• The Festival Celebrant

Time Capsule Ceremonies: seeding tomorrow's memories.

Updated: Mar 4

I think most of us would love to time-travel. Just sneak forward or back a bit to nudge our lives into a more favourable groove in the ‘present’.

But the time capsules I’m talking about now don’t work like that. They carry us through time on the backs of memories and emotions, triggered by the lovingly assembled contents of a jewellery box, an antique luggage trunk or a pretty biscuit tin.

A time capsule ceremony sows seeds for the future. But before I talk about how to seed the future, I’m going to ask you to harvest the past.

Think of a time when you were rummaging in some neglected corner, the attic or a closet, and came across a forgotten box. Perhaps it was a shoe box, tied with ribbon. You opened it and inside were a sheaf of letters and photographs, maybe some old birthday cards. You could see they belonged to your grandmother, or a long lost love. You started flicking through them, mildly curious. But two hours later you were sitting on the floor with the contents strewn around you, rapt. In those two hours you laughed out loud several times. You may have shed some tears. And when your reverie ended, you put those items carefully back in their box and placed it somewhere safe where it wouldn’t be forgotten again.

People often say this is the perfect symbolic action for a Naming ceremony. And it is! Families gathering to welcome a new life. To bestow the gift of a name. To start the magical process of nurturing a unique soul. If everyone contributes a special item, invested with love, imagine the power that will be released when that capsule is opened years later!

I think it would work brilliantly in a couple ceremony too, a wedding, commitment or vow renewal. Pop some lovely things in the box before the ceremony; love letters, a bottle of fizz, some jewellery. Seal it up (you might even want to do this in your ceremony – whip out a hammer and nails and set to. No - really!) and open it at a pre-determined date, maybe your first anniversary.

The choice of container is up to you. Think of something beautiful or unusual. Consider durability. Do you plan to bury it? You could do so literally or metaphorically, hiding it away somewhere for the required span. If it’s for an infant, remember they’ll be a young adult by the time they open it. Think as carefully about the container as what you want to put in it.

And when it comes to the contents, rather than a pot pourri, how about having a theme? Everything hand-made. Hand written wishes. Pledges or promises to be honoured when the capsule’s opened. The possibilities are endless.

As a parting thought, how about reburying the capsule once it’s worked its magic? You could add some items and maybe remove a few. And why not include a written or recorded account of how it felt to open your capsule the first time? Then set a date and live your life. You’ll carry on travelling through time, but your capsule will fall further and further into your past until the next time you open it. Then POW!!!

See, you can time-travel after all.

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