Ceremony can be as simple as sweet-talking the weather every day, greeting the sun in the morning, giving thanks for the animal and plant give-aways that nourish us…
Ceremony can be performed on our own or in good company, as with a community of people and helping spirits.
Ceremony transforms, honors, aligns, and blesses us and that for which we offer ceremony.
Ceremony has a way of putting what is out of kilter to rights again.
Ceremony gives us new eyes and renewed heart as we align with what inspires us:
I swear the earth shall surely be complete
to him or her who shall be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken
only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Ceremonies can organize potential :
“It takes a certain kind of magic…to set a hurricane in motion. First, you have to make the thunderstorms, and then you have to get the thunderstorms dancing. You have to get them dancing in a big circle dance.”
Climatologist James O’Brien describing the birth of hurricane.
Ceremonies cleanse, clear away opposing, disruptive forces in our world:
“The Hopi Indians say that they don’t make it rain with their ceremonies.
Rather the ceremonies drive away the disharmony that prevents the rain from falling.”
Ceremony provides a time and place where we can invite the spirits to join us for a particular working:
“On July 18, 1998, La Source Ancienne, the strongest Voodoo congregation in the city (New Orleans), performed a dance with one strong and stated intention: “to turn hurricanes…”
Martha Ward, Anthropologist and long-time resident of New Orleans
(To read the whole story see “Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection With the Elements,” p.203-205)
Ceremonies help us do our part to hold the world together, and maintain the cosmic order that engenders the balance and vitality all beings depend upon for life:
“When we were young, the villagers did a Primicia in the Catholic church after each planting,” he said. “We stayed up all night, chanting and calling out to the Spirits for rain.” Before dawn, torrents of rain would pour, announced by loud cracking thunder. The thunder would awaken the tender seedlings in the fields.
“We did nine Primicias a year for planting, for harvests, for rain, for sick people, and sometimes just to show our love for the Spirits.”
Don Elijio Panti, Mayan H’men – Sastun, by Rosita Arvigo
Ceremony brings healing, restores well-being, and is offered to help avoid future difficulties:
“This place that you live in and many other places in your country suffer from drought, too much rain, shortages, many problems. There is a reason for this misfortune, for you have not been doing ceremonies, gathering together, thanking the earth, the gods, the Sun, the sea for your lives. This is missing here. Without celebration, the gods are unhappy and bring misery to us. The ceremonies, gathering together, celebrating together – this is the love or energy that the gods live on…”
Don Matsuwa, Huichol shaman when offering ceremonies in New York and California in 1970’s
All ceremonies are composed of various elements that are utilized worldwide. The use and workings of prayer, meditation, symbols, offerings, chanting, singing, and dancing all provide ways to stimulate us, to help us concentrate, to focus our intention, and to show up in our power as we engage and align with the spirits in ceremony.
Each ceremony will have its own intention and combination of elements, put together with an invitation to the helping spirits, and through these we are able to cocreate, to conjure, to manifest in this world.
The appropriate tools and methods of ceremony can come through to us no matter who we are or where we are or what our educational backgrounds or lineages are. All we have to do is ask – and give the spirits an opportunity to be heard. Shamans recognize the sacred responsibility of humans to dream the world anew, and it is through ceremony that the dreams are empowered.
Weather Shamanism… p 207.