Celebrations & Rites of Passage
At Earth Traditions, we see our children as precious gifts, and the seeds of our future. We celebrate with a joyful ritual to welcome a new little one into the world, and to introduce them to the community. This is sometimes considered the official 'naming' of the child. Names fulfill destinies. Ceremonies can be private or public, at the discretion of the parents.
Coming of Age
First Blood -- When a young woman experiences her first menstrual, or 'moon' cycle, we welcome her into the circle of women's mysteries, and the Red Tent. No longer a child, but now capable of giving birth, we offer her an entire resource library of women ahead of her on the path, to provide her with practical and spiritual words of wisdom, comfort and advice. We celebrate her as a member of the sister-tribe, and encourage her to be proud and strong in her womanhood. These rites can be private or public, at the discretion of the young woman.
Boys to Men -- There comes a time when a young man chooses to relinquish his boyhood and step into being a man. To be a man means to exhibit a willingness to set aside the self-centeredness of childhood and form substantive connections engaging in relationships as an equal with others, and finding his place in his Tribe. Guided by older peers, father figures and sages, the young man learns about responsibility, showing resourcefulness, taking initiative, and contributing to his family and his community. Our community comes together to acknowledge and celebrate this. These rites can be private or public, at the discretion of the young man.
Weddings and Handfastings
Earth Traditions provides officiants for both legal marriages, and for handfastings. We consult with the parties to help them plan their own unique and heartfelt version of a sacred and meaningful ceremony. We draw from a deep well of experience with people from all religious backgrounds and walks of life. We are happy to officiate legal marriages according to the laws of your state, as well as handfastings for same sex, or multiple partner unions in the states that have not yet legalized these marriages.
The Earth Traditions May Couple
While being the Queen and King of the May is something joyful and fun – as it should be in this season of growth, blossoming and sexy lightheartedness, Earth Traditions has implemented a custom that instills our May Couple with a lasting and more serious responsibility, and a purpose. To accept this position of community royalty is to agree to hold the space of service to the community for one year, once a month, at the time of the Full Moon. Each month, within the four day time period that the moon is considered full the May couple will light the candle, (donning the crowns is optional) and spend at least 20 minutes together, undisturbed, with the focus and purpose of sending energy to the Earth Traditions community. The couple may do this in a variety of ways. They can simply sit and meditate together, they can have sex, they can bathe together, go for a walk, chant, or just hold each other, allowing the love they feel for one another to radiate out into the community. They can create ritual – but whatever they do they do it with the intent to manifest an outward projection of loving, healing, positive, fertile energy toward our tribe. Our first Earth Traditions Beltane in 2010, Drake and I assumed the reign. We developed the station and passed it along as the Wheel turned each year. The position and its responsibilities have shifted and grown as time has passed.
Our past couples have been:
2010 - 2011 Angie Buchanan & Drake Spaeth
2011 – 2012 Michaela Hasko & Ted Kolar
2012 – 2013 Laura & Eric Fry
2013 – 2014 Thistle Herrmann & Al Rush
2014 – 2015 Beryl Ouimette & Stacey Enslow
2015 - 2016 Miya & Jonathan Grove
2016 - 2017 Maura Henn & Ethan Schandelmeier
2017 - 2018 Susan Cane & Craig Dingle
Each year at Beltane, the new couple inherits the Beltane Mystery Box and their crowns. The retiring couple makes the new crowns. They do it in sacred space and with intent. Among other things, the Beltane Mystery Box contains a candle and candle holder, and a journal. The outgoing May Couples may have left notes and messages in the journals, items of import, or gifts in the box to help the new couple along the way. Each month, when the moon is astrologically full, the couple receives a message both as a reminder, and to keep them informed of things occurring within the community that may require a little extra attention. Even though this information does not breach any confidentiality within the community, these messages are to be kept strictly confidential. Being the May Couple is a great honor, and as with all leadership it comes with great responsibility. The community will often report that they can feel the couple as they direct their work. Community members may contact the couple personally with requests for a specific need, or they may tap into the couple's space to provide strength and support for their work. The past May Couples may also be drawn back to the energy of the space and choose to tap in. It is not an easy task to find those 20 minutes each month but in order to keep this covenant; the couple must agree to find a way to do so, and honor the oath of the station. It can be a most magical experience that brings its own unique and wild magic to each couple. Blessings to you on your journey, Oh Royalty of The May! Thank you for your service.
Four seasons, four directions, four elements, four phases of the moon and… The four stages of life.
Maiden & Squire - Childhood - The Seeds of the future.
Maiden to Mother - The Mother Blessing
Pregnancy, and Motherhood is a Rite of Passage and the act of giving birth is a vision quest. The experience is major in every way. In mythic context, it is what Joseph Campbell called the “hero’s journey.” This is when one undergoes an experience that is so profound it can be compared to a journey to the underworlds, to the core of reality, where overcoming challenges and fears, one returns transformed and redefined by the experience. Birthing another human being into the world is truly a hero’s journey for every mother, and it is a life-defining experience. At Earth Traditions, we offer The Mother Blessing, a ritual ceremony to honor the woman who chooses to bring new life into the world through her body, in a sacred way.
Squire to Sire - The Father Blessing
Just as Pregnancy and Motherhood are rites of passage, so is Fatherhood. At Earth Traditions, we honor a man’s decision to forgo the carefree days of his youth, and step into the partnership of co-creation; preparing for the impending arrival of another human being of his own creation. In this ritual space, the transformation can be as moving and powerful as the Hero’s Journey, as he prepares to be present and active in the birthing process, and the sharing of responsibility for the raising of this child.
Sovereignty Rites King & Queen
Adults ‘of a certain age’ who have come into their own power. King and Queen - the point where understanding settles into the head. No longer parenting children, advanced in their careers, assuming advisory positions of power and authority. Often they become invisible in society (particularly women) however, these are the masterminds behind the plan, they are the strategists, the teachers, the mentors, and counselors; empowered by experience and yet perhaps they now face role reversals which find them caring for aging parents or adult children. They are in the autumn of their lives, at the pinnacle of ripeness, and often, dangerously underestimated. In these Rites, we recognize and honor their value in community.
These ceremonies are conducted for those individuals who have moved beyond exclusive emphasis on community matters and are turning toward a more global wisdom and universal reality that benefits the world and all living beings. They are preparing to enter into the ultimate mystery and are ready to leave their legacy often in the form of their best art, writing, or other kinds of perfected lessons, gifts, or creations. These individuals have truly come into their own power. They are ready to arise from the feet of the teacher and take their rightful place in the chair. They understand that wisdom comes not from knowing all of the right answers but, by asking the right questions.
Saging - The Sage is the elder man who has settled into his waning years with strength and grace. His career is largely behind him, his children are grown and gone, and both of his parents are dead. The Sage assumes the mantle of wise one whose life experiences are ready to be passed along to those coming up behind him. The Earth Traditions Tribe honors and reveres the Sage and understands the value of his voice in the community, This ceremony is in recognition of that.
Croning - The Crone is the Elder woman who has completed her menstrual cycle and menopause. Her children are grown and gone, and both of her parents have died. She has truly come into her own power and wisdom. The Crone's title was related to the word crown and she represented the power of the ancient tribal matriarch who made the moral and legal decisions for her subjects and descendants. It was the medieval metamorphosis of the wise woman into the witch that changed the word Crone from a compliment to an insult and established the stereotype of malevolent old womanhood that continues to haunt elder women today. At Earth Traditions we revere the contributions of our Crones and we celebrate them with a ceremony that acknowledges and appreciates their value in the Tribe.
Handpartings - Sometimes couples grow in different directions and make the decision to end their marriage or relationship. Often times, especially if children are involved, the couple may still need to maintain some sort of relationship whether it is as friends or co-parents. This ceremony either cuts or unties the cord that kept them symbolically tied to one another, releases them from their vows and allows them to begin a new relationship with each other on different terms.
Death & Dying & Funerals - Please see - www.DeathMidwife.org