Kissing Spirit

 

I love ritual and in my experience, the best ritual is simple, structured, light hearted, and authentic. I hosted a ceremony last night with my friends for Imbolc. I am a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and when I host ritual I like to use OBOD style structure and prayers. In our ceremonies we include a section commonly referred to as ‘calling the quarters’. Effectively it involves a short prayer to each of the four directions. We associate each of the directions with an element (earth, air, fire, and water), with a time of day, and often one of the four Jungian functions (thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation). In ceremony, one or two people often lead the ceremony, and these four directions are often given as ritual jobs/roles to others. The question is usually “do you want to do a quarter?” In formal ceremonies, there is often a scripted prayer for each direction. In more informal, or more intimate ceremonies, those prayers are usually spoken from the heart and in the ceremonial language of each person. There is a place for both. The latter is wonderful if everyone taking part enjoys it and knows what they’re doing. It allows for creativity, and for everyone else to get a glimpse into the spiritual life of another.
I have been to ceremonies where participants speak in their native languages when praying. It is always beautiful and touching. When I host, I usually offer/ask my friends to use their own languages. Last night, East was called quietly and sincerely in Italian. South was called simply and heartfully in English. West was called in beautiful Connemara Irish. And North was called with the wordless language of the body. We were working indoors and my friend skipped to the corner of the room and kissed the wall three times. When she offered her closing prayer at the end of the ceremony, she blew three kisses to the North. Ritual prayer, pure, simple and heartfelt. I absolutely loved it. 

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