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    The Jedi Community doesn’t exactly have “traditions”. I mean, there’s this one I tried to make a tradition, but it really became too cumbersome to continue year after year, it’s called “The Force Realists Meditation Relay” and it was intended to become a New Year’s tradition. The idea actually came from a Richard Irvine for the FA. But it never ended up happening, so I took it to a broader audience. Each year, we tried to get 24 people to meditate for an hour apiece over the course of 24 hours as the Earth entered into the new Year (based on Christmas Island’s timezone- the first timezone that enters 1 January each year).

    Over the years I began trying to come up with something that made the relay more “worthwhile”. Giving a purpose to the Meditation, rather than asking people to find their own meaning for the meditation during that hour of time. But we had issues- like people getting their hours confused and taking up another hour. It just didn’t coordinate well…so this year Ashton Ezell, Chris Schinestuhl and I got to talking about establishing a different New Year’s Meditation Tradition- built around a Labyrinth: Releasing the Year.

    Tonight, Gabriel Calderon and I got to talking about this and fleshing it out a bit further. I hope to have the labyrinth written up for everyone in the very near future- one for individuals and one for a group of people so that you all can have it for this coming New Year’s. :). It is my hope that this might be something we can (as a community-all Force Realists) take forward and carry as a personal tradition. When I’m done writing it, I’ll post it to this thread. ^^

    Kol Drake

    Totally left field and would be tough to do since ‘we’ are all over the world…

    Once upon a time, while I was living in Austin, Texas, a group was going to have a meditative ceremony out near a river for a special ‘moon thing’. I went and sat in the circle. Turns out, we got lucky. We sat on some HUGE, smooth boulders and the ‘leader’ has brought a Tibetan ‘tuning bowl’ but had forgotten it’s special base… so it sat directly on the stone. When it was ‘toned’, it reverberated into the stone and you could feel the vibrations coming back up while you sat. Made the experience pretty darn cool, at least for me. Not sure if the actual purpose of the ceremony was ‘met’ but I’ll always remember that vibrating boulder.

    But ya… I am not a ‘drink in the New Year’ kind of person so, finding some form of ‘close out the year/start a new cycle’ would be cool to have.


    Cool! The only drink I have is Sparkling Cider, lol.


    Since I finished this up on my work computer, I uploaded it to Google Docs. It’s about 6 pages long (mostly explanation of the functions, the last page is the bare bones of the ceremony). Since most of you will probably -not- do this in a group, the only relevant parts are provided below the link:


    To be done between 10AM GMT Dec 31-10AM GMT Jan 1, use eco-friendly candle.

    Entering the Labyrinth (if with a second person, allow about a minute between entry), think on everything that has occurred during the previous year.
    Once at the center, begin your meal/snack/drink and talk about the things you have experienced over the year (good and bad). If you are alone in the Labyrinth, speak aloud to the Force or your deity. If you are accompanied by a friend, have a conversation about each other’s year (good and bad).
    When you are ready to exit, each person should light their candle from the campfire and begin the journey to the entrance of the Labyrinth in preparation to release the year.
    Once at the entrance, before stepping beyond the line to exit the Labyrinth, if you have something to say about/to the previous year this is the time to make such statements. At the end of your goodbye to the year, say “I now release (old year) into the Force” blow out the candle, step out of the labyrinth and state “and enter into (new year)” (if you have a friend along, they will repeat this release).

    Dispose of the candle either through burial or in a river before 10 GMT Jan 1.

    Kol Drake


    The labyrinth is a walking meditation, a path of prayer and an archetypal blueprint where psyche meets Spirit. It has only one path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the center.There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. Unlike a maze where you lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way.

    * * *
    I know of one in the courtyard of a local church but it is locked up at night. Another is at a ‘wilderness retreat area’ that is closed to the public. :(

    I am looking at ‘basic meditation walking spirals’ that can be used if nothing else is available.


    I’ve created a kit to make a hasty one on the fly. BUT last year my apprentice and I did one mapped in our heads. That is, we used a Tree as the center piece, and walked clockwise in a spiral towards the tree-and then counter-clockwise going out. Running the meditation as a Labyrinth was a last minute call (lol) so I didn’t have my kit. If you’re by yourself, you could do the same? ^^


    That said….This has come in handy!



    Lessons learned:

    1) 6 inch Berry Tarts without plates and forks is a disaster….I ate my itty-bitty piece anyway! And managed to convince Chris (a student of mine from another order) to eat some of the berries with his big-ole knife 😆 😆 😆
    2) Use wood next time. Coals make it super difficult (even when you have lighter fluid) to light your candle on a windy day. We managed…buuuuuuuuuttttttttt
    3) Carry a lighter or match just in case so you can relight your candle at the end of the labyrinth so you can properly send off the year XD. Chris and I were fighting with the wind, inching every so slowly along the path to ensure the candle didn’t burn out before we got to the end….didn’t work out. We had to give up on the candles about half-way through and relight them so we could say good-bye, and get any value out of the walk out of the labyrinth.
    4) Have a mini shovel on hand. We were using Beeswax candles, which aren’t water-soluble. Which meant we had to go with the burial option. We found a patch of clay where we could dig in, and ended up using the aforementioned knife and a nearby rock to dig in and cover up the candles.

    We started our labyrinth at the West Gate and walked counter-clockwise. It was something I hadn’t considered when I was writing the labyrinth and didn’t even think about when I was building the labyrinth. I went to give the introduction to the ceremony, and as I said “time and space stands still” it occurred to me that the counter-clockwise movement inwards was appropriate to the idea of looking back on the year, and walking clockwise out to where time restarts held its own symbolism.

    In the center, we talked about our year. Chris and I both expressed our opinions of how our year had gone and the things we came to understand about ourselves and the journey we have to move forward using that information. He was even able to find an analogy in the berry tart that had berries falling all over the place when we opened it up. We had serious talk, and we have some really good laughs, all around some hot cocoa (my new thermos is ON POINT!) and a fruit tart. :)

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