Individual ceremonies conducted by the Society are taught to initiated apprentices. It is important for each member of the Lodge to establish where they are in their spiritual life....self-reflection and an assessment of values and life direction for example.
Individual training is often under the guidance of a mentor/trainer or through training programs offered from time to time. This includes meditative practices and rituals, totems in journey work, divination and healing work, and the use of medicine objects.
Much apprentice work is in the development, orientation and exploration of the medicine wheel as a Dreaming Wheel or Circle reflecting the spiritual life of Australia, the country, and Australians, the people.
Visionary work is central to developing one's individual medicine, but within the safe containers of stories, myths and traditional formats of the Society. It also includes opportunity to explore ceremonial practice: what is ceremony, the psychology of ceremony, competencies in running ceremonies etc. so that members may then become involved after some years of practice in creative developments such as Druidic, Norse, and other cultures translated into an Australian idiom.
This is an exciting prospect: co-creation of tradition.
Rituals for the Journey
Spring Equinox Ceremony
The ceremony frees us from the past and any enmity that we hold onto. Here song, dance, art, and drama flow to welcome the changing season, when life begins its renewal of Nature. We ask that all that stands between us and life fall away so that we may reach each other again. In participating we feel darkness and coldness of the heart goes and is replaced by warmth and light.
Pathfinders - Ceremonies for Youth
A program of personal and spiritual development for youth. This is a unique program in Australia. It draws upon the wisdom and techniques of many cultures and the offerings of modem psychology and healthcare to provide youth with a map and compass for their journey through the difficult time of adolescence. We offer Vision Quest, rites of passage, healing, and personal empowerment.
Wholeness and Awakening Ceremony
This ceremony is concerned with situations where a person may not be whole but in the sense that they are fragmented, for whatever reason, and unable to function well. The ceremony is directed at a range of life situations.
Major Healing Ceremonies
Many of the community healing ceremonies offered by the Society use sacred theatre which have spiritual themes and which are educational and entertaining. In 1996, the first production was "Dancing the Buddha" which was a huge success.
Here are some specific SOTEMS healing ceremonies:
Three World Healing
This ceremony offers healing to someone who is in a far off place geographically, or unavailable, such as in hospital. It offers healing at a distance, but from the perspective that we are all connected together in time and space.
Many cultures involve snake medicine as bivalent in its operation on the body, allowing one to reconnect with the place and time of when one was well and dis-ease free, removing what should not be there and restoring health.
The Spirit Canoe ceremony offers reconnection and reorientation for people who suffer a sense of soul loss and disorientation.
Ritual of Grieving and Forgiveness
This ritual is best performed in the Spring when the death of the earth passes and life begins again. Each person prepares for the ceremony by collecting together memorabilia of that which they grieve for, that which they need release from.
Ceremonies of Transition
The Society has several ceremonies that offer men and women the opportunity to mark major life transitions. Whether it is to welcome a child into the world, mark a child into adolescence, or to pass on important information about adulthood, these ceremonies address the meaning of birth, adolescence, marriage, aging and death.
These ceremonies help us traverse "life crises", those crucial moments when we pass from one state of being to the next in the circle of life.
Ritual of Naming
This is a rite of passage of a kind which occurs in many societies. Specifically, there are times when we pass from one phase of our life's journey and our spiritual development takes a certain turning. This may be the time for a naming.
We all recognise the power of names. They are mostly given by others at a time in our lives when we have no power. In our lives, our name may come to be associated with the relationships which we have with many things....ourselves, family, friends, those who hold power [over us] and so on. Our names can be glorious and appropriate statements about our being, but they can also be out of touch with our becoming and, indeed, they may be part of any unauthenticity which we experience.
The naming ceremony is one in which all these things are addressed.
Men's and Women's Initiation
Follow links in the Ceremony list.
Details to come.