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Posts Tagged ‘ceremony’

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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One of the most auspicious gurus to cross the threshold to a new year with is a Spirit ally.

A Spirit ally reinforms our walk on Earth by guiding us from dimensions that are higher, wider and deeper than the limited lens that often informs our world view.

image[7]On a recent journey I met a white tiger, one whose wisdom I have been calling on ever since.

There is no special invocation needed to call forth a Spirit guide. They are always with us. Calling to them is more to orient us to their presence.

Information from a Spirit ally can come through in images, as words or as a felt sense or knowing in the body.

I often call upon the wisdom of a Spirit ally during my yoga practice as I meet a block or tension in my body, however any moment is perfect.

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This morning as I practice I become witness to a self-created inner drama.

I am alone in the home of my former husband where I am visiting with my daughters. My sister-in-law returns after a morning errand. In my solitary practice I am now aware of the presence of another. I begin to question whether I should invite her to join me.

An inner conflict arises as to whether or not I am being selfish, anti-social, anti-yogic for wanting to be immersed in the nourishment of my practice without tending to the needs of another. Suddenly I am loathing myself for being so self-absorbed.

Early in life I learned that a want, need or desire was self-centered. That correlated to bad; something I did not want to be. Needs were viewed through a narcissistic window where I began to see myself as a selfish little girl I did not want to be.

Seeds of judgment laid deep roots. My desire to be solitary in practice this morning triggered the self-absorbed narcissist I loathe.

I call on White Tiger.

immediately my breath is fuller as if creating more space for what is present. I feel more deeply in my body. Judgment is the mother’s milk that keeps the mean and selfish one running on a perpetual loop of self loathing.

In the presence of White Tiger my internal judgment softens paving the way for compassion.

Each one of us has had to develop conditioned responses that are less than noble to ensure the love and attention we so desperately need to survive. We have all had the perception of our true nature perverted by erroneous beliefs imposed upon us. By their very nature these responses are habitual and unconscious keeping us blind to our own ignorance.

What is there to judge in this way of being human?

Judgment shuts the door on any possibility of change.

White Tiger shows me to let go through this felt sense in my body. Not only of the judgment I hold against the selfish one in me, but to let go of judgment for all beings who have suffered simply for being human.

Wisdom of White Tiger

WISDOM OF WHITE TIGER

Guidance from a Spirit ally may also appear as messages that can become powerful personal mantras.

I AM WHOLE.
I AM SOVEREIGN.
AN ENTIRE KINGDOM DWELLS WITHIN.

These are just a few ways a Spirit ally can work on our behalf to empower and awaken us to the truth of our own nature.

The Shamanic Journey from A Structure for Spirit is now available on soundcloud.com so you may meet your own auspicous guru to guide your way in the year ahead.

What you will need:

  • 30 minutes of time and space free from distraction.
  • Pillows and blanket as needed for comfort.
  • Bandana or blindfold if you like to deepen your sense of darkness.
  • Journal to record your journey.
  • A palm sized stone. (In the book I suggest using a stone to anchor in the energy and honor your Spirit ally on an altar)

Click on the following link to begin your journey:
SHAMANIC JOURNEY

May all love surround you my friends.

And a happy and auspicious New Year!

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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!

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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This past summer I had the honor to offer a despacho ceremony with an inspiring community of elevated souls in the beauty of Savannah. Before the event I had a chance to chat with Stacy Hill of New Light Video Magazine. Check out our conversation!

New Light offers a monthly video magazine online. You can view the entire video magazine here. 

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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. Gay men and women 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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PRAYER FROM THE NEW MOON DESPACHO

You may add a prayer at any time to the despacho
by holding it silently, speaking it out loud or writing or posting here.

We bow before you, Pachamama,
with open and humble hearts.

We bow to the Apus, to Spirit, to Creator
to offer our gratitude. 

To thank you for your unconditional and unwavering presence
when we are unable to see. 

To thank you for holding us when we are lost. 
Help us to align with your divine guidance
so we may step once again into our wholeness. 

May we drink from the source of your nectar
so our hearts are fed in joy.

May we remember that we are children of this Universe.
May we awaken our innocence, our delight,
our wonder in this world in which we live.

We thank you for hearing our prayers,
for the blessings you bestow. 

We thank you for your healing graces that wash us clean.
May we learn to trust in the mystery of your divine order.
We surrender our sorrows, our heartaches, our worries and fears.
We thank you for transforming these seeds of doubt
so they may lay the fertile ground on which we walk
illuminating the pathway for us to follow. 

We thank you, thank you, thank you with all our hearts. 

despachocollage

AHO ~  Namaste ~  Blessings ~  Amen ~ OM

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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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