Circle of Strength: A Ritual for Times of Change
By Lara Vesta
I come from a line of powerful women. My great-grandmother birthed her 12 children alone with her husband on the Canadian steppes. The nearest town was 70 miles away. My other great-grandmother, the scandalous one, was the child of a wealthy Irish family until she threw away her inheritance to sing opera. They remind me that we, all of us, have that strength as our potential.
In times of change, we can draw upon the strength of our ancestors, real and imagined. When we feel unsettled or unloved, we can root into what grounds us; what we love to practice, believe, or do. We can invoke the qualities we wish to embody from within a circle of strength and set our intentions for the next phase of our life transition.
Transition is a constant. We are all in transition. This ritual is for sustenance in life shifts, large and small. This circle of strength is to remind you of where you come from, who you are, and what you wish to be.
Give yourself some time to be alone and select a space where you won’t be disturbed. Gather images or objects that remind you of strength, personal power, and joy. Include objects that represent what you love to do or need in order to feel whole: seeds from a garden, a stone from the beach, praise from a colleague at work. Walk your home, letting your intuition guide your collection of objects and symbols. You can think about what they represent later.
Arranging the objects and images in a way that pleases you, craft a circle on the floor or ground. Then step into the circle. Breathe. Feel the steadiness of the earth beneath you. Allow yourself time to observe what surrounds you. Sit for a while. When you feel ready, you may exit. If you can, keep the circle around for a bit in some form—the objects might grace a shelf or an altar. Take time each day to write an affirmation of strength. Imagine one of your ancestors or objects is writing you a letter. What would they say to you about your power?
I imagine, always, those women before us saying: You come from us. We live within you. You are strong.
Lara Vesta, MFA is a Life Cycle Celebrant, author of the Moon DivasGuidebook: Spirited Self-Care for Women in Transition and the owner of Vestal Transitions, offering custom ceremonies and creative resources for all phases of life transition. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Contact her at vestaltransitions.org.