We all require our own space from time to time. A place where we can be alone, quiet, reflective, or creative. I've discovered how important it is to have a space like this for myself, a place where I can retreat to write, read and create. The more I settle into my connection with nature, the cycles of the moon, and using ritual and meditation for manifestation the more I find my sacred space to be just that, sacred. And even if you don't have an entire room to dedicate to such endeavors that doesn't mean you can't sprinkle it among your home-which I do as well!
I have several altar spaces set up around my home, some simple and subtle, others more elaborate. I may set up a spring altar in my main living space with symbols of the season; newly sprouted plants, eggs, bunnies, items which represent fertility and renewal. I place sprigs of lavender and rose petals around the rooms with crystals for creating a peaceful and loving home. I've fashioned my own special curio for my oils and herbs I like to use in my bath and to anoint my candles for meditation or ritual.
The kitchen is a magical place, as I love to cook and entertain! I put out fresh herbs, flowers and fruit, and when a bouquet of flowers or herbs is on its way out I simply dry them and decorate the table or save for sachets, dream pillows or other uses. I love to sprinkle dried herbs and petals onto candles, to infuse elements of nature into all I can within my space. I feel as though I am embraced in a warm hug from Mother Nature and can find meaningful expression of my moods, my desires and what I honor in life.
I'm fortunate to have my own den at home, where I choose to surround myself with 100s of books, art, and all my treasures. I've created a meditation station/altar space for daily contemplation and sacred ceremony, and have my desk where I can write my classes, workshops, stories and this article! Even if you have a small space in your yard, front porch, or anywhere you can have a special chair or cushion, you don't need much to create your own sanctuary in and around your home.
Here are some ideas on creating a sacred space and bringing a little more magic and nature into the home:
Love thyself.....words we all need to hear and probably practice more often than we do. In light of the #metoo movement and the call so many women are waking up to answer, women are stepping back into their power, finding their voice and taking back control over their sacred bodies-who can see them, who can touch them, and who can honor them. In addition to that we often fall into the business of life, taking care of others, or for any other reason, find the beliefs of our own beauty and Divine feminine essence can get diminished, stifled or even forgotten with insecurities, the media and stereotypes, or a disconnection to our sensual nature. Well, no more, I say!
Loving yourself and feeling good in your own skin is essential to any kind of growth or healing. Our internal power is limitless and we find we can tap into that part of ourselves for self expression, intimacy and yes-self love. Goddess archetypes can serve as an extension of aspects already within ourselves, and whom we can petition to reawaken the spark that already lays smoldering within our being.....so I've taken the liberty (and had fun doing it!) of creating a self love ritual working with the West African Yoruban Goddess Oshun.
Oshun-Goddess of luxury, beauty, fertility, sensuality, divination, the rivers, prosperity, sexuality, sweet waters and dancing. She is your girl to call upon to get your self love groove on. She teaches us how to love ourselves and our bodies, and there are many tales of her compassion and healing of the earth, while maintaining her independent and sensual nature. Used in the Yoruban traditions as well as Voodoo and Santeria, there is no doubt that she will help deliver your devotion to yourself so that you may practice giving, receiving and expression love for yourself as well as others.
This ritual involves tokens to her and a means to connect to your intimate self and bring out the Divine Goddess waiting to express herself. Many things are sacred to her, including honey, mirrors (to love herself, of course!), water, peacocks, yellow copper and more, and she is said to be connected to our solar plexus or Mani Pura chakra which rules our personal power, self esteem and confidence.
Oshun Altar Tool Ideas:
First be sure to give some quiet time to yourself, preferably with an empty house if possible. This is sacred space and love is for only you....for now anyway.
Remember you are a beautiful goddess capable of not only giving but receiving all of the love in the world. We can be forces of compassion and healing, while remaining our strong, independent and bad ass selves. Give yourself some love this Valentine's Day......you deserve it! Want another bad ass goddess to work with for some sensual self expression, check out a new moon ritual working with my other girl, Lilith!
Happy Valentine's Day, beautiful one.....
I enter into the moonlight, the crisp air of the night brushing my flesh as the slight beat of a rattle and a drum pulse behind me. I look around to see tree lines, a quiet wood, and a blazing fire before me. The smoke speaks to me, wishing to whisk me up into the sky for the answers that I seek. "How do I remember?" I ask. "How do I see?" I wait in anticipation to be consumed by the flames, looking above for guidance 'Can they hear me?' I wonder. The rattle ceases and the drumbeat grows louder, a steady pulse rushing through every ounce of my being. The rhythmic, cardiac beat entrances me and my sensations begin to shift.
Eyes closed, I feel a gentle tugging at my heart as though something nudging to lift me up. To fly me up into the sky, through the cosmos and into the upper world. I sit, I surrender, I wait for the lift. The tugging continues, but I do not ascend. Looking around I see that I am still alone, the blackness of the evening hovering over the landscape and holding my energy onto the earth. I begin to feel a different pull, a knowing that the underworld is where I am meant to go. Turning around I see a distant cave, its open mouth leading straight down into the earth.
Without hesitation I make my way into the grotto and follow the dim light deep down beneath the earth's surface. Moving with ease, the beating of the drum follows me and leads me along my way. Easing past the twists, turns and dark corners my anticipation grows as my heart goes along with the rapid beating of the drum. Dark gives away to light then turns back into darkness, flashes of earth and rock blaze past my eyes. I was moving with some speed and knew I must be getting close.
-Finally I arrive into the underworld and my guide awaits me. Soft grey hair, jetting out in every direction like short silk strands moving through water. Reaching taller than I, her eight arachnid legs grappled the uneven earth as her one red eye peered at me. "What messages do you have for me?" I asked. "How do I remember? How do I see?" Not needing words she infused a flash of white light into the dark cave, illuminating an enormous web. It faded back into the darkness just as quickly as it came. 'Create'. was the message I received. 'Just keep creating.' She invited me onto her back and we began to journey deeper into the cave, I held onto her soft grey hair as her legs crept up around me like a cage she walked. She moved with the quickened beat of the drum that pulsed all around us.
She brought me to a well of water, its surface illuminated the inky air and shadows around us. She walks us up to the edge and peers into the rippled surface. I see not only our reflection in the water but the reflection of a circle of women all around us. Wise women of old, their grey hair long and their faces loving. Were these the women who had come before, who were to come still? Were they perhaps a reflection of myself from a time long ago, or still to come?Again no words were spoken, but impressions were being made and messages received. That sense of remembering that's been burning in my belly ignited even more, knowing that down to every cell in my being I was moving in the right direction. To remember. To answer the call.
Looking over to the side of the cavern a white rat with red eyes had joined us. It too offered me messages without words; climbing up and scratching the walls as though to find its way. The yogini in me knew the red in the eyes of my guides had to do with the root chakra, fear, and a sense of safety and security. My spider guide's red third eye was telling me to release my fear and trust my intuition and I knew that I would be safe and protected. She and I climbed onto the back of the rat as all three of us now worked to make our way.
We went down a few tunnels, none illuminated by the light and we had to eventually turn and try another way. We came upon a tunnel glowing with the light I knew I needed to follow. It welcomed us all like it was lighting our way home. 'Follow the light'. They sent me up into this tunnel on my own, staying behind for when I needed to return for more counsel. The drumbeat began to slow as I made my ascent back up into the woods.
As I reached the top I emerged to see the moon still shined bright, quiet and formidable. The forest was still and the only sound was a gentle breeze moving through the branches. The final strokes of the drumbeat solidified my consciousness back into my body, the cool crisp breath energizing all of my senses. As the pulse ceased and the final drumbeat was struck I felt the silence ringing in my ears. It felt as though the soul whispers I had been receiving were still resonating within the fabric of my being, and woven into my heart~
This was a Shamanic journey I had taken, a practice to work with direct revelation and connect to my ancestors, spirit and animals guides. It is a powerful practice to connect with your own Divinity, tap into your creative potential and ignite your inner light. It is the most ancient form of meditation dating back over 77,000 years. I am very new into this practice and am thankful for having found it. See my Shaman friends and inspiration below!
*The spider symbolizes balance, wisdom, creativity, communication, a networker, cyclical, crafty, fate, protection.
* The rat represents fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury, intelligent, wealth, success, drive.
*Get a full list of Animal totems and guides here
Try a journey with Shaman Sandra Ingerman
Begin your own journey practice at home with Teri Williams to connect you to wisdom, unconditional love and healing
One of my other favorite Shamans and business neighbor, Megan at New Myth Energy
Shaman Apprentice Lisa Harthun at Healing Balance will be performing beautiful Crystal Bowl Healing meditations at the studio for each solstice and equinox of 2018 to help shift our energy with the seasons
Answer the call with the book Witch by Lisa Lister
and the book Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell
I thank you for letting me share my journey with you and as the Shamans say....Aho!
Every month we get a change for a fresh start, a clean slate. When we sync our energy with nature we can follow the path of least resistance and learn to go with the flow as oppose to pushing against the tides. The moon controls the tides of the oceans, and since we are made up of mostly water it’s said the moon has a tremendous effect on us as well!
The full moon is the height of the lunar cycle, where things come into fruition, built up energy comes to a climax, emotions can run amuck if we aren’t careful. Tremendous yet subtle power is coming at us even if we aren’t aware, so positive intentions are key! Whatever we put out we get back amplified. This transformative time of the month is a time to let go of what no longer serves us and make room for change in our lives. A time to detox, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Old thought patterns, self-sabotage, toxic or negative beliefs or people can be obstacles for bringing into our lives what we want.
Challenging times teach us lessons. We must acknowledge and thank every lesson brought to us, good or bad. Find gratitude in it all then release what you no longer need to hold onto. Take the time of the full moon to do some internal work-reflect, forgive, find gratitude and release! Make room to manifest what you do want and stop giving energy to what you don’t. Keep it positive and remember your given a monthly opportunity to make real changes in the direction of your life.
Musings for this Meditation:
*What is keeping you from bringing what you want into your life?
*What lessons have you learned? What can you acknowledge, honor and release?
*What has worked for you this month? What has not worked? How can you make a positive shift to create what it is that you want?
As summer nestles down into a slumber and we get that first rush from a cool breeze, something happens and we begin to shift our energy. Whether we realize it or not, we follow Mother Nature’s lead and sync with her circadian rhythms. She has spent the last season on fire reaching a height of growth and fertility, celebrating the power of the sun. Our energy matched hers, spending time outdoors and enjoying all she has to offer. Some of us may have even celebrated the Summer Solstice by offering 108 Sun Salutations with the rising of the sun. Longer days prevailed, and now they have begun to wane. Longer, regenerative nights lie ahead-and we need to take advantage and set our intentions to match hers.
At the Autumn Equinox we hit a complete balance of light vs. dark, and have now just fallen past that tipping point. Now that we’ve burned off that fiery energy of the sun we can begin to shift to a more reflective, cooling energy of the moon. A season of letting go, we begin to settle under a blanket of reflection to see what hasn’t worked in our lives. Reaping the harvest of our past few months of hard work and investments, it’s time to till the soil and release what didn’t pan out. Our lives mirror the seasons, and if we align our energies properly with can work with the cycles instead of against them.
So as the world is set ablaze with the colors of the fall, here are 6 ways to align your energy with Mother Nature and find magic this season:
1. Let it go Use the elements of Mother Nature to let go of what no longer serves you. Allowing for contemplation, autumn is a time to turn inward for deeper self-healing and take a look at all we’ve worked to build. What do we need to work on? What didn’t work, and we can release? Create your own ritual of letting go. You can write down what you wish to release, toss the paper in to a fire (only safe practices here, a fire pit or other means of outdoor burning) and watch it turn into ash and disappear. You may also bury the list into the dirt and allow it to be consumed by the Earth Herself. Perform these rituals under the full moon to enhance their effects. Gather a sage bundle or smudge stick, used in purification and protection, to cleanse your home of negative energies. You may also use Palo Santo, wooden sticks made from a mystical tree in South America, found in some metaphysical shops. Related to Frankincense and Myrhh, this ‘Holy Wood’ helps to cleanse home and energy, enhance creativity and enhance immunity.
2. Protection Yourself & Your Home Every fall we gather beautiful chrysanthemums to adorn our home with beautiful colors of the fall. But did you know these are known to be flowers of protection? When we get closer to Halloween then the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest this flower is said to keep the evil spirits at bay. Red mums offer love, yellow & orange bring joy & good cheer, purple represent power & passion, white invokes the truth & bronze encourages a loving, happy home. Gather your mums to create a happy, healthy environment for your pets and your family. You may also set out stones of amber for added protection.
3. Make a Feast! Gather friends and family to celebrate this time of harvest. Foods of the season include root veggies such as beets, potatoes and carrots, nuts, breads, corn, figs, honey, as well as apples which are said to be a most magical fruit! Pomegranate and its seeds are related to Greek Goddess Persephone and her return to the underworld every fall season. Cider, beer, wine and mead can be added to the table as loved ones offer gratitude and reflection during this celebratory time.
4. Set Up Your Meditation Altar Create your space to align your energy with the shift in seasons. The colors yellow, orange, red and brown set the tone for autumn and the changing of the leaves as they work to let go and prepare for winter. Some elements to adorn your altar include: candles, herbs of ivy, myrrh and sage, cloves, cinnamon, and stones of amber and hematite to offer protection and grounding. Add photos of loved ones and what holds gratitude in your heart, or write down a mantra you can return to every day during this shift. Offerings of fresh cut flowers, honey and mead can add another element to invoking the creative and nurturing side of nature.
5. Keep a Gratitude Journal Listen to the transition, journal and prepare for self-healing and reflection. You find you can sense, feel and become one with the change happening all around you. Once you’ve released what you no longer need you are more able to sit back and look at all that you have. Cultivating gratitude is very powerful and has a tremendous effect on your over-all health and well-being. You may choose to journal outside in nature, sitting under an oak or maple tree to connect with their energy and wisdom. This is also a nice ritual to be before you go to bed at night. Begin with some light yin yoga poses to offer the cooling energy of the moon and set a reflective and restorative tone for your journaling.
6. Seva-The Art of Selfless Service When we cultivate gratitude we see all that we have, but may also become aware of what many do not. Take this time to practice the art of Seva, or selfless services. Offer to volunteer at a nursing home or hospice, bring offerings and your kindness to the homeless or disabled veterans. Offer some free classes or services to those who may otherwise not be able to afford such things. Join together communities and help to offer gratitude and self-healing to others and match the nurturing side of Mother Nature during this time.
Mother Nature has all that we need readily available at our fingertips, we simply need to know how to apply it and connect with her energy for transformation and change. So let’s work with the currents of the Earth and find a ride with them into beautiful alignment, peace and well-being. Bring a little magic back into your life this fall and nurture your mind, body and spirit. Namaste.
Hello lovelies. Thank you for letting me express my journey of discovering my magic and Divine Feminine. I am happy to share my experiences with you to heal, love, and evolve.