Hello everyone, I’m very excited to announce the worldwide launch* of a new 40-day creative ceremony this Spring ☺️.
In essence, this ceremony is an invitation to spend time experiencing and enjoying nature as it unfolds this Spring, creating something each day as an offering and a record of your journey.
Enter a space of renewal in which a new path and a new vision of life becomes possible.
If you feel inspired, then follow my journey here or feel free to adapt/abuse my ideas to create your own 40-day ceremony. The poems I write will be linked at the end of this post as I write one each day.
*probably not worldwide as it will likely just be me doing it
Today is the Spring Equinox , the day on which the light of day and the dark of night are balanced. The Sun is gradually returning to its ascendancy, and Spring is beginning to return in full force.
This is a precious time of year that has been acknowledged throughout the ages, being known as Ostara by pre-Christian peoples. It is a chance to open to the blooming of the new year, and enter a space of renewal in which a new path and a new vision of life becomes possible.
A ceremony to honour Spring
I have been mulling over how to use this opportunity well, especially given the abundance of home time available thanks to COVID-19-related quarantining .
I want to use this opportunity to enjoy more time in nature, experiencing the changing of the season and the landscape bursting gradually but inexorably into life . I want to honour the beauty of nature and give it time to speak to me and through me, so that I can be guided by what I experience.
I am going to … tune into my body—both my human body and the greater body of the Earth
The word quarantine derives from the old Venetian word for 40, which was the number of days a plague-bearing ship had to sit in isolation in the port ⚓ before the passengers could come ashore.
This purifying period of 40 days obviously has resonance with the ‘forty days and forty nights’ of the practice of Lent ✝️, based on Jesus’s time spent fasting in the desert.
(In case you’re wondering, I am not going to fast for 40 days, or even fast for some of the time during 40 days! Belly say no.)
Rather, I am going to spend 40 days going out to walk and encounter the beautiful nature near my house, and tune into my body—both my human body and the greater body of the Earth .
If you want to do something similar and walking is not an option, you could try going to a regular sit spot nearby or your garden every day, or spend time tending to plants or animals in your house.
Walking the medicine wheel
To bring some structure and flow to the 40 days, with each passing day I will be moving around a medicine wheel that reflects the life stages of a human being—infant, child, adolescent, adult, and elder.
I will set my intention to be open to whatever images and experiences come to me while walking, using whichever stage of the wheel I am currently on as a theme:
- Infant (days 1–4) – Spirit – Innocence and Openness
- Child (days 5–14) – Body – Sensuality and Play
- 六Adolescent (days 15–24) – Psyche – Introspection and Identity
- 倫 Adult (days 25–34) – Community – Belonging and Service
- 陸 Elder (days 35–40) – Spirit – Wisdom and Openness
Anyone who’s familiar with this kind of wheel will recognise it as coming from the work of the School of Lost Borders and Bill Plotkin (both inspired by the traditions of indigenous peoples from North America).
And the creative part…
So if you are still reading this far, you might actually be interested in what I’m saying (or you’re hoping to get to the bit where it says the ceremony is more esoteric and exciting than just going for a walk in nature).
Having received the beauty, imagery, sounds, smells, touches and maybe tastes of the landscape , I will then offer something creative back to the land and to the people. Or perhaps it is truer to say that what has been offered to me will flow through me into a gift in a new form.
What gifts would you like to give to yourself, your loved ones, or to the world at this precarious and powerful time?
For me, one such form will be poetry—for each of the 40 days, I will write a poem inspired by the land and by the stage of the medicine wheel I am walking. At the end of the 40 days, I will have a lovely poetry anthology. ✍️ Momma will be proud 櫓.
Is there a daily creative offering that speaks most to you—something that would make your heart grow if you dedicated 40 days in a row to creating it?
If you feel enthused to do so, you might branch out into:
- letter writing
- acts of kindness
It could be fun to make offerings to others too. Perhaps you feel moved to write 40 love letters to people you care about, or to make 40 phone calls ☎️ to reconnect or support people during this time of COVID-19-related isolation.
You are welcome to make as much or as little use of these ideas as you like, or just to follow my trail of poems. I wish you much enjoyment in your ceremonial questing! 慄✨
Looking forward to growing this worldwide movement!* You can use the hashtag #40GiftsForSpring, innit.
*if it makes it to double figures it will be a miracle
Links to poems written so far:
- Friday, 20th March – Womb
- Saturday, 21st March – Emergence
- Sunday, 22nd March – Crawling/Walking
- Monday, 23rd March – Snapshot
- Tuesday, 24th March – Mother
- Wednesday, 25th March – Cut grass
- Thursday, 26th March – Glow
- Friday, 27th March – Mute
- Saturday, 28th March – Wandering
- Sunday, 29th March – Enthralled
- Monday, 30th March – Beauty’s kiss
- Tuesday, 31st March – Sunrise
- Wednesday, 1st April – Noon
- Thursday, 2nd April – Sunset