IxChel

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IxChel!  I first heard about this goddess in 1994 when the book Sastun, by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, floated into my life.  I read the book in one sitting, in one night.  Being of Belizean heritage, this story of an American woman who lived in the jungles of Belize, studying herbs with one of the last known Mayan shaman healers of the region, had me absolutely intrigued and awakened.  Within six weeks of reading this true account of Dr. Rosita and Don Elijio Panti’s life, I was packed and moving to Belize.  Little did I know, at the time, the Goddess had beckoned.

I had a wild idea… and the Fool/Maiden (Tarot Card 0) set that journey in motion.  I found myself in a canoe on the Macal River in Belize, with a Mayan man, being rowed six miles upriver to Ixchel Farm, home and workplace of Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  Although I had the moxy to get myself to her doorstep, I didn’t quite have the self esteem to pronounce that I wanted to be her next apprentice.  Whatever did stumble out of my mouth, I’ll never quite forget her reply.  She told me I was unseasoned for work in the jungle, that I was a young girl who needed some life experience.  She told me to go have a baby.

Well, since she was my absolute heroine for the moment.  I took her advice seriously, and quite literally.  Without a husband, man or prospect of any mate, I decided it was time to have a child.  Quite honestly, a strong biological urge had been nagging me to do just this.  So without further ado, the next man who showed interest was my prey.  Hence, began my journey into motherhood.  I was living on a three mile island, Caye Caulker, Belize and had been forbidden by the local health officials to deliver my first child at home, seeing as how there was no doctor, not to mention a hospital, on the island.  I do believe this is where my true relationship with Ixchel, a fellow Caribbean islander, Goddess of fertility, childbirth, healing & herbs, rainbow, the moon and all female issues, began in earnest.

I called Dr. Rosita to ask for her advice in locating a midwife.  I was determined to stay at home, like my Belizean grandmother before me, who had all twelve kids in the family home. Dr. Rosita referred me to one of her main herbal teachers and ally’s in Belize; the lovely, kind Hortence Robinson, who could neither read or write, but had delivered over 2000 babies in her career as a midwife.  Needless to say, all went very well and my first son Angel entered the world, not quite as we all planned, but safe and sound, on a wooden terrace in the tropics, with his Papa, my black cat Eclipse and the seagrape tree as witnesses.  Hortence arrived shortly post delivery, but just in time to facilitate my after-care, which is where I began to experience firsthand Belize’s deep & rich history with massage, abdominal care, vaginal steams and herbs; all treatments over which Ixchel definitely presides.

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True to my lot in life, ever keen to take on more than I can manage, I went on to have five lovely children as the Empress (Tarot Card 3) walked hand in hand with me for many years.  Each and every child was delivered at home, three, in the conscientious care of indigenous midwives, and two, mysteriously, of my own accord.  Again, this is where Ixchel guided and led me through these deep rites of passage & initiations to womanhood.  I’m gonna be honest, nothing is going to make you feel stronger than delivering your own babies.  (please note:  I’m not recommending anyone to run out and do anything quite so steeped in the unknown).

Living in Meso-America will keep you right in the arms of Ixchel and once you have called upon her, be prepared to meet her in all her aspects.  She can be depicted as a beautiful Maiden holding onto her rabbit, bringing fertility, abundance and all the hope of youth.  She can be depicted as the caring Mother weaving the dreams of her life and the universe, working with the healing herbs, and offering her good medicine.  She can also be depicted as the Crone, the cosmic midwife and the destroyer, accompanied by the transformational snake on her head, wearing crossbones on her skirt and pouring out a water jug onto the Earth that may bring floods and rainstorms of destruction.

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I came to know her in every aspect she choose to appear.  As the Maiden she gifted me with endless fertility.  As the Mother, she offered me multiple webs to weave in which to care for my family.  As the Crone, she came to teach me about death, decay and tragic loss.

Shockingly, my fourth child and only daughter died (Tarot Card 13) on the island, at age two, of dysenterry.  My tropical dream was no longer so magical.  The path I walked, no-one coveted.  Ergo, Ix-Chel could not remain my most venerated Deity.  She was a force with whom to be reckoned.  I had to blame someone.  I blamed God/dess.  I was a grief-stricken mother whose spiritual path had failed her, a woman with no religion, a born-again atheist.

I relocated back to the USA to a small town, Ashland, Oregon (Tarot Card 16, the Tower).  I was driving one day with my friend, shortly after arriving, a huge double rainbow extended itself from one side of our 4 mile by 4 mile town, to the other.  It was so magnificent, we stopped the car to admire the width and breath and beauty of these rainbows (the picture below does not do the rainbow proper justice).  Although my friend could not possibly know the context of this appearance, I knew this was IxChel, The Lady Rainbow herself, communicating that she was indeed with me, that she had actually never forsaken me, and that I was to carry her with me to this new land.  The Goddess diaspora is real.  Atheism is terribly lonely.

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I surrendered to the spiritual journey once again and began my small practice of spiritual healing with a few humble offerings, but with IxChel always at my side as my patron guide & goddess.  It took six years in Ashland to come alive and heed her call to return to Belize to work with Dr. Rosita Arvigo in earnest.  Thus, I arrived at IxChel Farm, 24 years after my initial pilgrimage, this time by road & vehicle, carrying 24 pounds of rose quartz for my daughters grave, and enrolled as a student to participate in a Mayan spiritual healing course being offered to learn the art of spiritual bathing.  A dream realized.  Some things take time.

I needed each and every one of the multiple herbal flower baths we took through these trainings.  Layers upon layers of memories and grief were released into the land of Belize at IxChel Farm.

I came to realize that due to Dr. Rosita’s life path and story, she had brought me numerous gifts: she lured me back to my homeland where I could establish real roots in sweet Belize, she gifted me the omnipotent IxChel, she encouraged me to get on with my life as a mother, she guides me in healing with the plants and herbs of Belize, but most importantly, she opened the door for me to find my true life calling and purpose (Tarot Card 21, the World).

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As I approach menopause and the crone phase of life, I am busy researching a trip to Isla de Mujeres, the Island of Women, in Mexico which was IxChel’s original home.  I am spiritually preparing for this epic ceremonial pilgrimage to Her power place.  Historically women travelled to island three times in their life, to consecrate their menstruation, to pray for fertility & safe passage with childbirth and to bring offerings at menopause.  I am gathering up my gifts:  jade, clay statues, cocoa beans, turquoise, and hand woven objects; and planning, as well as anyone can plan for such a journey.  Lady Rainbow has looked after me and it is soon time to pay homage to this mysterious Goddess of the Moon (Tarot Card, 17).

This true tale, obviously, is to be continued…

In the Temple of Ixchel

I have come with my sisters before
where aqua waters arc their constant caress
around the southern point of the island.
Now when the ruins are nearly disappeared,
I walk this path that curves above the cliffs,
but once before,
I prayed and sang in procession.
Once before we laughed to be so safe
in the Temple of Ix Chelab Yax.
Faint music from the past—

flute and voice, gull,
something sweetly strung—
all for Her, the Fecund Mother.
Here I greet my gone-before,
who nods in glad surprise
to me, her elder descendant.
I walk the sea wall singing
for Daughter IxChel, for Mama Tonantzin.
The rocks remain, and the rolling sea,

where I return to honor Her.
Ask, Ixchel demands. And so, again, I do.
Goddess of Conception, change my view
and let me trust in Love.
Goddess of Birth,
in the time of the fifth sun, may I give light,
and may I learn to receive it.
Goddess of all Nurture,
grant that I and the world be done with blaming.
May I with the earth, rise as your daughter,
free and whole in love.

©Susa Silvermarie 2013

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Denai Grace Fuller, Cihuatochtli, is a Mama of five, Tarot Guide, Acolyte of IxChel, spiritual healer, flower essence practitioner, flower alchemist and student of Nahualism. She can be found @ http://www.moonflowermedicine.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grandmothers Speak

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Hiking a short forested trail with my dog on the foothills of Ashland, Oregon, I come to a soothing assortment of Standing Stones. Here I sit at the base of a Grandmother Madrone tree with a panoramic view to this picturesque mountain town I call home. At some time in the life span of this Madrone, she has been struck by lightning. I love the energy she holds from the fire that must have ensued. Some of her branches are charred, burnt and dead, but mostly, her branches are gorgeously rejuvenated and continue to grow in a myriad of directions. She is currently loaded with berries, she stands atop this mountainside, a glorious specimen, a true testament to the resilience of Mother Nature.

I was drawn to this place to make an essence. I open my 1 ounce dropper essence bottle filled with Icelandic artesian vodka and Mt. Shasta spring water, both ingredients hold importance. I am deeply aware of the current struggle for fresh water being led by the woman in North Dakota and of the woman in Iceland who seem to be standing strong in their fight for equal rights. I call out to Grandmother Madrone, “Come bless my essence with your energy, I call forth the energies of a woman, struck by force, who wills her own rejuvenation, so that she may bloom again”. I named this essence, the ‘Grandmothers Speak’… through thunder and lightning… of the end of the patriarchy, of the healing of the woman. It is rejuvenation energy medicine.

This particular sacred Earth place is where my mother has chosen to make her presence known to me this year. “Be still daughter”, she says. “Bear witness to the women rising.” My mother was the victim of domestic violence. She has called me to Grandmother Madrone to impart wisdom. She is making it clear to me that although her life was short, and sad, that she created me, who lives on. Although she could not, by example, show me the home of an honored woman, she has led me to the very lessons needed to realize that women are sacred.  She insists that I would create the balanced home of a woman well-loved. She marvels at my fastidiousness to heal the lineage of the women of my family and bloodline. She bows in reverence to the challenges of my path.

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My mother started communicating with me in earnest last year when she nudged me to go to the shrine of Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City. This annual day of reverence, 12-12, is the Feast of Lady Guadalupe, it is also my mothers birthday. Serendipitously, I embarked on a shamanic training with Sergio Magana, Ocecoyotl in which I found myself in a moving crowd of nine million Catholic devotees and indigenous pilgrims. Sergio’s students, honoring the old religious protocol of the Aztec, walked along with clear intent as we performed various prayers & movements to heal our blood lines and to release our underworlds. Our six-hour walk will eventually lead us to the mound of Tonatizin Tlalli Coatlicue, the original Aztec Mother Goddess, Mother Earth herself, who the Spanish conquerors displaced hundreds of years prior with the current Basilica of Lady Guadalupe.

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I was slightly amused by the perfect crossroads of Christianity and Shamanism, where my mother and I could actually, peacefully, meet. On this annual religious pilgrimage, I was able to light a candle requesting the Lady Guadalupe to assist me in my healing desires for my family, I was able to kneel on the earth offering deep gratitude to the original Earth Mother who provides all, and I was able to find an inner peace with my own Mother who had departed twenty-eight years prior from bone cancer.

Shortly after her death, I was called to Joshua Tree, California for my first plant medicine initiation. I lay under the desert night sky, riddled with more stars than I had ever seen, aware that some of those stars were speaking to me; they were my ancestors voices whispering. I was able to feel my mother safely in the Mictlans, the land of the dead. Throughout that night, the Sky World Ancestors kept urging me to remember. Remember. I have often been haunted by that particular spiritual quest as I never quite understood what message was being transmitted.

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Nor did I know, it would be years later, in a pine forest, at the base of a madrone tree, after many life lessons, marriage, motherhood, loss of love, divorce, and maturity, far from the land of my birth, at the dawn of the 5th world, I’d finally realize the simple and potent message being imparted on that starry night: Remember who you are!

YOU are a Holy Being. You are the center of this universe. You are the creative life force. You are the beginning and the end. It is in your arms that all is well. YOU are the Holy Grail. Front and center. To be honored, respected, heard and seen. “Violating a woman is a violation against God, a sin against yourself; karmic suicide.” (Gina Loring)  Any world, family unit, work environment or religious system that does not operate with this foundational belief is doomed to fail.

Woman, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Warrior. Remember!

It took years upon years of untangling, unraveling and re-patterning to believe these simple truths. It has taken centuries to reach this juncture in history, the dismantling of the patriarchy, the empowered woman, the supportive male. It is time.

“Aztec myth tells how the deity Quetzalcoatl, who in the Nahuatl language means “feathered serpent,” journeyed to Mictlan at the dawning of the Fifth Sun (the present world era), in order to restore humankind to life from the bones of those who had lived in previous eras. For bones are like seeds: everything that dies goes into the earth, and from the earth new life is born in the sacred cycle of existence”. http://www.wilderutopia.com

At Grandmother Madrone, high up on an North American earth mound, I carry a candle to the Lady Guadalupe to thank her for cradling me in her Mexican Basilica while hearing my prayers. Here, on this mountaintop, I bow down in prayerful thanksgiving to Tonantzin, Mother Earth, for everything. Everything.

Here, in Ashland, Oregon, I feel my Belizean mother’s full presence as my main ancestral guide. The Original Sky World Ancestor. It is my deceased mother, after all, who has dedicated her bones to the earth to offer me life and it is she who has called me to this rejuvenation tree to connect with my stars, and to make good medicine.

-Denai Grace Fuller, Cihuatochtli
is a Tarot Guide who offers hand-crafted flower & earth essences:
The Grandmothers Speak is a rejuvenation Earth essence which heals mother/daughter wounds and the female spirit $12.00.

Yemeya

“A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism.”
― Dion Fortune

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Yemeya

Goddess of the Sea. Mother of the Sea. Mother of Pearl. Mother of Dreams & Secrets. Empress of the Seven Oceans. Orisha of the Oceans. Womb of Creation. Constantly Coming Woman. Stella Maris (Star of the Sea). Mama Watta (Mother Water). Truly, THE Mother of All. Her name is spelled in many different ways depending on where one resides: Yemeya, Yemaya, Ymoja, Yemaja, Iemanja, Yemalla, Yemalia, Yemonja, Yemana, Balianna.

In Yoroba land, from where this Goddess originates, Yeye Omo Eja means The Mother Whose Children Are Fish. We begin as fish-like fetuses in the waters of our mothers’ wombs, we must traverse those early embryonic fluids and evolve to our human baby form. Both modern-day science and ancient cultures have an understanding that all life originated from the sea. And, one day, it is to these waters and the earth itself that we shall again return.

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In the oral tradition of the Yoruba tribe of West Africa, originally Yemeya was the river goddess of their largest tributary, Ogun River, which was well-known to bring fertility. She resided far away from any ocean. She was an Orisha, a powerful force of nature. Yemeya was married to Aganyu, both were mortal god-humans, children of other mortal god-humans, created by Olodumare, the God Almighty.

Together, Yemeya and Aganyu had a son named Orungun. When Orungun became a teenager, he rebelled against his Father by raping his Mother. When Orungun attempted to rape his Mother a second time, she escaped to the highest mountaintop, the Chappal Waddi also known as the Mountain of Death, where she evoked all manner of retribution and justice by cursing her son until he died. Soon after, Yemeya found herself pregnant for her son, thus it came to pass, on that majestic mountaintop, 7900 feet above sea level, that she gave birth to 14 powerful nature spirits called Orishas. As her uterine waters spilled forth, a Great Flood ensued, which in turn created our world’s seven oceans. In her deep and regretful sorrow, Yemeya decided to take her life. Much later her bones birthed the first mortal man and woman, hence, Yemoja is called the Mother of All.

When her people were brutally captured and hoarded onto the slave ships, Yemaya had no choice but to gather her Spirit and go on this frightful journey, to protect and to guide the lives of her tribe, granting as many as possible safe passage to the New World. Africans, from this area, having never experience the expansive salty waterways, and under severe distress, naturally elevated Yemeya to the Goddess of the Ocean. The African diaspora brought Yemeya to a new land where she was to be worshiped by West Africans, Afro-Caribbeans and Brazilians alike for many purposes… fisherman pray to her for fish and prosperity, travelers and sailors pray to her for safe passage and calm seas, mothers pray to her for protection and guidance, maidens & women with empty wombs pray to her for fertility, all manners of people pray to her for seductive prowess and wealth, inhabitants of the coastal terrains pray to her for benevolent waves and gentle storms, and, of course, in those early slave days, Africans and their offspring simply prayed to survive.

Dedicated to slaves thrown over during Middle Passage!

Dedicated to slaves thrown over during Middle Passage!

According to legend, Yemaya’s first gift to the Africans of the New World was a sea shell in which her voice could always be heard. To this day we honor Yemaya when we hold a shell to our ear in order to hear her voice, the ocean. Listen!

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I met Yemeya while living on the islands of Belize. She taught me how to float, how to surrender and definitely how to play in her waters. She reminded me to take time to replenish, to nurture and to nourish myself. She brought me coral, conch pearls and all manner of conch jewelry in which to beautify my body. She bewitched the fisherman on my behalf ensuring a constant supply of good seafood to my home and restaurant. She protected my young boys as they traversed the Caribbean Sea, learning to swim, to snorkel, to dive, to haul lobster, to spearfish and to play. She saved my life one stormy day on the sea while I was drowning by sending me her most treasured consort, Old Man of the Sea, Juni Zladivar. She entertained me with dolphins, turtles, manatees and many more sea creatures. She magically enlivened my life with her incandescent colors on the early morning seascapes. She healed my aches and pains with her salty waters. She comforted me when life seemed like it offered more than I could bear. She is my unwavering, most trustworthy friend. She continues to be my benefactor!

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Yemeya embodies all aspects of a balanced, healthy Mother archetype… Deeply caring, kind, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, protective, comforting, empowered, abundant, providing, resplendent, nurturing, creative, merciful, generous, forbidding, powerful and stern.

“Invoke Yemeya for blessings, compassion, wisdom, fertility, creation, riches, inspiration, mother hood, female power, natural wealth, love spells, white magic, sea spells, fertility rituals, water magic, women’s issues, childbirth, sustaining life, washing away sorrows, revealing mysteries, acquiring ancient wisdom, protecting the home, learning not to give your power away, and comforting children in crisis. Invoke her as Erzukie for beauty, good fortune, and good health. Invoke her as Yemoja to cure infertility, as Yemana for rain, as Emanjah for teaching children, as Yemaya Olokun for dream magic and protecting babies in the womb; and as Yemaya Atarmagwa for money spells. Invoke Yemaya as Agwe for affection and blessings.” (https://broomcloset.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/yemaya-african-ocean-goddess/)

Consider this when building an altar to her…

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Yemeya is worshiped by crescent or full moons and on February 2nd as well as the Eve of Summer Solstice. Her lucky number is seven, like the seven seas. Her favorite day of the week is Saturday. Don the colors of blue, white or silver. She loves the smell of raspberry and cinnamon. Her coveted Gems are lapis lazuli, quartz crystals, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, moonstone, aquamarine, and turquoise. Naturally, she loves fish and all the creatures of the sea including ducks, as well as doves, but especially peacocks as they have her favorite colors. Her most coveted food and flower objects are oranges, tropical flowers, watermelons, yams, grains, seaweeds and other plants growing in the sea. Bring additional offerings of melons, molasses, whole fried fish and/or pork rinds to gain her favor.

Yemaya has graced my presence to grant me her energies: a woman who has been uprooted, relocated and challenged to unbearable extremes. A mother who has created, birthed, loved, cared, and tended her child only to lose that cherished baby. An empress who has been adored, worshiped and exalted and then quite suddenly, deviled, denied and enslaved only then to rise again to her rightful and truthful position and station in life.

As I call upon the sacred energies of the Mt. Shasta glaciers, high up in the Northern California Cascade ranges, galaxies away from West Africa, I hear Yemaya… she shows me the drought conditions of the once abundant Sacramento headwaters, she turns my attention to the polluted, rapidly declining state of our Seven Seas, she holds me (and all of us Wo/Men) accountable for this imbalance.

The Goddess speaks…”Until the Mother is worshiped and returned to her rightful place as the eternal creative force of this Earth, your world will remain in turmoil and the balance of your eco-systems will continue to deteriorate. Until the Goddess is exalted and revered for the never-ending source of everything she provides, human existence itself stands threatened. It is time now to carefully listen as the Mother is calling!”

“Only women who are enabled to sense a female divinity within their own spirit can bring about the profound changes that need to be made if humanity is to last much longer as one of earth’s life forms. The survival of any species depends on the nurturing behavior of its females, not the aggressive behavior of its males. It seems clear that the best hope for humanity is to return to its pre-patriarchal ethic of male submission to the Goddess spirit, not in the hierarchical sense that men understand as power-over.” Barbara G. Walker from Restoring the Goddess

An Altar for the Ancestors!

day of dead

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” -Linda Hogan, Native American Writer

My ancestral worship began early this year, at the end of August actually. I was fortunate enough to be invited into a wonderful circle of women for an in-depth story telling ritual. Our commitment was to hear each others life stories, in full, with complete attention & awareness, without judgement or critique, hopefully, with love & compassion. There were six of us and the process took approximately 7 non consecutive weeks of meeting with one another for a three-hour period. I didn’t know these women well, it was definitely a stretch to share brutal truths amongst strangers and yet, from the very beginning, it was clear to me that the ancestors had been summoned and were indeed intrigued and listening…

Maybe it’s because the intention was to tell our stories from the beginning, from our births and ancestry to present day. Imagine! How would you be able to fully tell ones life story without an inadvertent homage to all those who have come before you? Thus, we wove our tales, week after week, outdoors, by a gentle creek, with the sound of bubbling and moving water, with benevolent breezes and more oft than not, the summer’s heat. In witnessing, hearing and holding each other stories, there were tears, there were sighs, there were gasps, there was outrage, there was shock, there was compassion, there was respect and most of all there was acknowledgement for six wild women and their passionate life journey’s.

In completion, we decided to build an ancestral altar thereby introducing our ancestors to each other. Afterall, we had just heard the guts and the glory of all these family lineages. We had opened closets, pulled out skeletons, called on ghosts all while declaring our sovereignty from lineage traumas, challenges, patterns, addictions and other inflicted pains. We had stated our truths to the four corners of the universe and we were ready to release and celebrate all that we had been through, in our time together as a woman’s circle, and in our lifetimes of collected stories.

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We began by laying a red velvet clothe on the ground at the base of a tree, perhaps it was symbolic of a world tree. We topped the red with a sacred & pure white clothe. We began placing our photos & memorabilia, items such as a Jewish star, A Cherokee poem, a Catholic rosary decorated the altar, which also included candles, incense, alcohol, chocolate, fruit, toys, clothes, crystals, bowls, feathers, jewelry, essential oils, flowers. We collectively adorned a space filled with beauty, with heartfelt prayers, in deep reverence, we built our group ancestral altar and we allowed that sacred space to sit under the tree for 9 long days and nights.

I imagine that our ancestors spoke, while they laughed, and drank, possibly they smoked, maybe they even gambled, they definitely danced and celebrated in a joyous manner. They were remembered! When the six of us eventually returned to break down the altar, it was a solemn affair, a drum beat sounded, the wind rustled around our feet, we made our goodbyes, like a quiet dawn of a new morning, we took our ancestral talismans home, and this ritual was declared complete.

“No one can be free who has a thousand ancestors” -LM Montgomery

dead

It is that time of the year now, Halloween, when the veils are thinning, that I consciously, purposefully and willingly acknowledge my ancestors. From All Hallows Eve through All Saints Day to All Souls Day (October 31- November 2), I celebrate all three days of Day of the Dead. I have written in great length and detail on this topic before, so as not to repeat myself, this Samhein season, I will simply share my process in building an ancestral altar.

Begin by clearing a space in your home or garden to create an altar, quite often a designated table top will do just fine. I like to ritually clean it with white vinegar prior to spreading a beautiful piece of ceremonial clothe atop your chosen altar space (this varies from tradition to tradition, some require white or red clothes, some require clothe with fringe… in all matters of the esoteric world, do what feels correct to you). Next, it is important to maintain a clean & clear space, free of clutter, thus malignant or unwanted spiritual forces will not be attracted to your home. Afterall, we wouldn’t invite Great Gram over to a dirty house. Before I bring anything to the altar, I clear my home with a strong smudging ritual of Belizean copal… I begin with black copal to dispel any darkness, then I end with the white copal, which welcomes the heavenly & angelic presence of my ancestors. (Note: any smudge of your preference will do… sage, sweatgrass, cedar, etc…).

copal

Now, consecrate your space with a prayer. Because I follow a Native American path blended with some old school pagaen worship… I welcome in the four directions by turning to the east with an offering of AIR (a feather) and say, “I show honor and respect to the ancestors of my mother’s side.” I turn to the west with an offering of water (a glass) and say, “I show honor and respect to the ancestors of my father’s side.” I turn to the north with an offering of earth (a crystal) and say, “I show honor and respect to the spirits that are known to me.” Finally, I turn to the south with an offering of fire (a candle) and say, “I show honor and respect to the spirits that are unknown to me.”

“To my ancestors, all those remembered, I honor you. To my ancestors, all those whose names have been forgotten, I honor you. To my ancestors, those who dust is scattered to the four winds, I honor you. To my ancestors, those whose bones lie within the Earth. I honor you”.. http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=2775.0;wap2-

It is now time to conjure up your ancestors and decorate the altar. Contemplate who you are inviting to the altar this year. If you are not adept in this sort of ritual, please use extreme caution in inviting any deceased family members who committed suicide or who died a traumatic death, or anyone who was emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive and/or those who had an unresolved substance abuse. These characters tend to bring disruptive energies to your life if they have not been assisted in an elevated crossing. Pets? Yes, you can welcome deceased pets. Living people with who you are disenfranchised? No, do not put a picture of a living person on the altar lest your bring some harm to their lives.

Old photographs, objects of memorabilia, flags, stones from their birth country, dirt from a graveyard, jewelry, names written on paper, official documents, alcohol for the drinkers, tobacco for the smokers, family heirlooms, money, food, fruit, candy and lastly, flowers are a MUST. Some traditions insist on white flowers, white candles and white everything! Being from Caribbean ethnicity, I use lots of color!

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Prostrate yourself in front of this beautiful creation with a commitment to communicate with these wonderful relatives over the next days (or whatever time frame you deccide on, I leave my altar up til after the Winter Solstice holidays). Bring them food, refresh their water, direct prayers at them, share their stories with your living relatives. They are pleased to be called on, they would love to assist you in the current dilemmas of your life. Celebrate them! Remember them! Honor them! They are the road map that has led you to the place you currently find yourself in your own life.

We all will die, maybe we will be remembered, by a future ancestor, possibly our story will be told!

Death

Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps. Continue reading

The World on the Turtle’s Back

turtle

An Iroquois myth that I have chosen to embellish! 

 

In the beginning there was no world, no land, no creatures of the kind that are around us now, and there were no men. But there was a great ocean which occupied space as far as anyone could see. Above the ocean was a great void of air. And in the air there lived birds of the sea: in the ocean lived the fish and the creatures of the deep. Far above this unpeopled world, there was a Sky World. Here lived gods who were like people- like Iroquois.

In the Sky World there was a man who had a wife, and the wife was expecting a child.  The woman became hungry for all kinds of strange delicacies, as women do when they are with child.  She kept her husband busy almost to distraction finding delicious things for her to eat.  In the middle of the Sky World there grew a Great Tree which was not like any of the trees that we know.  It was tremendous; it had grown there forever. It had enormous roots that spread out from the floor of the Sky World. And on its branches there were many different kinds of leaves and different kinds of fruits and flowers. The tree was not supposed to be marked or mutilated by any beings who dwelt in the Sky World. It was a sacred tree that stood at the center of the universe.

The woman decided that she wanted some bark from one of the roots of the Great Tree- perhaps as food or as a medicine, we don’t know. She told her husband this. He did not like the idea. He knew it was wrong. But she insisted, and he gave in. So he dug a hole among roots of this great sky tree, and he bared some of its roots. But the floor of the Sky World wasn’t very thick, and he broke a hole though it. He was terrified, for he had never expected to find empty space underneath the world.

by Marcia Baldwin

by Marcia Baldwin

But his wife was filled with curiosity. He wouldn’t get any of the roots for her, so she set out to do it herself. She bent over and she looked down, and she saw the ocean far below. She leaned down and struck her head though the hole and looked all around. No one knows just what happened next. Some say she slipped. Some say that her husband, fed up with all the demands she had made on him, pushed her.

So she fell through the hole. As she fell, she frantically grabbed at its edges, but her hands slipped. However, between her fingers there clung bits of things that were growing on the floor of the Sky World and bits of the root tips of the Great Tree. And so she began to fall toward the great ocean far below.

The birds of the sea saw the woman falling, and they immediately consulted with each other as to what they could do to help her. Flying wingtip to wingtip, they made a great feathery raft in the sky to support her, and thus they broke her fall. But of course it was not possible for them to carry the woman very long. Some of the other birds of the sky flew down to the surface of the ocean and called up to the ocean creatures to see what they could do to help. The great sea turtle agreed to receive her on his back. The birds placed her gently on the shell of the turtle, and now the turtle floated about on the huge ocean with the woman safely on his back.

The beings in the Sky World paid no attention to this. They knew what was happening, but they chose to ignore it.

circles

When the woman recovered from her shock and terror, she looked around her. All that she could see were the birds and the sea creatures and the sky and the ocean.

And the woman said to herself that she would die. But the creatures of the sea came to her and said they would try to help her and asked her what they could do. She told them that if they could find some soil, she could plant the roots stuck between her fingers, and from them plants would grow. The sea animals said perhaps there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, but no one had ever been down there so they could not be sure.

If there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, it was far, far below the surface in the cold deeps. But the animals said they would try to get some. One by one the diving bird and animals tried and failed. They went to their limits of endurance, but they could not get to the bottom of the ocean. Finally, the muskrat said he would try. He dived and disappeared. all the creatures waited, holding their breath, but he did not return. After a long time, his little body floated to the surface of the ocean, a tiny crumb of earth clutched in his paw. He seemed to be dead. They pulled him up on the turtle’s back and they sang and prayed over him and breathed air into his mouth, and finally, he stirred. Thus it was the muskrat, Earth-Diver, who brought from the bottom of the ocean the soil from which the earth was to grow.

muskrat

The woman took the tiny clod of dirt and laced it in the middle of the great sea turtle’s back. Then the woman began to walk in a circle around it, moving in the direction that the sun goes. The earth began to grow. When the earth was big enough, she planted roots she had clutched between her fingers when she fell from the Sky World. Thus the plants grew on the earth.

To keep the earth growing, the woman walked as the sun goes, moving in the direction that the people still move in dance rituals. She gathered roots and plants to eat and built herself a little hut. After a while, the woman’s time came, and she was delivered a daughter. The woman and her daughter kept walking in a circle around the earth, so that the earth and plants would continue to grow. They lived on the plants and roots they gathered. The girl grew up with her mother, forever cut off from the Sky World above, knowing only the birds and the creatures of the sea, seeing no other beings like herself. One day, when the girl had grown to womanhood, a man appeared. No one knows for sure who this man was. He had something to do with the gods above. Perhaps he was the West Wind. As the girl looked at him, she was filled with terror, and amazement, and warmth, and she fainted dead away. As she lay on the ground, the man reached into his quiver, and he took out two arrows, one sharp and one blunt, and he laid them across the body of the girl, and quietly went away.

When the girl awoke from her faint, she and her mother continued to walk around the earth. After a while, they knew that the girl was to bear a child. They did not know it, but she was to bear twins.

Within the girl’s body, the twins began to argue and quarrel with one another. There could be no peace between them. As the time approached for them to be born, the twins fougt about their birth. The right-handed twin wanted to be born in the normal way, as all children are born. But the left-handed twin said no. He said he saw light in another direction, and said he would be born that way. The right-handed twin beseeched him not to, saying that he would kill their dear mother. But the left-handed twin was stubborn. He went in the direction where he saw the light. But he could not be born through his mother’s mouth or her nose. He was born through her armpit, and killed her. And meanwhile, the right-handed twin was born in the normal way, as all children are born.

pregnant

The twins met in the world outside, and the right-handed twin accused his brother of murdering their mother. But the grandmother told them to stop their quarrelling. They buried their mother. And from her grave grew the plants which the people still use. From her head grew the corn, the beans, and the squash “our supporters, the three sisters”. And from her heart grew the tobacco, which the people still use in ceremonies and by whose upward floating smoke they send thanks. The women call her “our mother”, and they dance and sing in the rituals so that the corn, the beans, the squash may grow to feed the people.

three-sisters-harvest

But the conflict of the twins did not end at the grave of their mother. And, strangely enough, the grandmother favored the left-handed twin.

The right-handed twin was angry, and he grew more angry as he thought how his brother had killed their mother. The right-handed twin was the one who did everything just as he should. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said. He always told the truth, and he always tried to accomplish what seemed to be right and reasonable. The left-handed twin never said what he meant or meant what he said. He always lied, and he always did everything backward. You could never tell what he was trying to do because he always made it look as if he were doing the opposite. He was the devious one.

These two brothers, as they grew up, represented two ways of the world which are in all the people. The Indians did not call these right and wrong. They called them the straight mind and the crooked mind, the upright man and the devious man, the right and the left.

The twins had creative powers. They took clay and modeled it into animals, and they gave these animals life. And in this they contended one another. The right-handed twin made the deer and the left-handed twin made the mountain lion which kills the deer. But the right-handed twin knew there were more deer than mountian lions. And he made more animals. He made the ground squirrel. The left-handed twin saw that the mountain lion could not get to the ground squirrel, who digs a hole so he made the weasel. And although the weasel can go straight into the ground squirrel’s hole and kill him, there are lots of ground squirrels and not so many weasels. Next the right-handed twin decided he would make an animal that the weasel could kill, so he made the porcupine. But the left-handed twin made the bear, who flips the porcupine over on his back and tears out his belly.

And the right-handed twin made berries and fruits of other kinds for his creatures to live on. The left-handed twin made briars and poison ivy, and the poisonous plants like baneberry and the dogberry, and the suicide root with which people kill themselves when they go out of their minds. And the left-handed twin made medicines, for good and evil, for doctoring and for witchcraft.

And finally, the right-handed twin made man. The people do not know just how much the left-handed twin had to do with making man. Man was made of clay, like pottery, and baked in the fire…

The world the twins made was a balanced and orderly world, and this was good. The plant-eating animals created by the right-handed twin would eat up all the vegetation if their number was not kept down by the meat-eating animals which the left-handed twin created. But if these carnivorous animals ate too many other animals, then they would starve, for they would run out of meat. So the right-handed and the left-handed twins built balance into the world.

As the twins became full-grown men, they still contested with one another. No one had won, and no one had lost. And they knew the conflict was becoming sharper and sharper and one of them would have to vanquish the other.

And so they came to the duel. They started with gambling. They took a wooden bowl, and in it they put wild plum pits. One side of the pits was burned black, and by tossing the pits in the bowl, and betting on how these would fall, they gambled against one another, as the people still do in the New Year’s rites. All through the morning they gambled at this game, and all through the afternoon, and the sun went down. And when the sun went down, the game was done, and neither one had own.

So they went onto battle one another at lacrosse game. And they contested all day, and the sun went down, and the game was done. And neither had won.

And now they battled with clubs, and they fought all day, and the sun went down, and the fight was done. But neither had won.

And they went from one duel to another to see which one would succumb. Each one knew in his deepest mind that there was something, somewhere, that would vanquish the other. But what was it? Where to find it?

twins

Each knew somewhere in his mind what it was that was his own weak point. They talked about this as they contested in these duels, day after day, and somehow the deep mind of each entered into the other. And the deep mind of the right-handed twin lied to his brother, and the deep mind of the left-handed twin told the truth.
On the last day of the dual, as they stood, they at last knew how the right-handed twin was to kill his brother. Each selected his weapon. The left-handed twin chose a mere stick that would do him no good. But the right-handed twin picked out a deer antler, and with one touch he destroyed his brother. And the left-handed twin died, but he died and he didn’t die. The right-handed twin picked up his body and cast it off the edge of the earth. And some place below the world, in the land of the eternal abyss, the left-handed twin remained for some time.

Having killed his brother, the right-handed twin returned to his grandmother. And she met him in anger. She threw food out of the cabin onto the ground, and she said theat he was a murderer, for he had killed his brother. He grew angry, and told her she had always helped his brother, who had killed their mother. In anger, he grabbed her by the throat and cut her head off. Her body he threw into the ocean, and her head into the sky. There “Our Grandmother, the Moon” still keeps watch at night over the realm of her favourite grandson.

The right-handed twin has many names. One of them is Sapling. It means smooth, young, green, fresh and innocent, straightforward, straight-growing, soft and pliable, teachable and trainable. These are the ways of describing him.

Our young Sapling was quite sorry at the state of affairs and he wept. He wept so long and so hard that his tears began to flood the earth and all the wonderful creatures, animals and fruits that his grandmother, his mother, his twin brother and himself had brought to creative fruition. The West Wind saw this from the Sky World and took pity on him, his son.

In the world up above, it was a very special time, a sacred time that can only be counted every 5,125 turns of the earth around the sun. And when this time occurred, the Tree of Life bore an ambrosia fruit that everyone in the Sky World craved, therefore, it was permitted during these holy periods to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. The merrymaking and general mayhem of creative power during these heightened occasions is what creates new worlds, new life forms and eternal galaxies. Thus the West Wind ate of the fruit, and created the portal that opened from the Sky World to the Earth below and he blew into the portal such a forceful breath that a spinning rainbow vortex swirled from one world to the other and picked up the right-handed twin and lifted him right up into the Sky World.

portal 21

The right-handed twin was in shock, confusion and a coma-like state for many days until the smoke of the tobacco reached him from the humans who were grieving his abscence. And then he wept again to realize his Fate. Although he was quite happy to be back in the Land of All Origins, he was worried and fretful about his greatest creation, the humans. He knew that without his guidance and protection they could easily be lost to the folly of his left-handed twins’ ways. So he beseeched the Sky Walkers to allow him to send the humans on the Earth below some helping aid.

The right-handed twin, who became known as He Who Holds up the Skies, Master of Life, and Great Creator, ate of the fruit of the Tree of Life and spit the seeds down to the Earth so that in this way the earth dwellers could also come to know of this sacred tree and its magical creative powers. Everywhere these seeds landed were considered power places which offered higher vibrations akin to the Sky World and those sensitive to the energies could receive guidance and knowledge from dwelling in such spaces.

The Master of Life, our right-handed twin, also sang a song which travelled from his world to the Earth by way of the West Wind and those who had ears to hear this melody became the shamans, the healers, the medicine men and women who through their own power songs could open up the portals between the worlds ensuring otherworld communication.

The West Wind reminded the right-handed twin: as above, so below. Thus when the West Wind opened the portal from the Sky World to the earth so was a portal opened from the Earth to the Underworld so that the left-handed twin could travel from the abyss to his long awaited home as well. He lives in a place that knows the world of men well, and he finds contentment in it. He hears the sound of warfare, torture and injustices and he finds them good.

The left-handed twin also has many names. One of them is Flint. He is called the devious one, the one covered in boils. Old Warty. He is stubborn. He is thought of as being dark in color. His realm is the night, the shadow-lands, despair and the full moon of his grandmother.

left handed

The Tree of Life is in full bloom with her ambrosia fruit. It is a 5,125 year moment. The shamans are singing. The portals are open. You may ascend or you may descend depending on your chosen path.

Our world, the Earth swings back and forth from one twins’ stronghold to the next… but always, always a balance is found… and in all ways, it is in good order. The shadow may not live without the light. The right may not exist with the left. The healthy, straight mind cannot manuever without the crooked minds plots. And in each of us, the other lives. So it was. So it is. Forever and ever. In the spiral of life, all is well on the Tree of Life. The END xo

yinyang

-Navajo 10-10-13

(ADVICE: Digest your journey, no matter where you may find yourself, as the universe makes no mistakes!)

2013: In The Clearing

Holy tamale… who made it through 2012 unscathed?  Although we surfed the alignment without an extraterrestrial intervention or a worldwide cataclysmic earth event or a monetary breakdown or an extinction level event, we probably didn’t make it through without an extreme shake-up of our material structures, primary relationships and/or initiatory shamanic ego death.  The fallout of our emotional debris still needs a bit of clean-up but for the most part lightworkers, we are in the clearing.

What has become painstakingly apparent to me in this new earth vibration is that our spirits will not tolerate anything less than high vibratory interactions, communications, inventions, products, relationships, etc… I was watching the video of the Black Eyed Peas, “Meet You Halfway” and it hit me smack dab in the face, all this hoopla about meeting our twin flames/soul mates/ lifetime partners (although importantly crucial) was really just another desire and reflection of being in alignment with all that feeds our soul!

2012 and all those years up to the galactic alignment from the harmonic convergence of 1987 was about accelerated growing, learning, purging, purifying and preparation for yes, your soul mate, but also for all our souls’ longings on this Earth plane.  What makes you dance and sing and be joyful… for these are the very tools with which one must be playing.

The most important guide at your disposal in this journey of the 5th dimension is your instinct.  Hopefully, by now, it is fine tuned because it is your internal GPS and it will never lead you astray.  I find myself never knowing what any day holds but simply being in my instinctual awareness which takes me to all the right places at just the right times.

Some would say life has not gotten any easier, they hate their jobs, their relationships are unsatisfying, the world is unfair and corrupt…and while this may ring true, there is a grassroots, underground movement and it is gaining momentum. Soon that momentum will wash over all humanity and we will all be bathed in the remembrance that we are one planet, one organism, one people and our ability to thrive here is interdependent of each other.

So what I want to say to those of you confidently surfing the 5th dimension: buckle down, hold tight and do not falter for one moment in your belief systems as they contain the new earth codes, the operating manual and the rules for everyone else to learn.

Let’s review the “The Hundredth Monkey” theory as presented by Ken Keyes, Jr.

The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.

Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes. Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known.

Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

THEN IT HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough! But notice. A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea — Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!”

The morphogenetic field has always fascinated me. It has long been documented that when an athlete breaks a record somewhere on the planet, it opens the field for other athlete’s to break the same record. Thus, the possibility in the field had to be created. And so it is, when anyone finds their way to a beautiful, harmonious life of manifestation and beatitude, it opens the field for others to follow and soon enough there will be so many others that we will all be living in this 5th dimension Pleiadian like-world.

Whenever I do a reading or a shamanic healing, my prayers begin by calling in the ancestors, the ascended masters, and all guides and exalted beings from the 5th dimension and above as this is where all the benevolent beings reside…

The Earth is so beautiful,
so exquisite,
so magical…

all of creation

“All of creation is conspiring to shower us with blessings. Life is crazily in love with us-brazenly and innocently in love with us. The universe always gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. The winds and the tides are on our side, forever and ever, amen. The fire and the rain are scheming to steal our impossible pain. The sun and the moon and the stars remember our real names, and our ancestors pray for us while we’re dreaming. We have guardian angels and thousands of teachers… provocateurs with designs to unleash us… helpers and saviors we can’t even imagine… brothers and sisters who want us to blossom. Thanks to them, from whom the blissful blessings flow, WE ARE WAKING UP.”

Blessings to my Tribe, I want to thank all my clients, readers and followers for joining me in this journey through the Mayan Calendar Ends Days… we actually did it, quite peacefully and gracefully, and I honestly feel like this is a wrap…

By the time I post again, I am being requested by my Elders to undergo a new naming ceremony and well, I will have to rename this blog as well.

It’s been a great adventure reporting on the Earth energies and I invite everyone, in Spirit, to come, come play with me, everyday, as all the darkness is actually clearing.

xoxoxoxo
Navajo ne’
Denai Grace Fuller

All Hail the Maya

“Mayan spirituality is based upon a deep love for Mother Earth”

I would like to take this moment to offer a sacred bow to the indigenous modern-day Maya of Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras who are alive to carry their divinely beautiful lineage.  I ignite the sacred copal in all its varieties, offering up this hallowed tree resinous smoke to all ancestors of the Maya, those that lived and died in the last 500 hundred years under the conquerors genocidal expansion better known as colonization.  I shake my venerable rattles, sanctified from the Shamans of Peru, as I call upon the Spirits of the indigenous ancient Mayan ancestors who kept the calendar, held the traditions and counted our galactic time…(til now, tic, tic, tic, tock!)  I adorn my treatment room with flowers; roses, lilies, daisies, as I create sacred ceremonial space in an effort to declare “gracias a dios, gracias la diosa, gracias los espiritu del santo”.  I spritz ruda, angelica, rose and honeysuckle sprays into the four directions to Sanctify my home, my mind, my family, and my community.  I light the intention infused candles, I play the holy flute music.  I kneel down to solemnly pray an invocation to the deities of the Maya… I conjure protection for those that I love at this time… simultaneously, I accept the Creators divine decree of this passing age.

I invite you to join me in this heartfelt endeavor on 12-12-2012 anytime from 11:11 am to 11:11 pm.  Simply create a space from with you can turn your attention to prayer, worship, forgiveness, gratitude, sincerity, and a peace that passeth all understanding as WE, a species in deep crisis, prepare to make our much required critical evolutionary shift!

No-one summarizes our current predicament better, at the moment, than Daniel Pinchbeck as he writes an article entitled, Planetary Initiation. http://www.realitysandwich.com/planetary_initiation

This article is short, my words are few… because I have said it all before in
Be Aware:  Our Nexus Approaches http://indianinthemachine.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/be-aware-the-nexus-approaches/

which has been strangely reaffirmed by a Navajo elder…http://beforeitsnews.com/2012/2012/11/a-navajo-medicine-mans-take-on-2012-2439816.html

thus, I leave you with much fodder for the mind!