Coming of Age Ritual

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Baylee
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Post by Baylee » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:58 am

Hey guys,
Well last night, my Mom, my Aunt Georgiana and I came up with a basic outline of the ritual.
When everybody is present, we move the trampoline (we have a trampoline in the area we want to do the circle in) over to the rocky area, and then everyone goes inside. I then make the space “feel right” in whatever way feels right to me.
Then we all have dinner, which consists of delicious salmon and fresh green salad.
We then all go outside and enter the circle. I light the fire bowl, and my Mom and Elizabeth (a family friend who was at my birth) make an opening statement.
We then do a smudge.
Elizabeth and my Mom call the directions.
I ask for people to put some little token which they brought in advance on the alter, such as a small rock that they found. I may say something else if it just comes up at the moment.
Then the circle opens up for anyone to share anything they want. Poems, Knowledge, etc, etc. My Step-Dad may play something on the guitar. :-({|=
We leave a space open. We may hoot and holler or just close the circle.
We do this earlier because there are little kids, and then as a kind of ritual feast, we have apple pie and chocolate for dessert. ;)
I'm going to have my Aunt and Uncle, my Grandma, a family which I've known all my life, and maybe a very close friend who is almost my identical twin.
I'm really excited for tomorrow, and again, thank you so much for all your ideas and support. :-)
Blessed Be,
Baylee
Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it's actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.
-Christopher Paolini

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2Crunchy
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Post by 2Crunchy » Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:34 am

That sounds great! It's very similar to a blessingway I attended for a mother-to-be. I guess it is a blessingway inthat it is "blessing the way" as you move into another chapter of your life. Blessingways are a Navajo tradition, by the way.
Come to the Dark Side.....
We have cookies! :)

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Baylee
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Post by Baylee » Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:53 am

Hey,
It's about 12:50 now and people will be getting here at about 4-5:30...
We have the intro and calling the directions written out now...
This is really the first ritual I've been to other than my sister's naming ceremony...and my own blessing way and naming ceremony.
Thanks again!
Blessed Be,
Baylee
Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it's actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.
-Christopher Paolini

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Baylee
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Post by Baylee » Sun Aug 07, 2005 10:57 am

Hi,
I actually am still waking up, but still the ritual was really amazing. I had never really been in one before...This is by far going to be my longest rant...
We really just hung out for quite a long time. But before anything else we moved the trampoline. It really was quite fun, and it took some real team effort to really move it.
I chopped wood with my best friend Ben, and we snacked on fruit salad and chips.
Then we had delicious salmon, and the younger kids had tofu dogs.
We brought out benches and a few chairs, and began the circle.
First my Mom read the introduction.

Introduction
It is with full hearts that we come together , pulling out of the busyness of our days, to create this circle around you, Bailey. You have come to an important point of passage in life. You have entered that period of transition which leads you away from the realm of child as you step into adulthood. We create this circle to acknowledge the greatness of the task born of this voyage into manhood. We create this circle to express that which our busy days do not grant space for. We come to offer gifts from the heart : words of inspiration. insights, wisdom gleaned from our own fumblings, sympathy in our memories of the challenges of these years that lie ahead of you, support and enthusiasm for the incredible young man we already see developing before us.
We will consecrate this circle to create a place of safety, where all can share openly and freely, without fear of judgment.
Second, Elizabeth did the smudge.
Then we called the Directions...

CALLING THE DIRECTIONS
EAST: Read by Olivia, who I met hours after her birth

May we call the direction of the East
The east corresponds to the element of Air, to thought, to the eagle and high flying birds, to the power to Know. It is the breath of beginnings, of birth, of revitalization It brings hope, light, possibility. It is skipping down a hot sidewalk while making up one’s own tune. It is innocence, it is in the moment. It is the slow infusion of color, of warmth, into the deepest, coldest night. It holds promise out on a flat palm for all to sample.

SOUTH: Read by Ben, my long time friend
May we call the direction of the South

The South corresponds to the element Fire....to noon, summer, and the quality of WILL. It embodies the passion of youth, of walking into our expansive world, all doors open wide, working to add one’s rhythm to the world’s tempo, to stretch to the end of one’s boundaries, to learn to take in to give back, to pulsate, to be part of this whirling frenzy that is life. It hold the flame, it holds the spirit. Vibrant.

WEST: Read by Georgiana, my Aunt

May we call the direction of the West
The West symbolizes the element of Water---it represents twilight, autumn, the power to dare. From the west comes the courage to face our deepest feelings: love, fear, sorrow. It is nurturance, self acceptance, forgiveness. It mends the heart and whispers “You are beautiful. You are worthy”. Healing flows from the west. It embodies the oceans, the changing tides, dancing rivers. It is the direction of sunsets. It marks an ending. Each life transition brings us to a parting, only to face the expanse of new possibilities once again.


NORTH: Read by my Grandma

May we call the direction of the North
The North corresponds to the element of Earth; of body, growth, nature. It is rock, crystal, mineral. It is solid under our feet and holds us when we rest. It imparts the power to keep silent, to listen as well as speak, to know what not to say. It represents winter, midnight. It is the quiet wisdom well earned with years. It is the turning inward to central truth . Solid and steadfast. The north provides an anchor.

CENTER: Read by my Mom

May we call the center
We look to the center to see what we have been searching for. The center responds, being the place of the spirit, the home of inspiration and creativity. The center of the cyclone is still and calm. While chaos rules and whirls uncontrollably, the center is a haven, an oasis, a place of security, a door marked “home”.

Then my Mom presented an Athame to me, made of a thorny black wood found in Ireland.
Presentation of the Athame
I was pleased, and a bit unsure, when you informed me, Bailey, that it is “customary” for a Mother to gift an Athame to her child when coming of age. An Athame? A ritual knife? I had to sit with that....me, being the Mom who had to mull over the integration of anything slightly resembling a weapon into your world of fantasy and play as a little one. You were the last on the block to get a real super soaker....having to try to hold your own in the neighborhood water fights with a minuscule squirt fish.
A ritual knife. But isn’t it true that learning to use a a sharp blade is crucial to becoming an adult, to functioning in the world.? How else to chop our vegetables, prune our bushes, machete our way through the entangled paths life leads us to? How else to mark what feels safe, ethical, right, just, other than finding the edges of our comfort zones and using the tools of our words, written, spoken, carried in our stance to clearly demarcate our boundaries? Using the sharp edge of our being not to hurt or destroy, but to protect, defend, even create and set free. When to cut through manipulation or deception with a “no”, “enough”. The blade as the useful, practical tool. Representing the power within you to affect change. It represents the essence of your power, your strength, and it’s expression.
It was a sharp instrument that began your walk towards independence when your umbilical cord was cut and your body became your own, apart from me. I give you this athame now as you take greater strides to cut your own definition of yourself, apart from all of us who have cradled you, guided you, nurtured you. I look at this young man found in my Bailey, and beam with pride. You are consistently inclusive and gentle, always standing up for anyone being bullied or mistreated. You are compassionate to all and a budding steward of the earth. Gifting this Athame to you represents the trust I have in your ability to use judgment to use the power within you for good. To use your sharp edge not to harm, but protect, both yourself and others. I love you.

Many things were than shared. Knowledge and Poems. It was wonderful.
Then we had a group hug and closed the circle. Curiously, the smudge stick burnt all the way out at almost exactly the same time we closed the circle. Funny how those things work out.
We then ate some chocolate cake for dessert and everyone left.
I tried to post some pictures but for some reason I am having no luck...I will if I figure out how...Ah, and now I am fully awake after my rant...
I want to thank everyone again...
I hope you can maybe use ideas from this if ever needed.
Thanks again.
Blessed Be,
Baylee
Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it's actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.
-Christopher Paolini

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2Crunchy
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Post by 2Crunchy » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:32 pm

Wow! I loved your mom's speech about the athame. It's sounds totally awesome. I'm filing that away since I have a son who will be coming up on this in a couple of short years. *sniff*
Come to the Dark Side.....
We have cookies! :)

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scoia
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Post by scoia » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:12 pm

That's a beautiful ritual. What a fantastic way to celebrate your coming of age! I particularly liked how everyone called the elements. =D>
First they ignore you.
Then they laught at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.
--Ghandi

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Baylee
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Post by Baylee » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:40 pm

Thank you so much!
Really, thank you for giving ideas and giving support...It turned out to be a great experience.
Blessed Be,
Baylee
Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it's actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.
-Christopher Paolini

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Crazy Healer Lady
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:33 am

It sounds like it was very beautiful. Good for you for arranging all of this!! If I wasn't so paranoid about family knowing things about me I'd do the same (a few years ago). But, I guess my wedding will have to be my rite of passage ceremony :oops: but you can bet your bottom dollar my kids will get one ^____^

Congrats again ^_^
-CHL
Crazy Healer Lady
Health and happiness to you!

The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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