The Magic Circle

Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within

Sample Ceremony November 14, 2010

A Message to Adult Aliens on the Support Team:

We recommend that adult aliens are present for safety and to guide without offering solutions to problems the participants may come up against during the ceremony.  Adults may also choose to participate in the ceremony with the children.  We highly encourage this! You may want to bring the participants together beforehand to set the tone for the space and go over some safety guidelines.  We also recommend that participants work together to find solutions to problems in a co-creative, inclusive, way.  This is a cooperative ceremony.  The intent is that all participants feel well supported by each other and the adult aliens.   A tip for the participants: It really helps to use your gut instinct or intuition.  This experience is part of learning.  There is no right or wrong. Have fun with it!

A word about the “calling in” and “thanking” of the powers:

It is common in shamanic practices all over the world to call to the energies of nature and the ancestors who have loved us to come and aid in creating a safe, ceremonial container for healing and transformation to occur.

Celebrate the Elements Ceremony

Age Range (5-9 years old): Group Ceremony

Exploration: To play with sound as a way to represent each element and each related aspect (heart, body, mind and spirit).

Introduction:


Many ancient people thought the world and everything in it were made up of four elements, earth, air, water and fire.  Greeks, Hindus, Buddhists, Chinese, Japanese and many Native American tribes believed that all things, including the human body, were made up of these four elements.   Some native tribes placed the elements on the four main directions of a medicine wheel, with Water in the South, Earth in the West, Air or Wind in the North and Fire in the East.  Other peoples put the elements in different directions.

Wind (Mind)

NORTH

SOUTH

Water (Heart)

A medicine wheel is a circle, a symbol or diagram that is used for teaching and explaining things.  A circle is used because it has no beginning or end.  A person can start learning on any part of the wheel, go around as many times as they want, and step off the wheel of teaching wherever they want.  When drawn on paper, the South is at the bottom of the circle, West to the left, North at the top, and East to the right, just like a map or a compass.

Our emotions are connected to the heart and the element of water, our bodies to earth, our minds to air and our spirits to fire.  When we are healthy and in balance, our emotions flow like water, our body is strong and healthy, our minds are clear of inner dialogue (that voice in your head that some call monkey noise), and our spirits are able to change and grow.

You may be wondering, “What is spirit?”

A spirit is that beautiful, shining part of  us who knows where we came from and why  we are here.

Time Allowance:

The ceremony will take 30 minutes or longer, depending on how long you decide to take for discussion and playing musical instruments.

Location:

A place indoors or outside where everyone can sit in a circle and make noise.


Materials Needed:

Compass

Drum or rattle

Two sandpaper blocks to rub together

Whistle, recorder or flute

Bell or triangle

* Have more than one of each instrument if possible.  These items are easy to make prior to the ceremony.  You can do a simple search on the Internet to find instructions that are kid-friendly using recycled and common household materials.


Standard Calling In (To Begin the Ceremony):


Hey ancestors who love us, sacred directions, nature spirits, Father Sky and Earth Mother, please be with us in this ceremony and bless us with healing and transformation in a good way.

Gather your friends together with the items listed above.  Sit together in an imaginary medicine wheel.  Decide who will sit in the South – heart, West – body, North – mind, and East – spirit.  If there are less than four children, some will take more than one direction.  If there are more than four, more than one child will be in each direction.  Use the compass to find the directions.  Sit on the outer ring of the wheel, facing the center.  The sandpaper blocks will be in the South, the drum or rattle in the West, the whistle, recorder or flute in the North and the bell or triangle in the East.

“Findhorn Heart” photo by Jen Engracio

The child sitting in the South will speak about the element of water. What does water mean to you?  Why is it important for you, for animals, for the planet to have water?  What do you think water has to do with your emotions?  Anyone else can speak about water and emotions too.  Then pick up the sandpaper blocks and begin to make water and emotion sounds for a minute or two.

“Calgary Earth” photo by Jen Engracio

Next, the child in the West will speak about the earth and its connection to the body.  The other children can add their ideas.  Why is earth important?  How can your physical body be like the earth?  What other living things depend on earth?  After the discussion, the child in the West will pick up the drum or rattle and make sounds of the earth for a minute or two.


“Edinburgh Wind” photo by Jen Engracio


In the North, speak about air or wind and how that could be related to your mind.  Why do we need air?  Why do other living things need air?  What has your mind, your thoughts, to do with air or wind?  When the group has finished speaking about air, play the wind instrument for a minute or two.

“Iona Fire” photo by Jen Engracio

The child in the East goes through a similar process.  How is fire necessary in your life?  How could it be connected to your spirit?  When you have finished speaking, play the bell or triangle making the sounds of fire and spirit for a minute or two.

When all the directions are finished, march around the wheel, playing all the instruments at once. You are creating an orchestra of the elements.  Continue playing the music as long as you are all enjoying the experience.

End the ceremony with a group hug, or one last loud noise with the instruments?  Or both!

Standard Thanking (To End the Ceremony):


Thank you to all the energies that love us who came to guide us and provide safe space for us in this ceremony.  We are grateful and we release you in beauty.

Optional Add-On Activity:

Sit in a circle and one by one share your personal reflections with the others:

What have you learned about the elements, and about yourself that you didn’t know before?

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