If you’d like to get some gentle exercise, move to music from a wide selection of tunes from folk to contemporary and classical, we have several opportunities every month to try out sacred circle dance.
There has been a circle dance group at UCV for well over a decade and the opportunities keep increasing.
Usually it’s a small group of 5 to 15. We always teach the steps and welcome newcomers. You are encouraged to adjust the movements to your own needs. For instance, some people get dizzy when they spin, or find “cross-over” steps difficult on their body. Our mantra is: There are no wrong steps, only variations!
On the 1st Tuesday and 2nd Monday we meet in the hall from 7 to 9pm. We usually dance about 12-15 different dances with a short refreshment break in the middle.
GLAD – Gathering for Labyrinth Art and Dance
GLAD is now in its third year. Mairy, Mary and Darlene coordinate a mid-day creative retreat on the 3rd Thursday 11-1pm. We create art for a centerpiece to dance around; circle dance and then walk the labyrinth (time and weather permitting.
Circle Dance with Ease
On the 1st Sunday of each month from 2-3:30pm, we offer a “gentle” approach to circle dance, great for beginners or those who want to just relax into dancing. We select 4 dances and dance each one three times, the third time, with all four in sequence.
Pagan Ritual through Circle Dance
On the last Tuesday, a new offering we started in July, coordinated by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett We will combine some earth spirit components with about 8 or so circle dances. We start out with casting a circle, calling in the four directions and honouring the divine masculine and feminine. We use a combination of readings, lighting candles and dances that correspond to this sequence. In the middle we will do more circle dancing related to the season and some earth-centred activity (planting, harvesting, making) and then end the evening with opening the circle with devocations and a closing dance/chant.
We dance to some or all of these pagan chants in each session.
Yes, that’s an unusual invitation, I know, but… I’d love people to take a bit of UCV abundance home with them. The rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) makes a lovely bouquet to bring some sunshine indoors.
Here are some that I would really like to have picked. It saves me pruning and dead-heading:
Lavender (still quite nice but fading fast). It’s mainly on the outer ring on the east side.
Dandelions- of course – any time!
Mint – There are several kinds of mint – chocolate mint, pineapple mint, etc. Please do cut 6″ pieces or so to make tea or enjoy in salads etc.
Fennel – Nice for a bouquet and also nice with mint for tea, or infused water.
Any time —
Lambs ears – those lovely fuzzy leaves can be picked any time. Not edible (but not poisonous). Kids love to touch them.
Sage – on west side near a tree – pick a bit to take home – I love sage tea, or to flavour other foods.
Take up to 1/3 of…
The glorious rudbeckia/black-eyed Susan – Take the flowers that are in full bloom. I call this pre-emptive dead-heading. Cut the step right to the place where it connects with another stem, so it looks nice.
Please don’t pick without checking with me:
The echinacea was moved last year and just getting established, so I’d prefer it wasn’t picked yet. Leave it for the bees!!
Here are some excerpts and links about kids and flowers:
Some flowers, like the bright yellow dandelion, are very common and children should be encouraged to collect them by armfuls. Other flowers, like the yellow golden paintbrush, are endangered and should be left alone. Not all flowers are created equal but everyone (even kids!) can learn which flowers are good to pick, where to pick them and when to pick them. Learning about flowers and picking them is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to connect with nature together.
In the spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, please bring a gift to offer to the Sacred in Nature such as flowers, coffee beans, etc. These will be used to create a mandala in the centre of the labyrinth.
UPDATE: The course is now full. If you’d like to be on a wait list, contact Coral and Sandra (see below)
Paganism 101 will be offered again for 2019-2020 season on the 4th Wednesday of the month starting in September.
The 2018-2019 Paganism 101 group was full with a wait list. If you are on the wait list, please contact Coral or Sandra right away and register.
Suggested donation to the Unitarian church is $50.00. Please contact Coral Heron at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sandra Scow at Sandra.email@example.com for more information and/or to register.
Paganism 101 is a 10-session curriculum created by Louise Bunn, a member of our congregation.
Today’s Pagans revere the Earth and all its creatures. We see all life as interconnected, and we strive to attune ourselves to the cycles of nature. Our practices are rooted in a belief in immanence – the concept of divinity residing within.
The many modern pagans who have found a home in the Unitarian community are grounding our work in the rational structure, the intellectual balance, and the humanist core values that have descended to us from the Enlightenment. We’re working to develop a religiosity that is entirely compatible with, and complementary to, modern Unitarian rationality.
Paganism 101 is an experiential curriculum that will enable participants to conduct Pagan rituals on their own as independent practitioners. It introduces the practices, beliefs, and history of Modern Pagan spirituality, a nature-based worldview that is deeply rooted in Western Esoteric traditions. It is an active and powerful way to engage with Unitarianism’s Sixth Source — Spiritual Teachings of Earth-centred Traditions that Celebrate the Sacred Circle of Life and Instruct us to Live in Harmony with the Rhythms of Nature.
Here is Mary’s wish list for our labyrinths for 2039 (or sooner) from her homily presented July 7th.
I have a wish list for the future of our labyrinths.
I wish there was a big welcoming sign giving the basics of how and why to walk a labyrinth.
I wish more neighbours would regularly stop by to walk the labyrinth and that some of them would decide to check out what else happens here.
I wish there were benches for resting. And maybe a yellow Friendship bench indicating that someone sitting there would appreciate a conversation.
I wish that when you reach the centre of the courtyard labyrinth, you could actually able to walk into the centre area, not have your way blocked by a big tree root.
Some other wishes (there wasn’t time to list them all!) are
a late-night lantern walk on the labyrinth–perhaps for Hallowe’en/Samhain
until or unless we can move the shrubs around, a bird bath at the end of the courtyard labyrinth walk would be lovely
a labyrinth group who meet regularly for labyrinth walks, planning labyrinth walks ad tending the labyrinth.
more music on the labyrinth. Thank you to Tara for playing her harp on the labyrinth on May 4th – could we have more music? and poetry readings? or?
picnics on the labyrinth
a little free library – that includes books or handouts about the labyrinth. Little Free Labyrinth Library
Here are some of the links that Mary Bennett referred to at the service on July 9th about labyrinths and related ideas like eco-philosophy (or ecosophy) and gardening to live to be 100. Come down the rabbit hole (Maze?) to learn more about labyrinths!
On July 7th, 12 of us gathered to dance the three link-up dances that were being danced around the world. World Circle Dance Day coincides with the final day of the annual sacred circle dance festival at Findhorn, Scotland, where this version of circle dance originated over 40 years ago.
After emailing our photo, I received this update from the organization.
Thank you to everyone! We have a record number of groups this year and this gives us GREAT HOPE. 279 that we know of and this represents even more groups, because several join together for this special day. We are so grateful for all the Love, Unity, Connection, Joy, Beauty, Energy, Blessings! We continue to share our joy around the world! If you have Facebook, please post all your photos to https://www.facebook.com/GlobalCircleDance, and select 1 photo and e mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you so much!
Thank you! We will send you an e mail when yours is posted on https://globalcircledance.com/world-circle-dance-day.
When the video is ready we will post it on the website https://globalcircledance.com/world-circle-dance-day.
The world is dancing! Infinite Thanks and Love for participating in this wave of Joy!
To see past posts about our participation in World Circle Dance Day click here:
If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance. For summer solstice, Les will draw a Chartres-style labyrinth in the sand at Spanish Banks East on June 22. Come and walk any time between 3:30-5:30 pm.
Thanks to a Neighbourhood Small Grant, UCV members Mary Bennett and Jodie Miller (click names to learn more about Mary and Jodie) are hosting a summer solstice party with the folk who have been attending their workshops on earth spirituality.
We are having our wind-up summer solstice (Litha) party on the 21st.
The creative and generous women in this course are sharing their gifts, both material at our giveaway table each week and gifts of knowledge and talent, including herbal knowledge, drumming and crystal magic.
Thanks to Vancouver Foundation and Kits House for our grant that allowed us to offer these sessions free of any charge to participants.