White Stone Ceremony
Typically, the new year is a time to consider the goals we will attempt throughout the next 12 months. It is a great opportunity to set an intention, or a ‘theme’ for the upcoming year. It could be a quality you would like to enhance in your life, such as love or abundance. Selecting a theme allows you to study it and put it into practice.
So we ask ourselves, What are my intentions? What do I hope to accomplish? Do I have time and energy to see these into fruition?
Something new is being born in you. You can feel it. The old ways don’t fit anymore. It’s time to release the shackles of limitation that have lived in your own mind and listen… A miracle awaits you…
We participated in the Burning Bowl last week, which was a releasing and forgiving ceremony, believing in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away!”
This ceremony is a profoundly impactful experience. It helps us release, which is very freeing. And when we release, we create an empty space, which will be filled with something! This morning, I invite you to consider what will fill that empty space.
Many Unity churches do a second ritual along with the Burning Bowl. It is called a White Stone Ceremony, and it is typically done as a follow-up to the Burning Bowl, as a symbol of starting anew. It can help us at the beginning of the year to claim our good for the coming year. I will invite you to do this very personal ritual in a few minutes.
Ask yourself: “Who is Spirit calling me to be?”
As a spiritual trailblazer, you know that all change begins within. The White Stone Ceremony is a powerful ritual for beginning this journey to the center of your being and emerging with spiritual clarity about who you called to be in your life and in the world.
You have been given small white stones when you came in. We will use these in the ceremony to identify our “new name.”
The ceremony is inspired by a quote from the Book of Revelation: chapter 2:17. Consider these thoughts:
“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
This passage refers to a couple of actions and promises:
The first activity is listening: otherwise known as Meditation
An ear to hear is not an outer ear, but the ear of the soul; the ear that hears the “still, small voice”. We develop this inner listening quality by getting out of our intellect and into our hearts, through meditation. It is a tool to help us quiet our busy mind and listen to the Divine Voice of Wisdom. We open our minds and hearts to a deep intuitive “knowing.”
Another activity or tool is surrender:
The passage says: “To everyone who conquers…” The conquering is not an outer war, but an inner one. To everyone who takes the time to listen to the still, small voice; to everyone who practices release and affirms inner spiritual qualities…. We realize it requires surrendering personal will to Divine Will, and the paradox is that in that surrender of the egoic self is Victory. It is a birthing of the Essential Self, just as Jesus taught and demonstrated.
In this passage there are also 3 Promises:
It said, “To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
The first promise is “Hidden Manna:”
In the days of wandering in the wilderness with Moses, the manna was sent by God. The people only had to go and collect it each day; they did not have to do anything to earn it. If they tried to save it, it spoiled. When we are in “the wilderness” of our spiritual searching, we receive “hidden manna,” not visible to the world. We are given spiritual energy and nourishment that sustains us. Grace. It nourishes the soul and the body. It benefits the whole being.
The 2nd promise is a White Stone
Back in the time when Jesus was teaching and someone served time in prison or in bondage of any kind, they were given a white stone when they were released. It served as a symbol that they had done their time and they had been given passage to live with all the rights of a free man. Each of us comes from the bondage of past nonsense – false limitations, old beliefs, error thinking that have been a prison. With a release from bondage, comes a sense of worthiness: we are beloved of God, one with the Divine, free and unlimited!
The 3rd promise is a New Name
In the Bible, we read of many name changes. For example, Saul – which means personal will – was struck to his knees. He was blind for three days and had to look within. He was given a new name at the time of his awakening. Saul (personal will) was transformed to Paul, which means enlightened will. He is a symbol of human will that surrenders to Divine will, and in that surrender, he claimed Divine Power.
Other stories of a name change in the Bible are Abram, as he grew in spiritual awareness became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob was renamed Israel. Simon was renamed Peter (Faith).
The prophet Isaiah wrote in Chapter 62, Verse 2; “The lower consciousness shall see your freedom, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.”
So when we awaken to inner Spirit, we take on a new identity, a new name so to speak. This refers to the new, higher realization of the I AM, a new awareness of our God Self. And this is where the Ceremony called White Stone” comes in. In the passage, we are told “I will give a white stone and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
I invite you NOW to hold the stone in your hands. As you hold it, open your mind to “hearing” your new name. At any time in the next few minutes as I am speaking, if the new name comes to your awareness, go to the table in the back and write the name on the stone. If nothing comes to you during this ceremony, take the stone home with you and continue to ask. Whenever we ask there is an answer.
Allow yourself to ask a question: Who am I or what am I called to be in this coming year? As I let go of my old habits, those I released during the burning bowl ceremony, what is it that I am called to be known as? This new character Identity that you intend to cultivate in the coming year might be connected to that which you released at the Burning Bowl ceremony.
Let your awareness drop from your head down into your heart and gut: from your intellect and into your deep inner knowing. an awareness of Divine Love and Wisdom. Listen for a moment to your still small voice.
Right now, in this place and time, at the beginning of a new year, I invite you to consciously surrender to the activity of the Divine Mother/Father. – for the next few minutes. Open your imagination, allow Wisdom to speak. give your ego a few minutes off and let that divine holy Voice in you come through. Perhaps there is a new career, a new title, or a new quality that Spirit is pressing out through you.
Give yourself permission to know that as you release that which no longer serves your highest good, you can claim a new quality, a new name.
This is a moment in which you know you are free, free from all that has bound you. Breathe in, live in this new beginning.
And so, as you are guided by Spirit, I invite you to trust in this now moment, ….as Spirit gives to you in this sacred place…in this moment of Truth…an insight into your divine purpose… an insight into your holy essence, I invite you to allow yourself to hear the new name that is speaking within you.
it may be a title, it may be something like published author…or clean and sober…or grateful…whatever.
Sometimes people who write the word peace, love, or presence, take on a new essence of who you are becoming.
And, as that name becomes clear, to write it on your stone…
If a name has come to you, remain quiet and allow yourself to ask for a deeper understanding, to ask if there are any steps to take. Allow yourself to simply open to Spirit, to say, “God in me reveals my true essence. God in me reveals my next step. God as me lives a joyous, peaceful, fulfilling life.”
Anytime you look at your white stone realize that you have the gift of choice; the gift to live differently, to live a more fulfilling life, to begin again, to connect with God and create with God.
The white stone carries a new name, the spiritual identity and a deeper awareness of your soul’s journey at this time in your life. No one, in the entire universe except your inner wisdom, knows what this new name is. But it has come to your awareness to be lived out, to be expressed, to be embodied as you. It is what your True Self, the Divine is calling you to be or do. It is a whisper from your soul that you are so much more than you have ever let come into expression.
Jesus said, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you this kingdom. Accept this consciousness of ever increasing good in your life. I invite you to carry this white stone as a reminder of that promise.
A thankfulness flows over us as we receive our new name. Along with it comes the power and guidance to achieve all that we desire. This is our new name. We see it. We decree it. We are on the path to gaining greater insights and awareness and a new beginning.
Your greatest power is the power to be:
To be more loving
To be more courageous
To be more joyous
To be more friendly
To be more sensitive
To be more aware
To be more forgiving
To be more forgiving
To be more tolerant
To be more humble
To be more patient
To be more helpful
To be a greater human being