For thousands of years, indigenous and native peoples all over the World have come together to sit in sacred ceremonies and intentional prayer to honor the interconnectedness of life, between themselves and the environment, acknowledging the forces of nature and the divine intelligence that has created all things. All over the World, The Great Spirit of Life was recognized and shared by those called to spread this knowledge, passed down through lineages of indigenous and native peoples is celebrated in rituals, where song, prayer and reverence is expressed, dedicated to this greater presence. At the heart of these ceremonies is a devotion, an expression of love towards these influencing forces that awaken us to a deep knowing of this interconnection with all things – The Elements, The Directions, The Plant & Animal Spirits, Mother Earth and Universal Life. I wish to share with you my experiences of sitting these sacred ceremonies, as well as the benefits that can be felt from these special gatherings.
I have been blessed to have encountered many native American (the entire continent) traditions during my time living in Mexico. This wisdom that is passed on through the generations, preserving this sacred knowledge, to remind the modern human of our roots and connection to life, the planet & the stars. Each tradition uses sacred elements within these ceremonies to unlock the doors of perception and awaken hearts to our place in reality, from plant medicines, sacred fires, music & sound, intentional prayer and timeless stories of old.
My first experience of these gatherings happened the day before my 34th birthday on Halloween sitting a Ayahuasca ceremony, led by Peruvian shamans. Having heard of this potent medicine through others accounts, i was a little nervous leading into the evening. Ayahuasca, is recognized to contain the psycho-active substance DMT – Dimethyltryptamine. A potent medicine known to propel the experiencer into other realms of consciousness, a substance that is found in nearly all living things and commonly knwn as the spirit molecule. Ayahuasca has astral/multi-dimensional experience to it with the tendency to induce vomiting as a side-effect to its journeying qualities, known as purging. Purging can also take shape in sweating, crying and sometimes shitting, for want of a better word! As the ceremony began, the Shaman gave clear and comforting advice and guideline how best to approach the experience. Each of us were invited to share who we were and why we were there, with the purpose of forming an intention towards the “work” we were about to undertake. Thankfully for me i had a interpreter to relay the messages and wisdom that the Shaman was giving: however as the medicine took effect i began to feel intuitively what the medicine man was sharing, feeling his passion and prayer for the spirit of Ayahuasca (The Grandmother) As Music began to play, i found myself taken on a deep introspective journey. These cosmic lullabies became a container, cradling me, to experience aspects of myself and my past life, long forgotten, hidden beneath years of experience and social conditioning. Feelings of love and gratitude for my Mother, for the people i was sitting with and the unfolding adventure i was on. It became a hommage to all that is sacred in life, the perception of touch and sight greatly increased and a remembrance of this interconnection to all things . I myself didn’t vomit and have yet to in the experiences with this beautiful medicine, my purging was felt through emotional release and sweating. These rituals, encourage us to look at ourselves and the blockages that hinder our growth and expansion, manifest as differing fears in our lives, these ceremonies allow us to see these parts of ourselves we have struggled to acknowledge, giving us the ability to see, and understand why certain experiences were the way they were.
These ceremonies soon became a invaluable tool to help know myself better, to unlock a passion for life i never knew existed, a reverence for all things and a recognition of the greater forces at play. I loved the devotion in which the Latin Americans expressed themselves and the honoring of these spirits, whether it be through medicine songs, the sacred fire, the medicines, the people in their lives and the Wisdom keepers & Shamans leading the prayers. It was a culture i felt lost in England and the Western World. I longed for people in the West to experience what id been exposed to.
Through my time in Mexico, I was blessed to have sat with The Marekamie’s, Native Shamans of Mexico, as well as the Tieta’s & Kogi Mama’s of Columbia and the Lakota tradition of Northern America. Each tradition bringing their own unique prayers, medicines and sacred wisdom. The Marekamie, from the Huichol communities in central Mexico are the guardians of Peyote (The Grandfather), the psychoactive cactus made famous in the West by the accounts of Carlos Castaneda and his teacher Don Juan. This Native medicine, the active ingredient being Mescaline, opened me to a profound connection to Mother Earth and an awakening of the heart. Traditionally made with a central fire in which you offer your burdens and blessings to be transformed by this primal energy/spirit. Accompanied by native and Latin medicine music, the group are taken on deep and expanding journeys throughout the night til the sun rises, giving the feeling of being reborn as the ceremony ends.
The circle provides a safe space to make these vision quests, where the experiencer journeys to the inner Worlds, with many people experiencing meetings with animal spirits as well as other beings. Each person has their own trip through their consciousness, recalling memories, traumas, insights and inspiration, which quite often echoes through the following days after the ceremonies. As a meditator, i found these journeys to be highly beneficial not only during the process, but for the continuing days when cultivating a practice of healing, stillness and self inquiry. The power of intention with the prayer can not be underestimated, especially when a large group come together, experiencing such incredible openings of love unifying these intentions. I have found so much compassion and heartfelt devotion towards life during and since partaking in these events that i wish to share a glimpse of these magical portals of connection.
Since returning from Mexico to England, i have experienced the medicine, prayers and ceremonies of the native traditions of these lands, in the poetic Earthy wisdom of Druidry & the magic mushroom. I am so grateful to see that we too have this ancient knowledge & Wisdom keepers, singing these tales of old to a much needed culture that has unfortunately lost its connection to the Pagan/Druid teachings of interconnection to nature and the elemental beings. Today i feel more optimistic than ever that the sacred medicines and messages can be felt by the people who need it most. England has a beautiful and rich tradition that is waiting to be heard for those who wish to awaken to the truth of who they are and to see this World as The Garden of Eden that it is.
I feel so much is not known or understood in Western society of these practices, what with the classification of these plants as illegal in many parts of the World, i believe, because of the effectiveness of awakening us to a deeper truth of who we are and our relationship to all things. Natural plants like Cannabis, Mushrooms, Peyote and Ayahuasca are here on Earth for a reason and they have the qualities they have for very good reason.. I feel these plants can be tools to help us heal, allowing us the opportunity to process our traumas and life experiences and when we change our relationship with them, seeing them as spiritual guides and medicine, not as illegal drugs, we can maximize their benefits to expand our consciousness. Now i recognize these plants are not for everybody and i encourage anyone who is reading this to feel within themselves whether it is something they would like to experience, those who are open to taking these medicines will likely have very supportive and positive experiences. Those who do not like the idea of ingesting these plants will likely never take them anyway. I must add that medicines such as cacao (natural chocolate), fire, tea and incense ceremonies also have hugely beneficial qualities to help us to get in touch with our inner world without ingesting psycho-active substances, for those who wish to deepen their connection and manifest their deepest intentions of healing, peace, love and unity in groups. Even a simple prayer alone with intention, can send out messages to the universe that you are ready for change, that you are open to love and ready for your prayers to be answered.
I feel it important to share with this information, anyone who is looking to take part in these ceremonies, to research, preferably through recommendations, to find a guide who you trust or someone else who has direct experience of their work, that is working with pure intention. This is very important when taking these medicines, to feel supported and looked after as the experiencer is in a vulnerable position while they are on their journey and only those with the highest intentions should be considered when deciding to partake in these rituals. You may be called to use your discernment, follow what you feel, ask always for guidance from within, for signs or answers to these questions.
It is impossible to fully express in words what these rituals have shown me and continue to show me, yet i write this to share my experience for those who feel open to the lessons that can be learnt through these experiences. I have encountered so many beautiful people when taking part in these practices that has forever left a warm, heartfelt memory of sacredness shared between us. A truly precious gift. Giving thanks to all those who I’ve sat with, listened and learned from, the Shamen, musicians, healers and guides who support the experience and the medicines that have helped open me to greater understanding of the mysteries of life.
I am offering 1 on 1 psychedelic coaching in the UK for those wishing to better understand the benifits of these plants and substances, so that you can be as well prepared for the expeience and offering guidance after the journey to help with any processing of information recieved or support with intense experiences. https://theallthatis336549859.wordpress.com/psychedelic-coaching/
Tours – https://theallthatis336549859.wordpress.com/tours/
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Photos by Ivan Kuxan Suum – http://www.voicesofamerikua..com
Cover photo Juan Negrin. http://www.wixarika.org/about-wixarika-research-center