Ceremonies are very important in the shamanic work to increase our connection with nature, with each other and the seasonal cycles in nature. You can hold a ceremony for yourself to mark or celebrate something important or you join with likeminded people in ceremony. There are so many ways to hold ceremony and sometimes the simple ones with the right intent are the most powerful. I like Despacho ceremonies, not only because you can get everybody involved and participating but because they are an offering to the spirit realm carrying our prayers and wishes and they reinforce the importance of balance. You have to give in order to get. In our modern society people tend to tip the scale one-sided. It is always about "What is in it for me?". A beautiful Despacho ceremony reminds people to give and creates a sense of this balance. In all indigenous societies the calendar and Full Moon ceremonies are very important as they mark the connection of people with nature, Mother Earth, the Sun and the Moon. I celebrate the Celtic calendar and Full Moon ceremonies with my tribe and they help me to hold this connection with nature, the seasons and ground me. For our ancestors it was a question of survival to live in harmony with nature, be able to read the seasons, the stars in the sky and to forecast the right time for planting, harvesting, gathering, hunting and storing food. Unfortunately we are living in a society which has lost this connection for the most part. The majority just go to the supermarket and buy food without thinking where it actually comes from, numb themselves with the television, computer games, telephones and have lost the real connection and appreciation for the people around them, nature and the abundance it creates around us. It is a very grounding and fulfilling experience to reinstate this connection. I was blessed to have been asked to hold a few Handfastings and Naming ceremonies which is a real honour. It is a beautiful moment to bind two people in love and get them blessed by the community. A ceremony can also be for a different purpose, celebrating a new stage in life or celebrating the life of a lost person. To lose a close person is a painful experience and it helps to create a beautiful and respectful ceremony to guide the passed person into their next life.