A Healing Ritual for Yemaya (and YOU) on World Oceans Day

WordPress Graphics 600 x 600

English Bay, Vancouver BC, where I will do my ritual for World Oceans Day

Thursday, June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day the United Nations has set aside each year as a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s theme is Our Oceans, Our Future, with a conservation focus of “encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future”.

Ocean health is vital to the health of our planet, of our beautiful Mama Earth. Per the UN,

“The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate.”

For those of us who love Mama Earth and are committed to her health and vitality, every day is Earth Day and every day is World Oceans Day.  Consider using this day to look for ways you can improve what you are already doing to support the health of our planet and our oceans.

And do take this occasion to honour our Oceans in a special way, with a ritual for cleansing and healing, and a blessing. And because World Oceans Day this year is so very close to the Full Moon (which arrives Friday, June 9th at 6:09 AM Pacific Time), consider bringing elements of your Full Moon ritual into this ritual… perhaps working with Yemaya in a ritual cleanse or release to the waters.

ABOUT THE RITUAL 
In this ritual, we honour Yemaya (Mother of the Seas) and her sister Oshun (Mother of the Rivers), and offer a healing to the waters of our world. You can also use this ritual for cleansing the Self.

Do change up the ritual to honour any Goddesses of the seas or waters that resonate with you such as Aphrodite, Brigantia, Ganga… so many to choose from.

yemaya-2

Yemaya by Thalia Took 

This ritual can be done at the ocean or any source of fresh water such as a lake, river, stream, pond, etc. If you are not close to a fresh water source, fill a large bowl with the freshest water possible (such as distilled, from a spring, or simply tap water that has been left in the sun for several hours or to which you have added a handful of ocean salts). Preferably, the bowl should be large enough to either stand in or immerse your feet in. Bathtubs or foot baths are great for this!

PREPARATION FOR THE RITUAL
Prepare for this ritual to Yemaya by first collecting seven shells and seven white flowers. The number seven is special to Yemaya, representing the Seven Seas. I believe that rituals are not “fixed” or absolute, so feel free to adapt this in your own way if these materials are not available to you. The key is to honour the intent. Do try to have at least one real shell, however, for the ritual, and make sure that whatever you are offering the ocean will not harm it in any way.

Cowrie shells are strongly associated with Yemaya, but use any small shell of your choice. If you are not in a place where wild shells can be collected, use purchased shells (ethically sourced of course) of any kind in this ritual. You could even use blue and white stones.

Forage for wild white flowers such as daisy or yarrow, or any white blossom that is local for you, first asking Mama Earth and the plant for permission. Alternatively, you could purchase white blossoms from a florist or pick from your garden. And because both blue and white are the colours associated with Yemaya, you could even mix it up a little with the colours.

THE RITUAL
Go to the sea, river or other location (unless you are doing this at home) with your shells and flowers, and any other sacred objects that support you in your rituals.

oshun-2

Oshun, by Thalia Took

Centre and breathe deeply, connecting to your Wise Inner Self. Meditate first on your intention for this ritual, such as what you want to share with the Oceans, and — if also using this as a cleansing ritual for your Self (so perfect for the Full Moon) — reflect on what you want to release to the Oceans.

Stand in the water, making a connection with the seas and rivers. As you stand in the water, no matter the source, you are connecting to all water.

Call on all your Ancestors, spirit guides, and any other deities and allies. Call to Yemaya (Mother of the Salt Waters) and Oshun (Mother of the Fresh Waters), and any other goddesses of the waters that are important to you.

Holding the shells in your palms, call to the Ancestors of the shells…. to their ancient DNA from the time when the Oceans were pure, teeming with marine life, unpolluted, in balance, and flowing with ease. Call out to these Ancestors and ask them to remember that time of balance and flow in the past and to bring it to our present and future so that the Oceans can be healed again. As you physically connect with the shells, listen to their message. Perhaps they have a blessing for the Sea or wisdom for you as to how you can continue to honour Mama Earth and Lady Ocean.

Immerse the shells in the water to bring the ancient healthy energetic patterns to all our world waters, saying something like:

“Yemaya, I bring you these shells and their ancient energy to heal you, to restore your energy and to heal the damage we have done to you.”

Leave the shells as an offering for the seas. If doing this at home, add them to your altar in a small bowl of water (infused with salts) until the Full Moon has passed.

Holding the seven flowers in your palms, call out to Yemaya, Oshun or other water goddesses. Thank them for the fertility and life they have brought us, for the fresh water that nourishes and cleanses all living things in our world and for the air that fills our lungs. Ask The Goddess(es) for her blessing and a cleansing of all you wish to release. Stand in the water… feel it moving across your feet and ankles…. the coolness… feeling all you wish to release leaving your body and given to the waters for healing.

As you lovingly release the flowers to the water, thank Yemaya — or your Goddesses — with a simple affirmation such as

“Yemaya, I offer you these flowers to thank you for your love, protection and healing. I thank you for the waters and air that nourish and sustain our lives.”

Completion and Gratitude 
While still standing in the water, take a moment to connect with the wisdom of the Oceans and the Goddess(es) of the waters and reflect on how grateful you are for what they give us. Listen for any messages or wisdom they are sharing with you.

When complete, give your thanks to the oceans, to all waters on our planet, to Yemaya and Oshun, and to your Goddesses, Ancestors, and allies.

When you return to the land, note your experiences, thoughts and wisdom gained in your journal for further use in your Soul Work for this month and for your Full Moon rituals.

Blessings to you on World Oceans Day !


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth, following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), aligning with the energy of the Celtic Wheel of The Year, or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle. Limited to those who identify as women. For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com


WP Sidebar graphics, resized to 300 x 213 pxDo you want a better understanding of the Wheel of the Year and how its shifting energies can support your own transformation and growth, support you in aligning with the rhythms of Nature itself? Subscribers receive regular free ebooks and articles, such as Celebrating the Equinox, along with tips for their personal practices, advance notice on free events and webinars, and much much more! 

Creating a Relationship with your Plant Allies

instagram-posts_all

A member of our Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle recently asked about working with Clover as a plant ally, and what that meant.  I responded on a herbal/medicinal level but also suggested I would post separately about what it means to work with our Plant Allies from a shamanic perspective, not just a medicinal one.

So let’s talk Earth Medicine . . . and how working with our Plant Allies can support us in so many areas of our life – spiritual, emotional and, yes, physical.

We know that Mama Earth takes care of us in so many ways. Our ancestors knew this too, and many had a wide knowledge of the healing and restorative powers of their local plants: which plants they could use to clear rashes, to reduce swelling or infections, to staunch bleeding, to build immunity, to calm an over-excited mind, to induce sleep. In those traditions, it was also very important to try and use local plants as medicine, as they typically have the medicine to cure “local” ailments (quinine for malaria, etc). For many, that’s all they could access anyway!

Many societies had medicine men or women, wise women, healers – and this was both respected and honoured. As our societies and cultures evolved, so did medicine. Many of the pharmaceuticals in today’s pharmacopeia were originally – and are still – created from plants (aspirin from willow bark, digitalis from foxglove, etc), while others are chemically engineered.

That being said, many of us either prefer the “old ways” or are returning to these Wise Woman remedies by making our own infusions, tinctures, balms and more. Some also like to use plant essences and homeopathic remedies (the latter has very little original plant material but has basically its hologram).

In shamanic traditions, our family of allies can include our ancestors, spirit guides, animals (such as clan/family totems — or personal allies — such as Bear, Lynx, Butterfly, Mouse, Spider or Eagle) and plants (trees, weeds, flowers, herbs).

We can call on all of them for their wisdom, and one of the most powerful ways to do that is to create a relationship with them (being in “right relationship”).

CREATING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A PLANT

There are many ways to connect with a plant. This method was taught to me by BC and Yukon herbalists  Darcy Tara and Lori Snyder,  and it was also shared by Clea Danaan in her book “Voices of the Earth: The Path of Green Spirituality”.

🌿 Find a plant with which you wish to work and sit with it in a comfortable position. Work with something in your home, to start, or very close-at-hand such as your garden, balcony, window box, street or a local park

🍀TIP: You may want to consider starting with a tree and its big energy; you can also lean back against a tree and some find it easier to tap into its energy this way

🌿 Take a few moments to ground, to feel that connection with Mama Earth, and release any tensions through deep slow breaths and through relaxing your muscles. Let the earth absorb any stress from the day.

🌿 Ask the plant for permission to connect with its energy. Be aware that it may say “no”, and that’s okay. It may be busy! Or maybe it just doesn’t want your energy at the moment. You may feel that refusal in different ways – – almost like a solid wall of air, or some other block or sense of resistance. If that’s the case, pick a different plant in the area and try again, or come back another day.

🌿 If your plant says “yes”, wonderful! Direct your attention to the plant and extend your energetic aura around it. Embrace it, figuratively (or literally, if it will allow it), and start to use all your senses (including your six-sensory ones) to connect with the plant:

  • Touch the plant, if you can. How does it feel? Smell? Sound?
  • How does its energy feel – calm? bright? energetic? sleepy? young? wise?
  • Is it a solitary plant, or does it like to be in a crowd with others?
  • Does it need a lot of attention and nurturing or is wild and resilient?
  • Does it sprout and mature quickly like the lodgepole pine, or slowly like the beautiful desert saguaro cactus?
  • Does it respond to music, chimes or singing? (Think of how nurturing it might be to a tree or other plant to hear the sound of bird song.)

🌿 Spend some time with the plant absorbing all its energy. If the time feels right, ask the plant if it needs anything…. some water, some fertilizer, some shade. If the time still feels right, ask it for its wisdom…. how it can support you, what it’s medicine is for you – it may be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

🌿 Record what you learned in your journal or notebook.

TIP:
This doesn’t all have to happen in one sitting. It may take several visits over days or weeks to get to know this plant. Or maybe it takes only a few minutes. You never know!

You might like to visit your plant throughout the year, because its energy can change dramatically, especially in geographies with sharply defined seasons. Think of trees, now different they are in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. . . and what we can learn from them as we entrain to their energies and as they entrain their energy with Mama Earth. If you like drawing, sketch your plant in all its stages – new growth, full blossoming, harvest times (seeds, falling leaves) and stillness.

But there is also another way to work with our plant allies. For instance, we can journey with them and ask for their wisdom there, and also for their healing while in non-ordinary reality.

In the Alchemical Healing modality (created by Nicki Scully) one of the basic precepts is that “we do not require the physical plant in order to work with its magic” [Alchemical Healing, p. 138]. In this form of healing, we work directly with the spiritual medicinal essence of the plant.

I would highly recommend Nicki’s book(s) to learn more about this modality. I was lucky enough to take an Alchemical Healing introductory workshop led by Nicky recently and saw some amazing healing work by both Nicki and my fellow students. Her website is packed with info, and her books are carried by all major booksellers.

So, yes, it’s important in that healing tradition to know what plants do what. . . but they do not have to be local to your environment to do their magic.

IMAGE:
Image of trees in Vancouver’s Stanley Park was photographed with my iPhone SE.
Words in the photograph from a poem by Mary Oliver “When I am Among the Trees” (2006).


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

Healing begins within

If the label fits . . . LOL. And yes, I consider myself a hedgewitch.

But on a serious note, what does healing mean to you? 

And how to you bring and maintain self-healing into your life?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines healing, in part, as “to make sound or whole”.

The National Institutes for Health defines healing as “the personal experience of the transcendence of suffering”.

Both of these come into my personal experience and definition. . . yes, there is physical curing or healing but I tend to think of healing as a spiritual process.

For me, healing starts with awareness and is then supported by meditation . . . shamanic journeying. . . balancing . . . forgiveness. . . release rituals . . . Soul Questions . . . connecting with Mama Earth . . . making healthy choices for my body. . . speaking my truths . . . working with my Guides . . . transforming the impact of painful experiences so they no longer have power over me, no longer control me . . .

Sometimes the original condition / pain is gone yet can still control us. This is particularly true for the trauma of abuse or physical pain (think PTSD).

Here’s a simple example from my life . . . I endured mobility problems and pain for years, which was eventually cured by two total knee replacements. It wasn’t until both were complete and I could walk again (and walking well, I did my first triathlon a year later) that I realized I still thought and acted like a person for whom the simple act of walking was a painful experience. I had learned to protect myself, to avoid pain, to NOT walk. I had to let go of those conditioned responses and embrace a new way of thinking, that of a person with a healthy body. I gave up my “old story” for a “new story”. . . and was able to fully heal.

“They called her witch because she knew how to heal herself.”
― Te’ V. Smith, from her book “Here We Are, Reflections of a God Gone Mad”


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

The healing power of the humble dandelion 

I love working with the local herbs I find on my plant walk, a daily ritual for me, foraging in the neighbourhood. And some of my favourite medicines are crafted from what some consider weeds, such as the dandelion and the plantain.

I collect dandelion roots in both Spring and Autumn — always ethically and asking permission of the plant first — then clean and dry them for use in tinctures and herbal bitters…. a great tonic for the digestive system.

It may be easier to purchase dandelion root from your local herb shop but I do love getting out there and collecting in the wild. The energetic properties of the roots differ in Spring (more bitter, good for calming the liver) and Autumn (more stored nutrients, good for supporting the digestion) which is why I collect twice a year. If I purchase from a herb shop, I may not know when the roots were collected. The roots pictured were collected on Spring.

There are many uses for dandelion (including the leaves and flowers, which are delightful in infusions, salads, soups or lightly sautéed as a side veggie dish).

Dandelions are abundant and sustainable, but be very careful and aware of where you are foraging. Because dandelions are considered invasive by many (if they only knew how important dandelions are to us and to the soil!), they are often sprayed with pesticides.

DO NOT FORAGE if you are not sure about pesticide usage.

The Dandelion plant is mineral (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus) and vitamin rich (A, B, C) and also contains protein.


NOTE:
Dandelion also has diuretic properties so be sure to check all its properties thoroughly — as you would with any medication taken internally — to ensure there are no contraindications with your health or prescription drug regimen.


UPDATE: I had originally shared this post a couple of days ago on Instagram, and a friend subsequently shared a fascinating article on the cancer-fighting prooerties of dandelion. Click here to read the article.


 

WP Sidebar graphics-5WP Sidebar graphics-7WP Sidebar graphics-4

 

Making The Darkness Conscious

The journey of spiritual enlightenment is not necessarily a direct or straight line. . . it is more like a spiral, coming back to what may feel like the beginning but with all the knowledge and experience from the journey . . .  you are starting afresh, but with a new view of the world, with your newly acquired wisdom.

The Journey meanders through light and dark, through mountains and valleys of energy, frequently bringing us back to revisit, relearn and re-evaluate. And, although we move consciously towards the light, it is also true that we may walk in darkness at times, trying to understand and learn from the shadows around us and the shadows within us.

And each step — in both light and dark — brings us closer to our goal. Each step peels away the layers of delusion, illusion, filters, and beliefs until we arrive at our Truth, until we begin to know and understand not just our Self but our place in this world, and the Medicine we carry.

This is why I love and embrace shadow work. As we acknowledge and work through the darkness, the light is revealed. This can be the most challenging aspect of our Journey, but also the most transformative.

So when you find yourself revisiting familiar territory, do not despair. Recognize this as an opportunity to dig deeper, to peel away another layer, to use your new wisdom and perspective to find a deeper understanding. .  . or a new way forward.

Embrace and love all parts of your Self.

Learn from them.

Honour them.

Thank them.

Forgive them.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
― Carl Jung


If you find you need support on your journey, consider working with me to bring those pieces together through a you-centred combination of shamanic journeying, PSYCH-K® balancing and six-sensory work.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Celebrating and Honouring All The Stages In Our lives

Diana Nyad completing her 180km swim from Havana to Key West

Several friends and colleagues recently have had milestone birthdays, anywhere from 21 to 70 and everything in-between. Each approached their milestone differently — some with curiosity, some with trepidation, some with celebration… and some by planning their first cosmetic “tweak”!

At this point in my life, I have embraced my ageing process, the changes it has brought to my face, hair and body. I am grateful for the new parts (my new titanium knees, better than the originals!) and learning how to maintain and sustain my body differently than in my youth.

And I appreciate that this journey has also (hopefully) brought wisdom, an enhanced ability to let go of “stuff”, to connect with my Inner Self much more easily, to focus on what is truly meaningful in my life… and the opportunity to take my place amongst those who choose to share their experience and wisdom with others.

I know I am not alone in embracing this. I continue to meet those you might call Elders — or Crones, or Matriarchs, or Amazons (as Elizabeth Davis describes in her book “The Women’s Wheel of Life”) — who are also coming into their own as they age and are choosing to celebrate who they are NOW rather than just comparing themselves (favourably or unfavourably) to their younger versions, such as:

🌸 the “Ancient Amazons” I swim with at Range of Motion classes (average age 70+) who are vibrant and curious and fearless

🌸 the retired women and men in the Restorative Yoga classes I attend who are much more agile than I am (but I’m getting there with commitment and persistence!)

🌸 the 60-ish woman I met at Kitsilano Pool last week, who competed in several events at the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver (we swapped triathlon stories and tips!)

🌸 the vibrant colleagues, clients and participants with whom I work in Circles, workshops and other events

For me, all of these men and women have something in common… they recognize that as they move through the stages of life that each stage is as important as the one before – or after! — it, and that all those younger versions of the Self are still within them, still accessible…. the carefree spirit of the Maiden or Youth… the creativity of the Mother… the sharing of Wisdom of the Midwife and the Matriarch…

I am reminded of Diana Nyad, who was the first person to complete the 110 mile swim (53 hours) from Havana to Key West, Florida (without a shark cage), at the age of 64. That was in 2013, and it was her fifth attempt.

Upon completion, on the beach, she said:

‘I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.’

How do you feel about Nyad’s message?

As you look at your journey through life, where might you have given up rather than push forward with conviction?

What dreams might you have put aside because you thought you might be too “old”… or even too young…. or because “it’s not the right time”?

And who is on YOUR team? Who gives you support with love or friendship, by holding space for you…. or is part of your team of spiritual allies (your guides and totems of all kinds)?

COMING SOON
In support of helping you create YOUR team of allies, I will soon be announcing two new private groups here on Facebook, and I hope you will join me in one or both.

One will be open to those who are (re)claiming their connection to Mama Earth and Grandmother Moon, aka Seanmháthair Gealach, and the Divine Feminine (and Divine Masculine!) within each of us, and will include Earth- and Moon-based rituals, practices and shamanic work in a private community setting. This group will be open to all, whether this is your first step on the journey or your thousandth.

The second will also be a private group, but for those who identify as a Woman and who feel the Crone wisdom is starting to emerge in their lives, no matter what their age… not exactly a Red Tent group, more of a Silver Tent or Purple Tent! We will connect within the Facebook group for the Full Moons, weekly tips and Soul Questions  and for special rites and celebrations throughout the year honouring our transitions through the Women’s Wheel of Life. We will also meet in a monthly virtual Circle which will likely be via Zoom or UberConference, and/or Facebook Live.

I’d love to hear your comments about these new groups… what interests you, what would support you, etc.

Please comment below.

More info to come over the next couple of weeks!!!!

You can also follow me Facebook now by clicking here.


 

WP Sidebar graphics-5WP Sidebar graphics-7WP Sidebar graphics-4

 

Finding your tribe

image

Tribe. Home. Community. Family.

Whatever you call it, it’s essential for your spirit, soul and well-being to find a place of acceptance, love and nurturing, a place where you can express yourself freely …. even when (or especially when!) opinions differ… Where you can be you.

In the words of Starhawk,

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been – a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community.”

Have you found your tribe?

You are welcome here ❤️


 

WP Sidebar graphics-5WP Sidebar graphics-7WP Sidebar graphics-4