Rituals for becoming One
February has been a very special month for us, a glorious time for celebrating the sacredness of union, exploring unspoken forms of intimacy and walking unfamiliar paths towards more connectedness. We discovered the value of rituals for crossing the thresholds we meet, each one appearing as a signpost along the initiatory path of our quest for Wholeness and Oneness.
The first ritual was our marriage that took place on Saturday 9th of February in Østerlars round church. It was a quiet and intimate ceremony with a small gathering of dear friends and higher consciousness companions. Getting to the altar in order to celebrate our Love and be blessed in our union was quite a journey since we had to wade through administrative complications to obtain the marriage license.
Denmark is a country where church and civil weddings are equivalent and where the parish priest is also a civil servant. Our spiritual path founded on the principles of conscious love (or kenotic love) was very clear to us, as it was to Meghan our parish priest who married us. Little were all three of us to know that, however pure our motives for getting married were, we would also have to walk an administrative path that cares little for spiritual growth and is more concerned about verifying the motives of marriages between Danish citizens and foreigners. We spent four harassing weeks getting together papers and documents to comply to a new procedure that was so new that nobody knew really how to implement it. Meghan was majestic as she put all her talents and skills in unpicking bureaucratic complexities taking me over the administrative hurdles whilst I tackled all the technical hitches in a digital reality requiring that everything is done online. Fortunately, however dramatic this part of the journey was, we were all reminded that Love conquers all and that the truth and the power of our embodied Love would overcome all administrative realities. Nonetheless, I did feel the sting of being considered an alien needing to claim my place and I was pretty shaken up in my sense of belonging.
At the same time, the harassment and stress of the paperwork heightened the beauty of the spiritual celebration. Fortunately, I enjoyed a few days in a state of grace and bliss between obtaining the marriage licence and the actual ceremony. I was then able to experience the fulness of our marriage and to relish the slowness and simplicity of the ceremony we had crafted with Meghan, presencing each of the pieces: entering the church besides my dear friend Margaret who had come from New Zealand to the sounds of Schubert’s Ave Maria sung by our friend Anne; feeling the powerful feminine energy that welcomed us as we circled the central pillar to appear coming from the North door traditionally reserved for women; bowing down to Anne honouring her divine singing; meeting a beautifully emotionally vibrant John at the altar; listening to Meghan acknowledging our story that started in Scotland and led us to Bornholm; singing a delicious mixture of English and Danish hymns and a Scottish ballad (a revised version of Loch Lomond); becoming one flesh and then taking our place beside each other facing our witnesses; and, finally, John and I each lighting a candle at the altar and then walking into the pillar (called the oven by the locals) to light a bigger candle representing our Love and Light shining out into the world.
The reception took place at the vicarage and I got a true taste of Danish wedding parties. The highlight was the bridal waltz. After cutting the cake, John and I were invited to dance as the organist transmuted into a pianist played a traditional tune on the piano. As we danced all our friends gathered in a circle around us and came closer in clapping their hands. It felt like a blessing on our union and provided me with a deep sense of belonging and of becoming one not only with John but also with this community of reference with its traditions and rites. It also marked the change of name that occurred through the marriage as I let go of my former married name (Rege Colet) to take up a new name (Christensen-Johnson) honouring both our paternal lineages.
Our marriage then led us into the first we-space experiment hosted by Yggdrasil Living Wholeness under the guidance of Stephen Busby. There was no rupture between the two events, nor was there a sense of energetic breakup between them. Quite the contrary, we became aware of the continuity between the marriage ceremony and the holding of a we-space. In both cases, we are honouring and nurturing our innate capacity to bond with each other and to elicit and seek caring and cooperative relationships. The invitation is to become interested, involved, and caring towards each other as well as towards ourselves, key principles that are imbedded in marriage vows in many traditions.
All together we were nine people. One half was sleeping in our home, Ny Elleskov, and the other slept in our neighbour’s house just down the road. For five days, we had all our sessions and meals in our house. As we did so, we explored new ways of coming together nurturing a space for practicing deep listening and self-care, letting go of expected outcomes and being prepared to meet whatever arises in the open space.
It is always difficult to put words to experiences in higher consciousness and subtle energy work. It’s much easier to draw on Stephen’s talents in capturing the essence of what happens in a we-space and to let you savour his description. “No agenda, no programme, no defence against the difficult. An unfolding sense of purpose, revealed in real-time through raw courageous personal work. We know this work – which arises through silence, which is learning how to wait forever and to speak into the cracks which were not there; the work we do for each other because it is each other’s, because we each are revealed and undone every time we step deeper into our pain and unknowing and are remembered there, whenever we come upon an astonished place in ourselves for the first time and recognise home.”
Rituals are an important part of holding an open space with a loose structure. These can unfold through a morning meditation practice, cooking meals, taking care of the house, walking to the round church to sing in the central pillar, taking a trip down to the sea to feel the stretch of the Baltic sea, offering a celebratory supper on the last evening in an Alsatian bekkhoff brought to Bornholm from my days in Strasbourg, gathering around a very smoky fire to express our appreciation for our work and to send out blessings and invocations into the world, huddling in a true hygge manner in the living room to tell of life-changing stories.
This we-space experiment helped John and I become aware of the nurturing qualities of the house and our role as custodians of the space and as hosts for we-space experiments and more. We now understand that our Love is imprinting the house and the surrounding land. The house benefits from our embodiment of our Love and the powerful transformative energy of Love can ripple out into the world touching all those who feel called to come here. What a seeding experience!
There was a lot a quietness and stillness around the house during the ten days of our marriage and the we-space. Miraculously – and without having asked for it – the workmen took a long pause leaving us to sense the house and what it wants from us. We have now entered a new phase of upheaval with plenty of noisy work as the workmen gut and excavate the former stables and workshop space to turn it into guest accommodation and a spacious workshop area. The seeds are already sprouting and, when everything is finished, we will honour the renovation and the workmen’s contributions throwing a big celebration for all to come and see what has been transformed. Another opportunity to gather in Wholeness and Oneness, and to celebrate the goodness of life.
With love, Nicky