Archive for April, 2012

“We must shift from competing with one another
to cooperating, collaborating and co-creating with one another.”
Sacred Lodge Sister Carla Goddard
Shaman Medicine Woman

My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression. I remember as a child closets and basements stocked full of household cleaners, paper towels and assorted sundries. Items bought because they were on sale and would be needed “someday”. Hoarding was the consequence of not having enough. Unraveling the deep rooted fears of scarcity from a collective consciousness can take lifetimes to extricate. And it starts by facing the fears that strangle the life force of our own hearts.

Most of our societal infrastructures have been built on ideologies of lack and fear, a fertile breeding ground for greed, competition, control and co-dependency. Structures are held in place by egos driven to insure survival on the limited beliefs of not enough.

We are in the midst of a spiritual awakening. The cognizance of the plight of our planet is increasing. Grassroots discontent is slowly arousing from apathy. The foundations of financial infrastructures are quaking. Life as we know it is breaking down. And what underlies these breakdowns are the belief systems that erected them in the first place.

Nearly everyone I know is experiencing a breakdown. From mechanical breakdowns of machines and plumbing, to the grief and loss of security and finances, physical breakdowns of body and health or the heart wrenching breakdowns of intimate relationships, life as we know it is shape shifting. Large and small we are all effected as a new world order is making itself known. As prophecies profess, we are living in times of great change.

As life threatening as these breakdowns may feel, what if we could see them as paving the way for a new world order? What if these breakdowns are the gateway to our heart? What if we could learn to ride these turbulent waters with faith and courage?

For what is breaking down are the outdated structures and old paradigms that have prevented our hearts from thriving. For with our heart at the helm sharing and generosity are our watchtowers.

When we are riding turbulent waters from the breakdown of all that we know, when the ego itself is deconstructing, the waters can feel terrifying. We do not know when the shore will arrive. What do we hold on to when all we feel is lost at sea? Old strategies and coping mechanisms no longer operate.

This is when the faith of our heart is fortified. The internal compass is the wisdom of our heart. It takes tremendous courage to keep our heart open while we face our fears of the unknown. What new tools do we need to ride these waves?

A divine doorway has paved the way to the sanctuary of Feathered Pipe. Along with Christian de la Huerta and Joe Weston I will be part of the Empowerment Camp this June to develop the skills and fortitude of the heart as we learn to navigate these unknown waters of our times. As we retreat from the demands of our schedules and routines we immerse ourselves in the call of our heart. We release the bondages of fear through the purification of breathwork and pave the way to mastering respectful confrontation to maintain an open heart to greet life and its challenges with compassion and steadfast resolve. Both Christian and Joe are masters in their respective circles and I am humbled to join them in this life changing experience.

With honor I have been given the opportunity to offer Earth based medicine practices to weave our hearts to the heartbeat of our Mother Earth as we learn to walk in intimate conversation and reverence for all of Nature. As this retreat occurs during both the Summer Solstice and the New Moon we will journey to the Shaman’s cave in the oldest once-inhabited cave system in North America for ceremony. My heart is bowing in AWE.

An invitation awaits. A divine doorway opens. Do you hear your heart beckon?

Dive deep into your most courageous heart.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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I was wading through the waters along the rocky shores of Long Island with an intent of prayer and cleansing during our New Moon ceremony. A little boy of about four fearlessly ran barefoot over shells and rocks straight into the water. He was kicking and splashing and playing as if the water was another child he had just met on the playground.

The poetry of Kahlil Gibran came to mind…

“Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.”

A few moments later adults descended. Get out of the water! You are getting your clothes all wet. Put your shoes back on. Your feet are going to get hurt. With grown ups towered over him the little boy stood defenseless while chastised for his behavior. Playtime came to an end.

What I have come to see as the root to most people’s pain and illness is a disconnection from the healing and life sustaining force lying right beneath our feet. For twenty five years I have seen people with pain in their bodies. And it doesn’t matter if the pain is in their feet or their neck. The problem is we are not connected to the Earth. Oh we walk along the ground to get where we need to go but in subtle and overt ways we learn that the Earth is not a safe place so best to retreat from her belly.

I was encouraging a client with chronic pain to walk barefoot on the Earth. She shared how she was beaten as a child for walking barefoot. She had stepped on a nail and the ensuing hardship of doctor care and expenses unleashed the wrath of her mother’s own fears upon her. Not only did my client suffer the pain of a nail in her foot but the trauma was compounded by a lesson literally beaten into her. The Earth is not safe for danger lurks right below our feet.

We have all received this message in one way or another. This disconnection appears as a violation of trust. If we cannot trust that the Earth is safe, that we will be provided for and that our needs will be met, how do we expect to cultivate this feeling within ourself? Our own body becomes fraught with fear. If we cannot live outside on the Earth or inside of our bodies, where do we go?

The strategies we use to avoid both the body of the Earth and the body in which we dwell creates much of the pain and suffering. Muscles have to literally shape themselves into twisted knots in order to withdraw from the ground beneath us.

For to trust in the Earth is to relax in our own body. To trust in the Earth is to believe that we are provided for fully and completely. To trust in the Earth is to delight in her elements.

I could not do much for the little boy that day but I said a prayer of thanks for his Spirit message. A prayer to each child. A prayer for every heart. To remember to delight with bare feet on her belly. To remember how much Pachamama longs to have us play on her Earth.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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There is a gathering that happens with ceremony. For me this begins quietly at first with the passing of the Full Moon. Momentum builds as the New Moon draws near. A gathering of intent, a gathering of elements. There is a gathering of information. And this I find fascinating as I now weave ceremony with the oneness of technology.

Traditionally Spirit messages would come through dreams and journeys, signs and symbols of Nature, animal messengers, through the silence of our own heart. And of course these are still very much relevant and profound ways to receive messages from Spirit. As our web of communication expands in an ever unfolding and extremely rapid rate I do not discount messages that source through the oneness of technology. It is another medium for Spirit to reach us.

And so it is with this month’s despacho.

In Nature I pray in the waters nearly every day with gratitude. I gather shells and flowers to create our despacho not knowing fully how they will be used. And inspiration also comes from receiving transmissions from like minded souls in a synchronistic intersection of crossing paths.

The intention of offering the knots of our heart in ceremony draws us into the work of our shadow, the heavier energies or hucha that weighs us down and binds us up. This is the work of the underworld. As I draw a medicine card for an ally in ceremony it is no surprise Jaguar appears. Jaguar loves to track in the shadowy underworld ravenously devouring hucha. After posting this on my page I learn that Lodge sister Cuauhtli Cihuatl is also working with the medicine of Jaguar in her weekend of teachings and ceremony in New Mexico. Divine synchronicity. Telepathic connections.

As the heart unravels, aided by the Spirit work of Jaguar, our emotions are held by Mama Cocha whose waters I have been praying in all week. The gathering of her shells holds our work in our despacho. They have found their place in ceremony.

On the morning that ceremony opens, Iva Peele shares the medicine of hummingbird in our Sacred Lodge. Oh yes the sweetness of hummingbird sings to my soul. Our ceremonial work of clearing our hucha and cleansing our hearts creates space for us to meet hummingbird. The medicine of hummingbird uplifts our heart in joy and aligns us with our true heart, our destiny. Our ceremonial work weaves together from many dimensions.

An ornamental hummingbird has been perched in front of my kitchen window for years. Hummingbird now sits at the center of our despacho to align our hearts with unconditional love pointing the way to our destiny.

These are the blessings during this ceremonial time. Messages received from many dimensions. Aligning our hearts in their rightful place of love.

As I run through the woods on the day of the New Moon a branch lies draped ahead. I have passed this by many times before but this day I pass through. In this space of ceremony I step through a threshold of time. With intent I leave behind  the darkness of the shadow. The grieving and loos of all that has come before. The breakdown of operating systems that no longer serve. I cross this threshold to the lightness of hummingbird. Aligning with joy. Aligning with destiny. Drinking in the sweet nectar of life that nourishes our soul.

Each ceremony is a doorway. A point of entry into what is unknown. We bow to the mystery that lays before us. Shed the ties to what has come before. We give thanks to the divine alignments, the synchronistic pathways, the interweaving of heart and soul that gathers in every ceremony.

From all dimensions.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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~Welcome to the New Moon Despacho Ceremony for April~

Artist Stephanie Gagne

Artist Stephanie Gagne

Thank you,
Thank you,
Thank you,
Great Spirit.
We bow before you with good intention
as your sons and daughters
under the dark of Mama Killa,
Grandmother Moon,
to lay bare before you
the knots of our heart.
We bow to Great Jaguar Spirit
who walks with us in ceremony
to devour these knots
so they may unravel
and wash clean from our systems.
We thank Mama Cocha
for the cleansing of her waters,
the healing of her waters.
As our hearts are purified
they right themselves in Munay.
The waters of unconditional love
flow freely through us and to us.
We thank Great Hummingbird Spirit
for flying with us in ceremony,
for uplifting our hearts in joy
so we may align our hearts
with our truest calling,
the call of our Destiny
May our hearts be nourished
with the sweet nectar
that flows through the sacredness of all life.  


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. Set aside 20 minutes where you will not be interrupted to unravel the knots of your heart and align with unconditional love and munay. Include family, friends and loved ones if you wish. Blessings my friends at this most auspicious time 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 Forgiveness
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 Forgiveness 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

~Heart of Peace~

~Close Ceremony with a Prayer of Thanks~


Elements of Despacho: Our despacho is surrounded in a circle of shells, honoring Mama Cocha, the waters. Each is turned upward in a posture of receiving and filled with pink sugar so our cleansing may be gentle and full of sweetness. At the very heart sits hummingbird, the spirit of Joy, resting on a bed of flower petals to uplift our hearts and restore the rightful place of unconditional love and lightness of our Being.

The black beans create a circle of darkness along with the outer circle of tobacco to honor the darkness of the New Moon, the void of potential and the darkness of birthing. Another circle of candies and sweets asks that our hearts be full of the sweetness of divine nectar. The tulip buds sit in eight directions to balance and stabilize our heart in the center, where munay sits. These elements lay a bed for our qintus to be held as we cleanse the darkness of our hearts and align with the lightness of munay and unconditional love.

Offerings and qintus will be placed in the despacho during the time it is open. Ceremony will close Sunday morning, April 22nd 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 at the same time that fires are burning around the world with Shamans and Fire Keepers in a Global Vigil Fire. The sisters of the Sacred Lodge of We the Women are gathering in ceremony and prayer from wherever they may be to join with our hearts in unity.

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

More will be posted after ceremony.

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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This beautiful offering was sent to me by a dear Soul Sister
Melissa McNair from Feathered Pipe Ranch.
Although I posted it on my facebook page I wanted to share it here
for those of you who may not follow me there.
It is so simple, so powerful and so profound that everyone can benefit.
And it is perfectly aligned with the intention of our
New Moon Forgiveness Despacho. 

“There is a sacred formula for forgiveness.
Take the name of any person you wish to forgive
and insert it twice in a row between I AM.
For example: I AM (insert name of person) (insert name of person) I AM.
Repeat this out loud a few times or for a few minutes.
Allow whatever is felt in response to be acknowledged as a spontaneous healing,
releasing out of your cells the encoded memory of past experiences.
This can also be done with your own name,
as well as emotions you usually avoid or adjectives you are afraid to face.
This sacred formula intends to show you how the very thing you’ve tried to outrun,
offers the deepest healing only forgiveness may inspire.”

Matt Kahn

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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My Dear Friends…

Do you hear the deep yearning of your Soul, the whispers of your heart to live and express truth? There is a truth birthing within each one of us. What our heart yearns for is the space to listen. Modern lifestyles do not always afford us the space to hear and empower our heart. Intention alone is not enough. The heart calls us to take action. And the most profound action we can take on behalf of our heart is retreat. To take time and give space to the calling of our heart. I know the fierce dedication it takes to listen to our heart and remain open no matter what.
Feathered Pipe

Feathered Pipe

When I was graciously invited by my dear friend and Soul Sister Melissa McNair, co-Executive of the Feathered Pipe Foundation, to co-facilitate the Empowerment Camp at the Feathered Pipe Ranch I was ecstatic. Intentionally carving out time from our lives to cultivate and strengthen the open heart is an extraordinary opportunity. We often find our world does not support and actually inhibits this way of life. We miss the context, understanding and skills to maintain such a radical commitment.

The retreat at Feathered Pipe offers these skills and more. The Empowerment Camp is facilitated by Christian de la Huerta whose profound knowledge of Spirit and the transformational power of breath and meditation will enable you to view and experience your life, being, and relation to other in undistorted and empowered form. Along with friend and colleague, Joe Weston, author of “Mastering Respectful Confrontations”, we learn to help build the capacity to be in the midst of confrontation and hold our own in a heartfelt way. With multiple breathwork sessions, embodiment practices, powerful teachings, rich conversations and rituals, this retreat is a life-changing, empowering and freeing experience.

I am honored to offer my medicine gifts to remind us of our relationship with the Earth and our obligation to honor its gifts through various rituals and Earth based medicine practices. I will be offering healing sessions weaving bodywork and prayer. Timed to coincide with the new moon and the Summer Solstice, ceremony and ritual will be woven in to mark your passage and full embodiment, including a journey to the shaman’s cave in the oldest once-inhabited cave system in North America.

We will be weaving our work together, coming from our respective vantage points, all with the shared intent to create the optimal environment for your Empowerment Camp experience.

The setting is exquisite and the timing is perfect. The Ranch is located in a gorgeous and secluded mountain retreat setting outside Helena, MT. The Summer Solstice is upon us that week. The days are long and the sun sets around 9:30 pm. We plan to make the most of tapping into the power of this auspicious time.

I am looking forward to this with all my heart and know it will be a profoundly transformational – and fun – experience in an amazing setting.

I would love to have you join us.

Please feel free to call me at (516) 286-0125 to explore this further. Melissa is also available to help you with your questions and can be reached at (406) 442-8196.

Take a moment to discover the richness of a retreat at Feathered Pipe in the magic of this poetic article by one who makes an annual pilgrimage there.

With love and munay…

The Magic of Montana...Home to Feathered Pipe

The Magic of Montana...Home to Feathered Pipe

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“Our task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”
Rumi ~

Here are a few things to prepare for our New Moon Despacho as we gather as a virtual community to unravel the knots of our heart that block the flow of unconditional love or what shamans call munay. We ceremonially offer these barriers to restore our hearts to munay so we may right our relationships to others, to Pachamama, to Spirit, to our own Soul. We bring this love to ourself with self forgiveness for the harm these barriers have perpetuated.

There are a number of ways to participate in ceremony depending on your time and what calls to you.

Artist Stephanie Gagne

Artist Stephanie Gagne

Here are some things you may need depending on your plan to take part:

Once ceremony opens you want to create time and space that feels sacred for you. This ceremony is offered with a 20 minute video so be sure you have set aside time where you will not be interrupted. You may want to light a candle before you begin as a simple way to leave the routine of your day and enter into ceremony.

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.

Before ceremony opens take a moment to pause and reflect. We will be using our relationships to discover where our hearts have become knotted in anger, hatred, pride, greed, jealousy, judgment, blocking the life force of unconditional love or munay through our heart.

Who are you in struggle or conflict with?
Who depletes your energy or makes you feel diminished?
Who do you avoid?
Who tends to bring out the worst in you? 

These relationships that we struggle with are our teachers and may include those who have already passed. The energetic cords that hold each other exist beyond time and space. We offer in ceremony the sacred discomfort, pain and struggles of our heart that arise in response to another. We discover the knots in our own heart and make of them a prayer, changing their vibration as we surrender them to Spirit to soften our heart and restore a flow of unconditional love.

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

  • Once ceremony opens a video will be posted on the blog creating an opportunity for us to meet in prayer and ceremony 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 you can bury or burn.
  • A picture of the despacho will be posted which you may print to hold your qintus and make a despacho of your own. Place 4 qintus (12 bay leaves) 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 into seeds which you plant in potted soil, a garden or somewhere on the Earth.
Once you have finished placing your prayers and intentions in whatever way calls to you, you may listen to the guided meditation Heart of Peace to deepen the sense of munay in your heart and the connection with all that is around you. The meditation lasts about 10 minutes and is wonderful to listen to before dreamtime.

The Despacho will be available and open for ceremony for 3 days starting on April 2oth, the day before the New Moon at 7:30 pm EST, until April 22nd 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.

Our ceremony is supported by the Shamans, Medicine Women, Healers and Priestessess of We the Women. It is simultaneously occurring with a Global Vigil Fire of hundreds of Shamans and Fire Keepers from around the world as they weave a new global tapestry and feed the living giving energy of the circle.

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

Join in ceremony here.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Mesas in Peru

Mesas in Peru

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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