Ceremonies

Funerals

‘When God threw me, a pebble, into this wondrous lake I disturbed its surface with countless circles. But when I reached the depths I became very still’ — Kahil Gibran

I am trained in Life-Centred funerals. It is the founding belief of our College that a funeral is a Celebration of the Life of the deceased. Within that celebration lies space for remembrance, for weeping, for laughter, for surprises and most of all for Joy. As William Blake wrote: Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth. His meaning is clear. Joy fills our bodies and celebrates our spirit. Sorrow is best embraced and then released.

‘If some fool tells you the soul perishes like the body and that which dies never returns, tell him the flower perishes but the seed remains and lies before us as the secret of life everlasting’ — Kahil Gibran

It takes skill to bring forth their life story, to gather the needed remembrances from all those, both close and related, taking great care so that no one is left unrecognised in the role that they played in this life- these are the skills that I bring to Funeral Celebrancy. I have found that for me it is a personal calling, and the experience of healing and nurturing that is to be found in this work far outweighs any of its tough parameters or disadvantages.  The main difficulty for a celebrant such as myself is getting the job! When a death occurs most people immediately go to the Funeral parlour and from there they are directed to a celebrant. Oft times this celebrant is someone who works at the parlour and is untrained. As Dally Messenger, the Head of the College says “Ring the celebrant first.”

Ring me.

‘Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps’ — Blake

Commitment Ceremonies

My friend in New York, Louis, gave me this joke: how do you get the cockroaches to leave your downtown apartment? You ask them to make a commitment.

This is the word that some people run a mile from! But in our worlds of ritual and celebrancy commitment is a magical, powerful word. It is a word encompassing the values of Faith and Trust.

Commitment Ceremonies may represent the needs of two people who have lived together for many years and, not wishing to get married, they recognise the need to both deepen and raise the vibration of their relationship.

It may be two people who are newly together in a relationship and wish to honour the intensity of that relationship without legally binding themselves together.

The ceremony is closely aligned to wedding ceremonies with individual choices allowed. Ring exchanges, vows, poetry, music, blessings- all can be incorporated. Certificates available

I am always interested in creating new ceremonies for different needs. Commitment ceremonies may also be about Group Commitments. Establishing the right, safe energy for your Group. Binding on the energy level, encompassing faith in enterprise and trust in each other.

Renewals of Vows

Many couples choose to renew their wedding vows, often on their wedding  anniversary.

A vow renewal can take place amongst family and friends, or simply between the two of you.

In renewing their vows, couples reaffirm the love they have for one another and reinforce their commitment to their relationship and to their partner.

In creating a vow renewal ceremony, I will work closely with you to develop a ceremony which accurately reflects the road you have travelled together and which reaffirms your commitment to a shared future.

Namings

‘Long were you a dream in your mother's sleep and then she woke to give you birth’ — Kahil Gibran

The world has changed and this shift in perspective, for most of us, has meant a moving away from strict religious ceremonies into the world of the self - creative ceremony. In the past it was fairly de rigeur to have your baby christened- and it still remains, for many people, the way to honour the entry of their child into the world. A religious christening service is a welcoming of that child into the faith and beliefs of its parents. In Celebrancy today we are still honouring the faith and beliefs of parents but also within our naming ceremonies we like to give the child the blessing to go its own way, to seek its own faith as it grows to adulthood. A naming ceremony in no way should hamper or hinder that freedom of choice that is the birthright of all of us.

Your new baby needs to be acknowledged and welcomed into the world! The power of a naming ceremony will bring protection and love throughout this child’s life.

A Naming Ceremony is a beautiful experience for all who attend. There are the usual elements- the choosing of Godparents or Guardians for your child, those people who are close to you, who are asked to be constant in their availability to your child in times of need, to support you as parents and to be a sounding board for your child when, he or she needs an adult ‘friend at court’!

My Naming Ceremonies can contain elements of magical circles, wishes for the baby, candle ceremonies, music, blessings, poems and readings. Sometimes Grandmothers wish to write poems, sometimes the Mother wishes to say her special prayer or the Father his own blessing. All is open and possible to you. There is a delightful range of commemorative certificates for the occasion.

‘When a child is born a father is born.’ — Anon.

Handfastings

Having trained in Celtic Ritual I also offer ceremony in the ancient pagan Rites of Handfasting. I use many tools in this work including, if you wish, the Labyrinth.

A Celtic tradition, Handfasting is sometimes used as an alternative to a commitment or an official marriage ceremony. The left hands are bound loosely together with a handfasting braid, created by the couple with my guidance. This braid is blessed in sacred ceremony and can represent many things but usually it is in red, white and black and represents the prakriti, the weaving of the three gunas or life forces. White represents birth, the Virgin, the Sattvas; red is the Rajas and represents the fullness of life, the Mother energy, and black the Tamas is the release, the Crone energy of Kali the destroyer ( and the rebirther). A knot is tied, symbolising the union. This is where the expression “tying the knot” comes from. The hands are then slipped out of the braid and it is placed in a pouch, to remain tied forever. Whilst bound the couples may share a drink from the cup of life.

Handfastings in their own right can be rich and detailed rituals. I am trained as a Wiccan priestess and have done many rituals in accordance with the Practice. Beginning with the casting of the sacred circles we progress to the blessing of the four elemental directions, and then can incorporate both fire and water ceremonies and many other elements, such as jumping the broom and the warming of the rings.

Other Rituals

Other rituals for Cleansing your new home, for Separation from a job or the Separation from a relationship. It is now recognised as a deep, intuitive part of human nature: the yearning to honour transition; all the endings and the new beginnings.

I come from a tradition of theatre, sacred ritual and spiritual shamanism. For many years I have been conducting these rituals and rites of passage in large groups as well as performing, directing and writing for theatre. It is so important to make sacred these milestones in all of our lives, and it is so pleasurable!

I am a moveable feast and will come to you.

Rites of Passage & Rituals What is ritual?

'Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle' — Black Elk

There are varying situations in our lives that we might want to ritualise: holidays or celebrations of special feelings we wish to keep positive. We might want to ritualise situations we wish to release from: pain or fear, sorrow over death of a friend or lover, confusion over break up of a relationship. Ritual can also be used to change a negative situation into a positive one- such as self- healing or changing from a jobless state to an employed one

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without Improvement are roads of Genius. — Blake

Concluding a Divorce

Either with both partners there or only one. Release and forgiveness both for yourself and your partner. Breaking of Vows can remain a thorn in your subconscious mind, affecting your psyche for many years to come. Bringing that release out into the light is necessary for completion and release enabling you to move freely into a new future. Remember also the Truth: You cannot truly release something until you have fully embraced it.

‘Depending on whether we feel in control of our changes or at the mercy of them, change may excite or frighten us’ — Dorothy Riddle

Healing-release after Abortion

‘Rituals created within a framework of women���s spirituality differ in form and content from the empty hierarchically imposed, patriarchal observances with which most of us grew up. They involve healing, strengthening, creative energy that expands with spontaneity from a meaningful core of values’ — Charlene Spretnak

No woman wants to have an abortion. We don’t sit around drinking coffee saying ‘Gee, I’d kill for an abortion right now’ This ritual is to bring acknowledgement of woman’s power to choose. To control her own body. To bring the highest good into play. To talk with the soul that has been sent back to await another re-entry point.

Rituals for miscarriage. Sometimes these rituals can be enhanced by having a group of friends come together for them.

Loss of a Child

Coming to terms with death in any scenario is usually so very hard but it is especially incomprehensible when that death is of your own child, or a child so close to you. It is possible to travel to that deeper place, to the Divine Source where you can dialogue with your child’s spirit, to understand how choices are made on a much higher level and to bring peace and nurturing into your heart.

Menarche Rituals for your Daughters

‘Every woman contains her daughter within herself and every daughter her mother’ — Jung

Rituals for women’s rites of passage although common in cultures that include elements of pagan worship (earth centred) are not so usually accepted in our culture, and yet now, as at no other time in our past has there manifested such a deep yearning, a need to mark the transitions of our daughters into womanhood so that they might enter into their own power and know how they are supported in the both earth realm (inner world) and the spirit realm (outer world).

Menopause Rituals for Women

‘Menopause invites our importune ghosts to come forward. It demands a more fundamental confrontation with our dark side. It is a period for coming to terms with the shadow’ — E.Strahan

Again a small group (three or more) coming together to celebrate and initiate into Crone energy. 'Menopause is the gateway into the most sacred time of a woman's existence on earth, a time when she can at last discover the deeper meanings she has sought. The alchemy of heat (those hot Flushes) is present to clarify the body and spirit of negative debris. The change of life is a time of release when a woman begins to reap the benefits of all that she has learned and done. It is the time when her spiritual life at last truly begins ..A process of rebirth from which she emerges with new responsibilities, new mirrors and new powers’ — Lynn Andrews

Energy Cleansing of Home and Office

Utilising the forces of the elements of the earth, air, fire and water and the power of Spirit, spaces can be cleansed of old energy, old memories and events. New energies are called in and symbols of safety, peace and abundance are set in place.

Separation: from Relationships, from Jobs...

My soul preached to me and said, ”Do not be delighted because of praise, and do not be distressed because of blame.” Ere my soul counselled me, I doubted the worth of my work. Now I realise that the trees blossom in Spring and bear fruit in Summers without seeking praise; and they drop their leaves in Autumn and become naked in Winter without fearing blame. — Kahil Gibran

The Chinese symbol for Failure or Disappointment is also the symbol for Opportunity.

Wisdom invoked in these ceremonies allows you to see the whole picture and reach for desired detachment and understanding. Also learning to understand how what you create in your life is of your own making. Given the tools for Acceptance, Trust and Release will also give you the greatest power of all. Freedom.

Release & New beginnings

‘I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.’ — Kahil Gibran

Celebrating the essence of the individual is vital to establishing a new beginning. Those who love us will always recognise our true natures and will support us as we express our sense of self. Paying honour to those teachers and recognising them for what they brought to our journey

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex

Betrothals

The old fashioned word for Engagements. Simple ceremonies that should not pre-empt the glory of the commitment ceremony and yet can lay the foundation stone for your future relationship, incorporating hopes, fears and wishes. This is a ceremony of hopeful promises and an announcement of preparation for the joining of two lives.

Commitment Ceremonies

Although same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Australia, as far as the glbti community is concerned, a commitment ceremony serves the same important purpose as a traditional wedding. It's a public declaration of your life long commitment to each other, made before your family and friends.

Having a commitment ceremony reaffirms your love for each other and provides you both with a sense of permanence and stability. Truly the closest thing you can have to Marriage! Everything but the legality according to the Marriage Act. Incorporated into this ceremony can be the legalities of Power of Attorney and the signing of Wills. All else is yours. Vows, ring exchanges, prayers, blessings , poetry, readings, music, ceremonies honouring the elementals, wiccan and pagan, sacred and spiritual.