A Pagan Way of Making Meaning / Samhain
As Unitarian Universalists, we draw from many sources, one of which is "Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature". For pagans, Samhain marks the halfway point between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice. This is a sacred point in the year when we are gifted a time of introspection. It allows us to let go of what no longer serves us or what we have lost, it is an opportunity to look more deeply inward, and choose our paths with intention. This service will explore the importance of ritual in all of our lives, and how ritual is at the core of mindful practices which help us to set and maintain our intentions while enriching our lives with meaning. You are encouraged and invited to bring pictures or symbolic items representative of loved ones or ancestors to place on the altar (as we have done in the past for Dia de los Muertos).
Hayden Slentz-Kesler and three UU Friends, Gray Cohen, Allison Bishop, and Will Connor, all presented their views and experiences related to UU Principle #4: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
From the service program:
A Free and Responsible Search
The Unitarian-Universalist 4th principle is "A free and responsible search for truth and meaning." It's a wonderful idea, but what does it mean? Hayden and some of his friends will present a bit about how we UU came to affirm that particular principle, and what it means in their lives today.
Alter in the center of the stone circle faces southwest, symbolizing renewal and new life.
Stone Circle and BUUF - by Tyler Foley
What is it? Well, that is obvious and not so obvious. The obvious is that it is a set of eight standing stones in a circle - something that should never naturally be formed in nature.
The not so obvious, is the pure intentionality of bringing spirit into physical being. There are eight nodes, each aligned with the cardinal directions and with the cross quarters. Each of the cardinal directions follow the masculine Sun, and on the calendar as the celebrations follow the solstices and equinoxes. Each of the cross quarters follow the more femininely crosses on the calendar, the in between time that makes life actual livable. And each cross has a massive celebration of its own … Samhain, Imbolc, Betaine, and Lughnassah.
The temple in the center of the circle has its own meaning and intention. It is a place where spirituality hits reality, and is the doorway to the spirit. It is the focus of the intent of whatever purpose there is upon us in the moment that we come to the alter.
When I built the circle, I did so with intent of building a sacred space within this sanctuary known as BUUF. I asked the opinion of an innocent when placing each stone, which stone feel more like this quality or that quality. And he chose and I built. I left in the end one node open when building the alter, and I faced the temple opening towards that node - of the south west. In the Celtic tradition that is the seat and house of Anu, goddess of fertility and re-birth and mother energy. I felt that we as a group need that energy in our lives and congregation the most. I closed the circle and invoked her blessing as I set her node in the circle, directly facing the portal created by the temple.
I have taken this particular small piece of ground as my own charge and I will upkeep it through time. I invite any of you reading this to take a piece of this place and bring your own spirituality into it. I also welcome the use of the circle as a focus point for your own. Feel free to use it, or leave offering, or touch through it, in your own way, through the veil and to the divine spirit.
Sunday Service Notes - Claiming Place and Claiming Space: a Perspective from the Indigenous People’s Movement - October 13, 2019
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