strips of fabric
2 candles on altar
4 chalices of water on altar
Invoke 3 aspects:
We call upon you now for your comfort,
We call upon you now for your aid,
Share in our pain,
Share in our grief,
Bring us healing with time,
Bring us easing of pain.
We call upon you now for your justice,
We call upon you now for your strength,
Share in our anger,
Share in our pain,
Bring us retribution of spirit.
Bring us strength of resolve.
We call upon you for your guidance,
We call upon you for your comfort,
Share in our pain,
Share in our growth,
Bring us willingness to learn,
Bring us acceptance of change.
(Everyone is in a circle and holding hands - tell people about fireworks at end)
(3 chanters at their points in circle of people, and 9 or 3 weavers standing slightly inwards and apart, maybe in center to avoid confusion. Ribbons are already laid out in 3's.)
There have been times in all of our lives that are milestones of sorts. All of us can say where we were, if we were alive, when President Kennedy was shot. For those of a later generation, we can say where we were when the Challenger shuttle blew up. Now, we all have a new remembrance to share, a reference point of pain and sorrow. This doesn't mean that we should dwell on this, however. It should, in future times, be merely part of a whole experience. Our focus now should be turned to resolution of these feelings and emotions that we are all experiencing, and carry on into an acceptance of the constant flux of life.
We are all here to be an active part of that resolution and acceptance process. In times of need throughout humanity's existence, we have turned to the spiritual for deeper insight and understanding of sorrow and grief in times such as these.
This ritual tonight is meant for anyone who has suffered a loss, whether recently or not, whether personal or not. Tonight, let us work through grief - all levels of grief. Grief stems from loss - loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or the dissolving of a relationship. Everyone feels grief in varying degrees, yet all feelings are just as valid as someone else's.
You may feel that your personal losses are trivialized by the September 11 tragedy - like they don't matter, or aren't as important - but this isn't so. When the world seems headed towards an apocolypse, it may put your own losses in perspective; but it should not make your feelings any less valid.
Although you may not have suffered a loss yourself, you have still been touched by the national tragedy. You may even feel slightly guilty for being here this weekend, for daring to have fun, to lighten up.
Well, this ritual is not meant to belittle your loss, nor is it meant as a cure-all - you may not feel completely healed after this ritual, but perhaps it can help you on the path towards healing.
The ribbons that you wrote on over the weekend will now be braided. The colors represent not only the colors of our flag, but also the colors of the triple goddess - she of birth, life, and death. We weave the three together, to symbolize that all 3 stages are eternally intertwined.
(The circle will now form into 3 circles - chanters drop right hands, form a circle, move people in a circle while chanting.
We will now form 3 circles within our main circle. Each circle will represent something different - Sorrow, Anger, and Acceptance. Please feel free to stay where you are, or to join the circle that you feel most drawn to. We will be moving and chanting; if you are not comfortable with movement, you can stand slightly to the outside of your circle, and chant with the others.
(Sorrow chanter, please raise hand)
Anyone who feels drawn to Sorrow, please move over to that area.
(Anger chanter, please raise hand)
Anyone who feels drawn to Anger, please move over to that area.
(Acceptance chanter, please raise hand)
Anyone who feels drawn to Acceptance, please move over to that area.
Now, let us move together, separately, distinctly, but as one.
(Chanters move people in a circle while chanting. Chanters, instruct people who don't want to move to step back a bit. Meanwhile, braiders begin braiding ribbons together into 3 ribbons)
"I cry for loss
I cry for change
I cry for pain"
"How dare they take you
How dare you leave me
How dare things change"
"Loss becomes Life
Sadness becomes Joy
Pain becomes Peace"
(Continue chanting till the ribbons are all braided)
(To stop chanting)
As we weave our sorrow together, the burden of grief is shared, and so lessened.
Our pain has been heard, our anger has been heard, our acceptance has been heard. Let us now come together again as one circle, and become one.
(Have everyone re-form a big circle)
When you experience loss you invariably go through stages - sorrow, denial, shock, anger, acceptance, etc. Perhaps tonight a little bit of what you are feeling inside has been brought up to the surface. It is important to fully experience all your emotions on your path to healing, but not to get stuck on any one of them. You must be as the Vine; flexible and accepting of change, with the wisdom to know what is needed next.
To further us in our path toward healing, we will do a Bridget healing circle. This entails movement; those of you who feel comfortable with this, please step inwards a bit, and hold hands. The three of us in the center will do our own circle. If you'd rather, you can stand outside this circle, and just direct energy towards those within. When the energy is raised, we will lift this hoop upwards - you can then ground out your excess energy on us, on the hoop, or on the person in front of you. When we are done, we will light off fireworks and give everyone a sparkler. We'll take this hoop with its braided ribbons down to the sacred fire, and cast it in. The bonfire tonight will be an extension of this ritual.
(Have 3 at the center do a Bridget using the 3 ends of the braids. Hold ends, do a stand-and-spin - hold hands while holding ends of braids. Do Bridgit.)
"O Bridget, hear our plea
That we thy vessels of healing be
thy power raised
May thy name be praised
Help us bring rebirth and healing
Help us heal ourselves."
(Lift hoop upwards, remind everyone to ground out)
(Give everyone sparklers)
Let us take this symbol of our collective energies down to the sacred fire, and cast it in - may the memories of all written or invoked here tonight find their way to eternal peace!
(If mood is right, read:)
May clarity grow within Me
Open my eyes to life's many Wonders
May I feel the pulse of all creation within Me
Open my spirit to Awareness
Fill my heart with Understanding
May my life be of service to Earth and the Goddess
Open my ears to the needs of those around Me
Make my hands strong & gentle in Your Service
May I remember always, the Goddess works through Me
(Light 3 Roman candles, take hoop down to fire)
"It is done!"