Today’s blog is the fourth in the Everday Spirituality Series
 where I’ve been covering practices to integrate more spiritual, or life force energy, into your life in easy and manageable ways to support you in living a vibrant, creative and joyful life.

Today I’ll be talking about the importance of ceremony in a spiritual practice and ways you can create these, big and small, planned or in the moment.  You’ll understand the components of ceremony and how to connect to its sacred nature.  You’ll receive practical examples of how to honour what is important to you through ceremony in a personal, everyday way.

Key Topics Include:

    • The different forms of ceremony: social, religious and healing.
    • The key components to ceremony.
    • The value ceremony can bring to you on all levels of being.
    • Ceremonial practices you can weave into everyday life by using altars.

A ceremony is a practice that is a ritual, protocol or convention usually applied to social or religious contexts to mark a special occasion.  From a social context, it is often used to mark rites of passage such as birth, puberty, coming of age, graduation, weddings, retirement and funerals.  Ceremonies can also be performed at different times in life to celebrate important occasions such as receiving a special award.  They mark significant milestones and achievements.  Ceremonies are also associated with seasonal changes that may or may not have religious significance.  Religious ceremonies are guided by beliefs associated with a specific religion’s practice of worshipping god or other deities in ways that have been practised for thousands of years in some cases.  Ceremony is a way to bring people together in celebration, prayer and ritual in observance of a divine source greater than our human form.  Ceremonies are also used as healing practices with the use of shamanic plant medicines, for example.

Independent of the form it takes, ceremonies have a few key components.  A beginning, middle and end.  An opening element, realizing the expression of the intention for the ceremony and a closing element.  There is also a sacred element to a ceremony that is what sets it apart from a regular gathering.  This can be anything that embodies a connection to divine energies of spirit, source, universal all, god or deity.  Ceremony is also performed in sacred space, that is used for that specifically for that purpose or created for the time during when the ceremony is held. 

Ceremony is a wonderful way to connect to the remembrance of the divine within.  And to honor and pay respect to the source energies of creation in whatever form is associated with your beliefs.  The beauty of ceremony is that is really has no limits and can be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal or annual basis.  It can be done as a society, country, world, community or on a day for whoever shows up to the event.

I’ve personally learned the value of ceremony through the time I’ve spent in the east in India and Indonesia, where small ceremonies are part of their daily practice as well as larger ones centered around the gods, seasons and holy days.  I’ve witnessed the powerful energies these events can bring forward and how making daily offerings to the home can completely change its energy by making it feel more alive.  As a shaman, I’ve also had the honor of attending medicine ceremonies where spirit is called in for healing.  Where spirit form and human form mix in an intermediary dimensional reality that is incredible to experience.   I’ve experienced first-hand how spirit can be found in nature, and tuning into these spirits can create a ceremony with natural elements and four directions. 

From these life experiences, I have learned to bring ceremonial practices into my own healing sessions, workshops, courses and retreats to call in the elementals and healing spirits to hold the container for the work that will be done.   I use the key elements to do this: opening, intention, closing, and sacred space.  It helps me contain the healing energies with divine wisdom and grace so that when I step out I am instantly clear of any residue.  Practicing ceremony in my work is a key factor in my longevity of being a practitioner, going on 20 years.  Practising ceremony on a personal level has helped me get out of my own way and embody bliss, harmony and love as the truth of who I am.  It is a regular part of my spiritual practice in the form of creating sacred space with the use of altars.  Altars are a place to create sacred space to hold the intention that is then activated by giving offerings. 

I personally have several altars in my house for different intentions that I regularly give offerings to in the form of elementals like fire with a candle, air with incense, earth with flowers and water.  Each altar has a central theme designated by a statue or sacred object to represent that.  As I give the offerings, I hold my intention in my heart to charge the space.  I will do this on special occasions, rites of passage or significant days of the year.  I will also do this centred around healing gatherings or classes I give.  I honestly find doing this helps keep me in the flow of the connection to the divine, where I remain most accessible to the spiritual life force energies that supply energy, clarity, creativity and clairvoyance. If I am creating an altar for a certain ceremony I will always open with an intention and offering and close it with reflection and gratitude.  For any of your practitioners out there, learning to open and close your sessions is key to keeping your energy body clear and being able to come fully back to yourself after the session ends.

I’m sure you already have a ceremonial practice in your life, and now I want to encourage you to weave this into your daily life to help hold the spiritual energies you are activating through meditation, time in nature, mindfulness, breathwork, and practicing non-judgement which are the things I’ve been covering in this everyday spirituality podcast series.  It can take as much time as you wish, from one moment a day to a longer practice each week.  What I’m welcoming you into here is developing a personal ceremony that allows you to take a breath, connect fully to your body and align with the pure vibrational energies of spiritual life force energies. 

To do this, pick a location in your home that you can see every day but is also in a quiet place that won’t get disturbed.  Choose a central figure for your altar.  A favourite crystal, an object from your ancestors, a photograph, a statue of a god or deity or any object that holds spiritual significance.  That can help to hold the energy of the divine life force that is greater than ourselves yet fills our human form.  Open the space by making your offerings for each element: fire, earth, water and air or metal.  For example a candle, flowers, a small bowl of water incense or a metal object.  Offer each to the altar from your heart.  With gratitude for the divine within you.  Take 3 deep breaths here after making the offerings and connect with your heart.  If you have a bell, ring it to activate the energies and also close the container to hold the sacredness of the altar.  If you don’t have a bell you can sing a song or chant a mantra.  Charge your altar when you feel called, perhaps weekly giving fresh offerings as you do.  If you have a specific intention add that in between the opening and closing with special offerings or objects to support your intention.  

Notice what you notice within yourself as you do this.  A sense of peace, calm, presence relaxation.  Each time you look at this altar that holds your heart’s energy and connects you to the divine within, drop into your heart and take a breath.  Then point your heart toward the sky as you go on about your day.  This practice can take you 10 – 30 seconds a day and with each time you connect you will fan the spark of life force energy within you to grow.

If you resonate with this practice, you can go on to create specific altars for specific intentions, events, times of year or rites of passage such as birth and death.  You can join this together with a meditation practice by opening up with offerrings to your alter, setting an intention and taking this into meditation to go more deeply with your intention.  When your mediation is complete revisit your altar and bring it to a close with intention, blowing out the candle or making 3 clockwise circles with your hand to close the session for that day.

If you’re using an active meditation practice such as a walk or time in nature, open the sacred space of ceremony with your alter with offering and intention and close it when you return.

Begin to notice within you how doing this brings a sense of connection to a source that loves and supports you unconditionally.  And when you are feeling down, or experiencing a challenge, draw on the high vibrational energy from this sacred space.  It is for you, by you, of you. Enjoy!


You can also listen to this article in the companion Healing Codes Podcast episode with the link below.

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Listen to the Companion Healing Codes Podcast Episode Here: