Family Gratitude Ritual

“There is a fire song in the depths of your soul that makes your heart sing. It doesn’t matter if no one else can hear your melody, this is your song, not theirs. So move to your own beat and dance to your own drum. Follow your light and see where it leads. This is your story; this is your dream.”

–Ara, The Goddess Circle


  • Candle for each participant
  • Symbol from each participant of something you are grateful for from the month (or the year) or work that you would like to bless or appreciate
  • Simple altar (if desired)
  • Optional: bowl of water or sage for smudging/cleansing
  • Optional: supplies to create a nature mandala
    • leaves, stones, acorns, seeds, twigs, feathers, and other items from nature (mindfully collected and ideally found on ground). If a group ritual, ask each person to bring a quantity of something to add to the mandala. If it is a family ritual, go out together before moonrise to collect your items. Note: Depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.

Ritual Outline:

  • Group hum (see note below if you are unfamiliar with this) stargoddess
  • Sing: I Am Fire for invocation, turning in each direction
  • Optional: recite Charge of the Goddess
  • Share your gratitude items and write a collaborative gratitude list (optional: leave outside under a special jar of water to charge up under the moonlight and then drink the next morning in appreciation. Thanks to Rooted Rhythms for the neat idea! )
  • Optional: create a nature mandala and include each gratitude item written on leaves (paper or real). If your ritual involves children, you may wish to set up the nature mandala together before beginning the rest of the ritual.
  • Sing: Dance in a Circle of Moonlight
  • Optional additional songs:
  • Say a family blessing. You can make this up intuitively and other members of the family can add their own lines or repeat each line after you. For example: May we celebrate each other’s successes. May we communicate with love and compassion. May we see and hear each other. May we work together in harmony. May love be at the center of our choices.
  • Holding hands, offer thanks for participating and a closing prayer. We usually close with this prayer: “may goddess bless and keep us, may wisdom dwell within us, may we create peace.”
  • Optional: Drum!

Words for Songs:

I am fire,
I am Fire.
I am burning like the fire, like the fire, november-2016-017
I am burning like the fire.

I am air,
I am Air.
I am clear like the air, like the air,
I am clear like the air.

I am water,
I am Water.
I am flowing like the water, like the water,
I am flowing like the water.

I am earth,
I am Earth.
I am solid like the Earth, like the Earth,
I am solid like the Earth.

(From the Women’s Drumming Circle CD As the River We Flow)

Dance in a Circle of Moonlight
Make a web of my life
Hold me as I spiral and spin
Make a web of my life

(modified from Marie Summerwood’s chant, Dance in a Circle of Women)

Note regarding humming to cast a circle:

Circle up and place hands on each other’s backs and do a “toning” in which you hum together together to unify your energies and bring you into ritual space. This shared hum quite literally brings you into harmony with one another. We do this at every ritual, red tent, ceremony, and celebration I priestess because it is a very connected way of casting the circle with our own bodies and physical energy. We usually hum in unison three times. With kids, sometimes it is not in unison and my eyes meet my husband’s over their heads in an effort to stifle laughter at the discordant chorus we create. I wrote more about using this process to cast the circle in a past post.

Notes regarding gratitude and abundance leaves:

You may wish to pre-write these if working with children or if a more quickly paced ritual is needed. Reflect on the bounty of the year (or the october-2016-027month) and write down things you are grateful for on leaves (dry, fallen leaves or on paper leaves). Read aloud (size permitting—multiple people can speak at same time) and then scatter the leaves around in the nature mandala.

Additional resources:


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