It’s been 24 hours of ritual passage.

Last night, far off the beaten path in an old barn swept clean and decorated simply, Kerri, Kirsten and I attended a wedding. Well, truth be told, we attended the reception. Kerri played for a wedding and then we jumped in a car and drove several hours into rural Wisconsin. There was feasting and toasting and dancing. Old friends reconnected. New friendships were established. I’ve always thought that a good wedding was like a barn raising: a community comes together in support of the creation of something new, special, and useful. This was a good wedding. The ritual was filled with laughter (so I’m told). The barn was raised. Two became united into one. The elements of earth, water, air and fire are part of this union, nestled in a cornfield, a bonfire roaring, wine flowing, and the dancers breathing deeply.

With a few hours of sleep we were back in a church for services that included a baptism. A water ritual, a blessing of transformation; I’ve not attended many baptisms so I paid attention. I was delighted to realize that this water ritual is meant to welcome the new spirit into the community. The pastor kissed the baby on the head and said, “We have your back.” The congregation laughed and nodded.

Later, the congregation celebrated communion. I watched this ritual, too. “This is my body, take this and eat. This is my blood, drink….” This, too, is a ritual of joining. The community eats the god, they take the god into their bodies and in so doing become the god. They unify. They transcend. The bread is earth like the body is earth. It returns to dust. When alive, the body is fire. It eats, consumes, burns calories, and is constantly transforming. The air moves through the lungs, oxygen is carried through the body in the blood. The blood and body are water and fire and air and earth. “This is my body, take this and eat. This is my blood, drink….” The Makah literally consume their god, the whale. They hunt and eat their god. Actually, the god, the whale, chooses the worthy hunter to enact the ritual. The god feeds the people. The people resurrect the god. The indigenous people of the plains ate the buffalo in an agreement of death and resurrection. The god will feed you and, in exchange, you must perform the appropriate rituals to bring it back to vital life. It is a beautiful cycle.

Marriage. Baptism. Communion. Thresholds all. They lead to joining, belonging, and transcendence of the small self to participation with something much greater. Life honors life.

[910. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.]

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

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