Ritual and ceremony form part of our basic instinct as human animals. Both allow us to feel connected to our community; connected to the self and connected to a higher source all at once. These three pillars are essential if we are to feel calm and safe, which in turn creates the space for processing thoughts and feelings in order to let go of the past and create the future we want. Some religions still maintain ritual, but this isnot the kind of practice we are talking about here; shamanic practice is not a religion.  At the heart of shamanic practice is presence in the moment, creativity, connection and balance. Together in harmony, these allow co-creation and transformation on many levels. Any time you feel ‘blocked’, or are working on what you want to dream into your life, shamanic ritual can support you in moving forward.

You are more powerful than you can imagine.

This requires the participant to enter a very relaxed, even altered in some instances, state of consciousness. This trance like state can be achieved in a number of ways, for example through the repetitive sound of a drum or voices, or through the use of plant medicine which can be anything from cacao to ayahuasca. The experience can be hallucinatory or not, it depends on who you are working with and what the purpose of the ceremony is.

I use white sage and palo santo to cleanse, clear and protect a space before the ceremony begins, this is important as we are dealing with spirit and the soul and different worlds of beings; it is the shaman’s job to keep you safe. Once the circle is open I use cards for guidance during the ceremony. The main plant medicine I work with is cacao (AKA raw chocolate). I would never, nor should anyone, ever give you a medicine that you did not want to work with. Each medicine has a different gift, for example cacao is a heart medicine; it works by unblocking emotional obstructions held within the heart. Clearing those dams through allows us to move on in our precious lives. Next, participants will drink a specific amount of cacao before lying down for the practice. Depending on what you have come for, I may talk you through process or meditation; or you may be required to listen to drumming or singing. Once this part is over (40-60 minutes) you will be ‘awoken’ and asked to sit back in the circle. Here we discuss what you experienced, what you can take from the experience and so on. You will draw another card before a final blessing and closing the circle.

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