I would like, in these days of turmoil, to offer images and ceremonies that I have received through my shamanic journey practice. Shamanic journey is an ancient way of leaving the ordinary, problem-solving mind behind and finding the deeper wisdom of the timeless non-ordinary realm. I am often surprised by the beauty, love and grace of what I experience. I hope that what I share gives you encouragement along your path.
This first ceremony came as an invitation to release what I felt needed to be forgiven in my life. In these days, I am glad to be able to return to this place to find courage to face my fears, suffering, shame and regret at my complicity in the perpetuation of prejudice and inequality within the human family.
My notes from Canyon Lands of Healing:
This journey took me to a glorious canyon of red rock, etched and textured to catch the sun. We were at the base of the canyon and there was a gathering of indigenous people around a bonfire..
There were drummers and dancers, but my focus was drawn by a woman elder, who fixed me with her eyes and invited me to a smaller circle – a mixture of people of all races. She was my partner, while there were pairings of each seeker with Elders of the People. She told me that this ceremony is available to anyone at any time. All seekers are welcome and those who have held this space and performed this ritual for eons, work beyond all time and space.
The purpose of the ceremony was to allow me to pour out my sense of shame and embarrassment – to ask for forgiveness for my failures in life. This was actually done very quickly and non-verbally. I just looked in her eyes, and she could see all that I was releasing. It was not the snapshots of memory, but the feeling states that go with them that were the outpouring. Her eyes remained calm, accepting, understanding. She did not interrupt, it was purely my process of revealing the pains of my soul to her. She was there to listen to it all – to let me pour out my whole story of myself and of my need for forgiveness. I sensed that she would have remained there with me for lifetimes if I had needed her to.
When I was at last finished – all shame, humiliation, penitence, sense of abject failure having been revealed, she invited me to sit in the circle with the other seekers who had had this same experience with their own listening Elder of the People.
Several figures came forward carrying empty wooden bowls their hands. One of them came to me and held the bowl near my heart. I watched as what I had released poured into the bowl as a thick, rich rust colored liquid. At first I thought it was blood, but I was assured that it was just the color of my sorrow/shame. As it poured from me it became a paint or pigment. The other seekers had similar experiences, with each one’s heart releasing a different colored essence: a variety of the red, rust, sienna, orange, gold and tan that are familiar in canyon lands.
Each of these figures then took their bowl of pigment, and flew to the walls of the canyon, high above our circle and began painting minute details that added to the richness and texture of the canyon walls.
We were told that what we released with shame, would add to the glorious beauty of sunrises and canyon walls and wildflowers in the ordinary world, as it did here. Our released energy was transformed back to its original creative state to become a rich gift to the worlds above and below.
Whenever I imagine myself back in that place, my wonderful Elder of the People is there to me. I look into her eyes and know that I can not lie to her, and that I will hear the truth in whatever I tell her. And then the bowls appear and the pigment emerges and the painters use my dross as luminescent paint to add another subtle touch of vibrancy to the canyon. As I face the truth of my own heart, I add beauty to the world.
This can be a journey of imagination for you any time you are ready. I wish you a blessed experience of truth and healing.