When we reach a point in our lives where for one reason or another, we find that nothing is moving for us, we are usually being given time to be still and reflect. There is a real blessing in being given any space and time and it was because of the recognition of this that I was drawn to hold a blessings and abundance ceremony. Holding one gave me chance to use the ceremony as part of my reflection, in this case on all the things I have abundance in and cause to be grateful for as well as those areas in which I would like help to generate more abundance.
Almost everything that a shaman does can be classed as ceremony or ritual, from a shamanic journey through to celebration of a birth or marriage. At times rituals and ceremonies may have fixed forms, with each action fulfilling a specific purpose, at others a shaman will work with the spirits that are part of the ritual or ceremony or the space in which it is held and follow the spirits direction. More often than not it is a combination of both of these.
You do not have to be a shaman or even work shamanically to hold a simple blessings and abundance ceremony though. One simple ceremony for example might be to find a place in which you feel safe and will not be disturbed. Sit so that you are comfortable and then take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and quieten some of the mental chatter. Then pick up a pen and paper and spend time writing down all the things that you have in your life for which you feel grateful. It is important to take your time here, not only to be reflective but to give yourself time to appreciate all of your blessings and the abundance in your life. Once this is finished write down some things in your life where you would appreciate more abundance in the future. Pinning these lists up somewhere where you look at them regularly can help to keep the things on them in the forefront of your mind thus keeping the energy flowing.
My own ceremony was a little more complex and was based on an Andean Despacho ceremony, a Despacho being a form of prayer bundle.
For an Andean shaman holding a Despacho ceremony everything that is used has a very specific purpose, but the most important aspect is that the making of the Despacho comes from the heart and so it was with mine. There are times in our lives where we may find ourselves performing rituals because it is what we are told to do or have always done, so holding a ritual or ceremony that does come directly from the heart can be a really life affirming experience. It can connect us with ourselves and with the energies and allies who work with us, as well as with Spirit in a very real way.
To start my ceremony I collected up everything that I needed to make my Despacho plus everything I wanted to place into it. This included a large sheet of white paper to form the base, a small bottle of a wine/water mix, a shell, bay leaves, herbs, seeds, nuts, grain, flowers, coloured thread, white cord, gold and silver paper, a small sheet of paper and pen and images that represented some of the things I was wanting to ask for more abundance in. I added to this collection a sage bundle, my rattle, drum, my fire pit filled with dry wood and a lighter.
With everything gathered I placed it all carefully in the space within my garden where I was hoping to work, a space that has seen countless rituals, ceremonies and initiations. Before starting my ceremony I sat and connected with the energy and spirits of the place and asked for permission to work there for the purpose of a blessing and abundance ceremony. Once this was given I drummed to create a sacred space in which to hold my ceremony, building my own energy along with the energy of the space. I then drummed and rattled calling in the directions and my own allies before working with sage both as an offering to the spirits and to cleanse everything that was to be used in the ceremony including the space and myself. Finally I connected with and called in Pachamama/Mother Earth and the Apus/Spirits of the mountains.
I then built my Despacho, slowly connecting with each item and myself, blowing my thanks and gratitude into it before placing it on the white paper. I tore the small sheet paper into
pieces and wrote in words, things that I was grateful for and did the same with these. Once I had given thanks for my blessings, I did the same with each of my images only this time I made my request for abundance, with each request coming from my heart. When everything was finished I wrapped the paper into a bundle and tied it with white cord.
I then lit the wood in my fire pit, adding some of the herbs that I had kept for the purpose and once the fire was going well placed my bundle into the flames as a gift to Spirit, my own spirits and my allies. To maintain the safe space while the spirits fed on the energy of the bundle I circled the fire pit drumming as I did so until the bundle was completely consumed.
To finish the ceremony I once again drummed around the outside of the space thanking the spirits and then sprinkled the remaining wine/water mix as a final offering of thanks. Once the ashes in the fire pit were cool these were sprinkled on the garden so that the earth and air could carry them away adding their energies to the blessings, gratitude and requests for abundance.
More information can be found about Despacho ceremonies in the article section on my website www.yvonneryves.com
Yvonne Ryves is a practicing shamanic healer, shamanic drum maker, holistic therapist and trainer. Yvonne lives in West Cork, Ireland, where she runs workshops and courses on a variety of aspects of energy healing and shamanic work including Reiki, Chios, Munay-Ki, Shamanic Journeying, Pendulum Dowsing and self-development.