My trip to Peru changed many things about my life. Actually, I have likened the experience to throwing a grenade and blowing up my life as I knew it.
I have already talked in previous posts about how this has resulted in a bit of discomfort (oh who am I kidding, more like a LOT of discomfort), and while not a lot of that discomfort has eased, there have been many, many gifts that have already come forward from all of this.
One of these has been the gift of ceremony. Prior to Peru I had only dabbled in creating ceremonies for myself. I had burned a few things, added a few things into a fire or two and even started to incorporate it into my yoga practice. Of course I had participated in a few ceremonies led by Shamanic ceremonialists (Sarah Salter Kelly and Bradley Krause), but I didn’t really feel empowered to create my own ceremony. In other words, I didn’t feel like I knew ‘enough’.
My trip to Peru changed all of that. I participated in many ceremonies while in Peru. First there were the Ayahuasca ceremonies of the jungle. These involved ingesting plant medicine, and quite frankly they were and still are the most powerful spiritual experiences that I have ever had in my life. The Ayahuasca experience is known as the “Shaman’s death”, and this is exactly what it feels like. In my case, it allowed me to first look at and experience Gratitude for all of the Blessings in my life… this was quickly followed by looking at all of the limiting beliefs and expectations that I held about myself that were getting in the way (my shadow). Letting go of these limiting beliefs, most of which were fear-based, turned out to be far more difficult and far more terrifying that I had ever imagined possible. To be honest, I am still processing all of it.
From the depths of the jungle and the deep exploration of my shadow, the journey took us to the peaks of the Andes which we explored with a Q’ero Shaman. During our time with him, we not only participated in several Despacho ceremonies, but we were each initiated into this Shamanic tradition. We emerged as Paq’os or medicine bundle carriers.
And while I am still processing much of this part of my journey as well, what I do know is that with these experiences came a certain level of empowerment or understanding around ceremony.
I came to understand that ceremony was mine to create as I felt called to. Wherever, however, whenever. It is always there for me as a tool. It allows me to create my own medicine, my own vehicle for healing. It is a way to touch, honour and make real what is sacred within me.
I don’t need anyone’s permission to create ceremony. There isn’t “right” way, especially not when I am doing it on my own and for me. In essence, I have stepped into the knowing that I KNOW enough to create ceremony, that I AM enough to create ceremony.
And I am so, so very Grateful.