Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrate Spring Equinox – 2012

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

A Dedication and Naming Ceremony for Your New Births

Spring is the time of new beginnings—or rebirth. When babies are born, in the Christian tradition, they are baptized or christened. This confers both the gift and symbolism of the child’s name but also brings him or her into the community of those who care, implying that you and yours have a back-up support system. Whether it’s a new pet, a new relationship, or a new project, you can do the same for your particular new rebirths this spring. I did this ceremony in 1995 when I brought my kittens Duffy and Darrin into my family. The ritual can be applied to anything, including a new attitude! Here’s how to do it.

The Naming

Naming is serious business, for the name of any being or idea carries the resonance of your intention. Especially when naming human beings or pets, be sure you know the background or any mythology connected with the proposed name. Projects and new attitudes work best with an upbeat name that reflects the positive outcome you seek. For instance, keeping your house more tidy for better feng shui or energy flow might be called Home Energy Flow rather than reiterating the bad habit with a title like Clutter Busting. You could call an effort to see things more from the upside Operation Optimism.

The Dedication Ceremony

Gather at least two friends or family members who represent your support system. The more the merrier, and this is a perfect ceremony to do in a group during a Spring Equinox celebration. If you are dedicating a pet, bring it with you. I suspect most people would dedicate their children at a separate family gathering, but we have dedicated children in our Solsisters group in addition to their baptism or other traditions.

Create an altar, and place some objects on it that symbolize spring, rebirth and new beginnings: wildflowers, Easter eggs, plant bulbs, and a candle to represent the Aries fire and the new beginnings we celebrate at this threshold.

The leader lights the candle and declares: “Let our rebirthday celebration begin!”

Each individual comes forward with a symbol of their new birth or new beginning. If it’s a child being dedicated, you might use a bonnet or bootie--for an animal, a collar or favorite toy. For a project, you can become much more creative. For my new book, I’ll bring a printout of the cover concept or a bound copy of the manuscript. The individual launching Operation Optimism could bring a picture of a happy individual—best, one of her smiling.

As each person comes up to the altar, s/he faces the gathering, lifts up the actual being s/he is dedicating, if a child or pet. Bring the symbol, if it’s anything else, or if it’s impractical to bring the real thing. S/he says:

“Behold, ______ (name of new birth)!” Now say a few words about your “baby,” whatever it is, and what this new beginning means to you.

Bring the child, pet, or symbol back down from an elevated position. Share your promises and commitments—to love and support him, her or it. Ask your circle, “Will you help me grow and support me in this new beginning?”

The circle responds, “We will!”

Onto the next person.

Darrin & Duffy
Of course, the words can be altered and the ceremony stylized to suit your needs. I’ll never forget the teary moment when I held up the first of my kittens and declared, just like his parents did for Kunta Kinte in Roots, “Behold, Duffy Kyle!” That moment symbolized my commitment to a companion who has owned my heart for sixteen years. The community of my friends has supported me me during every challenge and loss with the Tabby Brothers, especially when Duffy’s littermate Darrin (the redhead) died of cancer at age 12. Darrin will always own major real estate in my heart, where he lives forever. The depth of our bonding no doubt had something to do with the ceremony and seriousness of my promises to be there for him always. I still am, even if one of us is no longer in a body.

While Spring Equinox holds the ultimate timing for new beginnings and rebirths, doing this ceremony any time during spring is still very potent. You can also convene a Dedication and Naming Ceremony at any time, for the beginning of anything new is like its own spring.

Blessings on all your new births! And thank the universe for the birth-death-rebirth cycle that is the Circle of Life.


Photo Credit: Vernal Sun - © yurumi - Fotolia.com ; Tabby Brothers photo by Joyce

Happy Birthday, Radical Virgo Blog! On March 21, The Radical Virgo turns three years old. What an odyssey. Love and thanks for your part in making it so!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day on March 17! Revisit St. Paddy’s Day Quotes for the Signs.


Poetik said...

this is a beautiful and very meaningful ritual. I don't have many rituals that I practice, but I would like to incorprate this one :) happy spring equinox xo

Joyce Mason said...

Dear Poetik,

So glad to know you resonate to this ritual! I look forward to sharing it with my Solsisters group on the Equinox and sharing the dose of this happy spring medicine.

A blessed Equinox to you, too!