December Cycle Ritual

"Ritual allows us to transcend passivity and become active agents in changing our own lives."
Caroline Casey

Optional items to get before Sunday:

  • A journal 
  • Candles
  • Seasonal decorations
  • A compass (or download an app on your phone)
  • Nice smells - incense or essential oils and an oil burner, for example

How to create your ritual...

1. Set the scene
Create the setting for your ritual by tidying up your space, burning some nice smells, decorating it with seasonal things like holly and evergreens. If you feel like it you can put the December playlist on.

2. Sit in silence
For a few minutes, just sit in silence, letting the rest of the day subside, and bring your focus to the present moment, so you can really land “in” the ritual.

3. Connect with the four directions
Look at your compass to see where North, South, East and West are. If you don't already have an awareness of it, it's good to get a sense of what the directions are in relation to your home.

4. Mark the directions in your space 
(On an altar table or place you consider sacred in your home).
In the East place a candle to represent the sun rising and the element of fire.
In the West a feather or something to represent the element of air.
In the South a small bowl of water.
In the North something to represent earth, like a plant or piece of food.

5. Reflect on what you are grateful for 
Look to the East and reflect on what you're grateful for in your life in relation to fire, continue around the compass with each direction and the corresponding element. 

6. Read this month's poem
Out loud or in your head. Reflect on what resonates for you from the poem.

7. Step into a time machine
By listening to this guided visualisation.

8. Reflective writing after the meditation
Over the past month...

  • I have experienced... challenges
  • I have learned...
  • I felt most 'alive' when...
  • I am grateful for...

9. Writing your intentions down

  • I am excited to be joining this next month's cycle because...
  • My commitment to myself is...
  • The challenges I might face are...
  • I will try to move through the challenges by...

10. Re-write the intentions  clearly and succinctly
Have them ready to put them somewhere in your home or place of work, so that you can see them daily.

Take a moment to tune into your longing and your intention for joining the programme. What is it that you long for most deeply in your life? Why did you sign up? Feel into the parts of you that had enough trust to sign up, and whether you can commit to trusting the process for this one cycle, to go through the motions, even when you meet resistance, impatience, scepticism? How many times a week feels right for you to do the weekly practice? How do you want to engage with the community?

11. Speak your intentions and commitment to the programme out loud
This might feel silly, but there is a power in hearing the sounds of your intention spoken, and a commitment that comes from speaking it.

12. Close the ritual by singing the song for this month

Hey hey ya hey ya hey ya hey ya
Hey hey ya hey ya hey ya hey ya
Hey hey ya hey ya hey ya hey ya
Hey hey ya hey ya hey ya hey ya 

Good where we've been
Good where we're going to
Good where we've been 
Good where we're going to

13. Seal the ritual by blowing out the candle.

14. Share your experience
When you're ready, write whatever feels beneficial to share with others on the Alalaho community forum.

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