Life Cycle Ceremonies

I am always honored to celebrate and help guide people through different rites of passage and important moments in their lives.  Sometimes we need a little support and guidance to mark the passage from what has been to what is becoming.

Ceremony is an essential way to mark milestone moments, and we all have different reason for wanting a ceremony. Although there is an aspect of ourselves that is unchanged as we grow and age, we also become completely different people at so many points throughout the journey of our lives. Imagine if all those transitional moments were always celebrated with ceremony — imagine how that would infuse our days with presence and awareness and meaning… special little celebratory markers of our brief time on planet earth. Basically, if a threshold feels important to you, and you want to mark it in a special way, I would love to create a ceremony for you. The sky is the limit.  Some ceremony ideas: bridal blessings, new home blessings, commitment ceremonies, vow renewals, grief ceremonies, graduations, ceremonies for completions, beginnings, or endings, menarche ceremonies, and croning ceremonies.

Below are some common ceremonies that folks ask for, but really, a ceremony can be created for just about anything.

New Baby Blessings & Welcomings

Many cultures and traditions around the world hold ceremonies to welcome a new baby. For those of us who are non religious, we can still create a beautiful new baby ceremony that honors the arrival of a beloved child. In baby welcomings, your community and family is invited for this auspicious first “coming out party.” By going through an in depth interview process with you, I can learn what your personal vision, values and wishes are, and create a ceremony that fully reflects you. We create moments and rituals that feel important to you, as we introduce and bless your new baby. We might include a dedication for fairy guide-parents, or include a tree-planting in the ceremony. Baby blessings are such a lovely way to mark this milestone moment: the arrival of a new human on planet earth!

Mother Blessing (aka blessingway ceremony)

The modern baby shower is great for setting you up with lots of diapers and onesies but they don’t really address the amazing rite of passage that is also occurring: a mother is about to be born (and she is going to work her butt off to get there.) Mother Blessings celebrate, honor and bolster the mom-to-be, as she prepares for the intense and amazing journey of birth. In a Mother Blessing, we share our blessings with the mom-to-be, we love her up and nurture her, we gather in a sacred circle with our best people, we call upon our lineage and all the women that have crossed this threshold before us. Mother Blessings bring your community together in a sacred way. Food and libations may be shared, but most importantly, wisdom, courage, and good juju are shared. (I must add: a mother blessing can also be a mom and mom blessing, a mom and dad blessing, a dad and dad blessing, and a parent blessing.  This is a non-gendered good juju bestowing moment!)

Transgender (re)Naming Ceremony

Stepping out into the world as who you always knew yourself to be is a threshold crossing like none other, one that deserves a thoughtful pause through a ceremony.  Whether your transition has been difficult, easy or both, no matter your age, holding a ceremony to acknowledge the transformation can a beautiful celebration of your emergence as YOU.  The trans naming ceremonies can be structured to release what was…. and embrace what is.  A chance for you to fully claim yourself, and a chance for your community to witness, bless and celebrate your journey.  A way for you to say, “this is who I am,” and a way for your community to let you know, “we’ve got your back.” For parents of young trans children, it may feel extremely helpful and healing in your own process of letting go of what was as we create a ceremonial space for your child to be acknowledged in their new name and presentation to the world at large. These are beautiful, rich and essential ceremonies.

Divorce Ceremony

We have many beautiful and elaborate rituals for tying the knot, but when it comes it untying the knot, we are left on our own. It need not be that way… A divorce is as significant a threshold as any other, and giving yourself a divorce ceremony can feel incredibly healing and liberating. Divorce, no matter how you look at it or how you feeling, represents a change in status, like all threshold / rite of passage moments. A divorce ceremony can be created in many ways: this can be a ceremony for the both of you, where you consciously dissolve your marriage. Or, this can be for just you, without the participation of your former partner. Divorce ceremonies can be celebratory and uplifting, with your community present where you dissolve your old vows, and perhaps make a new pledge to yourself. Divorce ceremonies can be quieter, more supportive, where we create a ritual space for you to process grief and sadness, as you begin to let go of your relationship. There is no right way to do this ceremony — what is most important is that you honor yourself and the transition.

Ceremony Consulting

Alternatively, I am available to consult on ceremonies.  For example, a friend of yours may want to give you a Baby Blessing, or you may want a friend or family member to officiate your wedding, but they are unsure of what to do, and how to do it.  I can create the structure, ceremony and ritual that someone else can facilitate or I can simply consult, offering suggestions and advice.

(The purpose of rituals is) to end, for a time, our sense of human alienation from nature and from each other. Ritual seems to be one method of reintegrating individuals and groups into the cosmos, and to tie in the activities of daily life with their ever present, often forgotten, significance. It allows us to feel biological connectedness with ancestors who regulated their lives and activities according to seasonal observances. Just as ecological theory explains how we are interrelated with all other forms of life, rituals allow us to re-create that unity in an explosive, nonabstract, gut-level way. Rituals have the power to reset the terms of our universe until we find ourselves suddenly and truly “at home.”

– Margot Adler

Please reach out with any thoughts or questions!

Ceremonial Musings

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said]
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They’re all we have, you see.
All we have to fight off illness and death.
You don’t have anything
if you don’t have the stories.
Their evil is mighty,
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories,
but the stories cannot be confused or forgotten.
They would like that.
They would be happy
because we would be defenseless then.
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony