According to dictionary, there are several definitions for the English word purge, but in this context, the definition "remove something undesirable: to get rid of something undesirable, impure, or imperfect" seems to be the best fitting one!
And Summer Solstice seemed a perfect time to come together, a group of friends, and purge together, by fire, all that was undesirable, pure and imperfect from our lives. Of course, this is symbolic purging, but what are ceremonies, really, but symbolism? Meaningful symbolism, and coming together as friends to share and talk about what we needed to release from our lives, then tossing it paper scrap by paper scrap into the fire; toasting our commitments to letting go; laughing as an element of humor was thrown in (literally); and all under the cover of the longest day of the year - it was a special, powerful time.
|Ceremonial Sage and Lavender, staples of Pow Wow fires of my youth...the scent of memory, to me.|
I wanted to celebrate the Midsummer somehow, and a ceremony of letting go - purging - that was shared with people close to me seemed the perfect way. I'm so grateful for Grace's wonderful photos (which you are seeing here in this post!) and for the company of everyone who attended.
|My son, who was present as well, took this photo! :-)|
We had a bountiful buffet! The jewel of the night was...
...exquisite Italian wine, straight from the countryside vineyards of Italy! A souvenir from holiday in Italy, shared among friends. Wonderful!
Also shared was a particularly appropriate poem by poet Kahlil Gibran...
As people shared what they wanted to release and let go of, there was a sense of compassion, understanding, and acceptance. A favorite saying of mine is by Ram Dass, "We are all just walking each other home." Doesn't that seem so true at times? Different struggles, different experiences, but the need to let go of baggage from our pasts binding us together in friendship and ceremony.
As the fire dwindled down, we celebrated the beauty of not only being able to release that which no longer served us, but to give voice to our intention to let it go with the support of good friends who shared our journey. Our old selves, who clung to the identities wrapped up in those words on paper, were smoldering to ash in the fire pit. Empowered, we set forth toward new goals, new adventures, new journeys!
Ceremony marks celebration. Move towards it.
Ceremony marks release. Let it go with a half smile and open arms.
Ceremony is rebirth. Step forward, renewed.