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Archive for the ‘Ritual’ Category

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!

agnihotra-fire-ceremony

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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We are opening up
in sweet surrender
to the Luminous Love Light of the ONE.

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Laying in a bed of healing dirt from Chimayo,
our intentions are held by our Divine Mother, Pachamama,
who manifests in form as our Earth Mother.
Our form returns to her.
We are ONE with our Mother.
Help us Creator to understand the Laws of Nature
so we may come to know our true Nature.

Lizard holds what is ready to die so we break free from what binds us.
A sunflower at the end of its life cycle found while running in Santa Fe
reminds us of the cycles of birth, death and rebirth.

Help us Creator to surrender to these cycles within us,
to trust and honor Death
so we may be reborn.

A shell holds seeds of a sunflower,
the symbolic seeds of our own awakening.

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Prayers are blown inot kintus placed
in the four directions for balance.

White rose petals hold the purity of our prayers
and honors the wisdom of the Apus and the Light above.

Red rose petals honor Pachamama
and weaves our bellies more deeply
to the belly of Pachamama.
May our heartbeat be one with our Mother.

Yellow rose petals opens the channels of communication with Spirit
so we may deepen the trust in our intuition
and see through the eyes of our heart.

Sweet offerings feed our prayers.

despacho

So excited was I to see cotton growing alongside the road
in Garfield, NM last week that
I stopped to take a picture
(this city girl is new to rural living!)
Thank you Pachamama
for the abundance of your gifts in ceremony.

As above, so below
as cotton grows from the ground
and appears in the sky above
in the Land of Enchantment.

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This cotton covers our prayers and intentions
and represents the Upper World where dreams and visions are born.
A sunflower sits in the center as our
FULLY BLOSSOMED SELF,
also sitting as seeds below in the heart of our despacho.

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Flower blesssings of red, white and yellow rose petals along with
sparkles, sprinkles, gold and silver sugars feed our dreams in the Upper World.

despahco

Our despacho is folded and tied up like a gift.
It is never too late to add a prayer or intention for
a forgotten prayer holder is tied outside to
hold our prayers through time and space.

It sits on my altar with my mesa
as it waits for the fire.

PicMonkey Collage

We are stardust,
We are golden,
We are billion year old carbon
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Joni Mitchell

stardust

AHO
Sat Nam
Namaste
OM

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This little lizard was lying dead in the desert. I found him while running last weekend and carried him home. He has been sitting on my apuchetta waiting for a despacho.

The focus of my practice has been in allowing, accepting, surrendering into the void of what is not known, for this is where creation happens, including the creation of our own life. Death is a part of Creation. A letting go rather than a holding on. What is ready to die so that a new vision, a new consciousness may be born?

As I prepare for a despacho on the New Moon Solar Eclipse this Sunday, this little lizard will sit in its heart to hold this intention.

THE MEDICINE OF LIZARD

It is quite timely that lizard appears now. This is the way of Spirit.

“It is time to take an internal audit. Are you being ruled by your ego or are you coming from your heart? Be aware because the ego is the master of deception and you will often have to peel back many layers to get at the truth and discover what your heart is really telling you. Take the time to really focus on your personal dreams.

Lizard can also teach you to become more detached in life. Sometimes it is necessary to separate yourself from others to accomplish what is necessary. Lizard helps you awaken the ability for objective detachment. It can show you how to break from the past.”

WHAT LIES IN DREAMS?

Our dreams can show us what lies in shadows and hides from us in the light of day. Use your dreams to show you what is ready to die so you may break free.

Last night I dreamed of walking through a neighborhood lined with rows of trees and repeating townhouses. The landscape appeared very linear, arranged in patterns of repetitious grids. A man was following me. I climbed up a stairwell and began screaming for help. No one heard me as the man turned up the stairs. I was scared to death.

As I come to ceremony I offer this fear, a sense of feeling unprotected. A piece of my psyche grips to a belief that the world is not safe. Part of my energy is drained by seeking to find this sense of security somewhere outside of myself. Whether it is a committed relationship or an amount of money in the bank, none of this will satisfy this search to feel safe. In order to feel safe the search must die. Once this pattern is put to rest the energy that was consumed with seeking can begin to settle within to restore my being to a state of wholeness, a healed state, a holy state, for the sense of safety I seek is within me.

This is my offering in ceremony. This is my prayer to Creator. As I pray for myself, I pray for all beings to be uplifted.

Add a prayer if you like or release what s ready to die by blowing that in to the image above and let that be carried by the medicine of lizard.

PRAYER FOR CEREMONY

Creator,
Great Spirit,
You of a thousand names,
And you who are the nameless one,
We call to you as your sons and daughters
To walk with us in ceremony.
We call to you with gratitude
To thank you for your benevolent presence in our life.

We thank you, thank you, thank you
Mama Killa, Grandmother Moon,
For this time of darkness.
Help us to look within
At our shadows, our fears.
Show us in this time of darkness
What is ready to die.
We call to our omnipotent teacher, Death,
To help us cross the great river of transformation.

Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Inti TiTi, Father Sun,
For guiding our way through the darkness.
For informing us from above.
May we dream from our healed state,
Our whole state,
Our holy state,
A new vision,
A new consciousness,
A new world into being.

May our hearts be elevated in peace,
May the divine dance of our sacred feminine and masculine play freely
So harmony dwells within us
And around us.

We thank you, thank you, thank you
For hearing our prayers
For uplifting our hearts.
For aligning our human mind with Divine mind
So our will
And thy will
Is one.

AHO

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By making love a human life is conceived. For us mere mortals creation does not get more omnipotent than that!

An egg and sperm unite and our physical being begins to form yet we are also beings of light. There is a merging of light that happens at the moment of conception as well.

One of the things we learn from the shamans of the Andes on our women’s journey to Peru are the teachings on Light. And none is more powerful than the Light of creation.

For women, a silver cord of light runs through the central channel of our body. For men it is gold. As we merge with our lovers our bodies become full of light. During orgasm, an alchemy of silver and gold creates violet, the light of creation. At this moment we are elevated to God and Goddess in a sacred and powerful dance of creation.

When we understand creation at this dimension of light we hold the power to birth not just human life but our dreams, our visions, our destiny, through this sacred alchemy.

So how do we remember the Gods and Goddesses we are? How can our lovemaking be a portal to our visions?

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Your beloved is the most magnificent mirror you have. As you sit across from each other, begin by looking, really looking into the eyes of your lover. Know all that you see, all that you feel is a reflection of the Divine. Allow your heart to hold everything that arises. See and be seen. Love is a lover of all that is be it sorrow, bliss. pleasure, pain.

Let your breath sync, jaw soft, mouth open, in and out together.

Each partner take a turn slowly circling your fingertips, ever so lightly, around the nipples of your partner, building up the sexual energy. Once your partner begins to feel aroused draw that energy down the front of their body in slow circles from the nipples to the genitals. Place your hand over their sex organs and hold still as you continue to gaze and breathe.

As you hold your partners genitals, let them know how much you appreciate them in your life. Let them know what you love most about them. Now let your partner take their turn with you.

Let this ritual be an offering of your heart to your lover and to the Divine. Let this be a time to set an intention to love more deeply. To open your heart wider than ever before. To give and receive pleasure in ways never before imagined.

Let your lovemaking be an offering. Let your love ripple in waves to reach those you love. Let your love be offered to heal those in need. Let the love you generate be of benefit to the world.

I asked my beloved to write a prayer for this piece. His prayers take me straight to God. I offer this as an invocation or as inspiration for lovemaking. A prayer to remember the divine God and Goddess you are. To call upon the power of creation through the sacred dance of your holy union each time you make love.

There is only One.
One Power. One Being. One Source….right here, right now.
Existing within us….through us…as us.
Thank you Great Spirit.
Thank you for this gift of life.
Thank you for the breath we breathe.
Thank you for our heartbeat…one heartbeat.
Thank you for eyes that see, and hands that touch.
Great Spirit, Spirit of the Universe. Use us…use us a channel of your Peace, your Love, and your Light.
Let your breath be our breath.
Let your heartbeat be our heartbeat.
Let your eyes be our eyes.
Let your hand be our hands.
Let your words be our words.
Let there be peace.
Let the peace in our hearts be the peace of the world.
Let there be love.
May the love in our hearts be the love of the world.
Let there be light.
May the light in our eyes be the light of the world.
by Don Black Feather

You are a God and a Goddess. There is no better place to awaken that than in the bedroom.

(Please note…the teachings on light from Dona Aleja, altomesayok and master Q’ero shaman also include teachings of same sex relationships. LBGT are of two spirits and have both silver and gold within making them, in the words of Dona Aleja, special. Many spiritual traditions recognize gay men and women as “two spirits” and they are highly respected and revered. Dona Aleja also says it is important that women know these teachings of light. Women create life, past the age of conception. We must teach women to have this knowledge of light in the moment of creation. Women are the givers of life so they can help to change the world.)

(On another note, the above touch ritual is adapted from “The Nine Flowers Meditation” by Mantak Chia)

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Thank you to Paula Leeper for capturing moments of beauty
during our YOGA and SHAMANIC CEREMONY benefit

at High Desert Yoga in Albuquerque.

altarPreparing the altar for the despacho is much like preparing a holdiay feast.
We lay out our best cloths, offer our most delicious treats and pour love into it all.

restorative yogaPreparing our hearts for ceremony, the most important ingredient of all,
with deep and restorative yoga 
led by the soulful Sarah Davidson.

sarahSarah assisting with props and straps to get grounded.

wall shadowI love the wild shadows on the wall.

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offeringsOfferings of sweets and treats and lots of color.

IMG_1016Our despacho full of prayers and offerings before wrapping it up,
a gift to Pachamama.

flowersRose petals for our flower blessing to close our ceremony.
White flowers for healing, red and pink for our hearts
and yellow for intuition so our hearts and minds may be one.

Each participant was showered in a cascade of petals
while immersed in the sweet-sounding tones of the Koshi chimes.

Thank you to all the shining souls who opened and shared
their most vulnerable hearts.

AHO
Namaste
OMETEOTL
Amen

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Harvesting Quinoa at Amura Village during our Women's Journey to Peru, May 2013

Harvesting Quinoa at Amaru Village during our Women’s Journey to Peru, May 2013

The shamans of the high Andes dedicate the first twelve days of August to honoring Pachamama and dreaming the world into being for the year ahead, a time known as Pachamama Days in Peru. The 1st of August represents August 2014, the 2nd, September 2014 and so on, with the 12th being July 2014. Days are filled with people offering despachos to Pachamama, sweets and flowers in gratitude for her gifts of harvest as they prepare the soils for the next seeds.

Even if we are not in Peru we can use these energies to connect more deeply to Mother Earth and be mindful of what we are creating. Can we listen more deeply to what needs tending? What needs clearing?

Spend time each day in meditation, contemplation. Journal. Create intention. Make offerings to the Earth, to the waters. Be mindful of spending time in nature. What arises by listening, by turning in?

Inspired by the Pachamama Days of Peru, let us imagine a world.

I invite you to write below what you imagine a world to be. Let us create a collective prayer to offer in ceremony. Your prayers will be written on violet paper, the color of creation, and added to a despacho that I will create and share later in the Pachamama days.

I imagine a world where each day we greet Pachamama with a song, a song that rises from our love for our Mother Earth, a song that sings our gratitude to her.

How would the vibration of our world change if each and every soul sang the song of their heart? It is through imagining we create a new world.

May we open our ceremony with a song to our Beloved Mother. This song was birthed by Tracey St. John at Empowerment Camp on June 20th at Feathered Pipe Ranch this summer. I have not stopped singing it since. Click on the picture below to hear the song and sing along!

Earth Mother Prayer Song

Earth Mother Prayer Song

 Photo by Anne Jablonski

I bow in gratitude for adding your voice,
your prayer to our collective vision.

May generations to come be able to look back
and say thank you for what we are creating today.

Tibetan Singing Bowl

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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IMG_0354When I made plans to be in Savannah, Don Black Feather asked if I would offer a despacho during my visit. My yes turned out to be bigger than I could have imagined.

Arriving a week before ceremony gave me time to become more intimate with land that was unfamiliar to me. On one of our first outdoor ventures animal bones were found lying near a pond. I knew right away they would be part of our despacho and were placed on our altar.

In Peru, prayers are offered to the despacho in a kintu made by blowing intentions into three coca leaves. With no coca leaves available in IMG_0410North America finding a kintu before ceremony was important. Along a trail in Skidaway State Park we discovered Georgia’s state flower, the Cherokee Rose. Its leaves are similar in size and shape to the coca leaf. How beautiful to have the Flower of Love hold our prayers.

My infatuation with the rose seemed to cloud my memory to the plethora of thorns that protect its beauty. Harvesting and preparing a hundred or more leaves for ceremony was a painstaking ritual not without some blood being shed. The Cherokee Rose held another story, the Trail of Tears. A story of ancestors waiting to be told.

The last the ancestors would speak before ceremony was through scorching hot sand leaving my feet full of blisters.

This ceremony was working in ways I did not fully understand from my stinging hands to my burning feet. Never before had the ancestors spoke so loudly.

I confess my ignorance to the Trail of Tears. I wanted to know more of the story behind the Cherokee Rose. What I came to learn left me humbled in tears.

The Cherokee had lived in western Georgia for generations. In the early fall of 1838 the United States Army began the invasion of the Cherokee Nation through a ratification of the “Indian Removal Act”. Driven from their homes with little food or provisions, the Cherokee were forced to march a thousand miles to Oklahoma, arriving during one of the most brutal winters in the state’s history. Four thousand people were reported to have died on that journey.

“The mothers of the Cherokee grieved so much that the chiefs prayed for a sign to lift the mother’s spirits and give them strength to care for their children. From that day forward, a beautiful new flower, a rose, grew wherever a mother’s tear fell to the ground. To this day, the Cherokee Rose prospers along the route of the Trail of Tears.”

The blisters on my feet were nothing compared to the journey of a thousand miles the Cherokee nation took that year. Whatever pain or suffering I may have known pales in comparison to the suffering of those who have come before me. The ancestor speak in ceremony was an opportunity to honor the pain and suffering of the footsteps walked before we have come.

To honor offers healing. To honor allows us to stand in gratitude for the privileges we are graced with. Privilege born of the pain and blood of those that have come before.

This ceremony was a walk in humility. A walk of respect to the calling of our ancestors. A bow in gratitude to all who have suffered and paved the way for our footsteps to follow. May we never forget the walk of our ancestors.

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