In sacred space

by | Nov 19, 2011 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

I’ve just returned from an evening and a day in sacred space, teaching The Art of Ritual to twelve lovely women who live an hour and a half north of Auckland. They are very connected to nature, and their hearts are open to learning and connecting.
Here are the symbols for water, that I placed in the west of our circle.

Here is part of the setting for fire in the north, with blazing Californian poppies gathered from the garden. (Later the women made their own symbols, but as I don’t have their permission I’m just showing my own)

And here is air in the east, with a fan, a little vase of pheasant feathers, and a tiny pink wooden dragonfly from Vietnam.

I didn’t manage to get a photo of the bean and courgette seedlings for earth in the south, but here is my personal symbol to resource me through the coming weeks.

Kawakawa features prominently in Maori healing. It’s also associated with death. I am grieving the passing of my dear mother-in-law, whom I met a year after my marriage 48 years ago, and who remained my friend even though the marriage later ended. At the same time this season is regenerating me. The kawakawa leaf represents a hope for integration of opposites: death and new life.

Being with this group of women, who have come together to celebrate the seasons through the cycle of one year, has been regenerating, fulfilling and hopeful.


  1. lifeonthecutoff

    Beautiful, Juliet. Thank you for sharing your experience this week and your sacred symbols. I am always inspired when reading your posts celebrating the seasons, never more so than now as we in the north approach the darkest time of year and the cold.

  2. juliet

    Penny, you are very welcome. I’m glad that our bright seasons can warm you while you plunge into the dark.

  3. Marilyn

    A wonderful celebration of the season, and also a lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. You are very blessed to be able to call your mother-on-law your friend. I would have loved to have been able to say the same.

  4. juliet

    Thank you Marilyn, and I am very blessed and fortunate to have had such a mother-in-law, who was also much loved by her grandchildren.

  5. Joan

    A lovely post of celebrations. I hope one day my Daughter-in-law may think kindly of me. I was given a gift of Kawakawa Shortbread just this week. It looks delicious. I’m trying to save it for Christmas. Lucy from The Kitchenmaid blog, made it and sent it to me via my lovely daughter-in-law.

  6. Joan

    My comment sounds like my D-in-L doesn’t think kindly of me now! She is very kind and forgiving and we get along fine, but I’m a very new MIL and often feel I fail miserably. But when I’m gone, if she counts me as a friend, as you do yours.. I’ll be chuffed.

  7. juliet

    It’s not always easy being the mother-in-law, that’s for sure. Mine had the very English trait of restraint, and I’m sure it helped in the early days. Kawakawa shortbread sounds most intriguing.

  8. Lynley

    You have been called on to come to terms with several losses of late Juliet. Nature offers much to comfort and support us through such passages. Ritual helps too. I love your photos of the objects you used recently.

    What a special relationship you had with your mother-in-law. I feel very blessed to have my daughter-in-law in my life and I am about to become m-i-l to another.

  9. Marja

    Oh what a beautiful symbols and such an inspirational post. Wish you all the strength with the grieving and hope you may remember many good times. Take care

  10. Anne Dean Ruffell

    Looking at your beautiful arrangements of colours and objects is very restful and soothing to me at a time when my thoughts are all over the place with worry about my brother.

  11. juliet

    Lynley, Marja and Anne, thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. Yes, I find that symbols help me settle, and the beauty soothes me too.


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