A Ritual of Connection

pexels-photo-461049This ritual was written by John Halstead.

In this ritual, only the facilitator has a script. This keeps the partici­pants’ hands free to perform ritual actions and allows them to focus on something other than the words on a page. In­stead of reading from a script, participants repeat after the facilita­tor.

Select four participants to assist you. In the script below, “(F)” means the facilitator speaks, “(A)” means the other partici­pants repeat together after the facilitator, and “(1),” “(2),” etc. mean that selected assistants repeat individually after the facilita­tor. The facilitator should break each recitation into short phrases to facilitate repetition.

Preparing the Space

Create a ritual space. Use an altar, potted plant, or something similar for the central focus. At the cardinal points, place a can­dle, a bowl of salt, sage for burning, and a bowl of water. Other ritual implements to gather: singing bowl, chime, or small gong, a drum and baton, a chalice, and a pitcher of water. Have each participant bring a personal item to the ritual representing some aspect of the current season. Gather in a space separate from the ritual space. You will process (walk slowly and deliberately in a line) to the ritual space.

Calling to Ritual

Begin the ritual with a sound from the singing bowl, chime, or small gong.

(F) “The theme of our ritual is connection. Connection with the earth. Connection with each other. Connection to the deep parts of ourselves. And connection to the Goddess and the God, what­ever that means to you.”

Opening Chant

(F) “Now form a line behind me. While singing the ‘Sacred Way’ chant (by Abbi Sponner McBride) we will walk slowly in procession until we arrive in the sacred space. When we arrive in the sacred space, form a circle. Place your items on the ground in front of you. Continue chant­ing, as I light the candle and the sage. Then hold hands and contin­ued chanting until I gesture to stop.”


We are going to a sacred place,
We are now in sacred space,
We are living in a state of grace,
We are loving in a sacred way.

Calling the Elements

(F) “While singing the “Element Chant” (by Spiral Rhythm) we will turn to face outward. If you are standing in the east, wave your hands over the candle to feel its heat; in the south, run the salt through your hands and place a grain on your tongue; in the west, fan the sage smoke toward you and breathe it in; and in the north, dip your fingers in the water and touch your forehead. After each round of the chant, we will rotate in a clockwise direction to the next element and so on until we have returned to our original posi­tions. Continue chanting. I will beat out a rhythm on the drum as we chant.”


Earth my body
Water my blood
Air my breath and
Fire my spirit

(F) “We will now call the spirits of the four directions.”

[Note: The elemental associations are specific to the author’s geo­graphical region. You should modify these to reflect the place where you live.]

(F) First, turn to face east. Hold your arms outstretched with your hands forming a diamond shape above your head through which you should direct your gaze.”

[Select one person in your group to speak for each ele­ment/direction.]

(1) “From the East, where the sun rises, we call the Spirit of Fire, wild like the fierce lion. We feel you in all the emotions of our hearts. We feel your roar in our anger. We feel your leap in our joy and our passion. We feel you protecting us, like your cub, in our sadness and fear.”

(F) “Now turn to the south. Hold your hands in front of you press­ing your palms against each other. Feel the firmness like the earth.”

(2) “From the South, the land of dark earth and growing fields, we call the Spirit of the Earth, strong like the black bear. We feel your strength in our arms and legs. We feel you in all the sensa­tions of our bodies. From our fingertips, to the roots of our hair. From the soles of our feet to the secret places of our bodies.”

(F) “Now  turn to face west. Hold your arms outstretched at your sides like you are feeling the wind.”

(3) “From the West, from whence the winds blow, we call the Spirit of the Air, high soaring like the eagle. We know you in all the thoughts of our minds. We see you soaring in all our ideas. We see you diving in our imagination. We see your wings in all our brightest visions.”

(F) “Now turn to face north. Cup your hands in front of you like you are scooping up water.”

(4) “From the North, where the great water rises and falls, we call the Spirit of the Water, deep knowing like the wise serpent. We know you in the wisdom of our souls. In the root of us, we feel your connection to the earth. In the core of us, we know your strange power. In the back of our mind, we meet you in our dreams, when the eagle sleeps.”

(F) “Now turn to face the center. Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “Fierce Lion, Strong Bear, Soaring Eagle, Wise Serpent: You are us and we are you, many seeking to become one.”

Invoking the Two Faces of the Divine

(F) “Now look up and raise your arms straight up.”

[If possible, select a man and a woman to perform the two invoca­tions.]

(1) “Sky Father, you who we reach for, bigger than all the names we give you, you are the God of our longing.”

(F) “Now look down and point your hands toward the ground.”

(2) “Earth Mother, closer to us than we are to ourselves, you are the Goddess who is always present with us.”

(F) “Look straight ahead, raise one arm, while keeping the other arm pointed at the ground. Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “We stand like tall trees, with our roots deep in the earth, and our branches stretching for the sky. Sky Father and Earth Mother, we have need of you both in order to grow. You have need of us in order to be made whole. Our lives are the places where you meet and love.”

Invoking the Blessing of the Spirits

(F) “Turn to face outward from the center and join hands.”

(3) “Spirits of this land: soil and river, trees and plants, birds and animals,”

(4) “Spirit of this place, spirits of our ancestors and honored dead, spirit of our family, Spirit of Life,”

(F) “Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “Be with us in this sacred time and space, and bless our work, as we build temples in our hearts, and make of our lives an offering.”


(F) “Turn to the center again. We will now take turns placing the thing we have brought with us in the center, next to the plant, saying what you have brought and what it represents …”


(F) “Sit down and join hands. Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “This we believe: It’s a blessing each of us was born. It mat­ters what we do with our lives. And we don’t have to do it alone.”

(F) We will now chant together the “One Spirit Chant” (by Spiral Rhythm).


One spirit in the dark,
Like a candle wavers
Many spirits joined as one
Burn with the power of the blazing sun
There is strength in community
A circle empowering you and me
The circle binds yet sets us free
In the Goddess’ name so may it be

Moment of Silence

(F) “We will now have a minute of silence.”

Water Sharing

The facilitator pours water into the chalice.

(F) “Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “This is the water of life.”

Each person raises the chalice in turn while reciting their part, then passes the chalice.

[This section has been written with an interfaith gathering in mind.]

(1) “This water has traveled across the cosmos in comets and was part of ancient oceans on Earth. This water has traveled from the bottom of the Pacific to the clouds above Mount Ever­est.”

(2) “This water has been the part of great glaciers and tiny snow­flakes. This water has flowed through the bodies of great dino­saurs and tiny amoeba, through giant sequoia trees and through the bodies of our ancestors. This water flows through the cells of our own bodies.”

(3) “This water fell as rain on the heads of Noah and his family. This water fed the thirst of the Israelites in the desert. This water flowed in the River Jordan when Jesus of Nazareth was bap­tized. This water formed as tears on Mary’s cheeks when her son was placed in the tomb.”

(4) “This water flows in the sacred river Ganges in India. This water gathers in Thoreau’s Walden Pond. This water flows from the holy wells of Ireland. This water is raised in the cupped hands of pilgrims all around the world.”

(F) “Everyone repeat after me:”

(A) “This is the water that we are made of. This is the water that sustains us. This is the water that we were formed in. This is the water we will return to.”

(F) “We will now share the water. Wipe the cup where you drank as a courtesy to the next person. The next person may ro­tate the cup to drink from a clean spot. You may pass the chalice without drinking if you are ill or uncomfortable sharing. Each person takes a drink and passes to the next person, saying: I share my water with you.

(1), (2), (3), (4), etc. “I share my water with you.” (This is an adaptation of the water sharing ritual from the Church of All Worlds.)


The facilitator refills the chalice.

(F) “Each of us will now pour some of the water in this plant as an offering. If you empty the chalice, I will then refill it. Recite the following as you make the offering …”

(1), (2), (3), (4), etc. “Mother Earth and Father Sky, we return to you this portion of your abundance, even as we too must return to you one day.”

(F) “Hold hands again. We will now chant the “We All Come From the Goddess” chant (by Lindie Lila).


We all come from the Goddess
And to her we shall return
Like a drop / of rain
Flowing to the ocean


(F) “Continue holding hands. … The Goddess and the God are present in the physical world. They are the physical world. We are part of the world. And so the Goddess and the God are pre­sent in us, in our bodies, in our hands. And when we touch each other, we are touching the Goddess and the God, and they are touching each other, through us. … Look at the person to next to you. Make eye contact and repeat after me … ”

(A) “The God and Goddess in me greet the God and Goddess in you.”

(F) “Do the same with the person on the next side of you. Repeat after me:”

(A) “The God and Goddess in me greet the God and Goddess in you.”

(F) “Now do the same with the person across from you. Repeat after me:”

(A) “The God and Goddess in me greet the God and Goddess in you.”

Moment of Silence

(F) “We will now have another minute of silence before closing the ritual.”


Close the ritual with a sound from the singing bowl, chime, or small gong.

Updated 2019