As humans, we have a strong need to belong, to feel a part of something, yet western culture has severed many of the bonds that form the web of community in which we live.
A ceremony is an activity of the community; when we gather with a shared purpose, we reweave that web, and meet one another in the context of our common humanity. We allow ourselves to feel a sense of community, even with people we are meeting for the first time.
We revitalize intergenerational relationships and interdependence such that we may remember ourselves as part of a larger collective, in community with all beings.
What rituals are present in our daily lives? How is a ritual different from a habit?
We need ritual and ceremony; we need a framework for a spiritual life. We - the people of the west - need rituals to help us return to our indigenous nature, to feel again our place among the elements. As we return to our embodied wisdom, we remember our relationship to the natural calendar, to vital ritual and ceremony.
Naomi carries the blessings to hold these altars from Carmen Vicente, in the lineage of the Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan.
When we sit together around a fire to pray, we remember the power of the word. The concept of prayer has been tainted by religion, yet in its essence, prayer is the simple song of our heart coming through our bodies, via the earth, the air, the fire, the water that we are. In a tobacco circle, we spend an hour or a few around a sacred fire, and are invited to share our prayers through word, song or silence, in relation with the sacred, original medicine of the tobacco.
The Temazcal (Sweat Lodge) is an ancient ceremony of purification and prayer in which we return to the womb of the earth and are reborn anew.
Volcanic stones heated in a fire outside are carried into the lodge, which is a low, round, covered structure. Water is poured onto the stones as in a sauna. During the ceremony there is space for song, prayer and silence. The conditions of darkness, heat and humidity re-create the conditions of the womb and allow us to return to a memory of engagement with the world through all of our senses.
Temezcal (Sweat Lodge)
Four Tobaccos Ceremony
The Four Tobaccos Ceremony is a traditional design which offers a profound connection to Spirit. In these times of great change and new possibilities, this is a spiritual work of realignment with the vibration of our heart, both on an individual and collective level. The Ceremony is a space for us to listen to guidance, to reconnect with the Earth, Air, Fire and Water as we open our senses to experience the totality of ourselves in a celebration of all life.
Throughout the night we sit in a circle around a sacred fire and share our prayers, songs and moments of stillness until the dawn, when we greet the arrival of the new day.