Chester, Cheshire & Nationwide

Chester, Cheshire & Nationwide

Navigate Life with Intentional Silence, Ritual and Ceremony

Sally Cowman conducting a ritual outdoors.

I’ve had various emotional responses to the past year of change, experiencing degrees of clarity and uncertainty as life unfolds.  At times I see a path forward and then feel disoriented due to the ever-changing landscape around me. My sense of security tested, causing me to assess what the future holds. This seeking of security is human nature, though I’m finding surrender is a far easier way to live.  The reality is, I don’t know what’s going to happen moment to moment. 

The waxing and waning of the moon and the cycles of the seasons are constants in the ever-changing human experience. Connection to these reliable natural phenomena grounds me and offers insight into the nature of my existence. Synchronising with the cycles of mother earth is a great comfort because of the simple fact that I am nature, not separate from it. When I tune into the rhythms of the moon and the seasons, I align with the physics of the cosmos and the biology of the earth. I feel more of myself. 

When I acknowledge these cyclical events with intentional silence, ritual or ceremony they become a beautiful opening to peace of mind. Intentional silence is the simple act of quietly witnessing each moment, whilst a ritual is a set of fixed actions performed regularly. I combined both to create a ceremony. Sometimes elaborate and other times simple.

When I intentionally commit to moments of stillness I successfully navigate life by adapting to the changing landscape.  A shift occurs as I move my attention away from the external influence of TV, YouTube, social media, and the opinion of friends and family. In the stillness of ceremony, my analytical mind quietens, my attention turns inwards. I become aware of my thoughts and feelings, acknowledging my inner state. I claim sovereignty over the ebb and flow of my mood and cultivate a healthy response to the world around me. 

When I honour the cyclical nature of the moon or the burst of blossom after the bare winter, I can see that, from the death of the old life, a rebirth of new life occurs. Understanding this life/death/life cycle encourages faith because I see, from all destruction, something new is created. This eases the desire to control a world I cannot control, it encourages adaptability and the effective navigation of a changing landscape. I cultivate the art of letting go and allowing in. 

Benevolent, creative energy causes the moon to orbit the earth. It causes leaves to drop from autumn trees so that acorns can fall on fertile soil and grow into majestic oaks. In the stillness of ceremony, I connect to this universal energy. An inner-knowing bubbles up from my heart, the voice of my soul brings gentle yet firm messages from the universe. I see that inspiration and ideas are the human expressions of a cosmic life force. In this space of receptivity, I feel secure and held by a presence far greater than my human form. 

I’m inspired when I see the dates of the new and full moon marked on my calendar. I look up to the evening sky and notice the waxing or waning of its path. At its brightest or darkest I take time to light a candle and sit in stillness with myself. And as I do this I feel held by the loving presence of life itself. 

You’ll find ceremonial ideas for the new and full moon here. To learn about seasonal ceremony take a look at a booklet that I love, Glennie Kindred’s The Earth’s Cycle of Celebration

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