The intention of this ritual is to bring the individual, the community into a place of harmony, union and balance with the natural world. Each ingredient is given breath, prayers and the ritual becomes a living prayer.
Celia Blackwood , who worked with skilled Shamans in Peru describes some of the medicinal herbs used in the ceremony. Sugar and various sweets bring sweetness and love to the prayers. Corn and other grains are used to nourish participants and the Pachamama- the Earth. It is then offered to a ceremonial fire, to sacred waters or buried in the earth. Try this simple ritual for setting new intentions and shedding old ways of being.
This is effective when you feel imbalanced in your emotional, physical, and emotional body. Find a quiet place inside or in nature where you can be comfortable. Begin to calm your body with deep breaths and bring awareness to your intention for your ritual. Peace, love, balance, letting go.
The Shamanic Journey
Smudge yourself with sage or palo santo for purifying your whole self by fanning the smoke over the front and back body and over your altar. Sit in meditation for some time again to connect with your breath and your soft receptive nature. Notice parts within you that may need to be released. This could be in your physical body, in your emotions or in your mind.
What no longer serves you in your life? Write on a single piece of paper all the things that no longer serve you in your life and what you are ready and willing to let go of. Then roll up the paper and wrap it with string. Blow your pure intentions of letting these things go 3 times into your rolled-up paper and place on your altar.
Recounts of the Healing Benefits of Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
Sit again in meditation honoring your whole, connected and vibrant self. Take time to imagine or see yourself living this invitation.
Write on the other paper what you are now inviting into your life. Using I am and I statements are powerful. Blow 3 long slow breaths into your invitations and place on your altar. Sit once again in silence and observe how you feel, any sensation or images that come to you know. Stay soft, open and receptive. If you have access to a fire you can burn your spirit arrows, if not, feel free to release them in any way that feels right. Close up your sacred space by honoring the 4 directions, Mother Earth and the stars, sun, and moon. It may feel right to honor your ancestors, spirit guides , family and teachers; consider speaking your thanks aloud.
Thank your self for being the open luminous vessel of light and love that you are. Journal about your ritual if you are inspired or share your experience with a friend or loved one. A ritual has a beginning, a middle and an end. It gives us creative power to follow our intuition and to open our vision to be in alignment with our communities, the earth and ourselves. Inside the heart of shamanic ritual lives pure presence, creativity, connection, and harmony.
When created and practiced in wholeness and goodness towards all beings, we can lead the way for transformation on many levels. Inspired by her studies in Shamanism, Mara Branscombe has been teaching yoga for over a decade. Her classes combine challenging and awakening energy through unique sequencing, articulate asana, grounding meditation, and enlivening pranayama practice.