Due to corona regulations, I have been on the island since January and not, as usual, one month here and one month in Germany. Therefore, I get this year everything without interruption and enjoy the change of seasons, the blooming and sprouting, growing and thriving in nature very much. Also, I am somehow closer to the everyday life of the Cypriots who live here in the small mountain village around me.
For the first time, I also experience the rituals of the entire Holy Week, as they are celebrated in the Greek Orthodox tradition. And I love rituals! During my studies of ethnology I intensively dealt with different rituals found worldwide and in all cultures, their functions, forms and elements. They are especially useful in difficult times. With their help, we can establish a new order that has been lost through an upheaval of accustomed structures. Family, partnership, collegial or friendly relationships and bonds can also be fostered and stabilized. Since I know the life-changing and life-affirming power of rituals, I develop both secular and spiritual rituals together with my clients. You can read more about ritual counseling here.
“Happy Easter”. On this first weekend in May, Easter is celebrated on the sunny island – unfortunately, due to the lockdown, quite reduced and in a somewhat depressed mood, because for the Cypriots, this is one of their big family celebrations, which they can not celebrate now for the second year as it is usually done here. Normally, the whole week is spent preparing, cleaning, baking, dyeing the eggs red and, above all, baking the “flaounas”, which are Easter breads filled with haloumi and seasoned with herbs, which are then cut and eaten at the feast, among other things. This year everything on economy flame.
In Cyprus, Easter eggs are traditionally dyed red. Yeast pastries, such as the yeast plait, are also served here at Easter. It shows again and again: Rituals have a great importance everywhere in the world!
Yesterday, Easter Saturday, was the highlight of Holy Week: the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Together with my neighbor, I went in the evening to the neighboring village of Omodos, where there is also a monastery, to participate in the Easter Vigil Mass. I was very curious to see how it would be and how it would feel energetically. It was already noticeable when entering the inner courtyard of the monastery that everyone was dressed in their best clothes and held a large unlit candle in their hands – the little girls also sometimes in colorful pink, yellow, purple, orange as well as with glitter and colorful ribbons on it. In addition to the loud banging and smell of the firecrackers, which had been lit all week and all the more so at this late hour, there was a joyful anticipation in the air.
The mass traditionally begins around 11 p.m. – this is not taken so precisely here and it is a constant coming and going, people talk to each other, greet each other, set up chairs in front of the church and the children are also much in motion. Typical Cypriot lively and uncomplicated. And again and again it crashes loudly, which made me wince every time, because the firecrackers are really loud. And then it started inside the church, the singers came and started this kind of chanting typical in the Greek Orthodox liturgy: Men reading sacred texts singing. I don’t understand much of the content, since I don’t speak Cypriot (yet), so I concentrated on the energetic perception of what was happening. Also a good exercise by the way … 😉
My neighbor translated one or the other for me. For example, at one point I had the feeling that the total energy in and in front of the church changed, that is, it felt like it was going down. Exciting, because there it was just about the crucifixion. Then, a few minutes before midnight, the last lights in the church were extinguished and the choir sang the story of the three women who came to Christ’s tomb only to find it empty. Again, the overall energy changed: anticipation is what I would call it.
And then, at midnight, the priest suddenly shouted in the dark church, “Christos anesti!” – “Christ is risen”. And the light came on again and he stepped into the middle of the church with a three-armed candlestick and a shouldered cross and asked the people to “take the light from the candle that never dies”, whereupon everyone went to him and lit their candles they had brought with them on his. That was already a very special moment. Also energetically. Spontaneously the statement: “Lift up your hearts”, which I know from the Catholic lithurgy, emerged somewhere from my memory. Yes, that’s what it felt like: Definitely upward, opened energy, making the chest space wide. As if the heart chakra was opening.
The representation of light as a life-giver is found in many cultures. Also the universal life energy, which we know in Reiki as Ki, is sometimes seen as a light bearer.
The priests then made another round around the church with the censer, various lanterns, crosses, the three-armed candlestick and all kinds of other insignia. For about 20 minutes they continued to sing and pray outside the church and again and again I understood this “Christos anesti!”, which was also intoned by the people around me. And then it went back into the church, but not just like that, but also with a loud bang: because the church doors were first closed, and then after a detailed prayer, the priest pushed them open with a heavy rumble.
Most then left the churchyard with their lighted candles, which were now carried home as “new light”. Part of the congregation remains until the end of the service, which probably lasts until about 2:30 in the morning and receives Holy Communion, as my neighbor explained to me. The village, which we crossed on the way back to the parking lot, would have been filled at ‘normal times’ now with celebrating people, who would also have sat in the restaurants at the traditional meal – so just the firecrackers banged and the one or the other colorful fireworks in the sky reminded of the otherwise certainly rushing celebration.
For me it was a new, enriching experience and I am also always happy when I feel and realize that regardless of the religious and / or spiritual orientation of the people, the energy is the same – the essence is and remains love. How WONDERFUL!
And I am glad and grateful that I can perceive all this – thanks to my trained senses, also the sixth or seventh… 😉 If you also want to strengthen your intuition and get to know and train your form of clairvoyance, I recommend beginners to participate in the basic course in Intuitive Reiki – here you can find the next dates. For those who are more experienced, the distance Reiki practice group or the channeling training is also a good option – you can find more information here.