Ceremony ignites the spark of enthusiasm.
It ignites the light of willpower.
It gives man the strength to carry on,
to move forward, to have motivation.
When you get into one of those moods where you feel like you can't make a difference, or like your life is out of control, you can always turn to ceremony to give you a boost. Indeed, that's one of the great things about ceremony: it catapults you up and out of your apathy. It ignites the spark of willpower within you. Ceremony is like medicine for the lost soul.
Of course, an Intenders Circle is an easy, empowering ceremony that is guaranteed to bring you out of your doldrums. What could be simpler than getting a few of your friends together, sitting in a circle, saying what you're grateful for and what you intend outl oud into the circle, dedicating it all to the Highest Good, and doing a Oneness exercise when you're done? Your apathy doesn't stand a chance, especially once your intentions have begun to manifest for you.
Many cultures have wonderful ceremonial traditions, not the least of which are the Native American tribes. They offer so many sacred ceremonies, in fact, that you can choose among many of them.
"Just before Mark, Tina, Betsy, and I started The Intenders, I had been living in Hawaiian Acres, putting together a piece of property and making it my home. I was living alone and life had gotten into a routine that was dictated by the rains that came down the mountain every afternoon, leaving me to hang out in my little coffee shack reading or just thinking most of the time.
Almost on a whim, I decided to take a few of the large rocks that were left over from a retaining wall I'd just finished building and make a Medicine Wheel in my backyard. I placed them in a perfect circle, just like the Native Americans, and began to walk around the Wheel everyday. I asked, while I walked, for an acceleration of my spiritual evolution (and, as I said, right after that The Intenders were born.)
I tested several different ceremonies to see which ones I liked the best, and eventually settled on the one I still use today. It was taught to me by a Kahuna from South Point who used it to purify the people who came to him for healing. Since it's had such a beneficial effect on me, I'll share it with you now.
I enter the Medicine Wheel from the East, giving thanks, calling forth the Highest Good, and asking permission to walk. If it doesn't feel right I don't walk that day, but that is very rare. Then I walk around the inside perimeter of the stones clockwise 5 times: the first time (as I walk), thanking and blessing The Holy Father; the second time, thanking and blessing The Divine Mother; the third time, thanking and blessing all of God's Holy Angels; the fourth time, thanking and blessings all Beings everywhere; and the fifth time, thanking and blessing myself.
When I've finished my fifth walk around the Wheel, I end up in the exact center, facing East and I say my Intentions. Sometimes I envision a pillar of light going up from the Medicine Wheel and that my Intentions are broadcast out from it to the Universe. I always give thanks to Great Spirit/God/The Highest Good (your choice) again before I exit the Wheel at the same place I came in from.
Another variation of this, if you don't have enough space for building a Medicine Wheel in your yard, is to become your own priest. Start out by getting some real salt, not the standard table salt, but some Himalayan or Celtic or Red Hawaiian Ala'e salt. Now draw yourself a nice warm bath. Before you get in, however, kneel down beside the tub and swirl the water clockwise 5 times with your hand, each time blessing it in the name of 1. The Holy Father; 2. The Divine Mother; 3. All God's Holy Angels; 4. All Beings everywhere; and 5. Yourself. Then, add 5 pinches of salt to the bathwater, each time blessing and making your dedications like you did when you swirled the water. Now, get into the bath and soak as long as you like.
Before you get out, give thanks again and say, "I ask that anything unlike Love, anything unlike God, leaves my body now and goes into this water, and (as you get up and pull the stopper from the tub) that it goes down the drain and into the Earth to be purified and transmuted into its highest and best use."
Now . . . you've just become a priest. You've made a tubful of Holy Water and soaked in it to your heart's delight. One thing is certain. After you get out of a tub like this, you'll feel better than you've felt in a long time."
My Intention for today is:
I Intend that whenever I feel encumbered or apathetic
I am using ceremony to purify myself.
~photo by E. Leeson