Archive for March, 2012

One of the delightful surprises of self publishing has been the opportunity to meet other authors through book exchanges. One such author is Jennifer Brown. We met online through circles of like minded Spirits where I discovered her book Turtle Hope. When I learned her story was a memoir of her infertility I was intrigued.

It takes tremendous courage to share such an intimate part of your life. To be seen when we are most vulnerable is terrifying. Yet with the heart stripped of all facade, when we no longer hide in isolation, we find our humanity. Her story is her medicine. The gift that Turtle Hope shares allows every woman to be uplifted, find their voice and come out of hiding. This is what draws the reader in. The raw exposure of Jennifer’s heart as she shares the naked truth on infertility.

Women facing infertility feel isolated. Abandoned by even her own body, it can be the loneliest time of a woman’s life. All that is feminine is fertile. Unable to conceive, infertility is fraught with shame. The clinical approach of Western medicine to infertility takes a huge toll; financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The heartache of starting my family reverberates throughout Turtle Hope. Infertility is a distant echo on my path as my daughters are now 18 and 19.

I had been pregnant before. One ended by choice, one did not. With no preparation and utterly alone, a miscarriage at 14 weeks left me hemorrhaging in blood, loss and fear. “I wish I could leave you with a beautiful sunset. However that is not where we lose ourselves time and time again. Each time we pee on a stick, each time we notice the start of yet another cycle, each time we hemorrhage, the thought of yet another child we leave behind another tiny piece of ourselves. We, the infertile, find alternative ways to celebrate motherhood and as sisters we must know that we are united by a deep breath and the power to overcome.” (excerpt Turtle Hope)

After my miscarriage I was diagnosed with secondary infertility since after months of trying to get pregnant I was unable to conceive. Secondary infertility implies there is no known reason for why you are not pregnant. After my miscarriage, every month I started bleeding was a reminder of my hemorrhaging. The loss was driven deeper into my womb. I was not interested in what seemed the torturous path of in vitro. Instead we decided to adopt. The open adoption process seemed to leave us at the mercy of a birthmother who could change her mind. Unable to withstand the loss of another baby we looked to foreign adoptions. Our daughter Sarabeth arrived from Korea on September 13, 1993. On September 13, 1994 I arrived home from the hospital after giving birth to my youngest daughter Danielle.

I came to see that the cause of my secondary infertility was rooted in fear. After the terrifying anguish of losing one baby in a miscarriage my body shut down to insure that would not happen again. Foreign adoption felt like a sure thing. It meant starting a family with a baby that was already born. I became pregnant without any plan or preparation three months after Sarabeth arrived because I had become what I longed to be. I was a mother.

Every family has its own creation story. The love for my daughter born in my heart is no different than the love for my daughter born under it. I thank Jennifer Brown and her courageous story in Turtle Hope. Her voice helped give rise to my own.

Thank you my friend!


Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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A few weeks ago I received a message. Melissa McNair, Co-Executive Director for the Feathered Pipe Foundation had called. She wondered if I would be interested in being part of a week long retreat led by Christian de la Huerta and Joe Weston on living from an open heart at Feathered Pipe. Feathered Pipe is a well respected retreat center located in a pristine mountain setting in Montana. She wanted me to weave ceremony, hold space and offer healing bodywork sessions during the Empowerment Camp.

I have been holding an intention of bringing my work into the world more deeply. An intention creates a reorganization of our energetic alignment with the infinite matrix of the Universe. We are setting in motion our desires. I like to call this a “conversation with Spirit”. In response, an arrangement of circumstances and opportunities begin to line up as part of that conversation. We engage that conversation with gratitude, prayer, action and ceremony.

The magic is that what shows up when I surrender my intent to Spirit is way more than what I could have achieved through will and manipulation, another method of creating what we want. If I decide I want to bring my work to the world I could contact retreat centers, send out resumes or whatever one does if they are looking to be on a teaching circuit. It is possible that something would have come up that way, albeit with a whole lot of effort.

However a process of creating through a conversation with Spirit allows things to come to us. That is not to say that effort or action is not required. We must act on the opportunities that come our way. But opportunities that arise from Spirit have a flow and synchronicity. Spirit opens a doorway. It is up to us to walk through. Spirit never demands a decision. We are always given a choice.

Another indication that an intention is manifesting through Spirit is AWE. I had never met Melissa and our first conversation lasted an hour. Independent rhythms of heart cells will begin to beat in unison when placed near each other. This is what our conversation felt like, two hearts beating in unison. People that show up in your life begin to resonate with your heart. Your conversations are deep and meaningful pretty much from the start because of this vibrational sync. I hung up the phone in the most amazing space of gratitude and AWE at the gift that Spirit had bestowed upon me.

And I love the intention of this retreat. Many retreats are prolonged workshops chock full of information. Those are wonderful and enriching for many reasons. But what the heart longs for, what the heart truly needs to be heard is SPACE. So the mornings of the retreat are structured with life tools to engage and empower our hearts through meditation, theory, practice and interactive exercises. Yoga followed by a facilitated breathwork session will take place in the late afternoon. And beyond that there is…space. Our hurried lifestyles and heavy responsibilities often leave no time to give space to our heart. To wander aimlessly, to rest if needed, to be in communion with Nature, to be alone or with others as our heart feels called. Slowing down is essential to listen to the needs of our heart. And that is what this retreat offers. This is what sings to my Soul.

We are at a unique place in our human history—a time when, in the midst of dramatic global upheaval and change, many are being compelled from within and urged by the “news on the street” to define what they hold true, standing without retreat. These times require nothing less than a spiritual revolution: a shift in relationship to power and an unwavering commitment to maintaining an open heart regardless of the  circumstances.  Now, more than ever, we need to acquire the skill to look within and listen attentively for guidance, fortifying ourselves to face the challenges we presently face within our own lives, society and world.  (Feathered Pipe Foundation)

When Spirit aligns with our intentions a path opens. Connections are made that feel right. Something lands in our body that says YES. We start the conversation, bring love to what we do and leave the rest to Spirit. This is how intention works in real life.

AHO my friends! AHO!
Find out more about Waking the Open-Hearted Warrior.

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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~Welcome to the New Moon Despacho Ceremony for March~

Thank you,
Thank you,
Thank you,
Great Spirit.
We bow humbly before you
as your sons and daughters
to plant the seeds of abundance
under the dark of Mama Killa,
Grandmother Moon.
Thank you for holding our fears Pachamama.
We surrender the wounds of lack and scarcity to your belly.
We thank you for composting this dense heavy energy
so that we may be reborn,
under the light of Inti Ti Ti, Father Sun.
May we reclaim our birthright
and align with abundance and prosperity
so our hearts may overflow in love,
compassion, generosity and sharing.
May we be vessels of Light.
We thank you for hearing our prayers
and answering our call. 


Before watching this video for prayer and ceremony you may want to light a candle to transition from your day to sacred space. You may use sea salt, floral waters, incense or smudging to create a purification ritual if you desire. Set aside 20 minutes where you will not be interrupted to set your intentions to shed the wounds of lack and scarcity and align with prosperity and abundance. Include family, friends and loved ones if you wish. Blessings my friends on this most auspicious day of prayer!


(Click on Image to Enlarge)

You may wish to create a ceremony for yourself
by offering your intentions into seeds or qintus

~Blow Personal Intentions of Abundance
and Healing into Your Own Qintus~

~Burn, Bury or Offer Your Qintus to a Natural Body of Water or
Create a Despacho of Your Own to Hold Qintus~ 

It is a wonderful time to literally plant your seeds of intention in the Earth

~Blow Personal Intentions of Abundance and Healing into Seeds~ 

~Plant Seeds of Intention in Garden or Potted Soil~

Listen to the Guided Meditation below
once you have offered your intentions

~Inner Garden~

~Close Ceremony with a Prayer of Thanks~


Elements of Despacho: A golden chalice was the inspiration for this despacho. The starfish that sits at the center holds our intention to heal the wounds of lack and scarcity and align with abundance. It symbolizes above, the stars in heaven where our intentions are set, and below, so they may manifest in form on Earth. Lots of gold sparkles were sprinkled throughout to align with abundance. The chalice symbolizes our abundance as an empty vessel. By being empty we are able to receive. What gets in the way of receiving are the dense, heavy energies, or hucha, of lack, limitation and scarcity. Shedding these wounds clears our golden chalice and allows us to be a container of Light and Love rather than lack and limitation.

The stem of the chalis is rooted in Earth and sits on a bed of money representing manifesting abundance in material form. Placed along the dollars are small magnets to attract what we need into our lives as vessels of receptivity rather than struggling to try and make things happen. At the very base of the stem sits a clay statue of Lakshmi. In the Hindu tradition she is the Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth in all dimensions, spiritual to material. We draw inspiration from all traditions.

White flowers are placed on top of white feathers that sit like a halo holding our chalice and informing it with light. May we hold an empty golden chalice in our heart so we may be receptors for Light. It is the abundance of this Light that will manifest abundance in form on our Earth plane.

Offerings and qintus will be placed in the despacho during the time it is open. Ceremony will close Friday morning, March 23rd EST at 7:30 am when our despacho, full of prayers and offerings, will be folded and tied like a gift. A forgotten prayer holder will be tied to the outside. Our ceremonial gift will then be burned in a fire. More will be posted after ceremony.

I offer deep appreciation and gratitude for bringing your prayers to this ceremony, for your prayers empower the prayers of us all.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Daughter of Pachamama
Sister of the Sacred Lodge of We the Women
Sunflower of Bouquet of Light Ayllu 

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Here are a few things to prepare for our New Moon Despacho as we gather as a virtual community to heal the wounds of lack and scarcity and offer our gratitude for the abundance that already exists in our life. We ceremonially offer our intentions to heal the energetic impressions that have laid a foundation of lack and limitation in our life so our actions may be informed from a well overflowing in prosperity, generosity, compassion and love. There are a number of ways to participate depending on your time and what calls to you.

Here are some things you may need depending on your level of participation:

  • 16 bay leaves, small native leaves or flower petals to make 4 qintus (Read more about qintus on How A Shaman Prays)
  • Fine Sea Salt for Purification
  • Seeds for Planting
  • Potted Soil, Garden or Mother Earth
  • Candle for Creating Sacred Space

Before coming to ceremony, you want to create time and space that feels sacred for you. This is a personal experience so whatever prayers or rituals you have will work. If you have not created sacred space or come to ceremony before, offer a prayer of thanks to the Earth. Reflect on all the blessings the Earth provides in your life. Lighting a candle is a simple way to enter into ceremony. We transition from our ordinary routine and shift to a space that feels sacred.

Another practice that helps prepare us for ceremony is purification. A simple purification ritual can be created by rubbing your dry hands together with fine sea salt holding the intention of clearing any negativity from your heart. Continue until you feel your hands are clean and clear. As our hands are energetic extensions of our heart, cleansing in this way helps clear our heart. Purification practices are believed to make the heart more pure, empowering the strength of our prayers and intentions. Smudging, floral waters and incense can also be part of a purification ritual.

Once you have created sacred space and performed a purification ritual, take a moment to turn your attention inward. Bring both hands together over your heart center (middle of your chest). Close your eyes. Breathe into your heart. Let your attention rest here as you reflect on the blessings and abundance that already exists in your life. Hold the intention of healing the wounds of scarcity and lack and source from the wellspring of abundance that is our birthright.

What is the highest manifest vision of prosperity?
What does a heart full of abundance feel like?
What might your walk in the world look like if your actions were informed by a heart overflowing in generosity?

This is what we offer in ceremony, surrendering our intent to Spirit.

There are a number of ways to participate so notice what calls to you:

  • This is the first ceremony that will be offered with a video.
  • Once ceremony opens a video will be posted on the blog creating an opportunity for us to meet in prayer online.
  • Your prayers and intentions will be blown directly into the qintu on the video. This collective prayer holder will be added to the despacho before ceremony closes.
  • You may create your own qintu with 3 bay leaves, small native leaves or flower petals and blow in your prayers which are then buried or burned.
  • A picture of the despacho will be posted which you may print to hold your qintus and make a despacho of your own. Place your qintus in a meaningful arrangement and add offerings such as incense, sage, tobacco, herbs, flower petals, grains, sweets or dried fruits to energetically feed your prayers. Fold your despacho into a square and tie closed with ribbon, twine or string. Do not turn your despacho over or shake in any way to keep your intentions undisturbed. Your despacho is then burned or buried.
  • You can blow your personal intentions and prayers of abundance into seeds which you plant in potted soil, a garden or somewhere on the Earth.
Once you have finished placing your intentions in whatever way calls to you, listen to the guided meditation Attitude of Gratitude. This will awaken a sacred awareness of your body and cultivate a feeling of thanks and appreciation. This takes place while lying on your back. If time is not available at ceremony, listen before dreamtime.

The Despacho will be available and open for ceremony for 3 days starting on March 21st, the day before the New Moon at 7:30 pm EST, until March 23rd at 7:30 am EST after which it will be offered in a fire ceremony. You can participate during any time the despacho is open. The Despacho will be anchored by the kuyas (stones) of my mesa received during rites and initiations from Shamans in the mountains of Peru.

Please share any comments or questions that arise as we create a collective intent to energize and empower our becoming as we step into ceremony.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Through one of the darkest nights of my Soul walking barefoot through the woods seemed the only thing to do. A cry from depths of isolating loneliness longed to connect, to belong, to heal. I later came to learn there is a great body of research on the healing benefits of walking barefoot. I did not need science to tell me this. A primordial wisdom knew.

Most of my day is spent barefoot. My work involves using my whole body as a tool. I need ready access to my feet. Walking barefoot is a practice for me. To be barefoot on the Earth changes my usual way of walking. Walking barefoot on the Earth forces me to slow down. A slow and mindful step is necessary to keep my feet from hurting. One cannot hurry over sticks and stones.

I listen through my feet. It is as if the deep magnetic pull of Pachamama draws the busyness of thoughts out of my head and into her belly in an intimate unity of body on Earth. How often am I rushing? What is it I habitually run from? Walking barefoot in the woods shows me. Maybe there are tears to be shed. Maybe there is silence to relish. Maybe there is communion in the woods. Maybe there is nothing at all. But I miss all this when thoughts are leading the way. The discovery comes by slowing down. Listening. Closely. Connected. To the heartbeat of our Mother.

Most of the life I thought I was going to live has swept away. I do not know what my next step is. Where I am going is uncertain? Who will be with me I do not know? My bare feet a prayer as I walk on our Mother. What is my next step now Pachamama?

I listen with bare feet.

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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I am preparing to return to Peru this May. This is the journey I have been on. Let this invitation sit with you. Do you feel the call of the Divine Feminine?


MAY 13-25, 2012

This is a call to women to explore and reawaken the divine ancient wisdom of the feminine that lies within. A very unique opportunity has been extended to women by the Santa Tierras, the almost extinct feminine spirits of Peru. We have the opportunity to access the fierce wisdom, power and knowledge of these spirits through direct conversation. In addition to sitting with the Santa Tierras we work with the most powerful medicine women and men of Peru. We visit many sacred sites including the majestic Machu Picchu. We sit in ceremony beside glacial lagoons with the spirits of the mountains and the medicine people of the High Andes.

Cultures of the world are undergoing great changes in consciousness and we have a great opportunity to embrace a new cosmology. Women are visionaries and leaders within communities. We carry the potential of being midwives of change through leadership and walking in balanced power of the masculine and feminine. We are the keepers of the sacred fire, tenders of council, leaders and mothers of many creations. This wisdom needs remembering and tending.

There exists a core group of women who began a journey to Peru two years ago in answer to the call. This group continues the passage to Peru each May. We are dedicated to holding the vision of balance on Earth and supporting one another in the process. We have created a service project with women in the small community of Maras. This is an endeavor into animal husbandry to supply food for families and work toward bringing a needed water supply to the village. We have become an ayllu (sacred group in the Q’echua language). This ayllu gathers in May in Peru, in November in North America and participates in monthly conference and teaching conference calls.

This journey and this ayllu of women will support you and challenge your belief system and deepen your relationship to yourself, to others, to the land and to spirit. There are many trips to Peru but there is no other journey like this. This year the opportunity has arisen for a few more women to answer the call.

For more information on this incredible journey please contact Judy Bath or Karen Duncan.

JudyBath• jbath2@mac.com! • 705-349-1110
Karen Duncan • querokaren@yahoo.com • 417-209-2460

AHO my friends! AHO!

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One of the most profound questions asked of me, a question that changed the direction of my life was posed by a mentor a little over a year ago. She asked…

“How do you intend to bring your wisdom into the world?”

Wisdom? What on Earth was I supposed to be sharing with the world? She seemed serious so I figured I better come up with an answer.

Well I do have this book I wrote years ago. A Success Journal: Daily Practices to Manifest Your Intentions had been collecting dust on a shelf for years. Could that be it? I wasn’t sure. The next day a client I had worked with for over a year asked if I had recorded any of my work. Well I do have this CD of guided meditations that went along with this book I wrote. Hmmmmm. Within the week Abhita Austin, my sound engineer called out of the blue to say hello. I had not spoke to her since we recorded the CD years earlier.

Three conversations in this short span of time about a book I had not spoke about for five years convinced me. It was time to bring the book, and myself, out of the closet and into the world. As I revisited my original Success Journal the book shapeshifted and A Structure for Spirit emerged.

I never spent much time on a computer and resisted facebook for years. I had no idea how people could have “authentic” relationships on a computer. But if I was going to bring my work to the world I figured I better join the rest of the world who all seemed to be on social media. I started with a skeptical heart and shortly thereafter discovered people from dusty corners of my life that had long been buried in the gray matter of memory.

It was fascinating how the timelines of my life began to blur. I was in conversation with people I had not been in contact with for thirty years. This merging of my past to present time seemed miraculous. And the circles grew wider. Pure heart connections arose as people I had never met and had no shared history with became “friends”. I was happy to share in births, celebrations and prayers.

And it got me writing more. Lots more. Sharing articles on online publications. Propelling myself into the world.

I started a page for my book. And then I extended an invitation for ceremony. A spiritual experimental of sorts. Was I crossing some spiritual code of ethic?  Yet something bigger than my doubts urged me forward. The first formal invitation to join in a despacho ceremony went out in October on The Shaman’s Well. Part of my personal intention in this first ceremony was to bring my work into the world more deeply. Little did I know there were others intending the very same thing.

Carla Goddard had a vision, or as she calls it a “picture” of Energy Healers, Shamans, Priestesses and Medicine Women gathering together to form a sacred circle to build bridges between traditions in order to have a collective energy. It was truly divine intervention that connected the dots through the magical matrix of technology and brought together 21 women from different traditions and walks of life. We could not have created this if we tried. And no one can figure out how it happened. And so it was. The Sacred Lodge of We The Women was born.

Through this divine orchestration of Spirit we uplift and carry each other’s messages and medicines. This has clearly shown each of us it is a time of interdependence. If I am looking to bring my work into the world this is not something I can do on my own. It is a time of coming together as individuals to work together for the collective. For this is where the power is. The power is in community.

And it is this power of community that extends our reach in the world. In just a few short months a blog is up and running, projects are birthing, ceremonies are drawing hundreds of people from around the world. This is the power of community. The power of dreams and visions birthing in the world.

So I ask you, how do you intend to bring your wisdom to the world?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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