Monday, June 22, 2015

InterPlay, Father’s Day & Summer Solstice: Ritual enhanced by play

SUMMER SOLSTICE. How does the sun on this longest day of the year illuminate your life? What would you like to grow this summer? Where will you go with this solar power? (art by Ruth Schowalter)
By Ruth Schowalter, Certified InterPlay Leader, MS Applied Linguistics and ESL

InterPlay has beauty and elegance! Its principles and forms allow for a myriad of ways to be implemented. Ritualizing the events in our lives is one of those ways.

Yesterday, Sunday, June 21st, 2015, was both Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice. As a rather newly certified leader, I have been experimenting with developing ritual around the solstices using InterPlay, and yesterday was my third solstice event here in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thinking about how to create symbolic actions—or ritual—to honor TIME (the seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall) as they pass is simplified with InterPlay forms for telling stories, moving, singing, or being still.  In addition to InterPlay forms, the Internet has numerous sites that offer the significance of these solstices and ceremonies enacted over the centuries.

So my task was to take elements like the sun, solar energy, the longest day, and fire and to elicit meaning. For example, the sun could represent “consciousness” and solar energy might symbolize “generation” or “regeneration.” Once the meaning was established, then all I had to do was choose InterPlay forms to play with!

It was perfect that the Summer Solstice fell on Father’s Day! The sun symbolizes a kind of masculine energy! So the group of women only that I had assembled to ritualize this solstice began with babbling about our father’s, who they were, what we learned from them and what they might say to us now.  Then we danced on our fathers' behalf.

Afterwards, we considered what kind of solar, masculine energy we had in ourselves and what we would like to generate or regenerate as Summer 2015 unfolds in our lives. We told stories. We witnessed. We danced. We wrote down our desires and….

DANCING WITH THE "RING OF FIRE." How special it was that Cecilia Kane, a visitor from Vermont, was able to join us. A writer, visual and performance artist, she was happy to jump in and dance with her desires playing with the "ring of fire." (photo by Ruth Schowalter)

….and tied these “desires” to the “ring of fire”—a pink hoola hoop. Oh! Each one of us had the opportunity to dance with “ring of fire,” while Joyce Kinnard, a member of the InterPlay Atlanta community, played her guitar. Then we danced together with the “sun wheel,” each of us holding onto it and moving like energy waves and light, weaving in and out of the hoop, connecting, laughing, and surprising ourselves as we created ritual for this longest day of the year in our Atlanta community.

How to bring such an evening of summer celebration of solar light and fathers to an end? Flowers! We created headdresses, scarves and bouquets from carnations, lit candles and walked to the park next door to my Decatur condo community. We created a flower altar, our offering to the Earth, and danced under the open sky with the crescent moon looking on. The trees witnessed us and the cicadas and crickets chirped. The humid Georgia night was slightly cooled by a breeze which touched our cheeks and stirred our hair. The trees talked too whispering about a full leafy summer.

FLOWER HEADDRESSES, SCARVES, AND BOUQUETS. A handful of us stayed until darkness had befallen the long hot, humid Atlanta day to make flower adornments and to journey outside to make a flower altar. Notice our desires tied to the "fire wheel"!

We blew out the remaining burning candle truly feeling we had celebrated the longest day of 2015 and welcomed the summer while creating opportunities to cultivate our deepest desires.

Wishing us all light, joy, and abundance as the summer opens out before us. May our desires become manifest! Thank you InterPlay!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful Ruth! Thanks for sharing your rich process of creating this meaningful evening.