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

Preparing Space for Divination or Healing

By Sherrie Locke, 8 Kej, February 2014

I am a stickler for “preparing space,” it is the single most important aspect of doing a good reading, a good and productive healing session or anything “meta”-physical. It is the key to things going well or according to the intended plan.

The first thing to do is make sure the space, area or site you are working on or with is cleaned. This means smudging the space, setting an intention, opening a work space, holding that space, and when you are finished, closing that held space and giving thanks to those plants and beings who help in the whole operation.

I have witnessed many a healer/reader with no sense of “boundaries” or space and who are often not even clear on the intention. This will not do! Not only must the facilitator be conscious of these parameters, but they must also be clear with the client so that the intentions for the sessions match.
This is the beginning of a successful interaction for all parties.
The next thing to do is be conscious of your level of understanding and knowledge, first of the intended modality you plan to use, and then and most important, is the knowledge and understanding of the place or location you are working in.

I am also a stickler about not bringing in a tradition that has nothing to do with the area, region or culture on which whose land you stand. So be conscious and reverent, because the spirits of that very place are helping you by interacting with all that is being done there.

As I have said many times before, you are can’t fight a Sumerian demon with a few Christian prayers and by throwing some white light at it (or holy water for that matter). You will wind up dead, only to come back and figure it out next go around. Possibly with collateral damage.

So be aware of your limits and realms of knowledge. If you think something is out of your league, then it probably is and you should call for assistance or just step away. Or keep the session within your realm of expertise. Believe me, I have had to clean these things up many times for others (another specialty in my “tool kit”). That is, if there were any survivors to counsel and they could make it to me.

There are many ways to create space and to hold that space, I will elaborate in a future category of “Working Rituals.” In the meantime, be mindful, conscious and intentional in all you do, for this will serve you well and your interactions even better!