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Archive for July, 2013

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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According to National Geographic, Savannah is one of the 100 Most Beautiful Places on Earth. Being an unfamiliar visitor here this was news to me.

As I prepare for a despacho ceremony on Saturday I am discovering why Savannah made the list. Driving Don Black Feather to work one morning, a little bridge over water caught my eye. A desire to be with Mama Cocha and become more intimate with the land here called from my soul.

I first took part in this water ceremony in Peru with master healer and shaman Don Hilario at Lago Huaypo (pronounced why-po) for visioning bigger than we ever had before. Working with water can also bring balance to our emotional body. Cleansing and purification are also properties of water. My intention was a bit of all three.

I share with you this water ritual not so much as a recipe to follow but as food for the soul should you feel called to the water.

Before returning to the river I found a pot of white daisies at the supermarket to hold prayers for purification. Colored sugar and candy confetti were in the baking aisle. A package of M&M’s at the register completed my purchase. As I searched for a spot along this little river the most perfect space for ceremony appeared.

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Naked challah bread would hold the prayer offerings.

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Praying with my mesa and drumming to the Earth Mother Prayer Song connected me more deeply to the land. (click on the song for an audio link) Prayers blown into white daisies were placed in challah. The rest were planted in the Earth as an offering.

May our hearts be washed clean of all sorrows.
May our thoughts and mind run pure so human mind aligns with divine mind.
May our will and thy will be one.
May all waters flow clean and clear, within us, around us and all the world over.
May all souls live in the divine flow of love and light.
May all hearts be free.
May we learn to honor and respect spiritual laws and the laws of Nature.
Teach us Pachamama to be your stewards and caretakers.
Help us remember we are your sons and daughters.
Help us to live in right relationship, peace and harmony
with you Beloved Mother and with all your relations.

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Honey was drizzeled over the offering to add sweetness to our prayers.

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Gold and silver sugars balance the sacred masculine and feminine energies and connect our luminous bodies to the divine threads of gold and silver light. Colored candies were added for celebration and chocolate to honor the lineage in Peru.

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Offered to Mama Cocha.

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Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you Blessed Mother for your waters so we do not die of thirst.
Thank you for sustaining all life with the sacred element of water.
Thank you Creator for giving us everything we need so we may live, love and serve.

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The Feathered Pipe glow post ceremony with Heidi Bixler

We prayed our way to the meadow as shamans of the high Andes; blowing our prayers into aspen leaves at Feathered Pipe Ranch in Montana. Sitting in silence with Pachamama we waited for her wisdom to speak through us. An echo sparked a spontaneous toning, our voices reverberating with Creation.

The echo amplified throughout our week at Empowerment Camp. Drumming and rattling at every ceremony awakened each voice to discover sounds never before heard.

Our last day was full in ceremony. My morning began picking baby aspen leaves that had fallen in the labyrinth for our despacho later that afternoon. I brought them into the lodge where Tracey St. John was practicing yoga. I pulled out my sheepskin and joined her in silence. Each of us following our unique rhythm of breath, waking energy with moving muscles and vibrating sounds.

As Tracey finished I listened in awe as this lullaby to the Mother was birthed. A flow of grace moved through her that morning as a gift to the world. This song opened our Despacho ceremony that day and I have not stopped singing it since.

May this song be shared, especially with our Earth Mother.

She loves it when we sing to her.

EARTH MOTHER PRAYER SONG
(Click on the link above to listen to the song)

Dear Earth Mother come to me
Allow me in thy prayers.
May this moment speak to me.
Allow me to prepare.
Come Dear Mother be with me,
The sweat that we partake.
All who enter in your womb
Seek within your grace.
BLESSED MOTHER
Hold this Earth,
The mountains at your feet.
The lake behind us sources us,
The trees keep company.
In this mix may we partake
And taste of your sweet space.
Divinity will come through us,
Today we can embrace.
See as far as you see,
Hear as far as you hear.
Be as far as we can hold
And laugh and sweat and eat.

Birthed June 20, 2013 by Tracey St. John during the Empowerment Camp at Feathered Pipe Ranch

Recorded at The Creative Arts Studio with my soul sisters of Sea Cliff…
Stefanie Lipsey
Tracy Warzer
Lorraine Aguilar
Aimee Schiff

And a huge thank you to Abhita Austin of Hidden Chapel Studios who did a magical sound edit job with a recording from my iphone!

Karen Chrappa

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