The Basic Elements of the Ceremony
The 14th Moon Ceremony has been performed in many different ways in many different places and communities. It has been done in one day, or as long as three days. It can be quite elaborate, or very basic. The fundamental elements of the ceremony include:
The sacred fire – When the ceremony is held outside, the sacred fire is lit prior to the beginning of the ceremony, and kept going until then end. The firetender has an important role in helping to hold the energy for the ceremony.
An Altar/Arbor – this can be as simple as a circle of chairs, with a gate for each direction. Sometimes particular colors are used to demarcate each gate -- red for the east, yellow for the south, black for the west, and white for the north.
The intercessor/leader -- The spiritual aspect of this ceremony will reflect the tradition of the facilitator. It is through her guidance that the ceremony maintains its sacredness and honors the elder woman. The intercessor provides key leadership, both during the preparation phase and during the ceremony itself. She helps create and maintain a sacred atmosphere as the ceremony unfolds, ensuring focus, and keeping a mindful, respectful watch over all aspects of the ceremony.
Staffs – Each new elder is presented with a staff representing both wisdom and power. The staffs are carefully chosen and collected months prior to the ceremony and are often adorned with symbols that are meaningful to women.