All water is sacred!
Whether it’s sacred water in the form of springs, streams, the ocean, or the rainwater that falls gently on our lands, there are some indescribable things happening around the world threatening to poison our water and potentially our lives.
I was so inspired by this beautiful film below by wild swimmer Natasha Brooks and also by the fact that it was World Water Day on 22nd March. I thought I would gather some inspiration together. I hope that this post gives you some ideas about how we can work with water in a shamanic way.
Experience the world as living energy, an exercise.
This wonderful exercise is taken from Elizabeth Jenkins Book ‘The Fourth Level’.
Experience your energy bubble, it normally extends out an arm’s length all the way round you. Experience what is outside it and then bring your awareness back into yourself. Extend your awareness towards a body of water closest to you. This could be a vast ocean, river, lake, small stream, pond or spring. If there is no body of water near you, ‘see’ in your mind’s eye the groundwater that exists almost everywhere below our feet. Perceive this water body as living energy and the most refined essence of the water, it’s ‘sami’. Enjoy this perception of the spirit of water, what does it need? Listen and see if you can send it your love and highest energies.
The Q’ero do a lot of their energy work from an energy centre just below their belly button called the Qosqo Nawi. Literally translated, this means the belly eye, or red earth eye. You can also use your Siki Nawi (Tail eye) , which is connected to the element of water. This is located in the same place as your root chakra. Either of these centres would be good to send your highest energies from. Imagine a cord or ‘seqe’ of light that goes from one of these two energy centres to the body of water in your mind’s eye or to the waters under the ground.
The Q’ero use water as a cleanser of the aura in their ceremonies and believe it’s an essentially female living energy that can be connected to and communicated with.
Water has been proven to hold an energetic imprint of any substance that it comes into contact with. The work of Masaru Emoto demonstrates that not only physical and environmental substances change water but so do our thoughts, intentions, prayers and music.
Here is a beautiful fire ceremony for the ocean with a Mayan elder in Guatamala, songs by Nalini.
Water in ‘Ayni’ or reciprocity
Sacredwatertribe.org have suggested saying that together we could hold the intention of love and gratitude while sharing Ho’oponopono prayer.
Water, I am sorry,
Water, Please forgive me,
Water, Thank you,
Water, I Love you.
Ho’oponopono is a powerful Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a powerful incantation to the water and allows one the opportunity to make right on any wrong actions, negative thoughts, or negative energy that we have created. This prayer is received by water and thus water will reflected back peace and harmony.
More ideas for a Water Ceremony coming soon!
May you walk in beauty
For all our relations
Spring Equinox prompts us to plant our dreams
What is the meaning of the Spring Equinox?
Spring Equinox signifies the union of our masculine and the feminine sides. It also reflects the balance and the meeting point of the light and dark in our lives. From the point of the Spring Equinox, daylight is increasing and a new tide of life begins anew.
This is a time that can be seen as a way through chaos and into fertile possibilities, a new way of life. Traditionally we evoked the Goddess Oestre (the Goddess of Light , taken from the word Oestrogen). She can help us through the chaos before and after the equinox.
Why celebrate the Earth Calendar Festivals?
Its important for me to honour the Earth calendar dates that relate to our natural seasons in the UK. I also practice a shamanic tradition based in the High Andes of Peru, with the Q’ero nation.
I love organising small ceremonies and gatherings with friends to mark these special breathing points of the year. They mark a time when there’s a thinning of the veils between the worlds. This is where we can regain our balance, aligning with our dreams and intentions for the year.
At this time we can tune in more easily to what the earth, the elements and the natural world are saying to us. While at this point of the earth’s evolution, I feel it’s important to slow down enough to connect with Mother Earth’s heart. When we sit quietly during meditation or ceremony, we can hear what she has to say.
Inspiring People for our own Gatherings and Ceremonies.
Glennie Kindred has helped me to shape my ideas around these eight earth calendar festivals. I also gained inspiration from the Druid path and a book called ‘Hedgewitch, a guide to Solitary Witchcraft’ by Rae Beth. Rae Beth talks of the two weeks before and after the Equinox as a time of transition , great stress and tension. She says that all the elements of life are being brought into balance, physically as day and night attain equal length.
Before we can step onto our new path , we need to let go of the old ways and let them break down!.
Decorate eggs to place on your Spring Equinox altar!
What can we do to honour the Spring Equinox?.
- Meditation : We can ‘plant’ the sacred seeds we hold within us into the outer world. This can be done by symbolically planting herbs and flowers into compost and decorated pots.
- We can decorate eggs, placing them in a willow basket on our altar. We can honour the time we have taken to incubate our ideas and plans for the coming year. State your intention as you hold your egg and pass it around your circle of friends to be blessed if you are holding a ceremony.
- Take time to bless and honour the feminine and masculine side within you through journeying to those parts, sitting with them and evoking them through ceremony.
- Get outside and feel the wind in your hair, blowing your prayers to the wind spirits for yourself, your family and friends, for the earth. Hang up a prayer flag or create your own flag for the garden.
- Make something delicious with the spring greens around, like nettle soup, here is a delicious recipe by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.
Use the air element on a windy day to send your Spring Equinox wishes and prayers to the world.
Enjoy your Spring Equinox (Monday 20th March at 10.14am, with the sun moving into Aries) whatever you may be doing !.
May you fly with beauty
For all our relations
Altar Work is an essential tool for our daily practice as a shaman to keep in ‘Ayni’ with the world. This is a Quechuan word for right relationship. An altar will help us to come back into balance with ourselves and to reach that deep point of stillness. An altar acts as a bridge between the worlds.
We use other tools for this too, including breath work, meditation and ceremony. Each tool is used to highlight and support our natural rhythms. These rhythms may feel like we are finally ‘coming home’ and seem faintly familiar. They hold a connection to our ancestors, to our lineage and help to ground us, walking softly on the earth again with beauty.
Altars are beautiful, traditional and help us to deepen our connection with our hearts and to spirit through the offering of flowers, candles and incense. Altars can be a focal point of a ceremony, or for anything we’re focussing on dreaming into being. Having an altar in our home or outside in the garden helps us to step outside of time and look at any issues in our life with perspective. It helps us to step outside of the ‘drama’ or story we may be unwittingly creating and helps us to connect to our power animals, guides and ancestors for further assistance, which we sometimes can’t hear in the day-to-day routine. There are many ways of making an altar, which follow tradition. Here, we are going to create something unique.
The picture above shows my friend Pauline Cory-Black’s yurt at Carlevaux in Brittany, France.
Please see http://www.holisticjigsaws.com/carlevaux.html for more details.
Working with an altar is a personal and deeply creative, interactive learning journey with spirit. Whilst we sit regularly at our altar, we open up a clear channel for spirit to communicate with us, it’s like saying to spirit “O.K, I’m honouring you/my ancestors with this altar work, please give me advice on this issue and help me to work with it in the most efficient way for my highest good”. Spirit will either speak to us after meditation, as we’re waking up or doing the dishes. Often, it will be a time when we’re ‘between the worlds’. It’s important that we’re open to these messages as they often weave into visions, words or sounds. As time goes on, you will become adept at discerning what is a true message and what’s a figment of your imagination. A true message will be repeated in various forms three or more times. It’s like journeying to the underworld for a message, if the message or power animal is presented to you three times or more, then that is the one for you.
After a shamanic healing session, synchronicity is often speeded up and many ‘out of the blue’ occurrences happen to guide us and show us the way forward. Any blocks to our path will have been removed, allowing positive energy to flow into our lives again. This positive flow is the universe’s way of talking to us. If we feel connected to this positive flow and imagine an even better situation as if it’s already happened, then magic arrives.
If you look around you in nature and get a sense of the expansive way that nature communicates and is connected through insects, birds, stars and the sky – you can understand that this invisible living energy has infinitely more wisdom than we could ever imagine. Using nature to help embed the healing really helps, such as connecting with trees or the ocean after a session.
This positive energy will also show us where we may need to do some work still. So, it’s important to trust that the universe has our highest interests at heart, even though it may feel particularly stormy in that present moment. An altar will act as your anchor in deep trauma and a magic carpet to help you learn to ride the waves. Remember, that energy constantly changes and shifts, nothing ever stays the same. It’s good to write at your altar, channel those words of wisdom and then reflect on them later.
Think of your altar as a two-way channel of communication, what could you do to open up that communication with spirit even further? Whereas a sand painting is an important tool for a specific issue, it uses the earth to help dissipate some of the heavy energy and bring things back into balance. An altar has a myriad of ways to be worked with, depending on your focus. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Firstly, always call in Sacred Space. Make sure that your altar is set up in a space that has been smudged with white sage or Palo Santo. Have an intention of clutter clearing or blessing and space cleansing when you are preparing the space.
Also, bear in mind that each altar will contain an element relating to the direction it’s facing in, food for the ancestors is paramount. Your guides, ancestors and lineage will enjoy looking at anything that resembles them and also feeding on the energetic essence of chocolate, cornmeal or tobacco. Tobacco, sage and cornmeal are the traditional feeding elements.
Other sacred objects that could be used are:
- Antlers can be used as antennae for messages from Spirit.
- Twigs are also useful for blowing our intention into; these can then be burnt or floated away in a release ceremony at Full or New moon when you’re ready.
- Prayer sticks – for releasing and calling in certain things.
- Khuya’s/Stones for each corner of the altar to protect you and one main stone/candle/mesa in the centre, as your main piece. Essentially, there are no rules. It’s totally up to you and the traditions you are already weaving into your practice are perfect just as they are.
- Gratitude is an important element, as well as prayer, intention and your breath.
- Candles, incense, flowers , water – depending on the element you’re honouring.
Choosing the direction of your Altar.
We can also relate an Altar to a relation who has passed over, or a specific chakra we need to strengthen.
Right Hand Side : Don Augustine, 2009, Peru.
In my tradition, South (Serpent, Sachamama) would be about rebirth, death, release or shedding a skin and bringing in something new, also clearing any issues connecting to the earth element, community and family. South would also be relevant for issues concerning innocence, the inner child, beauty and truth. The South is very protective and nurturing, imagining caves, mountains, supporting roots and trees. Sachamama helps our relationship with Mother Earth and the elementals, the nature spirits.
Rainbow serpent would be here.
Colours: Earthy – black, brown, green.
Materials: snakeskin, snake totems, stones, sand, earth
West (Jaguar, Ottorongo) Element: water.
This would be an altar facing west to face any fears of letting go, any mulching of heavy energy to be done before it’s released and shadow work, this is where emotional work is done and includes memory, love, the unconscious and improving flow in your life.
Courage, passion and sexuality are here. It is here that we work on integrity, purifying our intention. We can grow compassion for ourselves here whilst we go through this process.
Colours: Blues, turquoise
Materials: Archetype stones: Jaguar, Khuyas (stones imbued with your love and compassion) shells, water. Clear quartz to cleanse heavy energy on yourself or your altar and consider finding yourself a tracking stone, which will enable Jaguar to help you to the heart of the issue you’re working with). Our Mesas have red, yellow or black stones associated with the west direction.
North: Ancestors and Hummingbird. (Sere Kinti). Element: Air – Solar Plexus
This would help us to step out of time. This is a good direction for honouring and developing a relationship with your lineage, your heritage, and your ancestors. If you want to call in more creativity, inspiration, love, fun and nectar into your life than you can call on hummingbird to help you do that. If you want help with being more present, then this is the right direction for you.
North is connected to air, communication, and timelessness and following our soul’s calling across thousands of miles. This would also be where you can get advice about developing your talents and skills.
Materials: Archetype stones: Humming Bird, Khuyas (stones imbued with your love and compassion or connection with your ancestors), feathers, iridescent materials that represent Hummingbird.
East : Eagle (Apu Condor) – fire, spirit – Heart.
This is about new beginnings, vision, and trust. This is about listening to the steps you need to take that will carry you towards your highest destiny.
This is about connecting to others through the heart, about working with Munay for the good of the collective.
This direction connects us to universal love, unconditional love, and the source, following your bliss.
Materials: anything that connects you to your heart – feathers.
Have fun, the Q’ero have a word “puqllay” which means sacred play. You can be as playful as a child whilst creating your altar and be open to the results.
The twelve sacred apukuna of Cusco are:
Ausangate, Salkantay, Mama Simona, Pikol, Manuel Pinta, Wanakauri, Pachatusan, Pijchu, Saqsaywaman, Wiraqochan, Pukin, and Senq’a. Other Apus are Akamari, Illampu, Lady of Illimani, Machu Picchu, Pitusiray, Putu Cusi, Tunupa, Wakac Willka, Wayna Picchu, and Yanantin.
For all our relations : Ali Rabjohns 2017.
I met Nancy three years ago on a shamanic course near Guildford after a series of synchronicities I could no longer ignore . Whilst teaching, Nancy’s effortless grace in shifting between the worlds and the creativity shared during her sessions made the whole learning experience very powerful for me. I went on to complete the Moving Mandala training. The next Moving Mandala course will be in August near Lewes, East Sussex. Scroll down for more details. I respect Nancy’s openness and vulnerability to be guided by Great Spirit at all times, making sure we were on track as a group and individually.
Here is a short interview, specifically around the Moving Mandala and her life’s work.
What brought you to walk a shamanic path and work with the Moving Mandala?
This shamanic direction came from three fates finding me, to change my life. An energy shift, a shamanic initiation, offered me a chance to connect deeply with our ancestors, to root me in the earth. As you know in hindsight many things point down the path, in my case a creative and seeking spirit, and the love of outdoors.
After several years of doing my own mandala practice I went to India to receive the Kalachakra, another mandala, in a location where the teachings originated through Shakymuni Buddha. I have also been deeply committed to Native American practices. One of the teachers spoke in the lodge one day, reflecting that he didn’t see a spiritual materialist and wannabe, he saw a person who had to go around the whole wheel in this lifetime and take the essence of that journey for the benefit of myself and all our relations.
How do you integrate your own creativity with your shamanic path?
In the early 90’s I created a portable labyrinth cloth, one with the chakra colours and astrological symbols that could be used in a flat, taken to a park, etc. After it was in a women’s fibre show I took it to Findhorn and donated it to the Children’s Dept., because I had noticed during that show that they instinctively gravitated toward it; the channels were quilted to make “paths” and my mother enjoyed sewing it with me, so it had lots of female energy in it.
When I go into a situation to seek in a shamanic way, I need to empty my mind in order to let the answers come; the form in which they come may look like dancing, singing, chanting, mudras, felt shifts, and I receive sense impressions, words, and images as well. Often after the journey I may write or draw, but the time spent in the timeless realm is where the energy is shifted from whatever I brought in with me, and was attached to, to releasing it and allowing something fresh to enter the space. I have had to learn to trust that it is whatever is needed at the time. This affects myself but my client and/or large gatherings of people who come together to re-balance and heal. I am using healing and re-balancing interchangeably.
What is The Moving Mandala and how has it helped you?
The Moving Mandala is only one way to train but it is a good way. That is, when we co-ordinate our intention to join that cosmic template with the earth’s seasons, place of power and human energy centres, beneficial results have come about for many, many people, in different settings and continents.
The mandala in Sanskrit means circle. It is a sacred cosmic architecture which when entered, allows us to bring that sense of Oneness and wholeness to the earth. The Moving Mandala uses the sacred geometry of a 12-point mandala for an energetic container, having 4 cardinal directions within the 12, and thirteenth point in the centre. The body’s chakras, right up to the archetypal level, hold the potential for us to shift energy as light beings. Because we are energy beings, we get primed to very high vibrations of light again when we enter a circle where intention to heal is being held. That is why the mandala form is useful for letting the interconnectedness and wholeness of our being come into consciousness.
How does the Moving Mandala help in the community?
The resource of the Mandala Dance in the community has been to create opportunity to gather and direct energy for the greater good; the course itself people say is life changing and I know the truth of that, so end up saying it supports change in all of us
The Mandala Dance itself is where time and the timeless meet, where when we forget to be self-conscious and join the collective energy of the moment. With trained people, the Mandala Dance, which is a form of journeying, can bring a whole community to another level of awareness together. The courses I have been teaching in the last decade or so have made the mandala principles accessible to people who might not be familiar with it and who are on the shamanic path.
Focused community experiences are necessary to build the kind of strength and courage that we need in this century. When we leave the Mandala Dance, we are more aligned within light, in soul and body, and with all those in the energy field within which we participate. An extension of the actual mandala journey is the mandala of our individual lives and the mandala of our shamanic community.
For all Our Relations . Nancy Dancing Light and Ali Rabjohns.
‘Who will have the courage in twenty-five years time to tell their children, “Yes – we could have solved this problem, but it was too expensive?” Herman Scheer
On Sunday I was invited to view a film called R-evolution the movie, It was 65 minutes long.
It was a bold, upsetting and encouraging film, aimed specifically towards building bridges with the western business world. The intention of the maker was to inform and share possible ways forward through the sometimes chaotic situations we find ourselves in the community.
Highlights were for me a portrayal of the ‘Values’ education system in Australia. Schools under this umbrella teach the children words like ‘integrity’ (it’s when people do the right thing, even when no one is watching). Also Egypt and how they coped during the last revolution by coming together as a nation in the streets.
I question whether a busy corporate executive would find the time to watch this the whole way through and I hope smaller bite sized chunks will be edited for easier consumption.
Please watch it.