Thursday, October 29, 2015

Core Practices

There are certain things that we do, that, with repetition, become our rituals, our traditions, even for those who live outside of tradition, as I do. As we go along, we learn more about these rituals or practices, our understanding of them deepens, as does our learning of why we have been guided to do them.

My morning prayer ritual is this way for me. It was the first "tradition" that I established in my practice. I go outside and give thanks to the Creator, while facing East, then to Grandfather Sun, then to the Direction of East, the Element of Air, and to Eagle, who carries our prayers to the Creator. Then I face South and give thanks to the Direction of South, and to the Element of Fire, along with the Creature Beings who "live" in that Direction that assist me, such as Mouse and Coyote. Then I turn and face West, and thank it and Water, along with Mother Bear, and my other Spirit Helpers who live in that Direction, as well as Grandmother Moon. Then I face North and thank Mother Earth and all of the Creature Beings, the Plant People, the Standing People, and the Ancient Ones (Stone People), for their assistance. Then I face NW and thank my Ancestors, Allies, Spirit Guides and Helpers, and my Angels. Then I face East again, and thank Above (Father Sky, Great Star Nation), Below (Mole, Badger, Mineral Kingdom, and the Fire at the Center of the Earth), and then Within. I like then pull all of the 7 Sacred Directions within me, and then radiate those energies outwards, and ask that I touch all that I encounter that day with love, peace, balance, and harmony, including myself.

A friend recently asked me how to pray, and it's my belief that we each have to face the morning Sun and the Creator alone. I learned how to pray by doing just that, and I believe that if you are sincere, that you will learn the same way. However, I did want to share my morning prayer, as I know it is difficult getting started, especially if you don't know who "lives" where. Believe me, the Unseen World understands when you falter, when you don't have words, when you aren't there at exactly Sunrise, or even when you forget someone in some Direction, they always understand. If they see you trying, if they see you are sincere, they will help you. The important thing is that you try.

This became a ritual for me, and I have been praying every single day for some 12+ years, and in that time, my understanding of it has deepened, my knowledge of it has deepened, and my connection to it all has deepened. I've been taught many things, just because I pray every day. Or because I am always sincere when I do. That is what is important.

This is my Core Practice. It's not the only one, it was the stepping stone to all the others though. And through doing this, I have learned other rituals that I now do, that have also become Core Practices for me. But let's finish talking about prayer first, shall we?!

One thing I know is that when you say your prayers outside, on the Earth, you make that space sacred once more, you restore it's energy. Due to this, I pray in strange places. I go camping, hiking, etc. just to pray in a new place so that I can restore its sacredness, return its energy. I went camping this past summer in a National Forest here in NM, and this place had lost ALL of its sacredness. I felt absolutely nothing coming up from the Earth. And it saddened me. Deeply! It took a few days, but each of those days, I prayed out on the Earth. In a different spot each day. Then I went rock hunting - as it was a rock hunting park, and before the day was over, I was being guided to where the choice stones were located. I gave thanks for each one, offering tobacco, of course. The last morning there, I chose to pray beneath the towering Ponderosa Pines in our campsite, that had sheltered us during our stay. Up until that point, I had felt nothing from them. In truth, they had been hurt, damaged, and they just saw us all as more humans who would harm them, so I can't really blame them for not wanting to share energy with me! The last morning though, I chose to say my prayers there, and still felt nothing from them. By the time my prayers were said, I was crying because I felt their loving energy so strongly, that it was absolutely overwhelming. I felt such gratitude, and was in such gratitude for it all, that it made it very difficult to leave there, but I know that I will return one day.

This is one of the things that a daily prayer ritual can do, it can connect you to every living thing, helping you to feel its energy and hear its voice. But that's not all. If you think about it, the blood of our Ancestors is in - and on, the Earth. Those who used to walk this Earth, left energy on this Earth where they conducted their Ceremonies and Rituals, where they said their prayers. This energy can still be felt today, when you deepen your connection to the Earth through a daily prayer ritual. And that's not all. Your own 7th Generation will be able to connect to the Earth and to the sacredness that you create with your outdoor prayer, just because you prayed outside, on the Earth. They will be able to connect, not just to your energy - or the energy you raise, but to the energies of your Ancestors, and/or to those who lived on that land in the past. Throughout time, we create sacredness by performing daily prayer, as well as other rituals and Ceremonies on the Earth, and this energy can be felt by the coming generations. And sometimes, if you are very good, you will also gain the wisdom of those Ancestors -  or the ones who lived on that land before - by praying daily on that same space. Much is shared when we connect to the Earth with sacredness and sincerity. And this is why it is so important.

Another ritual that has become a Core Practice for me are my Chakra Clearing Techniques. This is a PDF file that is available in my shop, that teaches how I use the Chakra energies each and every day, in my morning prayer ritual. I have reduced the price of these techniques to $5.99 US, as I know now how important it is that everyone have access to them. Doing these techniques daily has helped me to raise the vibrational level of all of my Chakras, helped me to clear out all of the old gunk from my Aura and re-establish it to its original, intended, rainbow colors. It keeps my Aura bright and healthy. And it keeps me more aware of how each of my Chakras are operating on a daily basis, and I re-establish my healthy Aura daily, in case I've forgotten to keep it in check.

All of this led to me making the Angelic Light Ray and Flame Color Therapy Healing Discs in my shop. I was gifted the knowledge needed to create these important pieces, the stones to use, the coloring agent to use, the details about each Ray and each Flame, and the individual and collective instructions for using each and every one of them. There are a total of 12 Ray/Flame Color Therapy discs available in my shop, and I have personally worked with each and every one of them. I believe that raising the vibrational level of my Chakras, is what led me to the knowledge of these energies. And I believe that my daily prayer ritual is what led me to the Chakra techniques. And it goes on and on.

That is just some of what I have learned since I began my prayer ritual, over 12 years ago now. I have also been gifted the Teachings of the Medicine Wheel - that is, the lessons of each Direction, each Element, and of the Totem Animals, Plants, and Stones of each Direction, along with those of my Spirit Helpers in each Direction, that are now a part of my life.

I also want to talk to you about my Sacred Circle. About 3 years ago, I created a Sacred Circle in which to say my daily prayers, in my yard. Not long after this, I was gifted the Chakra techniques that I use each day. So that Circle became an important part of my ritual here at home. It helps me to re-center myself daily, and to keep my circle of energy around myself throughout the day. Facing each Direction each day, helps me to know the energies of each Direction as the Wheel turns - in its season. We are currently facing the Direction of West, and it's energies of Going Within, finding our own answers, learning to trust ourselves, and so much more! Every time I go around the Wheel of the Year, while facing each Direction in its season, I learn a new lesson, or deepen my understanding of a lesson I've previously learned.

This is how I built my Sacred Circle: it contains a Center stone, and a larger stone for each of the 4 cardinal Directions, and then stones around the outer edge of the Circle, and stones going from each of the cardinal Directions to the Center stone. That's it. Nothing fancy. Created in sacredness, with prayer and smudging, and, of course, sincerity. It can be done simply with the Center stone and the stones for the 4 Cardinal Directions. Or you can just face each Direction each day, and learn to feel their energies that way, and it will still help you to be aware of that sacred Circle of energy that surrounds you all the time. You don't have to pray in a physical circle, because the 7 Sacred Directions are around you always.

I sit in my backyard and watch for animal messengers, and they come when they are needed, bringing me a message that I decipher to help me with whatever I am working on at the time. This is a trick that takes stillness and connection, but it's not just a trick that only I can do, as I believe that everyone can do it. I also believe, however, that my daily prayer ritual assists me in this also, due to it deepening my connection to the Earth and, in turn, to all of Her Creature-Beings. The Trees help me, by telling me how their Medicine can be best used, be it physically or metaphysically. The Plants do the same, especially when I am seeking an answer or solution. They volunteer their energies for the common good, at times.

We've all heard the story of how Buffalo helped the tribes survive by sacrificing itself so that they could live, and how they used every part of the Buffalo so that none of this gift was wasted. That is what the natural world does for us. They sacrifice themselves for the highest good. And they are our Teachers. Each and every plant, tree, insect, bird, animal, and blade of grass, can teach us something, just as every person we meet can teach us something. We just have to learn to listen closer. Again, stillness and sincerity. And, of course, gratitude.

I believe that when we begin each day with gratitude, everything that we need comes our way. When we give thanks for all that we receive, we continue to receive, in abundance.

Those are my Core Practices, and these are my Core Beliefs: Be sincere, Be consistent, Be still and listen, and give thanks for it all, every single day.

Thank you for listening!
May harmony, balance, love, and peace surround us all.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing!! I have often begun a practice but soon after fizzle out (guess that is not much of a practice, right?) I need structure and direction. Through your post, I have been inspired and I know others will be too! Blessings <3

Michelle said...

Thank you so much Kristi! I know you will find your own rhythm and practices! Sending love and blessings your way!

Sherry Gunn said...

Ok let's try this again. Thank you Michelle, I struggle with routine, I do an evening gratitude prayer and at meal times but otherwise it's hit n miss. I'm going to try to go outside and do morning prayers in my sacred circle. I tend to let weather dictate how much I'm outside but I think connecting in nature in all her elements is a good plan. I do spend lots of time hiking and always send healing to the Earth when I'm out. Your discs are great for this. Thank you for the inspiration. Blessings.

Michelle said...

Thank you Sherry! I don't know why blogger ate your comment, but I sure am glad you reposted it!
The theory is that we pray at sunrise or sunset, the magickal times of day. I have a deal tho, I get my coffee first, and I promise not to fall asleep while praying in return ;)
Fortunately, I don't live in a place where it rains often, so I am able to get outside almost every day. The one day I wasn't (recently, it was raining), I was told to just say my prayers inside in front of my altar, as it rained all. day. long!
Other times, wind is a problem in getting my Palo Santo wood lit, so I've learned to either light it inside and carry it out, or to smudge inside then go out for prayers. I work around what I have to, when I have to, but much prefer doing it all outside!
Thanks again for commenting! You are much appreciated!