By Olaf Krop, Western Region
Often the act of giving something to another man is part of a ritual or ceremony. It symbolizes generosity, giving, remembrance or acknowledgment. Its value is not in the cost of the item, but in the value that is bestowed upon it during the ceremony.
A talisman is an object that contains magical or sacramental properties, and its power lies in the preparation of the object. Sometimes we use rocks or sticks for a simpler purpose, but they should never be simply treated as props, but instead they should represent something important. We often use rocks because they symbolize our simplicity, our hard edges and because they are easy to find. When you use an object, the important part of the object is the value you place upon it by making it a metaphor for something. In this ceremony, rocks are used to symbolize our common ground.
This ceremony reveals to men that we have common bonds and experiences, and that we are not alone when we have a men’s circle. It also incorporates men “blessing” each other, which is important King Energy and represents generosity. It completes with an invitation for men to think of other men outside their circle, and challenges them to carry a blessing to men not yet in their circle.
We all bring experiences to this circle, some good, some bad. We bring our trust, our hopes and our dreams to our men, where we reveal these to the men. Trust is what keeps this circle sacred, and common experience is what bonds us together. We bring our power, and we bring our shame. And we are not alone. Each of us brings our own lives to this circle, and we have much in common.
(Exposing the wounds)
I am going to ask a series of questions. When you hear something that you can relate to, declare “I am that man” and place a stone in the circle.
(Recite the following experiences, and wait for the men to take a stone and place it in the circle. Feel free to add any that may feel right.)
- I am a father.
- I am a husband.
- I have been divorced.
- I have been seriously injured.
- I have misled a child or loved one.
- I have acted with violence toward a weaker opponent or child.
- I have been a victim of a crime.
- I have committed a crime.
- I have experienced great joy.
- I have experience great sadness.
- I have done something shameful.
- I have been the victim of abuse.
- I have hurt someone
- I have felt alone.
(By now there should be a good pile of rocks.)
“This circle of stones represents our shared experience of pain and joy. You can see that we have much in common. “
“For the next part, when you hear something that resonates with you declare, “I am that Man” and take a rock out of the circle.”
- I am healing.
- I love someone.
- I am ready to make a difference.
- I am a leader.
- I am prepared to serve humanity.
- I am willing to lead.
- I am committed to the success of my men.
(When men have retrieved a sufficient number of stones, they move on to the blessing. Men can “bless” each other by offering a hope or wish for the other man.) In the next five minutes, take some of your stones and present it to other men, with a wish or hope for them.
(After this is complete, move to “The Invitation”)
The remaining stones in the circle represent the men who have not yet found our circle. Take one more stone and tell us the name of a man you will give this stone to this week and what you will tell him your hope for him is.
End of Ceremony.