“Listen and intend with the ear of your heart.” – Saint Benedict
Daily ceremony creates a relationship between you and the Spirit world to bring clarity and peace into your life. It will become comfortable and fruitful to practice daily ceremony alone as a secret ritual in your private sanctuary.
More than a decade ago, I joined a group formed by a spiritual and creative psychotherapist. We met in a circle each week and spoke from the heart about matters of life, love, and spirit. During these gatherings, I witnessed great healing and heartfelt expressions. At times there were tears, but the tears became a pool of acceptance, healing, and love, which was void of painful emotional attachment.
I came to this circle with a broken heart, after a painful divorce. I struggled to find peace within mySelf and to gain understanding about how I could possibly begin a new life. I had lost so much. In the sacred space of the group circle, I found the freedom to speak openly about my feelings in front of more than one person for the first time in my adult life.
Growing up, I was encouraged to keep quiet about many things and learned to “stuff” my feelings. I know I am not alone. It is sad to admit that I seldom meet people who have had consistently healthy inter family communications. All too often, parents do not understand how to communicate, and they teach their children to hold back on expressing feelings of anger or hurt in the same way that they were taught to hold back their own feelings. As we mature, we have an opportunity to unravel that confusion.
Gathering in a circle creates a space for clarity and love to prevail. Because we cannot open our hearts to everyone, sacred circles allow us to open our hearts safely in a group situation where we promise to keep everything that is spoken within the circle. Nothing leaves the circle in which we speak.
The sacred circle is not a new phenomenon. The circle represents infinity with no ending or beginning. The circular shape of the birth canal or of the sun or moon is considered a sacred shape in most cultures. In the ancient ruins of the Anasazi people in the southwest region of what is now the United States, archaeologists found rounded spaces known as kivas both in cliff dwellings and flat areas. These circular areas were used for spiritual ceremonies thousands of years ago. Many Native Americans believe that entering a circle formed by their community must be treated with the same respect as when Christians enter a church. They use the sacred space for celebration, dance, and healing and sit in circles for ceremony and to discuss matters of importance. Some indigenous people have separate women’s or men’s circles, using specific ritual or direction of movement depending on the gender. People may gather to express reverence, to speak their truth, or to gain guidance for the community. Fire is often used as the centerpiece of circle. Music, drums, and dance may also be part of the ceremony to express joy and communicate feelings.
Discovering the Power of Ceremony