Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Celebrants - We Were Made for These Times:









Dear citizens of the world (that’s you!) ,

Do you remember the moment when you knew in your heart that you had to answer the celebrant call to serve as a guide in the art of ritual and the healing graces of ceremony? As large and as significant as that moment, can you hear its familiar reverberation in this moment in American history?

Our country and her citizens stand on an active fault line of division. A division not experienced since the public's uprising in opposition to the Vietnam War and in support of Civil Rights - over half a century ago. No matter whom you voted for in the recent election, its outcome has opened a gaping door of unprecedented partition.

This divide is:
  • splitting families and communities across the nation
  • targeting the basic rights of  many citizens and indigenous people
  • raising serious concerns on the world stage
  • escalating the nuclear arms race
  • threatening the last-chance climate pacts for protecting life on planet Earth
  • What is our role in these times? Where and how do we show up and lead others through our work as celebrants?


As artisans of ritual we have the power to bring healing. As skilled crafters in the refined art of ceremony we hold tools that can strengthen our bonds to each other and community. This is precisely the time  -- and the way -- that we go to work.

We implore you to Go For It!

Pick up this ceremony -- exactly as is or with the touch of your on vision --and bring it to your community. 

It's your call whether to stand before a small circle of a few, or more widely in public space with an open invitation to all. But please, 

JUST HEAR THE CALL AND DO IT!

Intention
This ceremony is designed to reflect individual and collective commitments to speaking our values as Americans, in the context of community, unification, diversity and protection of life on Earth.

This ceremony is initiated with in a circle, symbolizing community and unity, utilizes the organic elements of water and rock representing the preciousness of life and earth health and; rainbow colored skeins of yarn or balls of cord symbolic of all human rights.


Elements 
  • Welcoming words
  • Statement of intention
  • Explanation of ceremonial steps
  • Ceremonial Actions
  • Closing Blessing/Words
  • Actions 


At the time and place you have designated, call all participants into a circle, or multiple circles of 10 people as the crowd size determines - with a bowl of water placed in the center or each circle.

Celebrant offers welcoming words and the intention and explanation of the steps of the ceremony:
  
1. A walking meditation in the circle of about 3-5 minutes, a time for each individual to contemplate the statement of what value of democracy, environmental protection or human rights they will hold in prayer or intention and, when called to, in public speech in the years ahead.

2. Celebrant calls the walking meditation to a stop.  He/she then ties one loop of the rainbow yarn or cord around their waist and states their "value" and commitment to stand for that value in a peaceful, unifying way. He/she then tosses the ball of yarn to someone across the circle who does the same. This continues until everyone has spoken and a full web has been woven "tying" the circle together and each person speaking to their personal truth and commitment before each other and into the bowl of water in the center.

Yarn / cord is then cut from individuals' waists. Celebrant may conduct at that time or make note of an after-ceremony ritual of either burning, or burial (if organic/natural) of the "web" of yarn or cord.

3. Each person one by one, approaches the water bowl (that has "absorbed" the promises and stated values) and using a ladle or cup, takes a sample of the water and pours onto the earth. If done indoors, a different connection of touch to the water can be initiated - and the water will be taken outdoors and poured onto the earth after the ceremony.

4. Participants are invited to the table or spot where the river rocks are laid out (perhaps in a spiral? Circle?). After selecting a rock, they use one of the permanent markers to write or reference their stated "value" onto the rock. They will be told that the rock is theirs to take, and encouraged to keep it in their change purse, pocket or on their dashboard etc. to remember the public vow they made to uphold.  

5. Closing words

6. Group sings a cappella rendition of America the Beautiful, all verses

Materials:

1 balled skein of rainbow colored yarn or other type of cord (preferably 100% natural). One ball will be needed per circle of 10 participants

1 large bowl of water per circle of 10 - if possible water collected from a natural source notable to your community.
Scissor(s) to cut yarn
Sufficient number of river rocks (available at garden stores) and several permanent markers.
Variations 
Choose to gather with a select circle of your own tribe of sisters and brothers who share your sense of concern about America's future days - fellow citizens who recognize that their gathering in ritual holds a power to influence the collective field.

As the months unfold through 2017 and beyond, and America's new course is revealed - you may take the opportunity to gather your circles again. For example, should the newly promised course of nuclear proliferation or a Supreme Court reversal of marriage equality occur, gather your circle for re/commitment to these expressed values, or other new focus of giving voice in peaceful resistance.

* * *
This ceremony is sent with love and hope from the Celebrant Foundation & Institute's Nature-based Committee, Chairs: Rani Findlay and Woody Winfree. Charlotte Eulette assisting. 

Celebrants - be in touch with any questions you may have on this ceremony. And - keep us posted on its developments at woody@woodywinfree.com

Contact CF&I for information on joining our Celebrant Alumni Nature-based Committee: adminstration@celebrantinstitute.org  

We welcome you!















Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Celebrant Foundation & Institute's 2017 Winter/ Spring Session!








Dear CF&I Alumni and continuing students,

Welcome to the Celebrant Foundation & Institute's 2017 Winter/ Spring Session! We're pleased to offer our five certified Life-Cycle Celebrant™ courses and three Professional Celebrant Development Courses staring January 2017.

Toot, toot, get on board!

We are pleased to offer the following certificate programs:
Ceremonies Across the Life Cycle
Wedding Celebrancy
Funeral Celebrancy
Healing and Transition Ceremonies (advanced course - previous certification required)
LGBTQ Life-Cycle Ceremony Workshop (advanced course - previous certification required)
Master Life-Cycle Celebrant Program (advanced course - 3 certifications required)
We are pleased to offer the following Celebrant Professional Development Business Courses:
Weddings Refresher Course with Mila Martin (starts January 3rd, 2017)
Celebrant Business Development with Elisa Chase (starts week of January 30th, 2017)
"Love in Translation" Celebrant Writing Course with Christopher Shelley (starts March 15th, 2017)
Click here to download the REGISTRATION PACKET to find:
A SYLLABUS for each course
The FACULTY DIRECTORY
Click here to download a TIME SLOT REGISTRATION FORM so that you can easily fill it out and return it by fax, mail, or email (preferred).

Please return your time slot registration form for all courses no later than Monday, January 16th 2017. Wedding Refresher course starts on January 3rd so please get your registrations in for this course by December 16th, 2016.

Questions about the courses, registration process OR about tuition? Please direct them to me,
Charlotte Eulette, Academic Manager at (973)746-179 or at
charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org

Celebrant Power!

Sincerely,

Charlotte Eulette


Monday, January 2, 2017

Rituals for New Beginnings

January 2017



There are times, in my place of residence in Carmel, Indiana, when my dog Winky and I walk under a night sky that is bathed in deep blue light.  The horizon beckons us to climb into the silence of the moving winds, the stars and the darkness. It is always a surprise to discover this world yet when I arrive there, I am enfolded in the awareness that these elements go back hundreds of years and have been experienced by many other human beings before me.   While it is a new journey for me each time, it is also an ancient path that is well worn from previous visitors.

When we enter a new world, whether it’s a new job, a new home, or a new year, we often feel a sense of trepidation.  Beginnings scare us because they seem like lonely voyages into the unknown.  But, no new beginning is truly unique from all others.  There is shelter to be found, there is companionship to strengthen us, and there is always hope. Not the Pollyanna version of hope, but a deeper, more instinctive feeling inside that sustains us as we adapt to a new start. President Obama described it in this quote, “Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

Rites of passage and rituals are perfect ways to honor and acknowledge our fears and our hopes for new beginnings.  They can be simple and powerful; for example:
·      
    We can light a candle and utter a blessing to give voice to our hope in a new beginning, such as “In the name of silence, in the name of stillness, in the name of solitude, I begin. I bless the wonder of my eternal soul, the miracle of my health, and this new year that brings me the opportunity to be compassionate in my heart, clear in my words, gracious in my awareness of myself and all other living creatures, with courage in my intentions and generosity in my spirit.  
     My love and light guide me now and in the coming days.”
·      
    We can create a thoughtful and inspiring Vision Board for the coming year by cutting out images from old magazines gathered just for that purpose and pasting them to a white poster board with our vision for the future.  Sitting in a quiet place, silently using our scissors to cut the images and then arranging them in a gently guided sequence, we can invoke the wisdom of our soul guides to help us bring together dreams for the future that we wish to tie to our hearts and make real in the new year.  When it is done, we can raise a toast with a glass of champagne (or a cup of hot tea, as you like) and utter the words, “And so it is!” 
·      
     On New Year’s Eve one of my favorite rituals in our Web-based world is watching on television as the New Year is rung in across the globe. It’s a thrilling spectacle that brings me a direct experience of being connected to One World.   It never fails to choke me up with emotions of gratitude, awe, and joy.  I utter a prayer to bless the world and give me courage to do my part to contribute to a world of justice and goodness:  “May our human thoughts be true light, may they find their way into words and deeds that spring from kindness, compassion, and love for one another.”

I wish you a wonderful new year of rites, rituals and ceremonies – and, from my heart to yours, have a Happy New Year!


Elaine Voci is a life coach in private practice in Carmel, IN and a graduate of the Celebrant  Foundation & Institute .   Elaine is the Editor of the Celebrant Blog for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.

Please direct all request, comment or concerns about our CF&I Blog to our Social Media Manager ~ Marcia Almeida, Master Life-Cycle Celebrant. at  celebrantsocialmedia@gmail.com    Or to the Celebrant Foundation & Institute’s director, Charlotte Eulette at: charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org call us at (973)746-1792.  
Visit us at http://www.celebrantinstitute.org/?p=business


About the Celebrant Foundation & Institutewww.celebrantinstitute.org

The Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) is the nation’s preeminent online educational institute that teaches and certifies people as modern day ritual and ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. Founded in 2001, the educational nonprofit organization headquartered in Montclair, NJ, is a member of the International Federation of Celebrants.  To date, the CF&I has graduated nearly 900 Life-Cycle Celebrants® who preside over 20,000 ceremonies each year throughout North America, Asia and Europe. To learn more about the CF&I, visit