February 1, 2016 by Rua Lupa
What is a Saegoah?
The word “Saegoah” is the combination of the root word for seek – saeg – with the word ‘Ehoah’, meaning, “Seeker of Ehoah”.
The word ‘Ehoah’ is based on the sounds of breathing – the sounds of life – and became a single-word-meaning for “Complete harmony within Nature.”
In full, Saegoah is short for, “Seeker of Complete harmony within Nature”.
All Saegoahs operate under these Three Basic Tenets:
The last tenet is what determines our actions, which is to work towards ensuring all our connections within Nature are harmonious, in everything we do and use; maintaining an awareness of and respect for our interconnections and creating a lifestyle that reflects this. It is a process that is continually improved upon with no end point.
What is currently found to be consistent through the scientific method is the foundation that each individual or group can build on top of it in their own way toward Ehoah. That way diversity is preserved – something that has consistently shown to ensure resilience and prevent stagnation in ecological communities. Maintaining such diversity encourages positive creativity between Saegoahs and allows for better reflection of our regional ecosystems, aiding in our goal in achieving Ehoah.
Thus, anything created and dispersed by Saegoahs are simply an option or guideline to help one another in our quest. In other words, the only thing that makes a Saegoah a Saegoah are these Three Basic Tenets, everything else is up to the individual or their group.
Finding A New Ceremony
In my pursuit for Ehoah, I had sought out practices that were most similar to my worldview to help me in my journey. While many were helpful, none of them satisfied me.
Namely, I found the directions for the elements in typical Pagan ceremonies confusing – Why was earth positioned north toward the pole? Air toward the East and Water West? South for Fire I could understand – as we view the sun along the south horizon through the day, but that doesn’t make any sense if you were to live in the southern hemisphere – reflecting how they were developed in the northern hemisphere and didn’t have the southern hemisphere in mind when made. The directions for a circle was also something that didn’t jive with me – being based on a perspective of the sun circling the earth, when I knew full well that it was the earth’s spin that caused our view of the sun.
Eventually I ended up making a ceremony outline for myself with aspects I found to better fit my worldview. The majority of it ended up being based upon Anishinaabe ceremony structure, reworded to reflect what the scientific method had revealed about the cosmos.
This, most notably, changed the elements and direction in a way that was consistent where ever on earth you were – not needing two different versions depending on which hemisphere you were on. And it didn’t have any reference to spirits or deities. That way anybody can participate without conflict in belief – especially for those with naturalistic / atheistic persuasions. The basic structure working best as a template for large public events where different beliefs are more likely to be encountered – the idea was for it to be universal and help unite people of all backgrounds.
Being an outline, it is open to tweaking by individuals or groups to better suit their worldview.
This ceremony doesn’t speak for all Saegoahs – again, anything created and dispersed by Saegoahs are simply an option or guideline to help one another in our quest.
Ehoah Breathing Exercise and Mantra
This is an optional chant to begin and end the ceremony. As an exercise it is very simple and can go on for however long you desire. Fifteen minutes is recommended to get the minimum full effect, yet can be used in shorter time frames to treat stress. In a comfortable, relaxed position, take a deep breath through your nose and breathe out of your mouth. Take another deep breath through your nose and say “Eh” (“Eh”= ‘A’ as in able), “O” (as in oak), and “Ah” (“Ah”= ‘A’ as in dawn) for about 8 seconds each in one exhale. Take a deep breath through your nose and begin again. With practice, you can extend the length of time for each syllable.
Ehoah Ceremony Outline
Beginning an Ehoah Ceremony:
Walk onto the grounds from West. Walk in one full circle around perimeter going the direction of the earth’s spin. (The direction of circling the grounds depends on which hemisphere you are on. Counter Clockwise on the Northern Hemisphere, Clockwise on the Southern Hemisphere.)
On the second go around, gather in loose circular clump around center, which could potentially have a fire or altar. Children, and pets that have been socialized with the group, can move freely about. Once everyone is gathered, collectively do a verbalized deep inhale.
Chant Eh-O-Ah thrice. Or Hum, led and stopped by designated organizer, stopping when the feeling is right.
Acknowledge the directions in open stances:
“I/We acknowledge the East” (Face East) “The direction we turn to, toward our host star at dawn and deep space at dusk.”
“I/We acknowledge the Sky” (Face the nearest pole) “From plants we have the ocean of air that envelopes us – our shield, our breath.”
“I/We acknowledge the West” (Face West) “The direction we turn from, where we last see our host star before night, and deep space before day.”
“I/We acknowledge the Earth” (Face the equator) (Place your left hand over your heart, and right hand on other kin (whether it be human, pet, plant, or soil organisms ― by touching ground. The resulting group position is called the Web of Life). (While in Web of Life) “From star dust, a new star, planets ― this planet. Developing from its oceans, along a long lineage of life, now exists all current life on this planet orbiting this star. We are all made of this place we call home.”
Turn to face the nearest pole or the Center and begin the ceremony focus, which may be rites of passage like birth, bonding, and diffusion, or Solterrestriale Festivitas (“Solar-Earth Festivities”, seasonal celebrations).
Closing an Ehoah Ceremony:
Position into Web of Life
Chant Thrice or Hum
Verbalize Deep Exhale
“As we go our separate ways, know that we are not truly divided.”
Leave toward East, the direction the earth turns toward.
An optional way to end ceremony or ritual is with the phrase,
“pro solterrestriale vitae”, “for solar-earth life”.
Or simply, “Solterrestriale Vitae!”