Ceremony of Life
Hello beloved sisters,
We would like to share with you some words on the workshop we held during the retreat so you would have some information in written form to assist you in your integration process. We have found that the deepest transformation in our life takes place in the everyday living the healing, teachings and understandings that come through working with the plant medicines.
These are some tools we’ve found to support us on our journey.
Creating Sacred Space for Yourself: Give yourself time each day to sit in prayer and meditation in front of your altar (see guidelines below). Create your sacred space with the support of plant medicines by burning white sage, copal, palo santo or other plants you feel called to work with. Do a body scan, check in with your energy levels, sit in silence observing your thoughts, feelings allowing them to pass. Use sweet lotion (you can order aqua florida-flower water (amarillo) from www.shamansmarket.com and add a few drops the blend Adriana customized for you), essential oils, herbal tinctures, and tea to support you in balancing your energy. Let the plants teach you, which would be most supportive to you.
Write your prayers or journal. It is good to have this time set aside to check in with yourself before you start your day as well as at the end of the day, either when you come home from work or before bed. Allow this time for yourself to come into alignment with your prayer as you walk through your daily life.
Guidelines for creating an altar: Your altar is simply a physical representation (and reminder) of your prayers. Choose items that represent different aspects of the prayers you hold close to your heart. I also like to have pictures of teachers, angel spirits I feel connected to in supporting me on my path (eg. Jesus and Mother Mary, Saraswati, Kali, etc…) It is good to have a representation of each of the elements on your altar; Fire (eg. candle, light), Air (eg. all around, feathers), Earth (eg. crystals, flowers, earth, plant medicines), Water (eg. container of water to represent the new spring of freshwater we drink from each day, open bowl with flowers). There is no right and wrong, this is a practice and prayer for you and your life and will be as unique and individual as you, have fun with it!
Reminder on Sweet Baths: I also just wanted to emphasize how supportive sweet baths are in the integration process. Simply simmer sweet herbs; fresh basil, rosemary, mint, chamomile on the stove as you would a tea. After you shower dry yourself off and rub sweet bath on your body with prayer and intention. If you have some left over put it in a glass container in the fridge and it can last a few days, you will smell when it is off and time to start a new batch. This tour I was really on top of doing the sweet baths everyday and found that it supported me tremendously!
Adorning yourself as an Altar: As you get dressed and ready for each day remember that how you care for your body, the decoration you use can be a prayer and a reminder of what is important to you in your life.
Working with the Elements in daily life: As women, innate carriers of the water, it is important that we pay attention to our relationship in daily life with the water. The waters of the earth are asking deeply that we tune in with her spirit, and like this we begin to purify the earth's waters as well as our own internal oceans. Take time to pray with your water as you drink, giving thanks and taking a moment to ask for purification. It is nice to have a non-plastic container that you use daily for your water as you build a relationship with this element that is giving you life. Also tune into your water consumption and notice where you can conserve more as you connect more deeply to the water's needs.
We can work with the fire element in day-to-day life most easily while cooking or building a fire to keep warm if you live in a colder climate. It is always nice to ask permission before you start a fire of any kind - like this we are giving honor to this powerful force of purification. Another beautiful way to work with fire is by burning herbs - in this way you begin to work with the fire with intention to purify, to uplift, to calm, or to do whatever the properties your particular herb of choice carries. If you are starting a fire in a fire place or fire pit, a good way to begin is to give some tobacco to the wood before you start the fire to plant your prayer and intention.
Breathing exercises, meditative breathing, or pranayama are beautiful ways to shed light on the element of air in your daily life. This can be a formal practice of pranayama, or it can be as simple as pausing throughout the day to notice and observe the breath. When we do this we are connecting to our first breath of life, the "sopla de vida" that creator gave us when we entered the world. This can be a simple yet powerful practice to amplify the life force energy. Take time every day to be with the earth. Speak to her, share where you're at... and listen closely, because she will answer and share with you too.
Sitting at the base of a tree is a beautiful way to connect with the spirits of nature. You can place your hands or bare feet on the earth and feel the vibration of the earth mother. The raw earth is the best place to go when you are in need of support, as she will always hold you. This practice of tuning into the earth's vibration wherever you are is grounding, entering, and will allow you to more deeply connect with the plant spirits of nature that are always there guiding and supporting you.
Love Yara & Maji