New home blessings
Moving and setting up a new home is touted as one the big stressors in life, and yet it is very common in our current society. Taking the time to gather our loved ones to say goodbye to the home we are leaving, and filling our new home with our love, intentions and wishes can help us to weather the rootless in-between time and explore who we are and what we value.
Coming of Age
There is an African proverb that says, if you do not initiate your young men into the tribe, they will come back and burn down the village just to feel the heat. I am not alone in wishing that I lived in a tribe or community that understood the importance of coming of age rituals for our youth. As I raised my two daughters I sought out and created my tribe and was called upon to help create and officiate different coming of age ceremonies. With women in the birthing community in British Columbia we created First Blood ceremonies, to honour our daughters’ menarche, and later within the inter-faith Unitarian community in Ottawa, I adapted and co-officiated Coming of Age Ceremony for a group of 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls. I would be honoured to help you and your community or tribe find your own meaningful way to mark your young people’s transition from childhood to youth.
I invented this rite of passage ceremony with a woman who was clear that she was stepping into a new phase of her life and there were no sign posts and no ceremony to mark and honour this passage. She was stepping out of her mothering and do for others phase, she was experiencing a deep call within, she knew that it was time for her to step into her own truth. So, I listened and proposed, and together we co-created a ceremony that we named a Queening – she was stepping into her very own Queendom, dedicating herself to knowing herSelf and serving something higher.
Maiden, Mother, Crone – in the Celtic world view this triad describes the three phases in a woman’s life and a symbolic representation of the circle of life. In this world view a Crone is the older woman, the wise one who has experience, knowledge and wisdom to share. And yet in the Merriam-Webster dictionary a crone is defined as “a cruel and ugly old woman”.
Is it possible to step through this threshold to a way of being that is free from negative perceptions and cultural norms, and where an old woman can be fiercely truthful, respected and useful to society?
I have helped a number of women or members of their family by co-creating and officiating different ceremonies: Croning, Crowning or Celebration of Life (while she is still alive), each with the intention of honouring the wise older woman that the woman has become and naming and honouring her purpose in this final stage of her life.
“We had an extraordinary ritual with our mom on Saturday afternoon! Dominique and I met beforehand to review your videos and integrate the presentations of the dances. We were ready and exited to live this sacred celebration with our loved ones. In the chalet we had a perfect place to do the ritual; a window-filled room with breathtaking views of Baie St-Paul in Charlevoix! Despite the fears and apprehensions of some, everyone joined in and let themselves be moved by the dances and the music …
Of course, I told them about you, my beautiful Jen, who was our guide, and present in the whole process of creation. You were very much present, and I am so grateful for all that you did so that we could live these unique moments together as a family, like a seal, this ritual will remain inscribed forever inside each of us. Mom was very touched and let herself be carried by all the movements that honored all these years of well-lived life … The ritual that we proposed has made it possible to embody all that!
There are no words to say but one thousand thank yous to you Jen, beautiful priestess and guardian of the sacred in our lives. I am so touched that you allowed me to enter this space with my family … and now, you are a little part of the family. ” Isabelle