“The world has changed. We appear to be at the deepest darkness of the end of an Age, and not yet at the dawn of the new one. It’s a time to go within and awaken your inner shaman.” – Dr. Alberto Villoldo
These are unprecedented and ever-complex times we are living in. There is grief, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, fear, uncertainty, and more. And yet simultaneously, there is beauty, new life, new opportunities, change, and more; running the gamut of so many varying emotions and landscapes. Calling on us to hold the spectrum of these deepest human experiences — asking us to process, in many times, all of these at once Holding all of these concurrently, and staying open to all possibilities while navigating these uncharted waters.
It can be confusing, and overwhelming, to say the least. To this end, it is a beautiful time to lean into our spiritual practices, calling on our inner most selves and all of our tools — to apply all that we have garnered over the years and our respective Journeys.
To do so, we can take things to the energetic, and to the level of ritual and ceremony — drawing from there, to help support us in the material and physical realms. As Einstein said, “the problem cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.” In essence, meaning here for our purposes, that what is happening on the levels of the material realm and levels of the mind and emotions cannot be solved at that same level; instead inviting us to level up and take things to the realms of ritual and ceremony — and energy — to transmute and do the powerful work.
I’ve spent years studying and practicing shamanism, training with shamans and medicine men and women, through my teacher Dr. Alberto Villoldo and the Four Winds Society and being initiated into the Q’ero tribe and lineage of the high Andes. To shamans, everything is Energy.
In my studies, I learned about four layers of Being: the literal/physical; the mind/emotional; the level of the soul; and the energetic. Using Einstein’s reasoning that the problem cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it, we can thus transmute these emotions and trappings of the mind, by taking things to the level of the soul and the energetic.
My teachers taught me that the language of the soul is ceremony.
Ritual and sacred ceremony is the vehicle we can use to help transmute anything coming up in our lives. And this is familiar to us: after all, we perform and engage in ceremonies all the time — such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, and so on and so forth, ceremonializing these landmark times in our lives or put more simply, these rites of passage. And of course the most ancient ritual and ceremony — gathering and meeting around the fire — being one we have done together for thousands of years.
And so here are five rituals for transmuting any fears, anxieties, uncertainties, heaviness or stuckness that may be coming up for us, our communities, and the world, during these changing times. These rituals include offerings that will call in positive energies as well — nourishing and refilling us with light and love and reconnecting us with our truest, most authentic nature.
Note that before beginning any of these ceremonies, you can open sacred space if you wish. For more info on how to do so, see an earlier article called, How To Connect To Sacred Energy Wherever You Are; however, opening sacred space formally is not necessary for performing these ceremonies. You can simply say aloud, “I am opening sacred space and inviting in only the Beings in my best and highest good to be with me now.”
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1) Cleansing by and communing with fire
When we think of ritual or ceremony, we may conjure up in our minds images of a big production with a lot of effort involved — or feel pressure to put on the same — and that doesn’t have to be the case. All it takes is some intention and conscious effort, and we can use the tools or supplies we have on hand. In other words, communing with fire doesn’t have to involve a large fire pit and cutting down fresh logs. Instead, we can engage with the element of fire simply by lighting a candle in our home, and the practice is equally as meaningful and effective.
And so for this first ritual, gather a candle and matches or lighter, and sit in a quiet place. Come to the moment by taking a few deep breaths in and out. You can even take this time to call in any angels or guides, power animals, God, Great Spirit, the Universe — that which is known by a thousand names and yet is the unnamable one. These practices offered here today, though shamanic in nature, transcend any particular religion, spirituality, or beliefs, meaning all are welcome here and you can make these your own.
(And this is largely because shamanism by its very nature, transcends religion and any other beliefs, since it predates them, going back nearly a hundred thousand years.). In any event, then tuning in and embodying whichever is your spiritual preference, calling on and calling in those Beings and your Spirit team to be with you.
And so now you can begin your ceremony: Lighting your candle and taking a moment to gaze at the flame and breathe in the power of the Primordial Light. As you are seated, casting your hand over the fire and slowly bringing towards your body the power of the flame, energetically washing yourself in these vibrations. You can cup your hand and wave your hand over the flame, bringing that energy towards your chakras and power centers.
First bringing that energy to your womb space, your second chakra (this is where our fear and emotions are held) at least three times. Then to your heart center — your fourth chakra — in the middle of your chest, at least three times. And then to your third eye chakra (in between your eyebrows) at least three times. For a final time, you can bring your hands through the flames, over your head, and around your body, washing your entire field in this energy.
After you’ve cleansed and cleared your chakras and energy field, you can take another few deep breaths in and out; thanking the Spirit of the Fire for helping you and being with you today. For an added practice, now that you have cleansed and harmonized your energy centers, you can do the following: Staying seated, and gazing into the flame. With your hands gently placed on your lap, and with your palms facing upwards — signaling to the Universe you are open, ready, and willing to receive. You can then repeat to yourself this mantra, “I AM the Light. I AM the Light. I AM the Light.”
Repeating this mantra at least three times, if not more, or until you feel complete. Then take another few deep breaths in and out. Notice your body, including your physical body and your subtle energy bodies, filled with these new and upgraded vibrations.
2) Giving everything to the fire to be transformed
Again, working with fire is powerful and quick, as it has the ability to transmute energies much more rapidly than some of the other elements or methodologies.
Come to a quiet place, bringing your candle and pen and paper with you. After taking a few deep breaths in and out, write down on small pieces of paper a few keywords of emotions you are feeling that you wish to release and transmute (e.g., fear, sadness, pain, anger, confusion). You may even feel the feelings arise within you, leaving your body, as you are deciding and sharing what you wish to release. Fold the papers and blow into them with your breath, as your consciousness will further inform and enliven each of them and the energies to be transformed.
Now carefully burn each piece, or at least as much of them as you can. Blow out the remaining fire that is burning, and thank the flames for their presence. Repeat this process for all of your small notes of paper that are holding the negative or heavy energies you wish to give to the fire. Take a few deep breaths in and out and re-centering yourself. Notice any shifts in your physical body and/or subtle energy bodies. You may feel lighter as if a weight has been lifted.
If there are any lingering places in the body holding heaviness, taking some extra breaths and breathing into these places. You can even visualize surrounding these places in white or golden Light, sending extra breath and attention there.
Next, with your flame lit again, now write down keywords on each of your small papers all that you wish to call in for yourself and even for the world (e.g., peace, wholeness, love, connection, purpose, healing, harmony). You can even bring up each of these feelings within your body and heart space as you write them. Now you can fold the completed papers and cup them in your hand, blowing into each of them with your breath. Your consciousness and your breath will inform and enliven them, as they communicate with the flames, spirits of the fire, and the rest of your team, or unseen helpers and guides.
Now, give them to the fire in the same fashion as you did before. Knowing that once you have done so, these intentions are being sent out to the Universe, carried by the sparks and flames of the fire, to bring your intentions into manifestation.
3) Giving everything to the Earth to be mulched
In a similar but different way, working with the Earth is equally as powerful. Considered a longer transmutation, working with the Earth is like a slower and steadier process, as compared with fire which gives us that more rapid transformation. Nevertheless, working with the Earth is helpful to release all that no longer serves us, giving her our heavy energies to be mulched and recycled into fertile soil. Also, different ceremonies will resonate with different people — and some elements may speak to you more than others — or you can do both/all!
Gather a few small sticks, and decide what you will be transmuting in a similar way as shared above with the Fire. For example, assigning each stick with a keyword such as fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness, despair, grief, or what have you. Now blow into each stick with your breath, your consciousness informing the stick. Note that memories or visions may come up for you, even emotions or tears may arise as you are blowing into the sticks and giving all that you wish to clear to the Earth. These are emotions and energies leaving and releasing from the body — and recall that you are in sacred ceremony space, and held in a safe container for this healing to happen.
Once you are ready, bury the sticks and give them to the Earth to be mulched and transmuted Pachamama, Gaia, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, loves mulching our darker or heavier energies that are too great or too much for us to mulch ourselves. You can thank the Earth as you give her your sticks, saying something like, “Thank you Mother Earth, Pachamama, Gaia, for mulching all that no longer serves me. Thank you for allowing me to release these into you, and for recycling these energies — turning them into new, fertile soil.”
For an added practice, you can also incorporate the following mantra. With your feet firmly planted on the Earth, ground your feet into the grass and soil, repeating to yourself or aloud: “I AM the Earth. I AM the Earth. I AM the Earth.”
Three times, or however many times until you feel complete and connected. Taking a few deep breaths in and out, feeling the electromagnetic resonance of the Earth synchronize and harmonize with the electromagnetic resonance of your own individual energy field. Now gather another few sticks, each representing what you wish to call into your life. For example, abundance, joy, wholeness, resources, fulfillment, new opportunities, purpose, alignment, synchronicities, anything, and everything in your best and highest destiny. Blow into the sticks you have selected, allowing your breath to inform them as before.
Gather those sticks, and then wrap them into a bundle with a piece of yarn or ribbon or perhaps place them into a jar with some soil from the Earth. You can now place these sticks on your altar, bringing the Earth and pieces of nature into your home. These energies will continue to work on your behalf with the power of the Earth, nature spirits, and all of the Elements to bring your intentions to manifestation and fruition.
4) Cleansing and aligning with the power of water
Come to a quiet place in your kitchen near your sink, or outdoors. Bring together a small cup, some filtered or drinkable water, and some salt such as Himalayan sea salt (any will work).
Fill your cup with the drinkable water, and pour some of the salt into your hand. Holding the salt in your hand, now blow into the salt all that you wish to transmute; for example, fear, sadness, loss of a job, loss of resources, anything that comes to mind). And release that salt into the cup. Pick up the cup with salt and gargle this saltwater in your mouth for a few moments, allowing the salt to absorb these heavy emotions from you and anything in your body and field that no longer serves you, and that you wish to release. Do not swallow this water. Once you have gargled the saltwater and feel you are ready, spit it out — giving it all to the earth if you are outside, or down your drain if you are in your kitchen. Taking a few deep breaths and sighs of relief as you feel this release.
Next, prepare a clean cup of drinkable water, this time without any salt. Pray over the cup of water all that you wish and intend to call in for yourself. For example, abundance, connection, health, longevity, increased resources, safety, security, etc. Feel these feelings and high vibrations arise within you as you make these prayers. You can even bring the cup of water to some of your energy centers, for instance, gently bringing the cup to your womb, to your heart, and to your third eye. You can also even gently blow your breath into and around the cup of water.
The great thing about ritual is you can make them your own, adding to them or even embellishing them as you wish. There is no right or wrong. Follow your intuition and inner guidance about what is right for you. When you are ready, now drinking the water, holding in your mouth for a few moments, and then drinking and swallowing the rest. The water molecules with your prayers and intentions are now synchronizing and harmonizing with the water molecules of your body and of the Earth.
Since all water is connected, all of these molecules — from the water in your body to the oceans and rivers — are now working on your behalf to change the tides and bring in to your life all that you intended during this ceremony.
For an added practice, you can repeat the following mantra: “I AM the Waters. I AM the Waters. I AM the Waters.” You can repeat this mantra at least three times or more, or until you feel complete. Taking another few deep breaths in and out and closing your ceremony space.
5) Communing with all senses and celebrating the human experience
Now that we have worked with Fire, the Earth, Water, and Air through our breath, and ether or Spirit through our presence, we have incorporated the main elements into meaningful practices and rituals. Transmuting all that no longer serves us, and calling in all that is in our best and highest destiny. Now that we have cleared and cleansed some of the heavy energies through the above practices, we can take a few moments to ground into our bodies and truly celebrate life. Especially during these times, the human experience can call forth a wide range of emotions and feelings, which can be terrifying and beautiful all at the same time.
This fifth practice is about celebration, gratitude, and integration. And so in celebration of and gratitude for this life, our bodies, and the human experience, we can use this next ceremony to commune with each of our senses.
To this end, gather a small tray and select five objects, each representing one of the senses. So for smell, you might select a flower or a cup of coffee beans or a candle. For taste, you might select a piece of chocolate or a small cup of honey. For sight, you might select a picture of yourself or your family at one of your most joyous and loving times or memories. For hearing, you might select a bell to ring or a whistle or rattle. And for touch, you might select a small piece of silk or something that feels good to you. Select objects that are meaningful to you and can fit on the tray and become part of this ritual.
Once you have selected your objects, you are ready to begin your ceremony. If you wish, you can blow into each object you have chosen, in order to synchronize and harmonize with them. Your breath and your consciousness activate them.
Standing or sitting in front of your tray, take a few deep breaths in and out. Centering yourself and coming to the present moment. Now taking each object in turn, pick up each item, admiring them and feeling gratitude for them — activating the sense that the object represents. So as you pick up and bring to your nose the small cup of coffee beans or your candle, take in the beauty, lightness, freshness, and depth of their aromas, enhancing and celebrating your sense of smell. Feeling gratitude in your heart for simply being alive, and for having the gift of smell.
Repeat this process for each of the senses, really feeling the gratitude and appreciation within your heart space for each one. Feeling the deepened connection and embodiment of the practice, heightening with each sense as you celebrate.
When you have completed the process, you can take another few deep breaths in and out, thanking the elements and — thanking yourself and your senses — for being with you today and everyday. (You can repeat this gratitude ritual as often as you like, making a weekly or even daily practice. And changing out the items for a different experience as often as you feel Called to do so.).
You can even add a sixth object, representing a sixth sense, or our intuition. And a connection to the unseen and invisible worlds. Bridging the seen and the senses of the human experience, with the unseen realms of Spirit.
For a further added practice, you can then repeat the following mantra: “I AM that I AM. I AM.” “I AM that I AM. I AM.” “I AM that I AM. I AM.”
You can repeat this to yourself or aloud at least three times, or however many times feels good to you. And this will complete or close your ceremony space.
Bringing it all together
The beauty of these rituals is you can do them all, or select the ones that resonate with you. Again, adding to them, taking away from them, making adjustments or substitutions, and doing whatever you feel called to do within your own guidance and heart. Ritual and ceremony being so powerful for transmuting, clearing and cleansing our energies, and for calling in all that we wish to manifest in our lives. Connecting us back into Source (even though we are Source, and are never disconnected), and aligning us with our best and highest destinies.
Thank you for connecting today and I hope these practices serve you!
Which of the above ceremonies will you try? How will you change them and make them your own? Let me know which resonate with you in the comments below!