Gratitude Ceremony

posted in: Pilgrimage Stories | 0
Gratitude Mandala

In September 2016, on the last day of our five-week pilgrimage to sacred earth-spirit sites in Ireland, we wanted to make a gratitude ceremony. On a beach that has very colorful stones, near holy Mt. Brandon on the Dingle Peninsula, we made this spiral. Starting in the center with rock and shells, we spiraled as we placed each stone. We had been to what felt like the center of our souls on this journey. We were now circling the center, spiraling outward, in leaving. The spiral is a powerful image of pre-Celtic Ireland as well as a fitting symbol of The Journey.

This mandala became an altar around which to sing, dance, pour libations of milk, and raise our prayers. Speaking aloud our heart-filled thanks, we sprinkled pinches of biscuit crumbs on the spiral path as offerings:  gratitude to the Goddess and to the loving spirits of the land …  gratitude for contact with our ancestors and the deep-time Ancestors of this Place … gratitude for the healing energies at stone circles, holy wells, and sacred springs … for the warmth of friends and guides … for the potent presence of the Elements … for the plants, trees, bird messengers and rock beings who joined us … for the incredible Beauty all around, our gratitude.

We look forward to bringing back wisdom from the earth-honoring, indigenous root-elders of that ancestral land to join with the urgently sought and needed teachings of the ancestral lineages of this land, our home.  We all have gifts to bring to the work of renewing and re-weaving the Web of Connections between our peoples, with our earth beings, in our cosmos.


With Love, Hope, and Deep Respect,

Betty Lou and David Chaika


photo (c) 2016 Betty Lou and David Chaika

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