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Honoring the Seasons with Tribe & Ceremony

Updated: Jun 18

Dear Friends,

As a child I can remember feeling so connected and alive to the passing of the seasons. Who hasn't loved jumping into a big ol' pile of autumn leaves, or kicking your way through that lovely crunchy, swooshing sound! I loved to discover shiny conkers in the fall and pick blackberries until my fingers (and mouth!) were purple in the summer. In springtime, I would awaken early to listen for the dawn chorus, and in the winter, snuggle by my parents open fire, after a bracing hike in the woods, when your breath makes clouds it's so cold!

Even in my mid teens I can remember staying out all night in the woods with friends on the eve of the summer solstice, so we could greet the early solstice sun at dawn! Later in my twenties, one of my friends and I would drive down to the Avebury Stone Circle in South West England, camp out in the car all night and join the early morning summer solstice ceremony with the druids and other celebrants. It felt important and somehow aligning to do this and was powerful to be with a tribe celebrating together.

As time went on, I got busy with life and work and other stuff, and somehow lost connection with it all, and somehow also with myself, and my place in these natural cycles. I had some difficult and all-consuming relationships, which brought me very low in my thirties; then a failed marriage, and a time after that when I felt utterly lost, unsure of my direction with career, and living back at home with my parents (never a great experience once you've left home!) and suffering from depression. I had never felt more disconnected from myself, everything and everyone. It was a rough time for sure.

But fate has a way of intervening, and not very long after that I found myself staying just outside LA with my sister's family in an attempt to recover myself - they had kindly invited me over for 3 months. Within two weeks I had met my (soon to be) step-son Shaun and his dad, my husband Bill.

I am not saying a move to a new continent was easy at 39 years old, but over time, as I reconnected to the passion of my chant practice, dived deeper into Reiki and met (ironically) another Brit who was practicing shamanism over here, I began to reconnect to myself again. Strangely, it was Elaine Alghani's Journey Around the Medicine Wheel (from the Huichol Tradition) classes that plugged me right back into my own Celtic ancestry and the Wheel of the Year Ceremonies.

I started to get excited about the solstices and equinoxes again, holding chants or events at these times, and diving deeper into their significance. With the Medicine Wheel teachings that correspond to these festivals/seasons, I found that celebrating these times, even with a small group of souls, helped us to connect back to the natural cycles of these seasons WITHIN OURSELVES! I felt that what was happening seasonally/energetically at any given time of the year supported our own seasonal changes, and that we could consciously use these times to nurture and nourish ourselves; gain clarity and focus for our life going forward; release what no longer served us in a conscious way and plug back into the natural order of things, that we are innately a part of.

One of the sicknesses of our modern, Western culture is the illusion of the sense of separation. We often feel separate from each other, from nature, and also from our own inner true self. We have lost the wisdom and natural truth that we are not separate from anything, but part of this vast web of life, fundamentally connected energetically, and that our thoughts, words and deeds are highly impactful, not only to those around us but in the greater scheme of things - in ways we can barely imagine.

More than this, out modern, mainstream culture wants us to always be 'on'. We have to do more, make more, push more, earn more...Seasonally we are always encouraged to be in the 'yang' energy of high summer. There is little encouragement to enter into the hibernatory 'yin' time of winter where we incubate, rest and dream for the year to come. Seldom are we encouraged to take space for the visioning time of the spring energies, where we get to align ourselves with what seeds we may wish to (metaphorically) plant for the year ahead. And although there is some connection to the harvest time of fall, this can also be a beautiful time to release what is no longer serving us, in a more conscious way, just as the trees drop their leaves effortlessly in preparation for the winter ahead - we begin to turn inwards and unwind.

It was this realization that began to excite me more and more about creating ceremony with tribe at these times of the year, so that together we could take some sacred space out of everyday life to drop back into the energy of these valuable markers of the year; so that we could realign our out-of-balance nature's and bring them back into harmony with the natural rhythms of the year.

Creating ceremony together at these times has become an invaluable source of nourishment for me and those of us who come together to share sacred space. There is something magical in gathering as Tribe to share our dreams, intentions and visions. Perhaps it is the universal nature of the human experience that brings a sense of connection, and sometimes relief, when we relate to someone else's story or listen deeply to their dream-seeds? Having our own intentions shared aloud for others to hear seems to 'ground' it in a way that is harder to do alone. It seems we do need each other, deeply, to witness, celebrate, honor and hold each other through life's ups and downs. Creating sacred space with tribe, and walking together through the seasons of the year creates seasonal anchor-points, frames of reference to track our journeys and take time out of everyday life to check in, recalibrate and re-source (to literally reconnect to Source).

The summer solstice is just around the corner, and if you feel the call to celebrate with a like-minded tribe of souls, do join my friend and soul-sister this Saturday June 22nd

(I would normally join you but am still recovering from surgery...)

Check out other seasonal celebrations and ceremonies on Zoom and in-person, by signing up through this website for my monthly e-flyer, so you can keep in touch.

Let us bring balance and harmony to ourselves, reconnect to the seasonal cycles of our own true natures, and celebrate together the beauty and wisdom of this earth that we are so blessed to love upon.


Stella xxx

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