Monday, January 24, 2011

Summer Solstice 2010, a 1 day event that evolved into 3 days of ceremony

As the solstice neared I had a calling to hold another Ayni Despacho Ceremony for the Earthwalk Project. It had been over a year since the first one we had held in Glastonbury on 11.11.09. Although preparing for the Despacho and holding the ceremony would require a little more physical effort that I was feeling up to at the time, I also knew that to deny my feelings would cause disruption to my otherwise very peaceful energy body a situation that I had no intention of creating just when I am getting used to living peacefully in harmony and balance. Once more one must make the most of the opportunity a solstice provides for clearing out the old and creating space for the new! And was it a coincidence or not that after many months of development Jurgen and I were in agreement that the Earthwalk Project website was ready to go live on 21.12.2010, a situation worthy of a celebration of its own!

I also realised that for those travelling long distances an Ayni Despacho Ceremony would provide another opportunity on their list of possibilities to acknowledge and honour our earth on such a special occasion as having a full moon and lunar eclipse fall precisely on the solstice. Another way through which to appreciate the significance of such an extra-ordinary event and the perfect opportunity to experience what it is like working in sacred space at the level of the collective consciousness for the greater good of all. An opportunity to step out of their ‘me’ story and into the ‘we’ story if they chose to!

After a relaxing weekend sharing time with my Dad and riding with my sister, Puawai and I spent Monday in preparation for our Ayni Despacho Ceremony and the Fire Ceremony that would follow. It was a pleasure to work beside Puawai who seems to have never forgotten how to honour her creativity. My preparations included browsing my sister’s pantry for suitable nuts, seeds and beans, a shopping trip to the local “Bin Inn” for inspiring sweets with a brief stopover at the $2 shop for stars, butterflies, feathers and other burnable offerings. I asked Puawai if she would accept the responsibility to prepare the Pachamama (Mother Earth) offering for our Fire Ceremony and never before have I seen such a beautiful and meaningful creation to honour our earth.

It was also important to prepare ourselves which meant doing the laundry, clearing out the car and tidying up the house. I also felt it important to complete my story of our Journey through the Land of Mu so that I would be completely empty and open to receive whatever the next chapter of life had to offer me. This also meant having a light supper, washing hair and taking a candle-lit soak in a bath full of Epsom salts, an opportunity to reflect on another incredible year of adventure that I had experienced through living my dream, taking opportunities I had created as they came along and doing my best to live in the present and enjoy each and every moment!

A little bit about Ceremony and the Ayni Despacho . . .

When conducting ceremony it is important to choose your space with consideration to others and the environment and assemble the three vital ingredients; purity of heart, sincerity of intention and conscious awareness of our interconnectedness with all that is. Then, share your intention with your imagination, follow your heart and intuition, and allow your left brain a rest while tapping into the unlimited potential of your creativity and simply allow your ceremony to evolve.

Ayni Despacho

Ayni – balance or right relationship, coming into right relationship within ourselves, with each other and with our environment.
Despacho – a bundle of prayers offered to spirit to assist our shift into balance
Kintu – collection of 3 coco or bay leaves in which to blow prayers

Remembering that the way in which our ceremony unfolded is simply a guideline as when conducting your own ceremony it is important that you do what feels right for you be it calling in the Four Directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky, or calling on the presence of the Divine in whatever way this has manifest for you. Also of upmost importance is that you enjoy yourself, sacred space doesn’t have to mean serious space, it is honour and respect that must be adhered to which can be shared lightly and with laughter!

Now back to the ceremony . . .

I asked everyone that as they stepped inside to consciously step out of their ‘me’ story and into the ‘we’ story. And as Pania ushered everyone in through her gift of music, Puawai sprinkled sacred water, the traditional way of cleansing the spirit of each individual prior to entering sacred space and/or conducting ceremony.

A guideline to the Ayni Despacho . . .

Firstly tune in and connect with the essence of what you wish to come into alignment with.
Starting with a cross of sugar, which represents Southern Cross, we added four dots of sugar in each quadrant for the four directions. Next we lay our kintus; generally speaking there are four for earth and sky and six for Mother Earth. Then a representation of the red road and the white one, which I understand are the energy lines, perhaps to you they may represent the masculine and the feminine, pieces of wool work well. We also used a blue ribbon for the middle road – the path of the dancer.

Then start in the Uku Pacha, under or lower world with seed, beans, sea salt (the salt of the earth) using any connotation of interpretation that comes to mind, especially focus on how the water and fire crack through the outer shell and produces life out of the unmanifest.

Next layer the Kai Pacha or middle world is the flowers and fruits produced in this world, include an altar for the ancestors you can use a scallop shell or a cracker and place upon this gifts for them. Animal and plant sweets are good for bringing focus to their medicine, I cut little pictures from magazines that were relevant to the project, also play money or old train/plane tickets, herbs, flower oils, pictures of sacred sites, anything can be used and expanded upon to include many different aspects of the purpose of your Despacho..

If you have easy access to fresh or dried flowers they are a great representation of the fifth world. Work your way up through to this world, allow everyone to place a personal wish before placing rainbows (our true colours) and clouds(cotton wool) over the top of this world. If at any time you feel/sense there might be something missing or not quite balancing up in this world, pause and tune in adding sugar for sweetness and love to any words that may come to mind.

Now onto the Hanac Pacha or upper world, the essence of all things considered divine, light beings, angels, Saints, Light of St.Germaine, Sun, Moon and Stars our Family of Light, Milky Way - candles are good here too, Heart (sweets) of the Great Mother, white chocolate buttons to honour the moon, our cycles and the alignment with our galactic centre that was in the process of taking place.

I like to meditate and focus on everything beforehand putting everything out on platters for each world and connecting with the medicine available from each item.

Doing Despacho often brings unconscious fears and/or resistances up. Before starting ask for the help of your allies/jaguar to transmute any negative energies which may emerge from all present as they arise. And remember that during the ceremony there is always time and space for anyone to express themselves be that through offering a song, reciting a poem, playing an instrument or any other way befitting to the occasion, holding space for children to share there stories is also a very special gift :-)

Once complete wrap your Despacho up from bottom to top, left to right and encircle with a ribbon of your choice then wrap sacred cloth around until ready to burn.

And what a special ceremony it was . . . 15 people from six different nationalities chose to join us for the Ayni Despcaho bringing with them their offerings and prayers, their gifts and their presence. Aged from 6 to 80 yrs all had something to offer and what a gift it was to have both youth and wisdom present. And was it a coincidence that the total number of people present came to 17 (8) a number that just so happens to be associated with the Earthwalk Project? Who knows? With our ceremony complete it was time for afternoon tea on the front lawn overlooking Ohiwa Harbour and an opportunity to meet the new members of our rainbow family while the rest of the tribe began arriving for a pot luck supper prior to our evening fire.

I did my best to meet and greet all as and when they arrived while assuring myself that there would be plenty of time to weave in supper and to prepare our fire in the process. The whole afternoon and evening seemed to flow effortlessly which of course is much because of the combined efforts of Puawai, my sister Nick and all the other angels that shared their light while tending to the more practical matters. And to my absolute surprise and delight some of the last guests to arrive was my dear Swedish friend Lotta accompanied by family and friends. Lotta had been on one of my African Overland expeditions in 1993, we had met again in Sweden during the fall of ’95 and in NZ during the summer of ‘96 and I had not seen her in 16 yrs. Although I was expecting to see them all on Christmas Eve I had no idea that they were coming to fire!

As we assembled on the lawn I realised just how many people had been called to fire, there were 52 people present from many different backgrounds, ages, nationalities and walks of life, all indigenous of planet earth and all here to share sacred space and celebrate the Solstice! Wow, it seemed as though the events I had envisioned would take place last summer were in fact manifesting here and now! And the 53rd person bringing us to another 8 was Dad, who although he chose not to join our circle as it was past his bedtime, had performed to perfection his self appointed task as our parking angel. Thank you Dad and thank you Puawai for sharing a day with my Dad in your workshop of creation, a blessing that he cherishes and what a gift you were to help my Dad understand a little better the world I have chosen to walk in. A special gift from a special sister, I thank you.

I sensed our fire ceremony was a first time event for many so I took a little time at the beginning to explain the gift of sacred space and a basic outline of the proceedings before opening that space and allowing the ceremony to unfold. People had been invited to bring with them anything they wanted to release and I had a spare stack of driftwood (issue sticks) for anyone who had forgotten, there was space in between for anyone felt called to express themselves and much to the delight of all we enjoyed plenty of song, music, drumming and dance not to forget a fantastic fire dance from Ra! Then it was time to pass around the bowl of popcorn kernals, the perfect and most entertaining vehicles for which to transport our dreams for the future through the transformative energy of fire into the ethers.

Our evening went on into the night and although we were not privy to a view of the eclipse we had felt very blessed that the second largest rainfall recorded for 2010 in the Eastern Bay of Plenty had given us a day of grace in which to celebrate the Summer Solstice! It was also interesting to learn a little of the local history and the significant role that the Scandinavian people had played as the earliest recoded settlers in the area. And not only that but the daughter of Lotta’s friends had chosen to sing a song from her home country titled ‘Footsteps in the Sand’, a story that related directly to Manawa’s ancestors from the area. I felt this situation to be quite significant as it brings awareness to the reality that we are in fact our ancestors and during this special time on the history of our planet we are being called not only to heal everything from this life but also all that we have left unhealed from previous lives.

A number of people stayed over the night and although some headed off next morning a group of 8 remained to do a little further earthwork in the area. With Karlos as our driver and guardian angel and Manawa as navigator we were taken first to Marumutu Marare, the marae of Manawa’s ancestors that sits in perfect alignment with a natural pyramid inland and Whakari (White Island) NZ’s most active volcano that lies 15 kms off shore. After visiting with the ancestors and local Kaitiaki we were called to the Pohutukawa tree in the east and here shared our songs and music in honour of the land and it people.

Next stop was to the beach for a picnic lunch followed by a visit to Murawai’s Marae, perhaps another coincidence or perhaps not after all my work with the Spirit of Murawai last summer. Murawai’s Marae seemed in need of a little TLC (tender loving care) perhaps it too is due for a revival with the new energy of the next cycle? We were offered an out of season supply of fresh mushrooms and then headed for home where everyone enjoyed a relaxing afternoon sharing space in my sister’s special place. There was time for resting, healing and making music and in the afternoon while Nick, Fernanda and I took a ride along the beach the rest of the team created a driftwood sculpture of the phoenix, a Kaitaki of the Earthwalk Project and an offering to fire to honour our earth and the end of the 24 hour period of solstice celebrations that had taken place around the world.

It was the 23rd of December, Mum was due down for Christmas and everyone mucked in to clean up Nick’s space, a very special and sacred space we had shared for the past few days. Once the work was done and Manawa had distributed her last batch of New Zealand Flower Essences, with which she is very gifted, we came together in circle to conclude our three very special days of ceremony . . . new friendships made and old bonds strengthened. Puawai surprised me with a lovely gift complete with its own story that I will allow to speak for itself and I presented each of our circle of light-weavers with a hand woven shawl from Ethiopia thanking them for their presence and support, for showing up, creating ceremony, holding space, and taking responsibility for the world we are dreaming into being!

My gift from Puawai
Whale Bone - Creation
Mahia - that person, Ma (purity), hia (sound),
Kina - 5 potinted Star
Plaits - 3 AIO Christ Conciousness, Peace
Harakeke - Ha (breath of life), Ra (great enlightenment), Keke (sweetness)
Violet Feather from Phoneix - Violet flame of St Germain
and from Pania a natural sage candle for cleansing . . .

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