The Iseum of Quimera Writing Ceremonies Compiled by Anandha Ray
CEREMONY * RITUAL * RITE For the Dying
As one of the assignments in the beginning of your training, I have asked you to write your death ritual, and bring it to share. Often sharing with each other inspires new ideas for your own ritual.
I encourage people to dive into writing ceremonies so that you will have thoroughly thought through the types of services you might offer at some point, even if you don't have any plans right now to offer such a thing.
WHY? Having written several ceremonies will be useful to you in the future, in ways that you can't anticipate at this moment. When it comes time for you to take action, you will have built your own tool chest of abilities and processes that are well thought out and can be applied to a variety of situations, even spontaneously.
The first ceremony I encourage people to write is the End of Life Ceremony which is also know as a Death Ritual, Death Ritual or Rite of Passage.
In your End of Life Ceremony (or Death Ritual, Death Rite, Rite of Passage), think about what YOU would want at the end of YOUR life to inspire you to be able to write your basic outline. When/If you lead this ceremony for someone, you will of course interview them about what they want and incorporate their needs into your ceremony and rituals. But for now, write it for yourself.
HOW DO YOU WRITE A CEREMONY OR RITUAL?
As a Priest/ess of Isis, your ceremonies will follow what is important to YOU, there is no one else who will tell you what to value or offer in your ceremonies.
In the Priest/esshood of Isis, YOU shine through.
HOW TO WRITE A BASIC CEREMONY:
First determine what the needs are
Example: help someone at the end of life
Then determine what the goal is.
Example: bring them to acceptance and peace
Then determine how much time you will have or you desire
2 hours? a week?
Example: a 2 hour ceremony with the dying
followed by a 2 hour ceremony with their family?
Then do as much research as you can on other rituals that have been offered in service of this same goal. Take notes on the aspects of other rituals that make sense to your own way of thinking.
After meditating on this for several days, write an outline of what you think would be a good flow to your ritual. When you are ready you can begin to fill in the details of your ritual, such as the words you will speak, but at first just get an outline down.
A BASIC CEREMONY OUTLINE:
1. PREPARE the space (physically). Clutter and energy cleansing
2. ACTIVATE the ritual: Call in your deity or open a vortex or open the 7 directions
3. STEPS to achieve your goal: this can vary widely and can include activities, rituals, meditations, blessings and more. These steps are designed to open the subconscious to the blessings of the goal you have in mind. The subconscious speaks the language of symbol, feelings and image... so be creative.
4. CLOSE the ritual: release the deity, close the vortex or release the 7 directions
5. GROUND everyone: often done with food
WRITE A DEATH RITUAL, DEATH RITE,
As you feel into what YOU would do as a death ritual,
and you begin to write your ideas,
know that it does not have to be complicated.
For this assignment you can write the actual words you wish to include, the actual prayers, blessings, invocations...
but you can also just write an outline.
Things to think about:
All rituals need to be flexible. Sometimes you get to the situation and discover you can't do what you planned. Make sure the participants know what to expect, so you can avoid last minutes issues. Even still, you may need to change some aspects of the ritual to accommodate the needs of the family and beloved. ASK WHAT THEY WANT before you decide what you will do. But have a basic plan in place, which is the DEATH RITUAL you will bring to the next Iseum meeting.
Basic questions to answer:
What is the purpose of your ritual?
Mine is to help the person transition into death
Who will come to your ritual?
Mine includes family and the one transitioning -the "beloved"
How long will it take?
Mine takes about 2 hours, and leaves them with a ritual to do for the rest of the transition (weeks if needed)
What will you do?
This is entirely up to you! Follow the BASIC CEREMONY OUTLINE and follow your intuition!
ANANDHA'S DEATH RITUAL "RITE OF PASSAGE":
When possible, I ask the family to give the beloved a ritual bath with oils and flower petals before I arrive.
Once everyone is ready, I anoint each person as they settle into place.
As has been tradition since humans became civilized, I encourage the family to keep vigil with the beloved until they pass on.
BEFORE I ARRIVE
First the family is instructed to gather and
• bring photos of the beloved, and
• bring any offering they would like to make in this ceremony (offerings for the altar that will remain in the room until the beloved passes).
They are instructed to first purify themselves and then the beloved by means of bathing. This is a ritual bath and intended to change the state of mind as well as body.
When possible, I send essential oil and rose petals for the bathwater...
ONCE I ARRIVE
Set up the altar with Items that I will leave there. Gather the family into seats encircling the beloved.
open the space (7 directions) and cleanse the space (smudge or oil or water)... THEN
anoint each family member...THEN
have each family member place on the altar, and speak about, their gathered photos and offerings
witnessed by family... I symbolically wash the beloved with sacred water -forehead, hands, feet- blessing as I wash, invoking the Goddess of 10,000 names, calling upon this transition to be graceful and with ease... THEN ...
I teach the Ho'oponopono prayer and even play or sing a song that the family can sing with me... (I have them stand and dance as they sing)... THEN
I call upon each family member to speak what they love about the beloved... THEN
I call upon the beloved to speak all that they wish to their family...
THEN I give a blessing that the Goddess of 10,000 names and her helpers look over this transition, guiding it with ease. I encourage surrender to relieve the tension and embracing love to fully experience every moment of this important experience of life. THEN
I ask if anyone has more to say before I close the directions and end the ceremony.
Continuing ritual AFTER I LEAVE:
1. As I leave I encourage family to assist the beloved to record their stories, advice for future generations and wisdoms they wish to share... and to even type them into a book form with each story being a chapter, and accompanied with photos as possible.
2. I encourage them to keep the doors of communication open, to allow forgiveness to flow and to embrace love in the face of fear
3. I leave an anointing oil on their altar, and encourage them to use it in prayer when they need strength.