Feb 13, 2011

Jan 4, 2011

Happy New Year / Website Update

I wish you all a gorgeous entry into the new year of 2011!

And, FYI, no, I have not forgotten about my website!

Because I have been busy with ceremonial work, I have not been as busy with my new website work as I had originally planned. However, I am resolving to complete it this winter.

Please check out the progress thus far at www.carrierathwell.com and stay tuned for updates in the near future, as I continue to design and create my new site.

Thank you for your patience.

And drop me a line or give me a call - make 2011 the year you stepped into your life in a ceremonial way!

Sep 1, 2010

Six Month Check-In

Dear Readers:

What I have been up to: lovely, lovely ceremonies!

The first of the photos is from one of the weddings I officiated at this summer. A happy day in the Quebec countryside, surrounded by family and friends. Et cette ceremonie etait toute en francais - vive la belle difference! Merci a tous pour cette saison de joie.

Here is some feedback from Michele, a client:
"Carrie was the ceremonialist who worked with us in the creation of, and officiated, our handfasting - I have to say, she was magical. It is a difficult task and she did it with grace, integrity, honesty and moments of hilarity. Flexible in co-creating with us she also had a focused presence and intent during the ceremony, beautifully manifesting the sacredness and playfulness of our handfasting with a grounded energy that elicited understanding from people around the importance of the ceremony. Carrie is a natural and, blended with her warm personality makes her what I would consider a charming collaborator in ceremonies calling for heart, honesty and integrity."

Mar 1, 2010

Website in Development

There has been plenty of ceremonial activity since my last post - weddings, an adult coming-of-age ceremony, an alternative baby baptism, one-on-one ceremonial consultations, a girl's rite of passage ceremony and lots of others, some completed and some in development.

Also in development is a permanent website.

I will post more details shortly, but in the meantime, please continue to peruse this blog for all kinds of ceremonial information. All the process and contact information is up to date and I would love to hear from you if you have anything to share or ask.

It sure is an exciting time to be a Ceremonialist!

Nov 13, 2009

One-on-one Consultations

If you are going through a particularly challenging or intense personal experience, or are preparing for one, I may be able to offer support for you.

To give an example, I was recently contacted by a woman preparing to undergo fertility treatments. She had been to a previous ceremony I had led and was inspired to seek ceremony as a way of engaging in this process.

When she called, we discussed what was going on for her – what she had done to this point, as well as where she was at now, her fears, anxieties, hopes, visions of the future, and so on.

I offered to do a Shamanic Journey on her behalf to ask: “What could she do to ritually prepare herself for the treatments ahead, so that she could become the most present and receptive for the insemination(s)?”

When we next met, I came to her home and together we set up an altar space, which would act as a focal point for her conscious engagement with the process of conceiving a baby. As well, she was offered a daily grounding exercise and a meditative process to get to know the Truths of her body as she took the fertility drugs in preparation for the insemination. She was also offered a particular grounding exercise and a particular ritual for the day of the insemination that would allow her to be present and engaged with her body and the procedures of the day.

All of this was specifically designed for her, and not only did I visit her home to set up the altar and explain the vision I was given on her behalf, but I also gave her a copy of the personal guidance, with a possibility of following up with me, if she needed to do so.

From my client:
“I want to thank you for all your input last night. I think it has really jumpstarted an important process for me.”

And, in fact, we have had further consultations about how to use ceremony and ritual to help her as she moved into her first house as well.

We can all use ceremony or ritual as a tool of personal development. From a Ceremonialist’s perspective, I see that it is not only what challenges we choose or are presented with but how we choose to approach these challenges that create a life of happiness and fulfillment.

From big physical challenges of becoming a parent or moving, to more subtle life challenges such as preparing yourself to date at mid-life or exploring your life’s purpose, ceremony can be a wonderful aid. I would be thrilled to help others use these same tools of ceremony that have been used since the dawn of civilization to rise to the challenges of a life well lived.

Sep 9, 2009

Becoming a Girl - Initiation into Girlhood Ceremony

Leaving babyhood behind, entering into girlhood, welcomed by the women who love her - that was the essence of the ceremony that initiated this girl into her maiden years. At the end of the ceremony, she had learned about her family lineage of women, had received blessings, was offered support in growing into the unique girl that she is by other women who have been girls before, and began learning some of the ways of the sacred feminine. All that, and she had fun, too! What a special afternoon, for all of us.

"My experiences of Carrie as Ceremonialist have been wonderful. She is professional, thorough and kind in the creation process which inevitably leads to a beautiful, loving experience of ceremony." Debbie, Mom of Ceremony Girl

Aug 15, 2009

Why let convention define your life?

Just like a snowflake, you are one-of-a-kind. You are the only one to intimately know your life, to know what is or isn’t important to you on your journey.

Convention in the West says that outside of faith communities, the only parts of life important enough to mark ceremonially are weddings and funerals. But really, why let convention define your life?

I recently co-created a ceremony for a woman who had spent many years thoroughly working through quite painful family of origin issues. In so doing, she had to sort out what did and didn’t happen for her as a child and young adult, heal the wounds that she carried, accept gifts she was given, learn what she did and did not need from then in her life now, grow into new distinctions and abilities.

This journey is one that we all must take on in order to become mature adults, no matter what our childhoods looked like.

For this woman, as she neared the end of this process, she said she could really feel like a major chapter of her life was coming to a close. For her, this degree of completion, this sense of major accomplishment and change required her to mark her arrival in the land of individuated adulthood in ceremony.

I worked with this client to prepare for a ceremony that included a variety of ritual activities designed to mark what we came to realize was an adult baptism and to enable her loved ones to support and nourish her at this time in her life.

Once through the ceremony, she said she could feel a really shift, as if the loose ends had all gotten tied up on that day and that she really felt like a different person. In fact, an acquaintance of hers even remarked to me that he wasn’t sure it was really her because she seemed so different!

So I encourage you to think outside the box and be the creator of your life, with you determining what counts as important in your experiences. Your inner life and what happens in it are at least as important as any outwardly-realized goal. It can be life-changing to give those inner experiences an expression out here in the physical world, honouring them and yourself in ceremony.

From my client:
“It means so much to me that you have created this ceremony for me and have shown such grace and skill in the process. You are truly a creator of beauty in the world.”

Jun 19, 2009

The Importance of Ritual

"…(W)hy is ritual important? As much as our body requires food for nourishment, our souls and spirits require ritual to stay whole. It is as if without the spirit being nourished in us, the body pays for the consequences. The food of the psyche is the symbol, and it is through ritual that our spirit is fed."
~ Malidoma Patrice Somé
“The Healing Wisdom of Africa”, 1998.

May 31, 2009

Yogafest: A Festival for Healthy Living

I invite you to the 2nd Annual Yogafest, held on Sunday, June 21, 2009 from 10am to 6pm at The Herb Garden (3840 Old Almonte Road, Almonte, Ontario).

In addition to having an information booth, I will be offering a workshop entitled “Ceremony and You: Marking Transitions and Rites of Passage”. Learn how you can use Ceremony to meet life transitions and rites of passage consciously and powerfully.

Come on out! I would love to see you there.

May 2, 2009

Re-Birthing Into A New Life Ceremony

Continuing my last entry's theme of thresholds, I would like to share about a “Re-Birthing Into a New Life Ceremony” I created for a client recently.

Over the past 3 years, my client had faced a lot of change: the death of a parent, a change of jobs, health problems, starting a course about finding your life's purpose, the end of a relationship.

Once she was through the immediate processes of healing and grieving that which was loss and beginning that which was new, she really could see that she was at a turning point in her life. One was of being was completing and another way of being was emerging. She decided that she would hold a ceremony to mark this, inviting those people who had been supporting her in these changes.

Her “Re-Birthing into a New Life Ceremony”, consisted of three sections:
1) Releasing the Old – a ritual to consciously choose to let go of patterns, people, things, ways of being that were complete.
2) Re-Birthing – a ritual to re-enact the birthing process, so as to heal old birth trauma and emerge anew.
3) Claiming the New Self – rituals to acknowledge and own the people and parts of the old life that did work as well as rituals to claim that which makes up the new life.

My client and all of her guests engaged with the Ceremony with great heart, authenticity and integrity and the afternoon was truly a highlight of my time as Ceremonialist. And although many people didn’t know each other before the Ceremony, afterwards we all came out of the experience feeling connected to each other in a deep way.

So, not only did my client live her own conscious transition, she deepened her connections to her circle of loved ones, while connecting them to each other in community. Such is the power of Ceremony.

From my client:
“You have been a true guide in helping me understand the key elements of my transformation and have held my hand through the threshold of my new life. You made it safe for me. Thank you.”

Apr 10, 2009

Threshold Moments

We are constantly managing the flow of change in our lives. Nothing stays the same, really, no matter how hard we try. If we have a lot of changes happen in a short span of time, it is a signal that life is really on the move and that we are being challenged to rise to the occasion. This is what John O’Donohue calls a threshold time in a life.

“A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope. This is one of the reasons such vital crossings were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.” – John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us”

To cross, when it is really time to cross and as we are ready, is a powerful choice. And, like O’Donohue says, ritual is a vital way by which to mark for yourself and amongst your people, such a time.

In Ceremony, you go from being a re-actor, someone always trying to catch up to the changes, to being a creator, someone who chooses to honour and acknowledge the flow as it is and as you accept it to be. In fact, successfully done, the Ceremony itself becomes the moment of transition. Ceremony is a way to step out of the everyday movement of activity, and into time and space that is designed to meet life face-to-face, choosing to be in the flow and deciding what that means for you.

Mar 16, 2009

Learning to Walk the Walk of "The Mother”

These are some pictures from a Mother Blessing Ceremony that was held in December of last year. (I mentioned it previously in a December 08 post.)

My client was a first-time mother, and a major focus of her Ceremony was about addressing any fears of being alone in this experience by initiating and nourishing her connection to the archetypal energy of the "Universal Mother”, She who birthed us all, and She who is there for all mothers.

This is what my client had to say after her Mother Blessing Ceremony:

“I feel calmer. I don't feel so alone, or rather, I know that despite being alone on the path to become a mother I can feel and see that this is a well trodden path that many have taken before me and many will take after me. I found hearing other women's stories to be so valuable for this. I find listening and talking to be so valuable as a way of learning and this ceremony was such a huge step towards becoming a mother.”

~ Caitlin, Mother Blessing Client and Mother-To-Be

Feb 16, 2009

Ceremonial Consciousness

"We must never abandon ceremony but use it as a guide, and later as a friend. Ceremony provides structure for the conscious mind and body to enter a state of spiritual consciousness. Without ceremony we would never transcend the barriers of self."
~ Tom Brown, Jr.
"The Vision"

Jan 9, 2009

National TV Coverage

As I had written previously in this blog, I have spent several months in the summer and fall of 2008 filming the process of Ceremony creation for a show called “C’est ça la vie” on French CBC-TV. The airdate for the show was Monday, January 5, 2009. For those who didn’t catch it live, here is the link to the streamlined version of the piece. Overall, I am quite happy with the coverage and am pleased to share it with you all. Enjoy!

A Further Note:
One thing I would like to add about the episode is that during much of the show, they refer to me as a “Celebrant” (célébrant professionel), and I want to clarify the difference between a “Celebrant” and “Ceremonialist”. I’ll start by quoting from a previous blog entry:
I was trained as a Celebrant, first by In-Sight Books as a Funeral Celebrant, and then by the Celebrant USA Foundation and Institute, the organization mentioned in the piece, with a speciality in weddings. Because I have also had training in Ceremony in the Celtic Shamanic Tradition with Kathleen Leeson, RH, and other shamanic studies which I can bring into my work, I call myself a Ceremonialist rather than a Celebrant. However, because my orientation is in service of the client's needs, I can also do totally secular ceremonies as well.
There are other ceremonial practitioners out here who are also Ceremonialists, but there are no specific training organizations like there are for Celebrants.

If you have other questions about this, please contact me!

Jan 1, 2009

Looking Forward to 2009

Happy New Year, one and all!
I love the beginning of the new year, setting new goals and making plans for the months to come.
In ceremonial terms, this year I have been talking to clients about several different ceremonies already:
· A Naming Ceremony, with the Intention of welcoming a baby into a family, community and faith tradition, as an alternative to a Christian baptism
· Houseblessings/Apartment Blessings, with the Intention of clearing out the energies of previous inhabitants and bringing personalized blessings and life-supportive consciousnesses into a home
· A Ceremony to Reclaim Space After a Separation, with the Intention of releasing the energies of the co-created home, and to welcome in life-supportive consciousnesses and energies on behalf of the newly single resident
There really is no limit on what Ceremony can mark in a life, as I have talked about before in this blog - click here for more information on what Ceremony is, here for more information on the Purpose of Ceremony, here for what you can expect working with me on a Ceremony and here for an overview of what Ceremony Packages I offer.
I feel very fortunate to have the chance to spend another year in my calling as Ceremonialist.
I wish you all an enlivening, purposeful and abundantly loving 2009!
Ceremonially yours,

Dec 14, 2008

Mother Blessing Ceremonies

I am currently completing the final touches of a Mother Blessing Ceremony, to be held at the end of this month for a pregnant client of mine.
Unlike a Baby Shower, which is about the needs of the baby, a Mother Blessing Ceremony is designed to acknowledge, honour and celebrate a woman's transition from Woman-Unto-Herself to being Mother-Unto-Another.
There are a number of Intentions of a Mother Blessing Ceremony, including providing the Mother-To-Be with an opportunity to receive other women's wisdom about birthing and motherhood, creating a support network for her before and after the birth, and doing activities that help her engage with energies that she will be activitating during labour, so she is better prepared when the time comes.
The role of the Mother is so important and so often overlooked and a Mother Blessing Ceremony is a key way to allow a Mother-To-Be to become a Mother in a connected, knowledgeable and empowered way.
In the new year, I will be posting pictures, so stay tuned...

Nov 3, 2008

Update On Weddings

Planning for the wedding high season (June – August) is already starting up. I have had the great fortune of officiating at some weddings in my work as Ceremonialist – see here for a wedding example and here for an example of a handfasting.
I have had a lot of questions about my legal qualifications as a wedding officiant, so I thought now would be a good time to update and clarify.
In the province of Quebec, I can legally perform civic marriages, both opposite sex and same sex. Just to be clear, if I am your Ceremonialist in Quebec, you will be legally married, wedding certificate and all.
In the province of Ontario, it is at the discretion of the municipalities to designate legal wedding officiants, that is to say, people who are not ordained clergy who can perform weddings. So far, the City of Ottawa, the large municipality I live near, has only given permission to city clerks. However, they are currently in the process of reviewing this policy and I am in communication with them about my position as a trained Ceremonialist.
In the meantime, if you are in Ottawa and interested in hiring me, some possibilities are:
· doing the Ceremony in Quebec – outside, inside, at a golf course, in Gatineau Park, there are lots of very special places to get married in “la belle province”
· having the legal ceremony at City Hall – the 10-minute civil ceremony in the small room with the city clerk – and then having the meaningful ceremony with all your guests at the place of your choice with me as Ceremonialist (FYI, this is how many couples in Europe plan their weddings!).
It is certainly my Intention to become a designated legal officiant by the City of Ottawa in 2009. I will keep you posted here.
And, to any interested couples, here is my posting about what to expect in working with me. Just to let you know, I am bilingual and am available to officiate in both official languages. Please contact me and I would be happy to talk to you!

Oct 1, 2008

Le Couronnement de la Grandmère

La semaine dernière j'ai fait une cérémonie nommée "La couronnement de la Grandmère". La cérémonie était filmée par Radio-Canada pour une émission entitulée "C'est ça la vie". Je vais vous avertir quand j'ai une version "streaming"!

[In English, this ceremony is called "The Crowning of the Crone". This ceremony was filmed for CBC TV for a show called "C'est ça la vie" - "That's Life". I will post news of it here when I have a streamlined version! The translation of this in English follows at the end of the French text.]

La Grand-mère dans le sense qu'on utilise pour la cérémonie est un terme symbolique qu’on utilise pour décrire un archétype ancien dans le cycle de vie d’une femme. Traditionellement, quand les femmes et les hommes ont atteint un certain âge, ils et elles ont été accepté comme “Anciens” dans leur communauté. Alors, ils avaient la responsabilité de partager leur sagesse avec les autres. Pour les femmes, ce rôle est nommé “Grand-mère”.

Dans ce sens symbolique, le rôle de “Grand-mère” se déroule vers la fin d’une vie. Traditionellement, le cycle de vie d’une femme est représenté par trois phases ou aspects: premièrement, la vierge, deuxièmement, la mère et troisièmement la Grand-mère.

La vierge symbolique est l’aspect jeune de la féminité. Ici, on commence sa vie, on développe sa sexualité et on apprend à développer un certain pouvoir. La mère symbolique est la phase active de la féminité d’une adulte. La sexualité de la femme crée et donne naissance. Il faut prendre soin, par exemple de ses enfants ou encore de ses divers projets créatifs.

A l’arrivée de la ménopause, la femme a l’occasion d’écouter son corps ce qui la guide à laisser aller un certain niveau d’activités. Maintenant, elle peut réclamer et reconnaître son âge, sa maturité, sa sagesse et son pouvoir; Elle peut choisir de le partager à l’ensemble de la communauté.

Dans les temps anciens, la « Grand-mère » était vénérée comme une femme intègre qui, après avoir bien vécu une vie remplie, a maintenant le droit de partager ses expériences sur les cycles de la vie, de la mort et de la renaissance avec les vierges et les mères pour qu’elles puissent vivre ces cycles de vie à leur façon et en bonne santé.

Les femmes des temps modernes ont droit au même processus soit de sortir de cette phase de mère de la façon dont elle l’on vécu et de choisir de partager leur sagesse profonde selon leurs propres points de vue. Ce sont ces traditions que l’on cherche à réclamer avec la cérémonie de "La couronnement de la Grandmère".

In English, now:
The "Crone" as referred to in this ceremony is a symbolic term used to describe an ancient archetype in the lifespan of a woman. Traditionally, the life cycle of a woman is seen in a triple aspect: the maiden, the mother and the crone.

The maiden is the young feminine aspect, beginning her life, coming into her sexuality and power. The mother is the active adult time of life, when a woman births and tends her children or other projects in the world.

At the time of menopause, following her body’s cues, a woman has the opportunity to let go of this time of high activity, to claim and acknowledge her age, deep maturity, wisdom and power and to share this in her community on behalf of the whole.

In ancient times, the Crone was revered as a woman of wholeness who, by living her life fully, had earned the right to share her knowledge about the cycles of death and rebirth.

Women of modern times have a right to the same processes, to emerge from motherhood in whatever form that has taken in their lives, to claim their life experience and to use their wisdom powerfully in service as they see fit. These are the traditions that we seek to reclaim in the ceremony of the "Crowning of the Crone".

Sep 21, 2008

In Honour of John O'Donohue

“A threshold is a significant frontier where experience banks up; there is intense concrescence. It is a place of great transformation. Some of the most powerful thresholds divide worlds from each other: life in the womb from birth, childhood from adolescence, adulthood from middle age, old age from death. And on each side there is a different geography of feeling, thinking and being. The crossing of a threshold is in effect a rite of passage.

Our culture has little to offer us for our crossings. Never was there such talk of communication or such technology to facilitate it. Yet at the heart of our newfound wealth and progress there is a gaping emptiness, and we are haunted by loneliness. While we seem to have progressed to become experts in so many things – multiplying and acquiring stuff we neither need nor truly want – we have unlearned the grace of presence and belonging. With the demise of religion, many people are left stranded in a chasm of emptiness and doubt; without rituals to recognize, celebrate, or negotiate the vital thresholds of people’s lives, the key crossings pass by, undistinguished from the mundane, everyday rituals of life. This is where we need to retrieve and reawaken our capacity for blessing. If we approach our decisive thresholds with reverence and attention, the crossing will bring us more than we could ever have hoped for. This is where blessing invokes and awakens every gift the crossing has to offer. In our present ritual poverty, the Celtic tradition has much to offer us.”

~ John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us”, New York: Doubleday, 2008;
p 193-4

Aug 30, 2008


I just signed on as a member of the website, Healing Tree, a really great site for one-stop perusing of what is up in the alternative health and wellness community in the Ottawa area. Come see who's who and what we are all up to!

Jul 26, 2008

Birthday Ceremony

I just officiated at a ceremony of a dear friend’s 50th birthday party. For most of the evening, it was a simple regular birthday evening – dinner out, cards, wine, laughter. The ceremonial piece was focused around a necklace the group of us had pooled to give her, in honour of her 50th birthday. One of our group, an artist who does one-of-a-kind vision-guided jewelry, designed our friend a beautiful necklace and matching bracelet and earrings (to contact the artist, Carol Goodman, email moonlodgedesigns@yahoo.ca). We began by showing the birthday woman the jewelry and the artist described her process of creation and why she designed it the way she did. Then, I led the group in a ceremony that infused the jewelry with loving praise and blessings for our friend, so that when we finally put it on her, it was radiating with love and will do so wherever she wears it in the world. We had the birthday woman in tears at various points, and as she herself said as she thanked us, “I will never forget this night”. Birthday dinners can come and go, but ceremony creates loving memories that live on.

Jun 23, 2008

Summer Solstice

The 2nd Annual Women’s Summer Solstice Gathering has now come and gone. It was a wondrous 2 days of ceremony, taking time out from our daily lives to offer back to the Earth. In our usual ways, we are in the process of taking materials, resources, energy for our own use, and so to take conscious time out to give of ourselves is a key element of living in balance. We worked ceremonially with the energies of the personal and transpersonal, as they related to each of the elements: air, fire, water, earth and how these elements in turn related to their further correspondences of Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon and Mother Earth. Our ceremonial activities included dance, breath, fire building, fire smudging, prayers, water lustrations, flower essence creating and more. As a group, we really came together beautifully, and in offering, we received much of our own healing in return. If anyone is interested in finding out more, please contact me at crathwell2@yahoo.com and I would be happy to put you on our mailing list for the Gathering.

Jun 11, 2008

Ceremony in the News

Today Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed Parliament apologizing on behalf of the federal government to the former students of the Indian residential school program. His statement was followed in the House of Commons by speeches from aboriginal leaders and the day was marked by ceremonies in communities across the country.

From my place as Ceremonialist, I am interested in seeing how does this taking responsibility by the government on one hand, and the receiving of this admission come into form? On the part of the government, the protocols and procedures of the House of Commons are observed as per normal though on this day, other Parliamentary business was cancelled and aboriginal leaders were invited to respond immediately after Stephen Harper’s statement. I would say that there are regularly some ritual elements, steeped in traditions long documented, that govern the day-to-day business of the Canadian government. How “alive” this is, is actually up to the particular people involved and if they authentically embody the “spirit”, if you will, of the rituals and of their words. My wish here is that today’s words were authentic and that they will come into concrete form, in the ways that are best as determined by the people affected.

From the point of view of the aboriginal communities, it is quite a different thing to receive than to deliver, and from what I could find out in the news (most of it focused on Harper’s speech and not the aboriginal ceremonies), the ceremonies included: a sunrise ceremony at Parliament Hill to honour former residential school students who had died; a smudging ceremony inside Parliament Hill (I bet the place could do with a real cleaning!); a “letting go” ceremony in Nova Scotia; and other events across the country. My firm wish here is that such ceremonies were not “staged” by the government for their positive PR effects, but rather that they were the powerful, living, organic ceremonies that would best serve the people affected by today’s statement. Ceremonies don’t fix the legacy of problems left by the residential school system, but they can be tools of healing, letting go and moving forward from a new place.

And one final observation: there is no way to have marked this day without ceremony. Think about it – how would that communication have gone out and been received if not with a formal space and time apart, carefully chosen words spoken on behalf of many, symbolic gestures and actions of giving and receiving. Societally and culturally, ceremony is the tool we use to mark the big changes. As long as there have been civilizations, there have been ceremonies. One of our upper needs on the hierarchy of needs, but one we cannot let go. The challenge always is to have the ceremonies be meaningful and reflective of authentic change. May this be so today.

Jun 8, 2008

Cosmic Pathways Healing Fair

Yesterday I may have seen some of you at the Cosmic Pathways Healing Fair – an event that provides a great opportunity to find out what is going on in the alternative health communities in the Ottawa area. Holistic practitioners from all kinds of traditions and with all kinds of services are invited to have booths at the fair. People pay a small entrance fee and then they can buy “tickets” for $10, which they can use to buy mini-sessions with anyone in the room (all the money goes to charity). What a great environment to meet people of all kinds and to get a sense of who they are and what they offer. And the people it draws – I tell you I had so many really engaged, enthusiastic and fascinating conversations with such a variety of people. And the questions were so great, I thought I’d answer a couple of them in this blog for everyone.
Q. I have a garden that I would like to have “cleaned” on the energetic level – can you do anything for me?
A. Yes, I can do what is called a “Land Clearing Ceremony”. Like a House Blessing Ceremony, I ceremonially clear out the old energies and welcome in the new on your behalf. My processes are the same, the only difference is that it is outdoors instead of indoors.
Q. I would like to have a daily spiritual practice of some kind, but I am having problems being regular about it. Can you help?
A. Yes. There are several possibilities, and the one that came to mind with this person was that I could come to their place and set up a personal altar space for them. An altar is entirely unique person to person, and the overall intent is to have some physical space with physical objects that help you see your life in a symbolic sense, thereby connecting you to a “Higher Self”, however that lives for you. You would see the beauty of this space every day and change the objects on it occasionally, as your life moves and changes. An altar can reflect your ancestors; the seasons and how your life connects to the patterns of nature; important processes or events in your life (ie. a significant birthday, the process of forgiving a particular person that you are trying to complete, a loss of a loved one); or anything that clues you in to your life from a spiritual perspective. In my role as Ceremonialist, I would act as a consultant, giving you ideas, helping you set up different altar objects and I would also energetically set up the altar space in your home so that it becomes a dedicated ceremonial space.
If anyone has any other questions, please email me at crathwell2@yahoo.com. I would love to hear from you!
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