Dorothy shares how she closed the year with ritual by creating a solo ceremony that helped her release the previous year, find acceptance in her present reality, and set intentions for the year to come.
I knew I wanted to close the year with ritual and intention, but I didn’t know where to start. I was first introduced to Be Ceremonial through my sister Emily Bootle, who runs DeathcareBC. I was eager to bring more ceremony into my life but I didn’t know where to start.
Closing the Year Rituals
I was going away on a solo trip to one of the Gulf Islands and I wanted to bring something different to the experience. I had gone on solo trips before but had never incorporated an element of ritual and ceremony. This was also the first time that I had done a ceremony on my own.
I chose Be Ceremonial’s Closing the Year ceremony to help mark this time of transition in my life. It was early November and I was looking for a ceremony to recognize the change in seasons and to help me welcome in the long, dark days of winter.
The app made it really easy to create my ceremony. The intuitive way it walks you through each stage, from opening to closing, along with their suggestions of how many rituals to choose, made it easy to design. I went through and planned my ceremony out before my trip so that I could bring the appropriate ritual items with me, including candles, tea, notebooks, and music.
During my trip, I decided to hold the ceremony over the course of a few days. The first night, I opened with a welcome song, followed by a tasting ritual, using lemon and chamomile to set the tone for the weekend ahead.
Rituals to Release
The next morning, I chose their Old Stories ritual, followed by the Shedding ritual that I incorporated into my sauna experience. The Old Stories ritual was very powerful to start my first full day ~ I was almost nervous to do it because I wasn’t sure what would come up for me.
I did it in a space with candles and my yoga mat and gently reflected and released the fears and worries that my body was holding onto. I modified it slightly by writing down all of the words that I wanted to keep and the ones that I wanted to shed, and I physically ripped the words from the paper one by one as I released them from my body and my mind.
The third day, I chose their Taking Stock ritual, followed by the Ritual Walk. My final ritual was perhaps the most powerful. I closed with their Crossing the Threshold ritual, and I think it was especially poignant because I had spent 3 days shedding old stories and taking stock of the year and deciding what I wanted to bring into the winter season with me.
Crossing the Threshold
I found a path in the forest with trees that created a natural tunnel, and I used this as a natural threshold to walk through, saying out loud the things that I was leaving behind as I did.
I witnessed the power of letting go of the past and using ritual to truly bring me into the present. The forest walk, scents and music that I used on all three days was very powerful in grounding me in the present moment.
The Transformative Power of Ceremony
The entire experience was a very transformational time for me. It brought me into the present. I had not realized that I was living in my mind, simultaneously in the past and in the future. This time away allowed me to be present and intentional with what I was carrying into the new season.
I appreciated the ease of designing a ceremony and the little descriptions that each ritual offered. It was easy to follow and prepare for. I would highly recommend this type of experience to anyone who is looking to renew or reconnect with themselves. Had I not been to a Be Ceremonial retreat prior to this, I might not have fully understood the power behind these rituals.
If you are new to ceremony or ritual, I would highly recommend reaching out to Megan as a Celebrant with Seeking Ceremony, or anyone in the Be Ceremonial Village to answer any questions you may have so you can build your own powerful ceremony.