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A Spirit journey led to a circle of dolphins.

A ceremony to ascend in JOY manifested in form.

The new moon is a time I often create despachos. Traditionally the prayers of a despacho are blown into cocoa leaves, placed with offerings in wrapping paper then tied up like a gift and burned in a ceremonial fire. During the new moon of July I had plans to be on a wild dolphin retreat in Bimini so it was there a despacho would be created.

Spirit had a bigger vision. During our first meeting over lunch I learned that sacred lodge sister Carla Goddard was going to be on the west coast at the same time I would be at the Atlantic. The Ascension to Joy ceremony was born.

Rather than create a traditional despacho in wrapping paper I was inspired to use the natural elements of Bimini to create a despacho in sand. Instead of fire, water would be the element to which our despacho would return washed clean by the tides.

Hundreds of souls joined with prayers and intentions carried to each coast. A finger sponge to the Atlantic, a prayer stick to the Pacific. Other than the sponge, very little went with me to Bimini for our despacho trusting that what I needed would be there. I did however take a bag of Himalayan salt crystals, organic cocoa nibs and gold and silver resin.

View from our Despacho

Bimini abounds in beauty. Grand and gorgeous conch shells are everywhere. Coconuts, with their sweet nectar purified by traveling through palm trees are abundant. These elements were integral to ceremony here.

Finger Sponge in Heart of Despacho

Finger Sponge in Heart of Despacho

Prayers in the finger sponge sat at the heart of our despacho in a coconut shell anchored in a natural sponge from Bimini. These sponges were fed with coconut water nourishing our prayers in pure, sweet nectar.

A piece of coral found the first day reminded me of an antennae and was added to the sponge to amplify the signals of our intentions to the Universe.

Himalayan salt crystals were placed in a counterclockwise direction around the center of our despacho to cleanse and unwind from our systems all that blocks the flow of joy. Offerings of cocoa honor the lineage of this ceremony. Silver and gold resin honor the flow of the sacred masculine and feminine and link our prayers to both Pachamama and Inti Ti Ti, Earth and Sun.

A Spirit song came through as I circled and sang around the center of our despacho in a clockwise direction with the intention of building the energy of JOY. A small well was created to which native flowers were added for beauty.

Blowing prayers into Conch Shell

Blowing prayers into Conch Shell

Eleven of us were on retreat and each was represented by a conch shell that surrounded the perimeter of our despacho. Personal and collective prayers were blown into the shells. I am not a numerologist but the number 11 feels significant as the number 1 reflects oneness, amplified by its repetition in the number 11. Eleven holds us in Unity consciousness where all hearts meet as ONE.

Coconut Love

Coconut Love

Two coconuts were placed at the North end (top) of despacho to feed our prayers from the highest realms and honor our ancestors, our intentions awash in the abundance and nourishment of the bountiful coconuts. The bark of palm trees connected both sides of our despacho ending in a spiral of shells guiding our prayers to the ocean.

The wild and free dolphins of Bimini blessed us profoundly and their sacred medicine of joy, playfulness, community, touch, sensuality, pleasure, telepathy and communication weave deeply into our ceremony. We were graced with two pods of dolphins that swam with us for an hour before our despacho was created. They teach us how to live in two worlds as they dwell in both the world of air and water.

The tides washed clean all elements of our despacho. All that remained were the 11 conch shells. Each of us now carries this shell as a reminder of the magic of our time in Bimini. A sacred object gifted by Spirit for meditation, healing, prayer and JOY.

Tides washed clean our Despacho

Tides washed clean our Despacho

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings know JOY.
May all beings be held in love.
May all beings,
everywhere,
be free.

AHO my friends!

Watch on full screen by clicking arrows
at bottom right corner of video.

Visit Joe Noonan to find out more about wild dolphin retreats
in Bimini and Hawaii.

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It began with a journey.

Swimming away from the shore. From all that I know. Finding respite. A small island of sand to sit and rest. Swimming around me a circle of dolphins. Held in unwavering joy.

A spirit journey manifested in form. Beyond the realms of what I could have imagined for myself.

A ceremony arose. Ascension to JOY.

I left New York, my home since birth, swimming away from the shore and all that I know. I met Carla Goddard for the first time in Florida. The place I landed, a respite of sand. A sacred lodge of women arose in the ethers. What existed online has began to take form.

From our first meeting over lunch a ceremony was born. She carrying a prayer stick to the Pacific. I carrying a finger sponge to Bimini.

We were on opposite coasts at the same time. Monday afternoon we would join in ceremony. She at the Pacific. I at the Atlantic.

On Monday I headed out to the deep waters of the Atlantic with my two sisters, our six kids (ranging in age from 5 to 20), Joe Noonan the dolphin whisperer, his son Mark and our captain Kevin and first mate and wife Candy. Our intent was to find dolphins.

Four hours later still no sign on one of the calmest days ever on the ocean. We had all let go of the expectation of finding dolphins that day. We headed back in. I had a despacho to create to join with Carla in ceremony on the Pacific.

And then we heard the word.

Dolphins.

A few hundred feet out a fin above the water. Now?

In moments, the energy that had waned as our boat trip seemed to near its end surged.

We were surrounded by dolphins. Held in unwavering joy.

This was the ceremony.

We were blessed that day to swim with two pods of dolphins, often swimming with as many as 15 to 20 at a time. They stayed with us for an hour. Time eternal in underwater bliss.

We were graced to enter this world for a moment in time. It is difficult to capture in words the power, the beauty and the awe of this experience. I offer this video so you may share in the divine grace for these magnificent beings joined us at this time of ceremony. To ascend in JOY. We could hear their sounds, their echolocations. Downloading frequencies of mystery.

Thank you to the hundreds of souls who joined us in ceremony this past week. Your prayers were heard.

This is your ceremony too.

I invite you to view on full screen by clicking the icon in the lower right hand corner of the video.

AHO my friends! AHO!

To find out more about wild dolphin retreats visit Joe Noonan.

And a final note…more to come on despacho so stay tuned!

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Photo by Joe Noonan

Photo by Joe Noonan

On a recent journey a small island of sand offers respite as a circle of dolphins swim steadily around me. Nearly every day since images of dolphins appear…on facebook, in emails, on the T-shirts of strangers. An invitation arrives from a friend to take retreat. A retreat in open waters swimming with dolphins. No surprise. Dolphins are calling.

Animals carry certain qualitiies or what I often refer to as medicine. As humans we have much to learn from animal messengers if we are willing to pay attention and listen.

Dolphins live in a state of unwavering joy. Just as people with heavy energy can pull us down or inspiring people can lift us up, meeting a dolphin can elevate us to a state of their vibrational frequency. Their medicine of unwavering joy is energetically transmitted.

Ultimately we want to anchor our own heart in joy so we are not dragged down by someone’s negativity or need someone else to be uplifted. We become the dolphin. An anchor that can hold the space for others to rise to their own state of unwavering joy.

As I plan my meeting with dolphins this summer this wisdom on Animal Totems was posted by Sacred Lodge Sister Mechelle Morgan Flowers, nearly hidden away as a comment on facebook. This medicine was just too good to miss so with her permission I share this here so you too may heed the call of the animal messenger that is calling you.

ANIMAL TOTEMS

An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward.

You can have several animal guides through out your life. Sometimes an animal guide will come into your life for a short period of time, and then be replaced by another depending on the journey or direction you are headed toward. Your guide will instruct and protect you as you learn how to navigate through your spiritual and physical life. When you find an animal that speaks strongly to you or feel you must draw more deeply into your life, you might fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know it’s welcome in your space. Animal guides can help you get back to your Earthly roots, and reconnect with nature by reminding you that we are all interconnected. To first do this you need to know what your Animal Totem is.

If You Don’t Know…

If you don’t know what your Animal Totem is there are several questions you can ask yourself. All of the questions below are designed to get you thinking about a prominent animal in your life. There are no right or wrong answers. Only you can truly know which Animal Totem(s) are right for your journey.

α. Since we are drawn to that which resonates with us, what animal, bird, or insect are you drawn to?

β. When you go to the park, forest, or zoo what animal are you most interested in seeing?

γ. What animal do you most frequently see when you’re out in nature or in the city?

δ. What animals are you currently interested in learning about?

ε. Which animal do you find most frightening or intriguing?

ζ. Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?

η. Is there a recurring animal in your dreams or do you have one you have never forgotten?

Still Uncertain?

If you are still uncertain which animal is your totem, here a few exercises you can do to come closer to the answer. You must not try to force the animal to come, it can pick up on that energy and be put off. Being patient and doing the following exercises will draw your animal totem to you.

α. Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your world? If you’re unsure, make a list of animals that have drawn your interest or have left a deep impression on you from paintings, photographs, stories, movies, carvings, etc.

β. Which animal shows up in your life most frequently? Keep a journal of the animals present in your dreams or that you encounter through the day for the next month. How did the animal behave? Did you interact with the animal?

γ. Find a place where you can be alone to meditate. Sit quietly and ask your animal to make it’s nature known to you. Feel free to use tools such as incense, smudge, and candles to help you.

δ. Don’t give up, sometimes your animal totem is nearby watching to see if you’re serious about connecting with it. Keep doing the above exercises until your animal totem makes itself known to you.

What animal messengers are calling you?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
www.karenchrappa.com

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Our hearts natural resting place is one of unconditional love or what shamans call Munay. When we are in conflict with someone or create a position against someone a knot is created in our own heart. This knot energetically pinches the flow of love through our heart. Knots of anger, hatred, bitterness, pride, envy, superiority, arrogance, contempt, judgment or whatever is knotting up our heart is what ripples into the world. We become the perpetrators of what we are fighting against meeting anger with anger or hate with hate. The external conflict that we believe to be the fault of someone else is living somewhere within our own heart.

I discovered one such knot. Tightly woven against my mother.

As I journey into the waters of my life I am swimming in a vast open sea, moving further and further away from the shore in a series of steady, deliberate strokes. An island of sand with a single palm tree appears ahead. It offers respite. A place to pause. As I sit, dolphins appear swimming in playful circles around this small island.

This journey is a reflection of my life as I am moving further into the unknown. One such reflection of this journey is a literal move. From New York to Florida. Further and further away from the shore. I was born in New York City. I have never lived more than 50 miles from its hub. Over the past few months I have been traveling south, exploring new landscapes along the Gulf Coast. Slow and deliberate strokes.

On my last visit my mother invited me to stay with her until I find a place of my own. She extends her hand. A small island offering respite.

It has been many decades since I have lived with my mother. And I do not remember setting an intention to live with her again. Although the years have brought much healing and reconciliation to the relationship with my mother, a part of my heart has kept its distance. Holding a posture of I do not need you. My heart locked in pride and arrogance.

But now a hand is reaching out to me. And I humbly meet it with a hand of my own. As my knot unravels I see the harm my knot has perpetuated. The pain of separation this throne of arrogance has wreaked. My only action is to bow in humility for keeping my mother at a distance. For in rejecting the heart of my mother, I reject a part of every woman I know. The hearts of my sisters, my daughters and even my own.

As my heart unlocks a channel opens. A flow of love and light is felt. My heart rests in its natural state of Munay, unconditional love. Our relationship has drifted into unknown waters. How this may shape itself I do not know.

In the uncertainty of my life as I know it I am surrounded by dolphins. They are my lifeline, holding me in an unwavering circle of joy. My heart is uplifted in a desire for playfulness.

I am swimming in unknown waters. Moving further and further away from the shore.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
www.karenchrappa.com

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