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Ceremonies have been facilitated since the beginning of time. In ancient cultures, it is believed that ceremonies were a gateway to communicate with the Divine and the world of the unseen.
To me, ceremonies are a powerful way to open up a line of communication with the Universe. It is like picking up the phone to call the Universe and ask for the Universe’s help and support in our partnership in life.
When I read Sandra Ingerman’s “The Book of Ceremony” many years ago, it changed my life.
I’ve always thought that ceremonies need to be facilitated by someone qualified, like a priest or priestess, a Shaman, or a special teacher.
Though this is true with certain types of ceremonies, Ingerman wrote in her book that anyone could learn to perform simple easy ceremonies for themselves. Ceremonies can be used to help us reconnect with the cycles and seasons of nature and our lives.
As Ingerman shared, “By bringing ceremony into our life, we reconnect with the sacred as we move from a state of disconnection to a state of reconnection to life and nature.”
So how can ceremony be relevant in our daily lives? And does change really happen after we perform a ceremony?
I want to share my personal story with you that demonstrates the healing power of ceremonies in my own life.
It was almost full moon. It was the second full moon of the month, and it was a potent time cosmically for release work.
Both my sons could not sleep well the past couple nights, so that would include me. Sleepless nights and my period – not a good combination.
It was a Wednesday, one day before the full moon, when I decided to do my personal fire release ceremony. I’ve done this many times before already and I’ve witnessed again and again its powerful healing effects.
I was definitely not in my best mood. I was feeling uninspired, and frankly a bit bored in my life. I just came back from holiday a couple weeks ago and I was already looking forward to my next holiday.
I felt like I hit a plateau in my life. I asked myself this question again, what was the meaning of life? What was the point of helping people if people didn’t want to be helped?
After I finished my daily morning meditation practice, I took some blank pieces of paper and started writing down what I wanted to release.
There was something that happened a couple weeks ago and I knew I was hurting from the words of others. I was letting other people’s judgment to affect how I viewed my own self-worth.
So I wrote that down, and other things that I wanted to release, such as my fears, worries, and anxieties.
I had my candles lit, my metal bowl ready, and I was reading each paper out loud and allowed the candle fire to burn and transmute each piece of paper into ashes. I observed how each piece of paper would burn, and some would burn brighter than others.
When I burnt the last piece of paper, I suddenly had an image of a person popped up in my head. That person had done some hurtful things, and even though I’ve done many release ceremonies and forgiveness practices, I still had emotions coming up.
But the emotions that I was feeling – disappointment, frustration, anger, and sadness, were directed to myself. I felt angry that I didn’t stand up for myself. I felt disappointed that I didn’t protect myself enough and was expecting others to. I felt resentful that I put myself at a disadvantage or put myself last.
I had lost faith in myself.
As I wrote all that down and burnt it, some emotions were stirring within me. I felt a sense of heaviness arising and like I wanted to cry, but no tears were coming out.
Then, I could hear a statement arising within me, “I trust my inner radar more.”
After that, I wrote down my experience and reflections in my journal, and decided to take it slow for the rest of the day.
I also asked myself what my intention was. Why did I want to go on a holiday again?
I wanted to go on an adventure. I wanted to do something fun. I wanted to feel inspired.
That night before I went to bed, I suddenly felt guided to check my personal email. It was a difficult feeling to describe. For me, it felt like an urge coming from my heart energy center, and like there was something moving me in the space around me. Though I couldn’t hear or see anything, I’ve had this feeling before so I knew that it was definitely guidance from my spiritual support team.
The very first email on the top of my inbox was about this new online course hosted by the Shift Network by Dr. Shamini Jain called “Voicing the Goddess” where we would learn how to use mantras and our voice to connect with the Divine Feminine starting next day and I still had time to sign up.
Was that a sign from the Universe? I mean the course was right up my alley (hello, mantra and chanting!). Yet my mind was resisting yet another online course, so I decided to sleep on it and see what happened the next day.
That night my son started to get sick and yet another sleepless night pursued.
The next morning I was back to my normal self. The sun was out, and I was feeding my dogs. I suddenly felt a cool autumn-like breeze – ahhh, my favorite weather and my mood was instantly lifted.
My son was sick with a flu and he couldn’t go to school, but he was still quite energetic. He asked if he could join my meditation practice that morning and to burn some bad stuff, as he said so himself.
He had done simple fire release ceremonies with me before, and even though he didn’t know that it was the full moon, he said he wanted to burn his cough and runny nose away. So he took a few pieces of blank paper and started to draw what he wanted to release – his cough, runny nose, sadness, anger and feeling scared.
We sat together in front of my altar, and I held his hand to help him with the burning.
In the afternoon, we decided to go release the ashes together to the tree near our home. As we were walking towards the tree, I felt a sense of lightness. That morning I facilitated a cacao ceremony with our guests at Museflower and I received an inspiration of what to offer at the end of the year. I also received a birthday gift from my friend A – a handmade mini mala bracelet.
At that moment, I knew that the ceremony “worked”. I just didn’t expect it to be so fast.
I felt inspired – which was exactly my intention after my fire release ceremony.
I felt grateful for A’s gift and just her being there in my classes to help me hold space.
I felt excited for the new idea that came through for the end of the year.
I felt lighter. Even though I know there’s a lot of work to do (both inner and outer), I’m so grateful my children are here with me, teaching me everything as masters of fun.
I felt that new possibilities are opening up in my life again and I felt grateful.
I picked an oracle card as part of my daily practice, and the card said “Initiation.”
That’s right. I had been thinking that I hit a plateau. What if, I viewed this as an initiation instead?
I still don’t know how I’m going to do the things I want to do, but I trust my inner radar and my intuition to point me the way.
PS: I did sign up for the online course after all, as I got another nudge from my intuition the next morning. And I’m excited to say that I’m looking forward to learning more on how to connect with the Divine Feminine through our voice.
A perfect retreat for anyone who wants to wrap up the current year with gentle rest
and to enter the new year with authentic clarity and renewed energy
This Sacred Rest with Nature retreat allows you to slow down from the doing, and is a time to tune into your inner rhythm. It is a time to embrace rest as a sacred practice.
Through nurturing your body, mind, and soul with Nature, you can cut through all the noise and start to listen to your inner voice – the voice that matters the most.
This 6-days-5-nights retreat is designed to provide wellness experiences to guide you to be in rest, such as forest bathing, yoga nidra, fire release ceremony, cacao ceremony, and shamanic journey. The retreat program also offers space and downtime to reflect and integrate, and to enjoy the facilities at Museflower Retreat & Spa.