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The Power of Ceremony

There’s a simple question that I ask myself every time I head off to officiate a ceremony: how will the guests choose to be involved? Will they watch and witness with respect and love, sitting in silence and reverence, or will they chatter amongst themselves as if just watching a TV show?

A ceremony—whether it’s a funeral, naming, wedding or other rite of passage—is a small moment in time (anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes) in which we have permission to slow down, to step away from bustle of daily life; and we can choose to honour the art of ritual when we’re invited into that sacred space ~ or, we can act as if it’s just another mundane event.

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Four-element altar for Sara and Michael’s Wedding. Amethyst, candle, feather, and water infused under the Full Moon. Celtic cross, and handfasting ribbon. The rings were on a twig of rosemary for remembrance. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

 

In an ideal world, and it’s certainly something I try to do in my daily life, we would see each day (and each moment) as sacrosanct, and be mindful of how we experience time and space and symbolism. But this world isn’t ideal. We, as a culture, have been corrupted by devices that remove us from our true nature. We often watch two screens at once: phone and TV. Have you ever gone to lunch with a friend and they spend their whole time looking at their phone? This is the world we’ve created, but it doesn’t have to be this way. These are choices we make. We can learn to be still. We can learn to listen, and learn to be present.

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Without question, my favourite wedding ceremony in 21 years. What a truly gorgeous couple. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

 

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Beautiful flower girl at Sara and Michael’s wedding ceremony www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

As adults, we are role models teaching children how to be witnesses or participants in sacred ceremonies.

As a celebrant, children are always welcome at my ceremonies. I don’t have expectations of them sitting still for long, but I do always hope that parents will be mindful of how they and their children may impact on a ceremony. So, some simple tips for being a mindful guest at a ceremony:

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I present to you Mrs Sara Pearson. What a beautiful wedding! (if I do say so myself) www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

1. Arrive on time! If you are late, do not walk into the ceremonial space. Stay outside or at the side.

2. Understand that this is a sacred space, and just because you may not be in a church or chapel with a priest, it doesn’t mean talking should continue after the ceremony has started. This is particularly true during moments of ritual, such as candle lighting or exchange of vows or tying the handfasting cord. Honour what is happening by being a conscious witness to the rituals, symbols and word medicine. Know that for this person/couple/family, they will never get this moment back again.

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3. Be particularly mindful of young children, and how they may end up becoming centre stage and taking the focus away from the person/family for whom the ceremony is happening. Ensure their needs are met (for food/drink/comfort/amusement/toilet) before the ceremony starts. 4. Ensure your phone/pager is off or down. Don’t assume it’s okay to take photos during the ceremony. Flash lights, the click of a camera, etc., are not conducive to sacred space. 5. Go to the toilet before the ceremony starts. Allow yourself to be truly present. Let your heart really feel into the moment, and give and receive love with those around you, and those who you are witnessing.

 

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Such an honour to officiate Sibella’s naming ceremony. What a wonderful family. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

 

 

Ceremonies are beautiful and powerful rites of passage. They are made even more sacred when guests are there as mindful witnesses, whether they are giving a reading, singing a song, or simply witnessing through their quiet, respectful presence. It’s a role, though silent, that shouldn’t be underestimated.

 

Veronika Robinson is a celebrant who officiates weddings and Celtic handfastings, funerals, namings, housewarmings, blessingways, and other rites of passage, such as New to the Moon (menarche) and Creative Crone (menopause). She has had the honour of officiating ceremonies since 1995. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant She is available throughout Cumbria, north Lancashire and Yorkshire, and Southern Scotland (to within 100 miles of Penrith).

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A little bit of love that I left on my husband’s wood-chopping block.

Love Your Womb

This week is Womb Awareness Week. If you don’t already, maybe this is a good time to develop some healthy and healing rituals around your body.

The menstrual muse

Cycle to the Moon: celebrating the menstrual trinity of menarche, menstruation and menopause, is my contribution to female health. Pick yourself up a copy on Amazon, or ask your local library to stock copies.

Labyrinth

This book is based on workshops I’ve facilitated called Cycle to the Moon & Sacred Cycle. It is designed to help you explore your beliefs around your body and its cycles regardless of where you are on the menstrual trinity, as well as giving helpful tips and practical advice to make your experiences around Moon Blood more comfortable and enjoyable. Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads.

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Art work by Susan Merrick.

Love, Veronika xx

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Sisters of the Silver Moon (book one in the Gypsy Moon trilogy)

What does family mean to you? This is the question that is asked in my new novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon. Can you get by without family? Is there more to a relationship than blood?

It’s out now! You can get your paperback copy from Amazon’s Create Space, Kindle or signed copies from my website (the signed copies will be available in about a week, but you can pre-order now).

I loved writing this book. Here’s a description:

Azaria Linden, the community herbalist, spends her days tending herb gardens, concocting lotions, potions and tinctures, beekeeping, and being a mother to four grown-up daughters who have left home. Her handcrafted life is the envy of many, but when the lives of her children change in dramatic ways, she wonders if she can keep it all together. Is it possible to still live a heart-centred life when everything around you is falling apart?

 

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Sisters of the Silver Moon
978-0-9931586-1-2
246 pages
Pbk and Kindle
£7.99 (pbk)

As an independent author, it would mean a great deal to me if you could take time to leave a review of my book (or any of my books) on Amazon, or on your blog. Thank you!

 

Meanwhile, I’m writing book 2 in the trilogy. I’m so honoured to have such beautiful artwork by Sara Simon. ~ Veronika

 

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Menopause Awareness

October is menopause awareness month. Give someone you love the gift of Cycle to the Moon: celebrating the menstrual trinity.

Signed copies from www.veronikarobinson.com or www.starflowerpress.com buy from Amazon and good bookshops.

 

 

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Menstrual Hygiene Day ~ May 28th, 2014

Did you know that May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day?

Why not help increase awareness of the female menstrual cycle?

My new book, Cycle to the Moon: celebrating the menstrual trinity (menarche, menstruation, menopause), is now available to order from my website.

 

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http://veronikarobinson.com/author/index.shtml#cycle

If you’d like me to sign a copy for a niece, daughter, sister, friend or granddaughter, leave a note in the ‘paypal note to seller’ section.

With love, Veronika xxx

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Sisters of the Sacred Moon

I had expected to sleep in this morning, being Sunday and all. That was the delicious plan; the promise I made to my muscles, all weary from four consecutive days using the rowing machine at the gym. But no. The muse had other ideas.

 

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This week my mind has been filled with the final stages of my non-fiction book Cycle to the Moon: celebrating the menstrual trinity ~ menarche, menstruation and menopause. I am so grateful that after all these years I have finally found an artist to illustrate this book/journal. I feel it is such an important topic, and that anything I can add to the body of literature which breaks the taboo around our bleeding time, all the better.

 

What I didn’t plan or expect was that a second book on this topic would emerge. I awoke at first light…with the seed of an idea for a novel germinating. I know from experience that it can be one of the best times of the day to ‘craft’ a novel. The conscious mind isn’t getting in the way too much, and dreams and whispers bubble up to the surface like spring water rising from Mother Earth. I let this bathe me, the ideas flitting in here and there, nourishing my soul.

 

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I stayed warm under the duvet letting the ideas grow. I’d write them down later. Inner muse wasn’t having any part of that. Those sisters of the sacred Moon don’t have time! Get up and tell our story, they demand, hands on their hips. Okay, okay. They must have conspired with William, our cat, (darn witches!) for he insisted on standing outside my bedroom miaowing non-stop until I let him in. No chance of going back to bed now!

 

There is something about this novel that is really exciting me. Perhaps it’s the way the ideas are emerging that shows me it will reach and touch the hearts of both mainstream women and those who walk a path rather similar to mine. At least, that’s how the characters are selling it to me! (laughing)

 

Dawn has broken over this beautiful morning. The birdsong is exquisite, the sunlight is bathing the lush green fields and leafy trees with a promise. I have been given another gift. A book begins to gestate in my heart, and for this I give thanks.

 

And that’s what it’s like being a writer. You’re nothing more than a puppet on a string being told what to do by your characters. So today, the Moon is in Aries in my fifth house of creativity. On Tuesday morning (7.14 UK time), there is a solar eclipse in Taurus lighting up my sixth house of day-to-day work. I guess I could be writing rather intensively for a good while. See you on the other side!