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I am honored to have participated in and led a variety of non-denominational but deeply spiritual ceremonies and rituals for over two decades. As for religion, My faith is in the interconnectedness of all things, with no particular religion in the forefront and all religions bearing relevance.
Some ceremonies I’ve performed combine well with my massage therapy and/or reiki expertise, such as actively participating in a birth or death. I also have experience in performing weddings, house blessings, cleansings and warding; Earth-based semi-religious ceremonies & rituals, Full & New Moon ceremonies, and animal transitions/death. Most ceremonies & rituals I’ve had the pleasure of participating in have been what many would consider “casual”: not in a church, light in ceremony, etc., though I have taken part in formal weddings involving a variety of religions.
Most recently and most often I’ve been facilitating New Moon Ceremonies monthly since 2017. These Ceremonies have elements of ritual combined with psychological exercises intended for looking deeper into shadow aspects of the self as well as guided meditation and holding space for self-initiated, shamanic-style internal journeys.
In the future I intend to explore education regarding coming of age ceremonies, specifically focused on working with women of all ages.
To ease the powers that be in New York State, and in an effort to make myself available for officiating weddings or facilitating funerals, etc., I have become an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church. This is by no means meant to suggest that I have studied the theology of clergy persons, nor that I have gone through a specific religious adherence. It is a piece of paper which helps certain processes in sometimes stressful proceedings move more smoothly.
Contact me to develop a ceremony or ritual to meet your specificity and needs.
What is a Ritual?
Does an event become a ritual because it has incense, candles, chanting or recitation? Disagreement abounds. While individuals may have different ideas of what exactly constitutes a ritual, it can generally be described as a ceremony to signify a major event: marriages, coming of age ceremonies, births, deaths, and religious holidays are all good examples. Other events like an Equinox, Solstice or the coming of a new moon are often marked with a ritual ceremony. Many rituals make use of religious symbols or parables for added significance. I believe that all the physical elements that may be present at a ritual or ceremony help set the stage and that the heart of the matter is in the intention behind the delivery. Almost anyone can read from a script, not everyone can invoke the power behind the words.
Main Types of Ceremony or Ritual
Ceremonies & Rituals can be broken up into two main categories: outcome-based and observance-based. Rituals that are outcome-based are carried out with the goal of achieving a particular outcome, such as marking a newfound commitment to a religion. An observance-based ritual, on the other hand, highlights a specific event -- such as a new moon or a religious anniversary -- with no express purpose other than to celebrate the event itself.
An Example Ritual Structure
Below is a basic ritual framework to describe planning and performing ceremonies. This structure can be applied to both outcome-based rituals and observance rituals, though it should be noted that the framework aligns best with the former.
Specify what the ritual's purpose is: The ceremony begins with a few words on why it is being held in the first place, with emphasis on the spiritual significance of the event.
Say a prayer: This step is entirely optional, but some ministers find that saying a formal or informal prayer can be helpful jumping-off point. One could take this time to ask God (or any spiritual being) for the blessing of all those involved in the ritual.
Emphasize your desired transformation: Participants may share words on how they expect things to change because of this ceremony, while also acknowledging the change about to take place.
Perform transformational aspect of the ritual: It's the moment everyone's been waiting for, time to convey to all those present exactly what is transforming. This can be accomplished through a mix of symbols, actions, and recitation.
The ritual's close:Give thanks whatever spiritual being you spoke to at the outset and all present for participating. Bring the ritual to a peaceful and uplifting end.