When our Circle began in 1989, we had an Opening Ceremony, a Rites of Passage Ceremony, an Inipi Ceremony, a Giveaway Ceremony and a Closing Ceremony. Since that time, we have added more Ceremonies and many of those have been tweaked over the years to serve us better. Some of our ceremonies are traditional, some we borrowed and some we made up (many times over coffee).

These ceremonies are lovingly and respectfully offered at our gatherings with the intention of honoring all women and acknowledging our Earthwalk in female bodies. Because of our roots in Native American traditions, all ceremonies begin with traditional smudging and many of our ceremonies use the traditional plants of corn, tobacco, cedar, sweetgrass and sage. We respectfully embrace all Earth honoring traditions.

Rites of Passage - This ceremony was introduced at our very first gathering and has not changed much over the years. It is our way of honoring the sacredness of the gift of Moontime (the name given to our menstrual cycle). We begin with all of the women gathered in a circle. We deliberately include our young maidens in this ceremony. They represent our innocent inner child as well as the Virgin aspect of the Goddess. Their duty is to carry our Sacred Hoop into the center of our circle.

We begin by inviting the newest women to pass through the hoop (all those who have begun menstruating since the last gathering). Next, we invite any Crones who have not yet participated in this ceremony to walk through the hoop. Finally, we invite any woman present to walk through the hoop. Upon crossing the threshold, we offer a gift that represents the child we leave behind and the woman we have become.

Blessing Way - If we are blessed by having a pregnant woman (or two or three), we celebrate the forthcoming birth(s) with a ceremony where all participants offer a blessing and we present a blanket to the expectant mother(s) as a reminder of the ceremony and a symbol of our love.

Croning Ceremony - This ceremony was born when one of our elders addressed us saying, “What about me?” It is the ceremony that changes the most. In its earliest incarnations, we lovingly created a Sacred Space to honor our elders and to send them on their new path with our love and respect. In the last few years, our elders have stepped up and have truly transformed this ceremony to a place where the newly Croned are welcomed to their new path with warmth, humor, unconditional love and many precious gifts. We have always used the age of 56 as our criteria for being a Crone. It is the age when we have symbolically lived through 2 Saturn returns.

Giveaway Ceremony - When our Council moved to Maine from New York, this is the Ceremony we brought with us. It has always been a part of the gatherings. Usually, this is part of our closing ceremony and, as the name implies is about giving and receiving a gift - a way of celebrating our time together and our connection to each other. A blanket is placed on the ground and each woman places her giveaway on the blanket and receives one in turn. These gifts are usually small, sometimes handmade, and always heartfelt. Sometimes (usually for the larger gatherings) we have a separate Giveaway Ceremony for the Maidens (children).

More Ceremonies

Algonquin Water Blessing Ceremony

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