Ceremony and Nature Consciousness
As we take part in Earth-honoring ceremonies, we find we are guided into appropriate, effective action on behalf of Nature. At the same time, the intentions and gestures of the ceremony activate beneficial responses in the seen and unseen worlds—the ceremony itself becomes sacred activism.
Nature Evolutionaries enter into deep and holy conversations with the forces of Nature through Ceremony. In this way we come with sincere and open hearts to offer gratitude and receive inspiration and guidance from the spiritual forces of the more-than-human world.
Nature Gratitude Circles
We give praise and thanks and also focus our intentions for bringing balance to particular situations. For example, if we are intending that a body of water be restored to health, we first offer thanks for healthy, living water, then ask for the release of the misunderstandings and greed that led to polluting it, then set the strong intention for all our waters to be free and pure. We may visualize the beauty of free-running streams and clean rivers. Key to the whole ceremonial act is our heartfelt love for our mother earth in all her forms: rocks, trees, waters, weather, animals… and our fellow humans.
We invite you to join us by holding Gratitude Circles of your own, and to inspire you along this path, we have outlined some of the basic elements you might want to include below.
Guidance For Your Own Ceremony
Though a ceremony needs a form, and forms that are repeated over time gain power, you will find that a spirit of spontaneity and playfulness is also welcome. Maybe you will be moved to dance or drum or sing. The spirits of nature are fed by happiness and beauty! To see the illustrations more fully, click the images below.
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.
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.
Traditionally the seven directions and the spiritual forces associated with these are asked to be present and empower the action of the ceremony.
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.
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.
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.