The many definitions of ceremony

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “ceremony” as “a formal act or event that is a part of a social or religious occasion.”

For us as First Nations people, ceremony has many definitions. The concepts of ceremony, honouring, acknowledging and giving thanks are interchangeable and play an important part in all of our traditions. One of my most sacred ceremonies was the birth of my children. Their ceremonial journey from the sky world to earth was the greatest blessing. Pre-destined, as was I, and all of my relatives before me. Each child is unique and precious. And now, the grandchildren are a continuation of this love.

Ceremony teaches us to be humble. I remember fasting for the first time. You must prepare mentally for the four days and four nights with no food and water. There was never any question in my mind that I wouldn’t succeed. The messages from spirit were guiding my path. The timing at that point of my life was perfect. Humility is something you connect with at the end of that process. Intention was set and a seed to your future planted.

Your inner voice can be described as the pathway from the Universal energy to your soul. Consider it like your own tour guide offering suggestions that you can accept or ignore. Ceremony does not have to be as intense as fasting. It can be a simple morning prayer in your own special way or giving thanks for another day of learning or giving thanks for the many blessings that are placed before us. Ceremony can be an individual action or that of a group. Some choose to be faithful ceremonially to their nation, some travel and attend sacred journeys, some honour sacred sites as a way to bring the spiritual energy to those at home. Every step is sacred on this earth walk. No matter where we travel on this earth, our ancestors have stepped before us. We walk in their energy and their blueprint remains for us to access. Whatever the path, ceremony lifts your spirit and heightens your vibrational energy.

There are many types of ceremony: birth, marriage, gatherings, healing, traditional society, morning prayer, protection, spiritual and religious, to name a few. To walk the path of ceremony is to walk the path of peace and to honour our soul by connecting to the Universal threads in our own individual manner. Ceremony is looking towards the light as it shines through like Creators’ hand extending out to all who wish to join.

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