I wanted to bid adieu to my 30s and welcome a new decade by creating a memorable and intentional ceremony for this milestone birthday. I knew I wanted to do something special to mark this transition in my life, but it was not until I came across Megan and Be Ceremonial that I understood the power and importance of acknowledging the end of my 30s before moving into my 40s.
I chose the Closing the Year ceremony and made it a solo ceremony for myself. I split the ceremony into two parts ~ the first part I did on my own, and the second part I held later during a Hot Air Balloon ride I booked for myself.
What struck me was that even though I had planned everything beforehand, it was not until I went through the ceremony experience that I realized how immensely powerful the process was and how much it impacted me.
I selected the Arboretum for my ceremonial space and began the ceremony underneath a grove of trees near a body of water. I opened the ceremony by lighting a candle and then proceeded to acknowledge What Was with the Taking Stock ritual. I wrote down and spoke aloud what I wanted to let go of and then I burned each item in the fire. This was followed by a listing of items that I wanted to preserve and harvest from my 30s.
Next, I focused on What Is and completed the Web of Support ritual. I took a piece of yarn and tied it around my arm to call in the different aspects of support I would need to help me move forward. This string was worn through the duration of the ceremony.
I then brought a rock with me to set an intention for my future, or What Will Be. The word I wrote on the rock was, ‘Connection.’ This is the word I decided to carry forward into my 40s.
I brought 40 hosta leaves from my garden of all shapes and varieties to my ceremonial space. I wrote down 40 wishes and intentions, one for each leaf that I want to harvest in this new decade.
Finally, I completed a closing ritual by lighting a sparkler and holding a moment of silence for what I wanted to carry forward and my wishes for this new decade. Once all of the wishes were articulated, I blew out my candle to close the ceremony and brought the intentional hosta leaves with me as I continued to wear my yarn around my wrist. Thus finishing the first aspect of my closing ceremony.
After the initial ceremony, I booked a hot air balloon ride for my birthday gift and I brought my 40 wishes and intentions with me. I was still wearing my yarn around my wrist as we went up into the sky. It was a magical and sublime experience as all aspects of my ceremony came together beautifully.
Once our flight landed, I walked to a river nearby and released all of my wishes and intentions into the water and removed my yarn bracelet. It was moving and it was powerful.
Truly, all of the rituals made my milestone birthday ceremony powerful and supportive. One element and ritual does not outweigh the others. The act of doing, writing, articulating, burning, lighting and flying all came together beautifully. It was like drinking a perfect cup of tea ~ all the elements were needed to make it superb, but not one element stood out more than the others.
The whole process and experience was incredibly grounding. I moved through all aspects of my emotions, from sadness to anger, pain to joy, laughter to delight. Planting my future intentions helped me contemplate where I would like to focus my energy as I propel myself forward in this new time of my life.
I appreciated the support of Be Ceremonial. The App gave me a template to draw from and then invited me to personalize it further to acknowledge my transition in a unique and intentional way. The adjustments I made to the rituals helped me customize the elements of my ceremony and make it feel like my own. It was a memorable milestone birthday.
As a ceremonial leader in my community, it was imperative that I take the time to enrich my own practice of seeking powerful and unique rituals in my life, so that I can bring that same energy to others.