty rites of passage, marriage, honoring elders for their wisdom and authority, and death comprise the other important traditional rituals.
Most celebrations today are more ceremonial than ritual. Ceremony may not take on a prescriptive process. A ceremony is usually custom designed by individuals for themselves and/or with family and friends. An event planner and/or clergy may be called upon to support the celebration. The individual(s) are at the center of the ceremony in which her/his/their uniqueness is honored at a particular transition in life. This makes room personally “for the intuiting of spiritual direction and guidance,” usually given by a spiritual elder. Our modern North American culture does not relate well to ritual instructed and handed down by elders. Rightly so, for this is the age of individuals blossoming through a direct relationship to spirit, self and one another.
These include (but not limited to):
I can also facilitate supportive services such as venue, flowers, catering, photography and more.
Over time, the beautiful memories from these ceremonies weave together, creating a fabric of honor, respect, and love of life’s journey- from birth, through death. They become the basis of our community.
I draw on my broad artistic background, years teaching youth and adults, and the continuous pursuit of the wisdom of indigenous people. My love of costume, born out of time spent supporting theatrical productions, gives me a unique ability to create mood and theme.
My experiences in event planning and facilitation, floral design, dance, painting, jewelry, and sculpture find expression in everything I do. Beauty and grace speak clearly in every setting and space I create. I honor the opportunity to witness and uniquely celebrate these threshold events that touch all of us.