The purpose of the ceremony is to identify and symbolically release old hurts, grudges, resentments, regrets, sufferings, mistakes… to release the past letting go of any thoughts, feelings or behaviors that might be holding you back for the new year ahead.
Across religious traditions, fire is a powerful symbol of wisdom, knowledge, passion, purification, transformation, divinity and light. Fire inflames, consumes, warms, illuminates, inspires and serves as a catalyst for change.
By briefly writing down on a small piece of paper what you are choosing to be free of, the actual act of writing what you want gone from your life is a key element of the letting go process.
The paper is then folded and carefully placed in a “burning bowl,” (a large, safe and unburnable bowl/container holding a small lit candle to safely enable quick burning).
Spend a moment or two in quiet prayer or meditation honoring your personal surrender and commitment to change. Acknowledge what is holding you back and release that as well. Now light your piece of paper and quickly drop it into the burning bowl.
This ritual focuses on what needs to be released from the past to prepare the present moment for our creation of a new year. It’s a simple outward sign of our awareness of what needs to change in our lives as we go forward. As we change, others see our changes and might be invited to change as well.
Namaste! Happy New Year!
Volumes are written about the contemporary rise of the Sacred Feminine – a cross-cultural, trans-religious movement that honors the female… as Goddess and Universal Mother (think: Isis, Aphrodite, Shakti, Eve, Virgin Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, etc).
I’m suggesting there’s also a new masculinity paradigm that’s emerging. While its origins are spiritual… its manifestations can be seen, heard and felt from prophets of our times… our artists and our mystics.
Think about it.
I believe the new Divine Masculine is beginning to be widely embraced by most women in search of a mate (as opposed to a sex partner). I’ll also contend that this same emerging norm excites some more avante-garde men; terrorizes other more traditional insecure men…however, still the majority of American men are blind, deaf and numb to who they are and who they might yet become. I am not sure that’s the case for European or South American men…but this might all be changing.
As I remember back, it seems like I’ve honored the rise of the Sacred Feminine since I was a boy smack in the middle of the tumultuous 1960’s…in the days of mass protests and angry rioting when millions of Americans took to the streets demanding change – in civil rights, Vietnam and for America’s poor (those days before Fox News, smart phones and social media).
Now my maturity has shown me that my parents raised me to respect women. As women are empowered to be who they are and speak their truth… men need to catch up. This is the stuff of a cultural revolution that goes vastly beyond whether we are ready for a female President or women priests.
Its important to note that my contention that the Sacred Masculine is emerging does not in anyway dilute, cloud or adulterate the Sacred Feminine. No… indeed, I sense that it’s the Sacred Feminine that has conceived, nurtured and birthed the very possibility that a new Sacred Masculine paradigm might emerge. Mothers are transforming our culture…perhaps they always have.
My sense is that the rise of the Divine Masculine will have a profound affect on gender roles beyond male and female, sexual orientation beyond heterosexual and homosexual, economic models beyond competition and cooperation and family cultural units beyond male fathers, female mothers – frankly well beyond who marries who – yes… even what marriage will or won’t look like or mean (e.g polyamory).
The emergence of a new Divine Masculinity should not be confused with the black and white, more traditional moral absolutes of right and wrong. No. The Divine Masculine is not concerned with telling men how to behave. This new focus is gray… very blended. As always, it will take time for ethics to catch up (e.g. medical ethics still playing catch up with the right to die, 3 parent embryos and stem cell research).
Take a moment to look…listen…feel…the new emerging masculine paradigm. Do you see it? Can you hear it? Have you felt it?
I’ll suggest that the rise of the Divine Masculine is connected with the ways some mothers are choosing to raise their sons. Food for thought.
2 more thoughts from my meditation for your consideration:
Moms, please reconsider sending your sons off to war. Might there be other more creative ways for young men to serve and protect? (This being said… I am first to admit that we have witnessed enormous evolutionary gains by allowing women and homosexual people to be warriors). Moms could raise peacemakers.
Secondly, perhaps its time to reconsider the whole pink and blue mystique. Maybe the color purple has more to offer than we thought? Imagine a world in which boys are completely free to play house…and girls are encourage to master STEM courses.
This topic will be a recurring blog theme as it reflects many of the energies of my ministry right now. As always, I welcome your feedback. While I recognize its nontraditional focus, people that I minister to are teaching me that the “status quo” is spontaneously readjusting.
Whether we talk gender roles, our spectra of sexual orientation/sexual behaviors or coexisting in community, with other sentient beings in sync with our environment – we are all one and its ALL interconnected.
Unity is not uniformity. We are One.
Age, gender, sexual orientation, race, nation of origin, color, class, creed, genus, species…none real.
All imagined. All categories of our minds.
“Let come what comes, let go what goes. See what remains.” – Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Whatever comes, let it come, what stays let stay, what goes let go.” ― Papaji
“A particle of Its bliss supplies the bliss of the whole universe. Everything becomes enlightened in Its light. All else appears worthless after a sight of that essence.
I am indeed of this Supreme Eternal Self.” – Vijnanananka
Hinduism is an ancient world religion that is frequently revered as “a total way of life.” It’s a philosophy of living deeply rooted in traditional beliefs of the early spiritual teachers, sages and mystics of India. Hindu oral tradition dates back well before recorded history (10,000-7,000 BC). Hinduism continues today as a dynamic and vibrant living tradition. It’s the world’s third largest religion with approximately 950 million believers (14% of the planet’s population). It’s the primary religion in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Theologians suggest Hindus may be the most intensely religious people on Earth.
Hindus believe their spirituality was inspired by divine revelations to ancient sages and mystics living in the thick forests and along the fertile rivers of India… thousands of years before Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Buddha.
Sometimes called the cradle of spirituality” and/or “the mother of all religions,” we know Hinduism seems to be the only religion not founded on a single historic event or prophet and precedes recorded history. It has influenced every major world religion known today. Of particular note, the Hindu notion of “the divine” is understood as a feminine power… think Goddesses. Also, what we know as contemporary yoga has its primal roots in Hinduism.
So for today… a bit of Hindu wisdom for your prayerful consideration. Namaste!
NAMASTE is a Sanskrit word that means “I bow to you.” It is pronounced “na-ma-stay.”
A customary warm and respectful greeting in India and Nepal, it is usually spoken when people meet or say good-bye. It is common among relatives, guests and strangers alike. Namaste is often said with a smile and slight bow towards the other with hands together, palms touching, fingers pointing upwards and thumbs held reverently close to the chest (heart chakra). In some places, the spoken word is common. In other places, the gesture without the word is more customary.
Within Hindu religious tradition, Namaste has evolved to mean:
“I bow to the Divine in you.”
“I recognize and I revere the God I see in you.”
“I honor the place in you which is of love, truth, light, and peace.”
“We are one…we are all connected.”
“I recognize the sacredness we share.”
Namaste is a profoundly rich acknowledgement that we all share the same One Divine Consciousness. I use Namaste as a greeting, a farewell and an interfaith blessing.