by Crystal Pomeroy
"We thank the Moon and the stars, who give us their light when the Sun retires.... We thank the Great Spirit, incarnation of all kindness, who directs all things for the good of Its children."
For the January 2002, Capricorn New Moon cycle, I have been directed by Spiritfirst through a series of signs, then intuition and synchronistic readings (sparked and confirmed by Mayas predictions)to share the current availability of messages, guidance and assistance from our ancestors, particularly those within the shamanic traditions: native and indigenous nations around the world.
The Iroquois New Year takes place right in this New Moon vortex, while native guides from various ancestral nations around the planet now come forth to remind us of a more holistic, non-dogmatic spirituality, one in which each of us is undergoing shamanic initiation during our journeys within, guided by the Great Spirit, Who expresses Itself through Earth, her nature, and all of creation. In the words of author Michel Piquemal, "it is pointless to cry over the physical annihilation of the Indian world.....The urgent task today is to discover what their spirituality can do for the future of humanity," and, we might add, for the rest of the planets ecosystems.
Now is the time to still ourselves and listen, in our hearts, dreams, studies and reflections, to the messages the indigenous teachers bring us to enrich our understanding. In her General Influences and Success Guide for January, Maya points to numerous factors which help us to strategize, ground and structure our focus on the future, especially, to quote the Sabian symbol, for a "transcendent goal."
At the last New Moon, we were warming up to this as we connected with our dreams for the year ahead. Now is a great time to do a "Reality check" on those goals, considering those elements which only we ourselves can choose in order to express our Highest Reality.
Now is a powerful time to call on the ancestors guidance to identify the difference between goal and destiny. Author Alberto Villoldo shares the shamanic teaching that, "everybody has a future, but only a few people have a destiny. A destiny is something you have to summon." And shaman Lynn Andrews calls on us to consider how, "We get absorbed in external phenomena over and over again, and it draws us away from the deepening of our soulsour real destiny, our real reason for being on this earth."
What kind of dreams do we wish to manifest? The shamans dream is not a dream of acquisition. Smohalla, founder of the Native American "Religion of the Dreamers," shares a vision of inner freedom in verse:
"The young of my nation will never work. Those that work cannot dream; and wisdom comes through dreams......You ask me to dig to pull up stones. Should I, perhaps, grope around beneath my mothers skin to steal her bones?"
In our twenty-first century, industrialized context, even our most transcendent dreams may include a component of work and/or creativity as part of a destiny to serve, and of the very process of deepening our souls. Though the particulars vary for each of us according to spiritual preferences, and though we all have our own daily tasks or activities in the world, the ancestral teachings remind us to bear in mind our ultimate priorities. As Villoldo says, the shamans task is to "bring the sacred to an otherwise profane and mundane reality."
Black Elk has said that it is not enough to be able to dream, the true visionary must be able manifest her/his dream. What most often holds us back from this step are precisely those illusionary sensations that Maya has mentioned our need to release in her section on General Influences for January, those irritatingly familiar ghosts in the closet that will tend to follow us even when we change residence, also known as "fears."
Its interesting to consider the need to move beyond the latters grasp, from a shamans point of view. Villoldo says, "fear is the great enemy. You learn to use fear as an early warning system rather than as a response mechanism. When this happens, the centers of the brain associated with violent response are disengaged." The shamanic focus on freeing from fears grip is confirmed by modern medicine, which divides the human brain into two spheres: "primitive" or "animal response" and, "higher brain." When strong anger or fear activates our instinctual or animal emotion center, the "higher" brain loses control over our behavior. By learning to make the shamanic distinction between "early warning system" and automatic "response mechanism," modern metaphysicians can unleash a lot of energy wasted or blocked by fears.
At all times, the habitual practice of prayers or meditation fortifies an inner life so that we are better able to keep the sacred flame burning brightly under any circumstances. This moon cycles prayer exercises are designed to align with the shamanic wisdom that is coming forth, integrating it into our contemporary habits and practices, to transmute the fears that would apparently hold us back from summoning our own destinies and, collectively, that of the planet.
PART I: Symbols to Add to or Create Seasonally Synchronized Altars
"Just as I appreciate ritual for making some truths clear to me, I appreciate my altar, through which I acknowledge and experience that sacred space within me." Anne Gariazzo
- The earth element can be beautifully represented in any object made by native or indigenous persons. Baskets, weavings, jewelry, dream-catchers, even clothing, musical instruments or carvings, any tribally evocative object from any region of the world. You may also enjoy adding any artifact of nature that is sacred to you: stones, feathers, crystals, wood, shells, fossils, or any artisan or sacred object you yourself have made. It is also still timely to include a tree, or any type of green plant, especially live, or as evergreen remnants from your Christmas decorations. (The pagan Festival of the Trees is celebrated in late January, at the vortex of the Full Moon within this same cycle.)
Apples are also apropos at this time, which also includes traditional cider festivals.
- Apple cider, melted snow, rain or spring water (can be from a bottle) in an attractive, earthy vessel (including pottery, a shell, or carved bowl, cup or chalice) are timely symbols of the water element.
- Fire is particularly emphasized at this time, when both Vestathe Roman Goddess of the sacred flame and the Hungarian Happy Women fire goddesses are traditionally honored, as well as the Buddha of fire, and the Viking fire god. You may wish to light a sacred fire in your hearth, and/or a very special, white or bright yellow candle (which you could keep lit throughout this New Moon vortex or cycle).
- For the air element, you could burn pine boughs or sage, and/or play aboriginal or native music. (See suggestions for recorded music below.)
Timely additions for the New Moon cycle beginning January 13, 2002:
- A sign with the word "Pax", written or drawn attractively (symbolism explained below in "Guides and Angels").
- A picture or figure of deer, in honor the great female Spirit known as the Deer Mother to indigenous North Americans.
PART II: Guides and Angels
Those who wish to call on guides and angels at this time to assist in prayer focusing, may choose to include any of the following:
Your favorite aboriginal or native guides
The Great Spirit
The Grandmother Spirit
The Grandfather Spirit
TonántzinMother of the Gods and Goddesses in Mesoamerica, Divine Mother of the Americas- expression of the Divine Love Principal which is currently working to harmonize the mental vibration of the US.
The Spirits of all Native Masters and Wise Ones, now coming forth to assist Earths future and spiritual development
Tiu (Norse God of Mid-Winter, traditionally honored in January.)
Osiris, honored when the constellation Orion is brightly visible in January
Vesta (Roman Goddess of the Hearth and sacred flame, honored during this New Moon vortex)
The Happy Women (Hungarian fire goddesses honored at this time)
The Moirae, the Three Fates (Greek triple goddesses, reflected in the "Morgan" triple goddesses for Celts, also honored at this time)
The Divine Dreamer Within
The Angel of Freedom from the Illusion of Fear
Pax (Goddess of Peace, honored in ancient Rome in January)
The Angel of Inner and Outer Peace
Archangel Zadquiel and Amethyst (guardians of prayers, and of Atlantis, submerged area still in need of planetary healing that include the seas around New York and Florida)
The Divine Mother
The Angel of Planetary Healing
The Angel of Planet Earth
The Christ Mind
PART III: Prayers for the January Moon Cycle
1. Go over your New Years resolutions and desires, with a focus on what you feel to be your highest, most opulent purpose. Alberto Villoldo puts in a way that facilitates thinking beyond goals, about your destiny: Place "yourself ten years from now and" ask: "What is it that I wish Id attempted- not necessarily attained but attempted- in those ten years?"
Write what come to your mind when you ask yourself that question, and write above it "Destiny Empowerment List":
(If done with a group, share some of your inspirations aloud.)
2. Now, list those fears that may have kept or been keeping you from attempting those dreams that you listed.
When my Prayer Ministry did this exercise, some of our answers to this section included:
Lack of money.
Lack of time.
My agent will think Im ignorant.
Ive never done anything like this before, people will laugh at me.
My ignorance about how to start will make me feel stupid when I try, and that touches my childhood shame issues.
I would feel inept if things dont work out.
Potential frustration (if things dont work out).
Other peoples envy or enmity.
If I do that, Ill have to release other life options.
I dont know the right people.
Ill call attention to myself.
Too much work to start from scratch.
I dont know where to start.
(If with a group, after writing your fears, take turns sharing some of them aloud.)
3. You will be amazed at the freeing effects of this step! Read over your fears and see how you feel. Write your observations. (If done with a group, share your feelings aloud.)
4. Create a clearing prayer for yourself, or use the following:
Great Spirits light is etched upon the divine plan of my life. Where light shines there can be no shadow, and nothing can overshadow the certainty that springs forth in me to carry out the beautiful projects to which I am divinely motivated. Spirit is my strength, my sufficiency in all, and my victory now.
5. List in writing three "acts of power" (to borrow a term of shaman Lynn Andrews), initiatives you can take towards those purposes listed, during the course of the next 28 days or less.
6. For at least 28 days, go over your Destiny Empowerment List each day, also reading your fears (to remember how vacant they are), and decree your clearing affirmation for at least 6 minutes. Add any acts of power you make.
If you share with a group, participants can report on their acts of power on a monthly basis.
7. Outside of such gatherings, avoid discussing your destiny, fears and acts of power. Seek to develop the art of conversational silence.
Silence is the absolute balance between body, spirit and soul. One who preserves the unity of her being will remains always serene and invincible in the face of lifes adversities. -Not a leaf moving in the tree, not a wave on the lakes twinkling surfacethis must be, according to the illiterate wise one, the ideal attitude and the best conduct in life.
If you were to ask: 'What is silence?', she will answer: 'Its the Great Mystery!'; 'The sacred silence is Its Voice!'
If you ask: 'What are the fruits of silence?', she will say: 'Self-dominion, true courage or resistance, patience, dignity and respect. Silence is the cornerstone of character.'
Ohiyesa, Contemporary Indian Writer
Celebrate the January Full Moon with us by creating an Eastern Cherokee prayer bundle to complete the summoning of your destiny.
Recommended reading at this time:
Anything that connects you with indigenous spiritual teachings, including your own dreams, studies and reflections. Also,
A Magical Universe, The Best of Magical Blend Magazine, especially the section entitled, "The Shamanistic Revival" (Blue Water Publishing: 800/366-0264) (or, new or used through Amazon).
Palabras de los Indios Norteamericanos ("Words of the North American Indians"), selected and presented by Michel Piquemal, with photographs by Edward S. Curtis (Ediciones B, S.A., Barcelona, Spain: 1999). This beautiful, hand-bound book is available in Spanish, translated from the French Paroles indiennes.
Solstice Shift, Magical Blends Synergistic Guide to the Coming Age (Blue Water Publishing: 800/366-0264) (or, new or used through Amazon).
Dance of the The Four Winds: Secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel (Harper & Row), by Alberto Villoldo, or any book by this author (several available new and used from Amazon).
Novels by Lynn Andrews.
Recommended musical experiences:
Anything related to native or indigenous sounds, especially live, especially participatory. Recent native-inspired recording discoveries include:
TYA, Tribal Sutras, by Martin Scherl, New Earth Records. (800-570-4074; or from Amazon). This softly wild record was inspired by aboriginal, especially Australian influences.
For great Peruvian music: Pachatusan Inkari, Wiñaypaq, Alcione (305-380-6436).
Thanks to the following website for fortifying our pagan holiday research: www.open-sesame.com.
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