I hope you've had a peaceful holiday season so far. We are coming into the zero hour soon. What can I say about 2016? This was a year of tumultuousness and loss. I left a job after over eight years, I lost two friends to cancer, we lost many icons and heroes, and we had the grittiest nasty presidential campaign season that I remember in my lifetime. (Complete with future moron in chief).
I know many people this year that have had great difficulties, far greater than my own. The people out at Standing Rock have put their bodies on the line to safeguard the water for everyone. They have gathered people of all nations and creeds to a small camp to help protect the earth. This along with the forgiveness ceremony for army veterans that took place gave me hope this year. There is much in the world that seems to be going down a dark and dangerous path lately, but the human spirit and heart can still shine through and bring us back from the brink. This is something I have to dedicate my belief to, because to abandon that is to champion despair and to simply give up. Giving up doesn't sit well with me.
As I have gone through the trials and losses of this year I have had a constant source of strength and comfort in my weekly ceremony of prayer. Pictured above is the very last prayer ceremony of 2016, the focus this week was to lay down the burdens and losses of the year to embrace the new one coming in. It's been about 3 full years and a few months since I began devoting some time each Friday to send out prayers to my community and certain clients. The longer I do this the more powerful it seems to be for me. There have been times when I am shaking my rattle and tears are pouring down my face as I pray. Those ceremonies where I just break seem to be some of the most powerful ones, or the ones where I am just so beaten down and spent that it is all that I can do to just show up and shake that rattle. Those times when I just show up because it is all I have can turn into some of the most empowering and sustaining prayers I've ever uttered. Woven together in my practice are the powers of intention and surrender. These two poles are not in contention but harmony with one another. You can't fully surrender without an intent, and you can't really give your intent the power it needs unless you completely surrender. This is one of the things keeping a regular practice of prayer and ceremony has taught me, and as I continue into another year of ceremony I expect that lose lessons will deepen along with all the other ones that have come out of commitment.
So why am I telling you this? Well many of you have expressed interest in doing what I do or something similar. You ask me how did I make it work? Well doing all the sensible things like reading, studying, practicing, setting up my business, getting trained in various backgrounds of consciousness work will only take you so far. You have to go a bit farther and dedicate yourself to service. Like anything worthwhile it takes a level of commitment and effort. I knew I needed to show up for Spirit on a regular basis. It had to be something I could do if I was tired, sick, or just plain not in the mood. Believe me I have been sick as a dog and still got my rattle out and shook it as long as I could to honor my promises. I have been so exhausted that it nearly brings tears to my eyes to think about opening my mesa. Which is why some weeks the mesa stays closed sometimes by its request, and sometimes by my lack of energy to set it up. When I began there was no weekly focus just an intent to send out blessings. I'm not sure exactly when the weekly focus started, but somehow it is always right. Some weeks it is clear and some weeks it takes a lot to puzzle it out. A lot of times it is simply something I realize I need and amazingly my group of participants seem to need the exact same blessing. It has taught me that we are not so different.
So for those of you looking for an anchor or a way to empower yourselves and community I invite you to create your own ceremonies. They don't have to look like mine. They don't have to be weekly, maybe you can only commit to once a month. That's ok, maybe you want to outdo the Mooneagle and do one everyday, well that's awesome (showoff)! The important thing is to bring forth that promise of service and share it with your community (whether that is your local community or your extended one from far flung regions, prayers need no frequent flier miles). Be creative and put yourself into your prayers otherwise they are meaningless utterances of sound in an indifferent universe. When you merge your spirit with your prayers they come alive in a world of portent and meaning. In this coming year of great change and uncertainty don't just seek a refuge in prayer create a refuge for others to share in. Meanwhile happy new year and enjoy a slideshow of 2016's year of prayers.
Peace and Blessings,