Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation - Sandra Ingerman MA, Hank Wesselman Ph.D. 2010
The Power of Ceremony and Ritual
THE ROLE OF THE VISIONARY
Ceremonies and rituals are performed to honor the spirits, to celebrate life and changes in Nature, to acknowledge rites of passage, to give thanks, and to create change. Performing a ceremony or ritual creates transformation.
Shamans are inspired visionaries who are able to access information through their invisible allies for the benefit of themselves, their families, and their communities. This process is known as divination, and it is usually accomplished through ceremony and ritual. The ability of shamans to communicate with the spirit realms enables them to act as healers and doctors, priests or priestesses, harmonizers and psychotherapists, mystics and storytellers. Throughout the group process of ceremony or ritual, visionaries are advised by inner sources of power and wisdom—their helping spirits.
Through their relationship with these transpersonal forces, shamans are also able to retrieve lost power and restore it to its original owners and remove spiritual blockages in those who are crippled by them. A shaman can also address the spiritual aspects of illness and mend the fabric of damaged souls through the performance of soul-retrieval rituals.
Ceremony is a vital part of this healing process, and it doesn’t matter if the healer is wearing a white lab coat and stethoscope or body paint and feathers. This is because the subconscious body-soul is very impressed by anything physical. In this sense, it doesn’t really matter what you do; what matters is that you do it, whatever it is, and that your intentions (and your ritual) come from the heart. By acting from this heart space, teaches Alberto Villoldo, you can more easily access a transcendent state of mind:
Shamanic rituals are different from ordinary rote practices in that they often create a collective group experience of the transcendent realms and their inhabitants that may utterly transform the experiencer. Rituals are at the core of all religions, but unlike religious ceremonies that must be repeated the same way every time until higher authorities mandate differently (as happened with the transition of the Catholic Mass from Latin to English), shamanic ritual is always different in that its outer form is suggested, not prescribed, by tradition.
Sacred ritual, properly guided by an experienced shaman, can create a “whole brain” experience that awakens the curiosity of the neocortex, satisfies the need for safety of our more primitive limbic brain, and makes ecstatic states accessed by the frontal lobes of the higher brain possible. Ritual performed wholeheartedly allows us to transcend our limiting roles and beliefs and experience more elevated states of being.
A shaman, then, is a facilitator who, through ceremony, can help others achieve a new mind state. According to José Stevens, this is one of a shaman’s main tasks:
The ceremonialist is one of the seven main functions of a shaman’s work. The others include artist, storyteller, healer, warrior, leader, and keeper of knowledge. Each function contributes to the others, which makes for a rich and comprehensive array of skills. While all shamans know something about ceremony and ritual, some shamans make this their specialty and are called in for special occasions to preside over larger, more complex ceremonies that may last several days and nights. These may include songs that go on for many hours, complex dances, prayers, and the blessing of hundreds of people. But anyone can incorporate the shamanic approach to more simple ceremonies in their daily practice.
The primary definition of a spiritually oriented ceremony offered by Webster is “a formal religious or sacred observance.” Shamans do observe sacred occasions such as solstices, equinoxes, new and full moons, fertility days, initiations, dedications, annual pilgrimages, births, marriages, and so on. But in addition they create formalities around healing practices such as plant-medicine ceremonies and the like. Often shamanic ceremonies are created for the purpose of blessing children, families, animals, sacred power places, and homes.
Ceremonies (in the generic sense) honor the different transitions we make in life. In shamanic cultures, ceremonies are also used to mark transitions; they are performed when children are born into the world, to mark different stages of life including marriage, and to honor our final transition back into the spirit world at the death of the physical body. There may be ceremonies to mourn the death of loved ones and to mark important rites of passage involving transitions in a person’s life, especially those initiations that sanctify moving from childhood to adulthood. Ceremonies are also performed to revere our ancestors who gave us life.
Shamanic ceremonies also honor the cycles of Nature. For an agricultural community, for example, ceremony is done at the time of planting to honor the ancient spirits of Nature and invite them to support the people with a good crop. Then, at the harvest, ceremony expresses the collective gratitude for the abundance with which these natural forces graced the community—abundance that allowed them to live and thrive for another year.
Ceremonies open the lines of communication between a person and the powers of the universe and solidify our relationships with our helping spirits. Ceremonies also create change, so they are a potent tool to use when one is ready for a shift in life.
In the indigenous world, war dances, rain dances, or healing rites do not necessarily cause victory, bring rain, or cure a sick person. But the ceremony can and does bring about a remarkable (and measurable) physiological change in members of the group as tension and excitement rise, peak, and then subside. And it still may also bring victory, rain, or healing.
RITUALS AND CEREMONIES
Strictly defined, ceremonies have a predetermined structure and goal. In this sense, everyone participating in the ceremony has a predetermined role, and the ability of highly structured ceremony to create change cannot be underestimated, especially in helping maintain the physical and metaphysical equilibrium of any given community.
Ritual, on the other hand, is much more open-ended. When we are engaged in ritual, we always have intentions for doing so, yet the end result may be quite different from those expectations. This is because there comes a point in every authentic ritual in which the spirits arrive, and then any predetermined structure or form may go right out the window.
In ceremony, the practitioners are in control from beginning to end. In ritual, the spirits run the show and the results can be truly startling as well as life-changing.
José Stevens, who spent years training with the Huichol Indians, was able to see this spontaneous aspect of ritual first-hand:
The primary purpose of ceremony in my understanding is to create a container for a specific shamanic event. The container focuses the group on the task at hand, helps define the purpose, and offers protection so there will be no outside interference. Ritual, on the other hand, begins with a prescribed or established procedure for a religious experience such as an annual pilgrimage to a place of power, yet most shamanic rituals have a high degree of spontaneity. In shamanic practice, you find both ceremony and ritual. The Huichols of Mexico create a yearly ceremony of light in November, but the ritual of it ensures that the ceremony is never exactly the same.
According to Hank Wesselman, another way to describe the difference between ceremony and ritual is that ceremony is the prescribed procedure, but ritual is the magic:
Religious rituals perform several important functions. In a supernatural sense, religious ritual usually involves the manipulation of symbols in order to control, influence, or persuade supernatural powers or archetypal forces to assist us in achieving some given end. (And of course, religious ritual can used to express all or part of the complex drama of human life from birth to death.)
In a political-ideological sense, religious ritual reinforces group solidarity. Group prayer, choir singing, dancing, feasting, or having a pep rally all involve acting as a group that integrates individual behaviors into a community structure. This communal experience helps reduce tension and allows individuals to feel a sense of belonging. And it is here that we can bring up the subject of magic.
True magic involves specific ritual procedures that if followed precisely are designed to bring about specific desired results, usually by enlisting the aid of supernatural forces. The recitation of the Lord’s Prayer is a good example of using magic in ritual, so allow me to (respectfully) offer two versions here, one from the religious perspective (on the left) and one from the mystical/visionary frame of reference (on the right).
Who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
And deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
My immortal oversoul-self
Who exists in the Upper World
Sacred is your symbol.
Grant us access,
Let your wisdom and intentions be manifested,
On earth as they are in the spirit world.
Be forgiving of our departures from the path,
And help us to be forgiving of others.
Protect us from craving,
Protect us from the dark forces,
For you are the source of my power and my being forever.
This is magic in every sense. We invoke the archetypal forces, in this case our own higher self, to be of service to us; state what it is that we need/want; and then honor the source. And as is true with any authentic ritual involving magic, we have no idea of what the outcome may be, but we hope for the best. And when this takes place in culturally meaningful ceremony in the company of other like-minded folk, it enhances both the process as well as the power of the process.
In summary, true magic involves a ritual in which an accomplished practitioner accesses or even steps into the transpersonal realms, connects with the power that is available there, and then bridges this power back into our everyday world to manifest something—healing for example.
Another way to distinguish between ritual and ceremony, teaches Sandra Ingerman, is that ritual can be as simple as a healing process that is incorporated into your life on a daily basis:
In my own practice, I use the word “ritual” to imply healing work that will be repeated every day, once a week, or once a month. For example, I might have a ritual that I perform daily to honor the helping spirits who reside where I live. A ceremony is something I might perform once by myself or with a group, usually for a desired result.
You can perform a ceremony or ritual for just about anything. In my workshops we perform ceremonies in order to curtail beliefs and attitudes that prevent us from using our creative energy to create a good life for the planet and ourselves. We use ritual to create agreement between ourselves and the power of the universe for what we wish to create in our lives. When we use ceremony for manifesting something we want, we can add to the power of our creative potential by working in partnership with the creative forces of the universe.
KEY INGREDIENTS OF CEREMONY AND RITUAL
There is no correct way to perform a ceremony or ritual. What is important is that you use your own creativity to come up with a ceremony to perform. Here are some key ingredients:
1. Set a strong and clear intention about what you want to accomplish.
2. Concentrate and stay focused on what you are doing. If you become distracted, your energy becomes disconnected from the spiritual forces within.
3. Create a feeling of harmony with yourself, your helping spirits, and, through them, the power of the universe. When we are in a state of harmony, our hearts open and we become one with the universe, and it is this union that mystics use for creation and healing.
In addition to these guidelines, take the length of your ceremony or ritual into account. Hank, for example, stresses the importance of keeping it relatively short:
Shamans, unlike medicine people and ceremonialists, tend to keep their rituals simple and keep them short. From the visionary perspective, the most powerful ceremonies and rituals get right to the point. They open the door, connect with the powers that be, state the intention, then honor those allies that will help with the manifestation of what is needed, including the process.
In order to create your ceremony or ritual, it might be helpful to write out a plan beforehand. José Stevens, through his participation in a variety of shamanic ceremonies, has noted that they almost always have some key elements:
Design your own ceremony with all the elements (listed below) or as many as are appropriate. Be sure to allow plenty of opportunity for spontaneity. When you carry out the ceremony, perhaps give participants different duties or parts to lead the rest of the group in. Later you can repeat the ceremony—on a different day with different people. Include the elements you used before and see how different the ceremony can turn out.
1. An opening song or statement that greets all the participants and makes the purpose of the ceremony or ritual clear.
2. An offering of gratitude to Spirit for the good fortune to have come together.
3. A calling to the land, the elements, and the directions that contribute and support the ceremony.
4. A calling in or petitioning of other allies or helping spirits to support the ceremony and its purpose.
5. A cleansing of all the participants, which can be a way of initiating participants into the ceremony or ritual. Burning incense and using the smoke of the incense to clear the energy of a person is a common way of cleansing. Different cultures use different incense from plants where they live. In the Native American traditions, sage or sweetgrass is often used for cleansing purposes.
6. A blessing element designed to increase the health or good fortune of all attending.
7. Prayers asking that the goodness of the ceremony may radiate to others not in attendance, perhaps the whole planet.
8. Songs and dances with instrumentation such as drumming, rattling, flute playing, clapping, foot stomping, bell ringing, and so on. This may occur throughout the ceremony or at certain transition points.
9. A closing announcing that the ceremony is terminated.
10. A thank you to all the helping spirits and a message that releases them from the sacred space.
11. A releasing of the directions (described in Chapter 3) and an unwinding designed to return the participants to an ordinary or normal state of awareness.
Singing and Dancing
The spirits tend to read our hearts and not our minds, so we want to make sure we begin our ceremonies and rituals with an open heart. Furthermore, an open heart will help us imagine that our work will be successful; if you can’t imagine a successful result then it may not happen.
Singing and dancing are wonderful ways to enhance harmony during a ritual or ceremony. You can sing songs you love or do some drumming and rattling and let your own soul sing a new song that comes through you. When you sing with passion, the energy moves from a mental state into your heart, and your heart opens.
You can perform ceremonies or rituals alone or with a group. When you work with the support of a group, you add your intention and power to the work you are doing. We have found over the years that when a powerful group focuses on healing or on helping someone manifest a dream, there is more power than when one works on his or her own. A collective focus creates a more successful outcome.
Though the number of participants plays a strong role in the outcome of a ceremony, according to Sandra it is not the most important ingredient. She emphasizes the need to be clear on your intention and wording when performing a ritual or ceremony:
In my practice, sometimes I work alone and sometimes I work with a group. I perform ceremonies when needed and when the time is right, but sometimes I can’t always wait until I am with a group of people to do my work. What is most important, then, is my intention.
Ceremonies are so potent that it is important to get very clear on my intention. Working with your helping spirits to find the right words to use is pivotal.
I have a funny story to share about this, one that happened when I was presenting at a conference years ago. As I have written in my book Medicine for the Earth, I often find myself meeting people who know how passionate I feel about using ceremonies to create change and to help manifest what it is that we desire in life.
On this occasion, a woman came up to me and introduced herself. She then informed me that she had performed a ceremony to find a rich man, and then she turned and introduced me to her husband, Rich, who she announced was poor. They both laughed as she told me this story.
When I first began to practice shamanism, I thought I had to learn how to perform ceremonies because they hold so much power. And then I met a teacher who regularly led ceremonies in Northern California. The most important piece of information she gave me was that there is no right way to perform a ceremony. You just have to set a clear intention.
With that statement, she gave me freedom, and I then started to perform ceremonies for all sorts of different reasons. In response, I experienced how powerful they were in creating change in my life. It was then that I learned that I had to be careful about my wording. For example, my own ego did not always know what was for my highest good, and sometimes I did not understand how my wording was affecting my results. There are many stories from different traditions about people asking for an open heart. And the next thing they know they are in the hospital having open-heart surgery. So be careful what you ask for.
Your power animals and teachers in nonordinary reality can give you guidance on right intention and the correct wording to use. I highly recommend that you consult with your helping spirits as you create an intention for a ceremony. Make sure what you are asking for is for your highest potential.
Myth and Legend in Ceremonies
One way of getting creative with your ceremony, shares Carol Proudfoot-Edgar, is by incorporating the mythic into it:
Bring more of the mythic and legendary into your ceremonies. Myths and legends take place in a world half-formed, where humans and animals interact or share identities, and the entire cosmos is dominated by legendary figures such as White Buffalo Woman, Kokopelli, Spider Woman, Raven, Heyokas, and Bear Mothers—just to mention a few found in North America. I have spent a great deal of time in various methods of research exploring these myths and legends, and they have become a central part of my ceremonies.
I do this because I believe a new myth is seeking to be born through us. This new story or way of being has more chance of being born if we carry the seeds from previous myths into today and if we are taught by the figures of legend.
Every ceremony I do includes some ancient story because the realm of story can reinforce our collective experience of these wonderful archaic realities.
Here is an activity you can try. The next time you, or your Circle, does a ceremony, journey to see what mythic figure wishes to be present in your ceremony—or search to see what ancient story illustrates the purpose of your ceremony. Then include that mythic figure or that story in your ceremony.
TYPES OF CEREMONIES
Ceremonies can be performed to honor a life transition or the cycles of Nature. They can also mark a time of letting go of something that no longer serves you or to bring in something you want in life.
Here are examples that might inspire you to find your own purposes for a ceremony or ritual:
• You can perform a ceremony at an important birthday when you feel you have reached a new stage of life.
• You can perform a ceremony at each solstice or equinox to honor the change in seasons.
• You can perform a ceremony when getting engaged or to break the connection between you and another if you are getting divorced.
• You can perform a ceremony if you want to manifest a new job or a relationship.
• You can perform a ceremony when a death of a friend or loved one has occurred to wish them well in their journey back to their spiritual home.
At the end of the chapter, we will give you an exercise to create a ceremony that will speak to something you personally need right now in your life.
One especially helpful subject for ceremony, teaches Sandra, is to release blocking beliefs from your life:
One of the central questions my clients and students need to address is, “What core belief or attitude do you hold that blocks you from using your energy to create a joyful life?” I have discovered that the beliefs that have the most power over us are beliefs about ourselves that we picked up from our family at a pre-verbal age—the belief that we are not good enough or the belief that we are not lovable, for example.
Before performing a ceremony to release those blocking beliefs, it is good to identify what negative belief or attitude you took on at a very young age. Every time you attempt to make positive changes in your life, there is often something held in your unconscious that sabotages you again and again.
In response, we can journey to a helping spirit with whom we have developed a good relationship and whom we trust. We might ask them the following question: “What is the core belief or attitude that I am holding that blocks me from using my creativity to the fullest?”
The reason I insert the word “core” into this question is that this is the key word in uncovering what you picked up at a non-verbal age. Once you have diagnosed the nature of your block, it is your choice to let it go. For this purpose I like to work with fire ceremonies.
Another possible theme for your ceremony is fire. From a visionary perspective, fire is a living being whose nature is to transform and transmute. In this sense, we can ask the fire elemental spirit to work in partnership with us to transform the energy of our blocking belief into pure light.
A Fire Ceremony
You can perform a fire ceremony alone or in a group. Ceremony done in a group magnifies its power. You can work with just a few other people; the group need not be large to experience an exponential effect.
The first step is to create a power object that will embody or symbolize your blocking belief or attitude. Have fun with making your power object, suggests Sandra:
Let your intuition guide you when developing your power object. For example, you can find a stick in Nature and wrap some yarn around it. When you wind the yarn, it symbolizes the unwinding from your held belief. Some people draw a picture; some write a letter. I have found that people are infinitely creative in coming up with a power object. Just make sure that you always treat whatever you take from Nature with honor and respect.
Once you have made your power object, you can journey on how to fully infuse the power of the belief into your object. One way I work is to rattle and sing and really shake out of me what I want to get into my object.
Again, it is important to understand that the shamanic art you create does not represent power. Shamanic art is power.
Next, bring the fire into your ceremony, which, Sandra notes, can be done in a myriad of ways:
You can use a fireplace for your ceremony, or, if conditions are safe outside, you can build a fire on the ground or use a barbecue. In one group I worked with years ago, we could only use a sewer grate on a street on which to build a fire. While working in the darkness, we felt that we were in the middle of the wilderness. The power that the group generated was so strong that the location of the fire no longer mattered.
Be responsible and avoid building an outdoor fire where there would be any danger of sparks creating a major problem. Always put out the fire after you are done, and do it with gratitude.
While building the fire, tell the fire what you are doing; remember that you are working in partnership and collaboration with the element of fire in your ceremony. You also might want to burn some incense or sing or meditate to create a sacred space. In North America sage is often burned, in South America copal or special tobacco is used, and in Australia eucalyptus is an effective incense.
Some people are sensitive to incense smoke, so there are sage sprays that you can buy or make. You can also use organic rosewater sprays where the fragrance dissipates quickly.
For many, including Hank, burning incense is an integral part of any ritual or ceremony:
Incense cues the subconscious body-soul that you are doing sacred work, separating what was a few moments ago from what is now. Remember, the body-soul is very impressed by anything physical. Ritual, ceremony, and incense will alert your body’s soul, and in response to your focused intention, it will obligingly open that inner doorway in your heart so that the rest can happen.
Remember once again that intention in a ceremony or ritual is the most important key. So if you can find an incense that you like, burn it with intention to honor the spirits of the earth, air, water, fire, your helping spirits, the helping ancestors, the moon, the stars, and the spirit that lives in all things. By doing so, you extend the invitation to all your spiritual allies and helping spirits to join you in your spiritual endeavor.
If you are working in a group during your ceremony with fire, sing and dance together to create a beautiful heart-filled space. You can keep up the drumming and rattling as each person comes forth when they are ready to place their power object, infused with their limiting belief, into the fire. With community support, we feel the power needed to let go of beliefs that have been running our lives. They are old attachments that need to be released.
As each person leaves their object on the fire, each should show gratitude toward the flame that everyone is working in partnership with. “You might wish to give the fire an offering in thanks after placing your object in the fire,” says Sandra. “In my fire ceremonies I give cedar to the fire in gratitude. Others offer tobacco.”
If you are working alone, create your fire/belief-blocking ceremony in the same way as you would with a group. Instead of having a large fire, you can use the flame of a candle to burn a note in the sink or bathtub. When finished, invite the spirit of water to clear the space.
Once your ceremony is complete, thank the spirit of fire and the helping spirits that you invited in to witness your work, and then acknowledge that your work is done. You don’t want to walk away from a ceremony without acknowledging the spirits whom you invited to provide you with power, protection, and support. This is common courtesy—and correct protocol.
Once a ceremony has been performed, an intention has been set into motion, creating movement and enabling you to let go of the past. You may then move forward onto new roads that are not looping back to your childhood and your past wounds. You can now live out ways of being that support you in being able to fully express your soul’s purpose. Creating a positive present and optimistic future for yourself is not only healing for yourself but also for humanity and the planet at large. Fully remembering who you really are and living your soul’s purpose is your destiny.
EXERCISE: CEREMONY FOR STEPPING INTO YOUR TRUE IDENTITY
Sandra shared with us a ceremony to let go of blocking beliefs. Alberto Villoldo shares with us the need to look at the labels we cling to and how to let go of ones that no longer serve us. This next ceremony will help you to redefine who you are.
For most of us, our self-definition is so important that we cling to our labels and roles and never explore how we can redefine ourselves. Our roles are our ego; without them, we feel that we’ll be losing the essence of who we are and, in a sense, “dying.”
Through ceremony you can incinerate your roles in order to let go of your limitations. Afterward, you’ll discover the possibilities of those very same roles—without getting stuck in the story you created around them. Your roles then become what you do instead of who you are.
To perform this ceremony by Alberto Villoldo, you will need some twigs, several strips of paper, a pen, a fire, and your courage. Gaze into the flames (a fireplace, barbecue, or firepit) and let your thoughts slow down and fade in intensity. Cease to give them weight, and watch as they begin to dissipate. Fire has a mysterious ability to help you enter a state of lucid reverie in which you can access the Dreamtime.
On each strip of paper, write a role, label, or self-definition that you identify with. Be sure to include them all: husband, wife, father, mother, doctor, breadwinner, shaman, nurse, recovering alcoholic, student, lover, or whatever your roles may be. All of these roles, no matter how exalted, have bound you and kept you stuck. Wrap each strip around a twig, and thank each role for the lessons it has taught you and the powers it bestowed upon you. Bless each role and then place the twig in the fire and watch it burn. Continue this process with all your roles, and know that you are creating a sacred ritual for yourself.
Feel the heat as each twig burns, making sure that you witness this from a still place. Imagine the demands of your roles disappearing into smoke and ash as you’re freed from playing the part of mother, spouse, son, or employee, and open your heart to receive the gifts that each of these roles present to you. Know that you cannot be defined by your roles, but you can perform them with beauty and grace.
As we have said, ceremonies can also be performed to honor ourselves and Nature. Historian Tom Cowan—who teaches workshops and writes about Celtic shamanism—shares a ceremony that you can perform to honor yourself and a symbolic force in your life.
In some of the Celtic shamanic work that I do with groups, we honor and journey to the Dark Mothers, such as the Cailleach or the Old Bone Mother, by building a cairn to her and using that as the entry into her world.
Each person in the group brings a stone about the size of a computer mouse and places it on the pile in a ritualistic way, usually accompanied by soft drumming. Then we bless the cairn by crumbling sage or dried leaves over it, and sprinkling it with water. We might also smudge it with the smoke of burning sage. We build this cairn in memory of our most ancient ancestors who built cairns over passage tombs and dolmens in Western Europe, many of which still stand today.
The pile of stones contains numerous cracks and entries, so when we journey we allow our spirits to enter at one of these openings. Each person then wanders through the crevices and spaces inside the cairn until a “room” is found. On the wall of the room we sketch a representation or symbol of our power animal or some other pertinent symbol, thus making the space a sanctuary. Then we return and dance around the cairn.
Next, we make plans to reenter the cairn to meet the Dark Mother with our intention, whether it be to gain knowledge, wisdom, insight, or spiritual help in our lives.
If we are in a workshop of several days, we leave the cairn in the center until we are finished. Taking the cairn apart must be done in reverse order from how it was built in order to get back the stone you put on, although each person does not need to get their exact stone back unless for some reason the group decides to do so.
An optional follow-up is to scry the stone you take back for a symbol or message of peace. Each person then speaks the message of peace either in a circle or outside, where the cairn can be rebuilt as a “peace cairn” that will remain as a beacon or permanent prayer for peace and as a memento of the shamanic work you did there.
Working with ceremony will bring a richness into your life and will lead you back into a place of appreciation, awe, wonder, and connection with the invisible worlds. The ceremonies described in this chapter are meant to be an inspiration so that you can use these principles as guidelines in creating a powerful experience. They will allow you to apply your own creative brilliance to come up with a ritual for the healing and transformation of yourself and your community.
EXERCISE: DESIGNING YOUR OWN CEREMONY
Now that you have learned some key elements that go into performing a ceremony and have seen examples of ceremonies, it is time for you to design a ceremony you can use for yourself.
We suggest that you perform a journey to a power animal, guardian spirit, or teacher and ask them if there is a particular ceremony that would be helpful to honor yourself or Nature, to bring something to you, or to let go of something that no longer serves you.
Ask your helping spirit to assist you in coming up with the right wording for the intention for your ceremony. Then ask your helping spirit to help you design a ceremony that you can perform.
You might find that it is important to invite friends to your ceremony or you might wish to perform it alone.
As you become comfortable with performing ceremonies, you might find yourself journeying on ceremonies for another person or for your community.