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Archive for the ‘Ceremony’ Category

photo 1As a group of women gathered under the light of the full moon in New York, a man in New Mexico quietly prepared the way for ceremony. Most of our evolutionary conversation speaks to the awakening of the feminine yet the cosmos aligned under a super full moon to tend to the wounds of the masculine.

As the moon waxed towards fullness I wanted my kuyas, the medicine stones of my mesa, to sit on Pachamama to guide our full moon fire ceremony. I was in New York. My mesa was in New Mexico.

The mandala of kuyas was laid on the earth just as I had asked. My visioning stone was placed on top of a selenite wand facing the Dark Mountain in a call to the Apus. Beneath the wand lay a heart-shaped kuya from the holy mountain Ausangate holding the spirit of a warrior. Offering support at the bottom were three kuyas with turquoise stones placed on top aligning Earth and Sky.

I envisioned this mandala as a source of guidance for our ceremony but never expected it to look the way it did as it lay on the Earth. A lingam was created or more loosely translated, a penis. I was hesitant to share the mandala of my mesa as embarrassment shrouded my vision from public view.

A ceremony begins long before a gathering takes place. As this powerful phallic symbol sat on the Earth I began to feel its strength. During my morning practice my body had become the mandala. Sitting strong in lotus I felt a deep connection to the Earth. My arms reached to sky with fingers pointed as my visioning stone. My spine felt clear as the selenite wand. I embodied the energetic vibration as the pure essence of direction and the steadfastness of one pointed focus.

I embodied the power of the masculine.

As this sense of pure direction landed in my body, the awareness of how I was directing my own masculine energy became apparent. Like a sword I had turned its direction against myself to control my own feelings and shape my feminine to hide her power.

As our sisterhood gathered that night for ceremony an altar was built with flowers gathered from gardens tended with love.

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Building Altar

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Altar of Flowers, Feathers, Crystals and Stones In Front of Fire Pit

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Flower Offerings Held Prayers of Gratitude

We prayed for our Earth Mother and birth Mother. We prayed for our sisters and daughters. We prayed for our grandmothers. We prayed to empty our hearts of the wounds held in our relationships with all women.

We prayed to the Father, the power of the Sun as sustainer of all life, to the Father that created us. To our husbands and lovers. We prayed to our brothers and grandfathers. We prayed to empty our hearts of the wounds held in our relationships with all men.

We prayed to build a bridge in our own heart between masculine and feminine. We prayed to heal our own wounds so that we may be the peacekeepers, the healers, the lovers, the visionaries that build bridges between all hearts.

We prayed with the fire in New York as my mesa was lovingly tended by a man in New Mexico building bridges between Earth and Sky under the Light of the Full Moon.

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Rose Petals for Blessing after Fire Clearing

Creating Sacred Space with Song of Gratitude
words and music by Kailey Wildflowers, my niece, (a very proud Aunt!)


Mesa Mandala on Earth in New Mexico facing Dark Mountain
Footnote to Howl by Allen Ginsberg

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Inspired by the Pachamama Days of Peru, let us imagine a world. The shamans of the high Andes dedicate the first 12 days of August to honor Pachamama and dream the year ahead into being with the Despacho Ceremony.

Dona Berna praying at Umantay, holy mountain in the Andes

Dona Berna praying at Umantay, holy mountain in the Andes

During these Pachamama days I invite you to write in the comments below what you imagine so we may dream our world into being with a collective prayer for ceremony. Your prayers will be offered at a Full Moon Fire Ceremony on August 10th.

I imagine a world where love is the prevailing force on our planet.

I imagine a world where every child knows they are worthy and loved.

I imagine a world with clear waters and clean air.

I imagine a world where the abundance of our planet feeds every belly and soul.

The times we are living in are callling for our visions to be bigger than ever before. I bow in gratitude for addiing your voice to a collective vision. May generations to come look back and say thank you for what we are creating today.

We open our ceremony with a song to our Beloved Mother.
This song was birthed in June 2013 by Tracey St. John
during the Empowerment Camp at Feathered Pipe Ranch.

Click on the image to listen.

Tibetan Singing Bowl

Mother Earth Prayer Song

We offer our collective hearts to Spirit.
We let go of the attachment
of how our visions and dreams 
will manifest in the Kaypacha. 
We cultivate trust in the divine order. 
We surrender to the great mystery 
so we are no longer guided by the voices of fear, 
the limiting belief systems and old paradigms
that have laid false imprints in our minds. 

We deepen our connection to Nature and open the channels to Spirit 
as we fearlessly step into the guidance that is so willingly offered to us.

AHO!

 

 

 

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Our Offering to the River Honoring the Wild and Untamed Divine Feminine

Our Offering to the River Honoring the Wild and Untamed Divine Feminine

On the Summer Solstice, a smal group of women entered the mystical caves of Ra Paulette for our first ever women’s retreat in Northern New Mexico. Three days later I was ecstatic to receive this email.

With permission granted from the Red Fairy Queen herself, I share the power of our intimate gathering in sisterhood.

Dear sisters,

I wanted to give you an update on my experience since the retreat! Thanks Karen- it is really amazing how you held the space for us all to deeply feel and express our true, wild, succulent selves! I feel like the work we did cleared a lot for me. I feel more comfortable with myself than ever. During the retreat my gut asked me to do a three-day juice cleanse. Today is the last day! I’m detoxing a lot!

Another story.

Two days ago I made a new friend and we laughed and played music on a mountainside for hours upon end! During that time I had an idea that I really wanted to practice being my full, emotional, sensitive, vibrant, sexy self in public. So the next day I dressed up in my shiniest red spandex pants, stuck the raven feather in my red hat, wore a belly shirt with solar systems and galaxies all over it, tied a red table-cloth on as a cape, and walked around with a silly basket giving away free things all day. I was also experimenting with liberating myself not only of worrying about other people’s judgments, but also from being enslaved to money and the idea that giving has to be an exchange of material objects.

I gave away $10 dollar bills, fairy stamps and glitter, roses and other goodies. I called myself the Red Fairy Queen and told people what I was doing. People were really excited about it and I had some amazing exchanges!

What I learned:

Presence is the most valuable gift of all!

It meant more to people that I was there doing what I was doing, being present and connecting, than that I was giving them a physical object. I also realized that receiving can be a gift in and of itself.

Giving truly is receiving in a sense. 

By the end of the day I realized a lot about myself and also had been gifted many new friends, deep heartfelt connection and stories, and a beautiful crystal necklace and ring! I had a blast! My new friend and some old friends came out to join in the giving and receiving. I think I inspired some people and I definitely became more comfortable with the discomfort of being in a society that sometimes isn’t so accepting. Thanks for helping me on my journey sisters!

tata for now!

Love,
Melissa

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I utterly adore you dear Melissa Gail Klein! Now where did I leave my red spandex?

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How many words is a picture worth?
I do not know if we can truly measure that one
but I do believe the best way to share our Easter Pilgrimage
to the Cathedral Cave in Embudo
is with the images of that day.

Through the generosity of Spirit
and the owners of the caves,
we were gifted two caves to visit that day,
entering the first one in ceremony
to deepen our connection with the Mother.

We set to work.
Yoga and breath,
drumming and silence,
opening our hearts
and deepening our sacred feminine well of receptivity.

In silence I enter the pregnant void
Alone with myself
and yet truly not alone at all.
For here, I begin to realize
I am One with all Creation.

This is the home of the unmanifest
In all its fullness.
The plenum,
source of all that is,
was and shall be, too.

I come here on my own,
Unafraid, so that I may know myself better,
To learn the truth
Of who I really am
In my deepest being.

As the outside world falls away
I tremble in awe and fascination
At the hidden power which
So few take the time to go within
And explore.

Karey Pohn

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Our intentions were offered in prayer
as we built a community despacho in the Earth.

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The second cave left us in AWE,
and ready to move in
with its soaring architechture,
hardwood floors,
running water,
mosaic tiles,
electricity.

A thousand words would not do
so may you enjoy the magic through these pictures.

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Some of the adventurous souls that made the first Easter Pilgrimage to Embudo! Not everyone is in the picture but the spirit of this one really captured the joy and magic of the day. A huge bow of thanks to Elizabeth Inman, Izabel Nazario and Don Myer for sharing their beautiful photos!

ps…I was not sure if this would be the one and only ceremony I would have the honor to hold here but it seems that Spirit has more in store. Inspired by the efforts of our Easter Pilgrimage a seed has been planted for a women’s retreat to Embody the Sacred Temple of Our Womb. What magnificent space to do this work…more to follow my friends!

If you would like to know more about Ra Paulette’s hand sculpted caves in Northern New Mexico watch Cavedigger.

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When I first heard of the mystical caves of Ra Paulette I became enamored. My heart was full of a desire to be in one. Not as a curious tourist but as a medicine woman. How a city girl would find her way to a cave in rural Northern New Mexico was beyond me. I offered my wish to Spirit. If it was to be the way would open.

Embudo River, Embudo, NM

Rio Embudo, Embudo, NM

My pilgrimage began with a friend request on facebook, the modern day version of sending smoke signals.

Shortly thereafter I was coursing along Rio Embudo, my little Honda traversing the rough terrain like a 4 wheeler (well more like the little engine that could).

One of Ra’s mystical creations sits on Scott’s property. Scott’s generous heart created an immediate kinship as I arrived at his home for our first meeting to create ceremony.

The short trek from the house to the cave’s entrance was guided by Lou and Ruxton, two of the friendliest gatekeepers.

My Happy Guides to the Cave

My Happy Guides to the Cave

One thing I learned as a child is you never show up at someone’s home empty-handed. The same is true of someone’s cave.

Offerings were made in gratitude for the grace that guided me here.

A dreamcatcher was hung at the doorway to capture the wishes of all souls in need.

Your wish is here

Your wish is here

After entering the cave, a short walkway beguiles the majesty that lies beyond.

The Way is Open

The Way is Open

The space is holy, sacred. You are immediately humbled. What else can one do in the face of God?

The hand sculpted cathedral hidden deep within Pachamama is at once earthly and ethereal.

Slowly, reverently I make my way through. It is the only way to walk here. Every step on our Mother should be so hallowed.

Stairs spiral to a balcony surrounding the heart of this soaring space.

Seats are built into earth as meditative respites. Shrines are hand chiseled into stone. Nooks lay like little wombs waiting to hold you.

Words alone cannot describe. Awe perhaps? That pales in this palace. Words fall away.

Spirit Stairway

Spirit Stairway

I did take pictures but other than the ones here they are not worth sharing. The space cannot be captured that way. It must be felt to be known.

My desire for ceremony began with a love filled intent, the source of any creation.

And this ceremony has begun.

It is a practice in trust, informed by our Mother and this divine infused human creation.

There is not much “doing”. The space itself transforms.

It provokes our deepest listening.

It awakens our deepest silence.

It allows us to be held in an infinite well of Mother Love. A womb that has the power to hold all of human suffering.

This vessel is a mirror of our vessel, holy and sacred.

We are reminded of the humbleness of our power.

Our luminous body is re-informed by the Great Mother who wants us to know we are of her.

We are infinite love, infinite creation, infinite mystery, infinite wisdom.

It is time to remember.

The invitation to ceremony is open. I offer this so the seed may be planted.

It is born from your intent.

CaveDigger, nominated for an Academy Award, is the short documentary that tells the story of Ra Paulette and his mystical cave creations.

Watch the trailer for a glimpse into a world divine.

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A dear friend was heading out of town. Before leaving he installed a state of the art alarm system to safeguard his home. Twenty four hours later we were digging a hole to call on protection from a higher order.

I do not have a recipe I conjure up if I need protection however once an intention for ceremony is set a co-creative dance with Spirit begins.

With little time to prepare I began gathering elements; a quartz crystal, red hot chili peppers, rose petals, sage, candles, beer. Sort of like Cooking Channel gone rogue.

The heart of ceremony is held in our intention. For this ceremony our intentions were to call on Spirit to hold this home, and all who dwell in it, in divine protection. As we hold this intention for ourselves we ask that all beings be safe and free from harm.

Our intention was then blown into the quartz crystal and planted in the center of our offering in the Earth.

Shadow of Crystal Pointing North

White candles were rolled over each other to strip clean our luminous fields of the roots of fear. Where do we not feel safe? Where do we feel threatened? Why do we need an alarm system anyway?

The candles too became part of our offering.

I love sage. What would ceremony be without sage? Especially in its native desert home. So a bed of sage was laid around the crystal to clear a path of good intent.

Can you see the crystal pointing up in the center?

You can smell the goodness!

If you are looking to keep harm away a red hot chili pepper will do the trick. Set like daggers, they built an energetic fortress that seemed to say…BACK OFF BUDDY! (or use any euphemism you may see fit)

All I know was nothing was invading this space.

A Chili A Day Keeps Fear Away

A Chili A Day Keeps Fear Away

The fire of our red hot intentions were soothed with herbs, sweets, dark chocolate and coconut yet the most important ingredient we bring to ceremony is our heart. And what better element to hold the intentions of our heart than the beauty of the rose.

Although there was no plan on how to use the rose petals this revealed itself as the ceremony unfolded. The white rose petals, holding the purity of intent, the blessings of the Apus and Divine Masculine energy, were laid in a clockwise direction around the outside of our offering.

White Rose Petals for Purity of Intent and the Blessings of the Apus, the Divine Masculine

White Rose Petals for Purity of Intent and the Blessings of the Apus, the Divine Masculine

The red rose petals, representing the blood of Pachamama and the Divine Feminine, centered themself at the very heart. As the colors fell into divine order the balance of Feminine and Masculine came into ayni, right relationship. As these dualities of energy come to balance it is the Masculine that protects the source of creation in the womb of the Feminine.

Masculine and Feminine in Ayni

Masculine and Feminine in Ayni

To send our intentions to the Upper Worlds of Spirit our offering was covered in cotton harvested from the Earth.

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Four gold candles, the color of protection, were placed in each of the four directions to anchor our intentions.

Our offering then burned.

We fed the land with white rose petals and beer to weave ourselves more deeply to Pachamama and offer gratitude for our prayers.

The ashes lay under the full moon and night sky of stars until buried the next morning.

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Ceremony is the language through which our soul speaks. As a call for protection rang from the heart a ceremony manifested as never before. When we set out with good intention, ideas, inspiration and guidance will come through Spirit. We need only listen.

We are at the frontier of shifting paradigms both personally and collectively. It is a time to follow your own heart into ceremony to meet the birth of a new world order.

The only recipe to follow is the one within.

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

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sol·stice [sol-stis, sohl-]

1. either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. On or about December 22nd it reaches its southernmost point.

sooth·say·ing [sooth-sey-ing]  

1.the practice or art of foretelling events.

Solstice Soothsaying

Now say that ten times fast!

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I did not want you to miss this prophetic ritual which accounts for the captivating alliteration!

I hope it worked for here is a festive Scottish ritual to bring a flair to any holiday or new year celebration:

  • Fill a large shallow dish with raisins and pour a few tablespoons of brandy over them.
  • Put out the lights then set ight to the brandy.
  • While it is still going snatch one of the raisins from the flames.
  • As you put the raisin in your mouth, make a wish. It will be granted in the next twelve months!

(It is less dangerous than it seems but care should always be taken.)

May all your wishes come true!

Adapted from The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Tradtions of Christmas by John Matthews

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