Ceremony and Ritual

Written by Sherrie Locke on 1 T’zi (Dog), June 2014

 

A ritual is a series of actions in a religious or spiritual ceremony, but can also be any procedure that is followed on a regular basis. A ceremony is usually a ritual with spiritual or religious intent, and is devotional in nature.

Shaman Performing Ceremony

 

People perform many rituals on a daily basis, from your morning ritual to the things you do the same general way, every time whenever possible. For women, it may also be beauty and personal care. The examples are endless. These are rituals.

You can, on a daily basis, also add other rituals that benefit not only your physical body and environment, but which also open you up to expansion in other realms, help and assistance from ancestors, communication with your higher self and connection with all things. Special ceremonies have been performed for aeons to mark special events, dates, seasonal beginnings, births, deaths and myriad purposes in between.

For special events, you can choose to gather special foods, flowers or things related to what you are doing. They may be for healing, such as in a plant ceremony, or a rite of passage of some sort, which is lacking in most Western cultures. We from indigenous heritage find these rites of passage very useful. They let you know you current responsibilities in the tribe or family unit.

In Tewa culture, there is never a family slot unfilled. When a grandmother passes, one of the mothers (usually the eldest) becomes the grandmother and the eldest daughter then becomes the mother. So there is always someone to speak to regarding things you would ask Grandmother, Grandfather, Mother, Father, Aunt or Uncle. For instance an Aunt or Uncle would be consulted if the subject were an inappropriate question to ask a parent or grandparent.

This also puts the family in a mindful state, which produces the proper guidance for the one who seeks it. So in each family and tribal unit, there is a resource available to be tapped and utilized. My cousins and I used to laugh and say the tribe was in trouble when become the elders. Well, we have matured and have built on what we were taught as children, with the added wisdom of what we had to overcome in our generation. We are the extension of our family and tribe. Our life is also our resource. Now we are prepared. If this was practiced more in today’s society we wouldn’t be in the state we are currently in.

We do ceremony to remember. We do ritual to transform and strengthen ourselves.

Aho! Mitakuye Oyasin! ~SL 2014

Sacred Substances and Medicinal Plants

Written by Sherrie Locke on 12 Wind, May 2014

Sacred substances and medicinal plants are not for everyone. If you are drawn to them, be sure and check yourself as to your state of character, intention and purpose for such experiences before embarking on the journey.

Sacred Substances and Medicinal Plants

First find a traditional shaman with reputable training and a broad knowledge base. Stay away from hippie encampments and deadheads in general, who will not serve any fruitful purpose.

Always use mind-altering plant substances in a controlled (in field) environment.

Know your intent and purpose. Are you…

Breaking free of an addiction or toxic relationship?

Healing an illness?

Correcting an emotional or mental issue?

Seeking enlightenment or illumination?

Are you stable?

These substances are not for recreation, fun or partying. Never.

As many of you who have experienced this type of transformation will attest to… it’s likely not going to be fun, or comfortable. Enlightening yes, gentle no (you may throw up repeatedly as you let go of density, you may even crap your pants, depending on which sacred substance is involved).

Countless substances have been used by traditional shamans all around the world for thousands of years. Deities are connected to these medicinal plants, sometimes more than one. When you are called to have this experience, the proper shaman and medicine will appear. It is your choice if you go through this portal.

Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca

I have had many experiences with traditional plant medicines, not all of them are mind-altering like DMT, ayahuasca (recommended for healing), peyote, mescaline or LSD. Ecstasy, for instance, was created in a lab for couples therapy and was originally meant to be used in a clinical environment. The challenge that lies within “X” is that it blows out all your natural cerotonin in one blast, so you will take a bit longer to recover and a mild to moderate depression may occur in the aftermath of such clinically derived substances. Street versions are never ok to experiment with.

If you are called to this type of experience, I suggest you stick with the ancient guided ceremonies performed by people with extensive experience in these realms. I have seen quite a few cases of people who did not have a good experience as a result of “playing” with things, hooking up with a disreputable person or a dubious group of pseudo shamans or a “leader” who really knows nothing, not even how to hold space OR facilitate a ceremony. Not only is this not helpful but, it can also be dangerous. So be mindful and do your research.

Some good guidelines if you are interested in looking into the world of plant medicines:

Have an intention.

Ask for the plant(s) to be gentle with you.

Fast, smudge and get rid of as much of your shit as possible before you enter the circle.

Make sure the people in your group know how to hold space and that they will do it. Your circle is only as strong as its weakest link (person).

Do not allow unstable personalities in your group.

Beforehand, discuss the intended goal and intended results.

Have items on hand to enhance the experience (usually the shaman will have these items and lead the group on a journey with them). These may include drums, rattles, medicine songs, sage, tobacco and other herbs or flowers and waters of all kinds.

These sessions do not begin and end in one five-fifteen hour session, the effects are still tweaking you for about 30-40 days afterwards.

In the case of treating long term alcohol or drug abuse, the treatments can stretch into a lengthy process, many times requiring a stay in the jungle for the duration of the process, a few weeks minimum.

Visions and Hallucinations from Sacred Subustances like Ayahuasca and DMT

Native American Church (the official peyote church) states you will do, at minimum, seven ceremonies before you meet Mescalito, the deity of the plant.

Other plant deities are more prolific, sometimes showing themselves to people who simply have the medicine in their space. So be conscious!

Also, please be aware that these substances are illegal in most developed countries. So you might want to include a journey to the source country, where such substances are legal and even acceptable practice.

I do not advocate the use of drugs nor suggest the usage of plant medicines to people who are in judgement or who lack an understanding of the world of plant medicines. But if this is an area of interest to you or a loved one for healing and transcendence, I highly recommend you do further research on the subject.

Remember, be open, be safe and stick with traditional methods.

Expand your consciousness, heal, get in touch with what is real.

Yours truly in honor and reverence,

SL 2014