Ceremonies

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The Basic of Gate Passage Ceremonies

The Gate Passage ceremonies all follow a basic format (except for the 1st & 9th, which have their own ceremonies), which can be expanded upon and added to by your group. Because this is an all-inclusive program, not focusing on any one tradition, we have not included a full circle casting, so you can customize it for your group. If your group is part of a specific church or tradition, Gate Passages can be included as part of a larger ritual.

Once a Walker has completed all the requirements for a Gate Passage, an attempt should be made to perform the ceremony within a month. New Moons are especially appropriate for ceremony days, but any day will do. You don’t want to take too long, so the Walker doesn’t loose pride in their accomplishment.

The ceremony can take place in any space large enough to hold the people present. This will be the passing Walker, their family and invited guests, and the other Walkers & families.

Seating can either be in a U or classroom style (chairs are recommended). The focus of the space will be the altar, and an archway. If you can build or rent an archway (doesn’t have to be arch-shaped, just something to walk through), that’s perfect. If not, arrange the room so that the chairs are facing a doorway (see diagram). Set the altar in front of the arch or doorway that will serve as your Gate. Give yourself enough space to walk around the altar to the Gate. If seated classroom style, leave an aisle for people to walk down the middle, and leave 2-3 feet in front of the altar.

If you are lucky enough to have the space to lay out a labyrinth on the floor or lawn use the pattern in the back of the book, set the altar at the entrance, and the gate at it’s corresponding corner.

If at all possible, do the ceremony in dim light, lit by candles.

THE ALTAR:

On the altar should be:

  • 1 beeswax candle, in a carryable holder
  • 1 candle the color of the Gate the Walker last past (if they still have the candle from the passage ceremony for that Gate, that’s wonderful) in carryable holder.
  • A dish of salt water
  • Incense (check for allergies)
  • Labyrinth Book and pen.
  • Cloth matching the gate color

THE GATE:

The gate is hung with a curtain matching the Gate the Walker has just completed: 1st: Black; 2nd: Red; 3rd: Orange; 4th: Yellow; 5th: Green; 6th: Blue; 7th: Indigo/Dark Blue; 8th: Purple/Violet; 9th: White.

Behind the gate, on a table that should be hidden from view, have:

  • A candle in the Gate color
  • The Gate token
  • A dish of water

Confused about the candles and the Gate colors? Here’s an example:

Jinny’s last Gate Passage ceremony was for the 4th Gate, signifying she’d completed all the requirements for that Gate. She’s now ready to pass the 5th Gate, having completed all those requirements. On the altar will be her 4th Gate candle, in yellow. Behind the gate, which will be hung in 5th Gate green, is a green candle. Walkers begin with the candle of the Gate they’ve already passed, and end with the candle of the Gate they just completed. Until she walks through that curtain, she’s still 4th Gate.


If you have more than one Walker ready to do a passage for the same Gate, they can be done at the same time, but individually, one after the other. If you have Walkers ready to pass different gates, they can be done the same day, lowest gate first, but take 15-20 minutes in between each ceremony to clear the room and change the set up. Have ‘reception’ time after all of them are done. The idea is for each ceremony to be distinct for the individual.

The basic outline is written for having 2 Guides, adjust for the number of Guides your group has.


Walkthrough

The guests are seated, the Guides and Walker enter, and process to the altar. The Guide leading the ceremony lights the altar candles and incense. Guides and Walkers should be in full regalia and have their staffs.

Guide 1: We gather today to witness the progress of a Walker through the Labyrinth. The decision to walk this path is not an easy one, and each goal reached, each Gate achieved, is cause for celebration.

Guide 2 takes Walker’s candle to them, and leads them to the altar.

Guide 1: [name] stands before us, poised on the threshold. Has [name]done what was needful to pass through this Gate, into the next phase of his/her journey?

Guide 2: He/she has, by (recites requirements met, giving personal commentary for each thing)

Guide 1: Know that though you walk a sacred path you do not walk it alone. Your Guide is ever here to answer your questions, and help set you on your way (hands beeswax candle to Guide 2.) Having studied all that is needed to pass through the Gate of the {name}, are you prepared to do so? (Walker answers yes, and is led to the Gate by Guide 2., as they pass, Guide 1 blesses them with incense and salt water)

On the other side of the gate, the Guide will take the Walker’s candle, snuff it out in the water, and then light the new candle from the beeswax one. While the Walker holds the new candle, the Guide will tie the new Gate token onto the Walker’s Staff, then they both spend time in quiet contemplation. When the Walker feels ready, they pass back though the Gate, with the Walker in the lead. The Walker goes to the Altar, and sets the new candle down; Guide 1 records their name, the Gate, and the date in the Book.

Walker: I have passed through the Gate of the {name}, and now set my heart on the path to the Gate of the {name}, what must I do, to reach that goal?

Guide 1 recites the requirements for the next Gate

Guide 2: Return to us here when you feel you are ready, for it is not to us that you must prove your worth, but to yourself.

The Walker kneels before the Guides.

Guide 1: In all the Names of the Divine made Manifest, may your heart be open to yourself and others, may you walk in the light of your own nature, may you walk the Labyrinth with wisdom and care, may you be blessed, and be a blessing to the world. So be it.

The Walker rises and gets congratulatory hugs/handshakes. The Guides and the Walker process out of the room, followed by the other Walkers, and guests. Merrymaking ensues.


Specialized Ceremonies

First Gate Ceremony

Ninth Gate Ceremony


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