The Altar

A place is dedicated for the "ritual" altar setting. This altar can be outdoors or inside, large or small.  It may hold symbolic items that embody qualities or beings that we want to invoke in the ceremony –such as stones, plants, or feathers. Usually each of the seven directions are present as well as the elements of earth, air, fire and water. Since this ceremony is especially for water, a large bowl of water is placed on the altar. Flowers and a lit candle are traditional, evoking beauty, life and light.

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Preparation

The participants become ready. This is a form of purification in which we become clear channels of blessing. Smudging is a traditional method. Some might use ablutions with water. A basic preparation is simply taking some long deep breaths to settle oneself and clear one’s energy, setting a vibration of peace.

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Forgiveness & Wholeness

Sometimes it is appropriate to ask forgiveness from the element we are honoring, expressing our remorse: along with our gratitude. From this place we can clearly state and internally feel our intention for right relationship or original wholeness with this element. For example,  we may have acknowledged water pollution and now we send our love and intention for the health and purity of the waters to be restored.

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Offering

We perform a ritual action of giving back, in the case of a water ceremony we may pour water that has absorbed our love and the blessings of the ceremony into a brook, with the intention of its carrying a pattern of wholeness to the waters of the world (for practical reasons this may be done after the Closing) Or we may simply dedicate ourselves to an action on behalf of Earth healing.

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Closing

Sometimes this is done with a song or chant. It reinforces the communal nature of the ceremony (even if it seems you are working alone, in fact we are all part of a great community). Also, if we have called in spiritual helpers, at this time we acknowledging to them that we are closing the ceremony, with our thanks.

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