A SACRED SPACE RITUAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot Boutique, shares a sacred space ritual to open your heart this Valentine’s Day…

Beyond the chocolates and red roses, Valentines Day for me is a precious reminder to keep our hearts open. As psychotherapist and spiritual teacher John Welwood says, our heart’s true purpose is really: “to be an open channel through which great love flows into this world.”

One of my favorite ways of opening this channel is by spending time in my sacred space. A sacred space is simply one corner of our home environment where we keep beautiful objects that are special or sacred to us. The space can be as large or as small as you want. Even if you only have a small section of a shelf, this too can be a perfect place to make your sacred space.

Keeping a sacred space is a precious gift to our soul, a reminder of how we want to be in the world, a mirror reflecting back to us our Inner Beauty.

Read on for a sacred space ritual for an open heart…

1. First thing to do is to cleanse the energy of your space. One of my favorite ways to cleanse is by burning Frankincense resin. Dropping a few pieces of the resin onto a burning charcoal disc allows for the heavenly smoke to rise and fill the surrounding air. Breathing in this aroma, I find my mind-chatter settles, my body relaxes, and my energies become grounded.

2. With the theme of Love in mind, I’ll be adding a few drops of Rose Oil into my diffuser. The combination of Frankincense and Rose Oil smells seriously divine! Rose of course exudes love and beauty, both visually and through her perfect scent. Did you know that Rose essential Oil has been proven in studies to reduce anxiety and produce deep levels of relaxation?

3. Now for some visual beauty. Nothing opens my heart more than beautiful objects from Mother Nature, especially crystals. Three pink, heart-centered stones I’m working with a lot at the moment are Rose Quartz, the mother of Love stones; Mangano Calcite, which radiates the energies of the heart in a very gentle, nurturing, and soothing way; and Pink Morganite, also known as the Pink Emerald, and a wonderful tool to help cultivate qualities of the heart, like compassion. I also love to add fresh flowers to my sacred space—in this case, either fresh pink roses or a bowl of dried pink roses.

4. The next step is to connect to the energy of those who radiate an open heart or Unconditional Love. It could be a spiritual teacher, a historical or mythical figure, a friend or family member. At the moment, the chosen beings of light in my sacred space are Ram Dass, Maya Aneglou, Thich Nhat Hann, Joni Mitchell, and Heqet (the Ancient Egyptian goddess and symbol of new life). Ideally, print off some small images of these people so they can beam their light right back at you from the heart of your sacred space.

5. An open heart is only truly open if we can keep it so in challenging situations. With this in mind, I like to have an object in my sacred space that symbolizes this challenging situation or person. This practice is taken from one of my spiritual teachers, Ram Dass, who spoke about his own puja table and how he’d have pictures of his teachers there, Buddha, Hanuman, Maharajah, Mary, and how every morning he would greet them with love. This included a picture of one of his most difficult people, Caspar Weinberger, President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense. An alternative to a picture of a specific person is simply to include a broken or damaged object. I sometimes use a decaying leaf to, reminding me of those spaces in my heart that sometimes struggle to stay open, allowing feelings of compassion towards that situation or person that challenges us.

6. To finish this ritual, I love to place my hand on my heart and set a little intention: to keep the people who inspire me and the beauty, especially the beauty of imperfection, in my heart throughout the day, so I can be a more compassionate and loving person in the world. I also recommend placing your hand on your heart throughout the day, especially if you ever feel it closing up. This simple gesture can bring you directly back to that inner space of Beauty and Love.

Discover more about Laurey and her work at The Colourful Dot Boutique, an online sanctuary for Inner Beauty. Pre-order her new book, The Inner Beauty Bible: Mindful rituals to nourish your soul, today. 

5 WAYS TO WORK WITH FULL MOON TAROT

If you’re looking for a super potent time to work with the Tarot, the Full Moon could be the cosmic invitation you’re after. Gabriela Herstik has five ways to work some Full Moon Tarot magick…Image: The Starchild Tarot

Read For The Month Ahead
Perhaps the most obvious and direct way to incorporate the Tarot into your Full Moon ritual is to do a reading. The cosmic energy now is ripe for making decisions on whatever’s been brewing since the previous New Moon, so spending some time reflecting on what you now want to manifest can only serve you. Set up a sacred space, get centered, find a layout that sings to you and draw a card, any card. Reflect on the cycles of your life, and be open to what comes up in the card you’ve chosen.

Make A Tarot Temple
The Tarot is all about imagery and symbolism after all, so why not play with this? You can create a Tarot altar or temple by picking a card that resonates with you (or simply picking one randomly with your intention for the Full Moon in mind) and choosing objects and offerings that help you personify the card. Flowers, photos, statues of deities or animals, and anything else that taps the energy of your card can bring its message to life. You can even create a piece of art that relates to your card, and display it in your chosen sacred space. Focus on the feeling the card brings up for you – especially relating to what you want to manifest in the coming weeks – and channel it into your space.

Meditate on It
The day of the Full Moon is the perfect time to manifest the results of any intentions you’ve set in recent weeks. Once the moon starts to wane, aka lose light, it’s the perfect time to let go and surrender all outcomes to the Universe. Meditating with your card can intensify whatever intention is set. So whether you’re meditating on Death and choosing transformation as the result of any process you’ve been going through, or if you’re simply sitting with The Moon card and focusing on the divine feminine, you’re golden. Taking time to breathe, absorb the energy of the Full Moon and really channel it into your intention is simple, doesn’t take a lot of time, and is a sweet reminder to just be.

Spell It Out
The Full Moon is a strong time for spell or magick work and um, hello, why not incorporate your cards into your work! Whether you’re doing some sigil magick, candle magick or something in between, using the imagery from a card can help set the tone. There’s a whole realm of tarot magick out there, so do your research and get creative.

Dress Like Your Favorite Card
If you really wanna channel your favorite card, take some sartorial cues. Dressing for your Full Moon ritual in something that chimes with the imagery of card you’re working with is a super direct way of aligning yourself with its energy. Feeling the High Priestess this month? Why not wear some jewels or a dress that reminds you of your own connection to Goddess energy? Feeling kinda Two of Cups? How about you dress in something your lover gave you, or something red and sexy. Get creative and manifest, it really is that easy!

What card are you working with this Full Moon? Connect with us and share your Full Moon rituals on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

PIECES OF ME: WHAT IS A SOUL RETRIEVAL CEREMONY?

Maggie Harrsen of Puakai Healing explains how our soul can become fragmented when we experience trauma, an what exactly happens in a Soul Retrieval ceremony. Images: Prince Lauder

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SOUL NEEDS RETRIEVING?
To first understand if a Soul Retrieval Ceremony may be beneficial for you, it is important to know the signs of Soul Loss (see below). During Soul Loss a piece of our soul, our light essence, flees the body in order to survive a traumatic or shocking experience. Examples of situations that may cause Soul Loss are: all forms of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), death of a loved one, divorce, separation, natural disasters, accidents, surgery and any distress during rites of passage.

THAT SOUNDS PAINFUL…SO WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SOUL LOSS?

Soul Loss could manifest in any of the below:
A feeling of being lost or incomplete
Chronic depression, anxiety or grief
Feeling disconnected from all of life
Feeling “out of body”
The sense that you haven’t been “the same” after a certain event
Chronic illness and ongoing misfortune
Blocked memory
Lack of joy
An inability to make decisions
Addictive behavior patterns
Being disconnected from your intuition
A loss of energy

IF OUR SOUL FRAGMENTS WHEN WE EXPERIENCE TRAUMA, WHERE DOES IT GO TO RETREAT?
According to the Qero paq’os (healers) of the Andean mystical tradition, when a soul part flees our body it goes to the Ukhu Pacha, the place of the underworld where Pachamama, our Cosmic Mother lives. Being our Earth Mother, she is able to keep these parts of our soul safe until we’re ready to receive them back. It is my belief that in order to fulfil our soul’s particular mission on Earth, we need all of our soul parts restored and within us!

It is also interesting to note that in indigenous cultures, if a little one falls and breaks a limb or witnesses the death of an elder, the healer will perform a ceremony on their behalf right away. In Western culture, the understanding of our energetic body and the spiritual causes of illness are not so recognised or well understood, so restoring all the parts of our soul can often mean going back decades.

HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE FOR A SOUL RETRIEVAL CEREMONY?
In the Soul Retrieval Ceremony we are working within the luminous energy field (the energy bubble that surrounds and informs the physical body) so the only preparation is in our intention, as this is what drives energy. And in a Soul Retrieval Ceremony our intention is simple – we are calling back any lost soul parts that are ready and willing to return to the individual right now.

When we create sacred space and have an openness and willingness for healing to occur, it simply happens. My role in ceremony is holding this space for individuals to heal themselves. The most important element for me is trust – to build trust with my client and create a space in which they feel safe to completely open, like a blossoming flower. It is through our own courage and will that we are able to heal ourselves and, in turn, heal the Earth.

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IN THE CEREMONY?
The ceremony takes place either inside a space or outside in nature. The client will lay comfortably on the ground with blankets and pillows and I will sit at their side. I will begin by preparing sacred space, using the smoke of the Palo Santo wood and other various rituals, and then I will gently guide the client into a relaxed place of stillness. They will remain laying down – resting and focusing on their breath for the duration of the ceremony.

Together we will set our intention and go into an altered state of consciousness through the sound of various instruments, including a rattle, drum and bells. As the healer, I journey outside of time and space to my guiding spirits who assist me in locating and understanding why these light essences, or soul parts, originally left.

They are then brought back and restored to the individual through my breath, as I blow them into their heart center and crown of the head. We then move into the transmutation sequence of the ceremony, where the client absorbs the light of their soul into every cell of their being. During this time, I play various high vibrational instruments and music. To complete the ceremony, the client gently sits up, sipping a glass of water and I share my healing story, focusing on the gifts that were restored. The client may also share any visions, sensations or experiences they had during their ceremony.

AND HOW DO PEOPLE FEEL AFTERWARDS?
Since we are all unique as human beings, everyone feels differently after a Soul Retrieval Ceremony. Some individuals may feel sleepy and some are buzzing with energy. Some feel emotional. Some feel a shift in physical sensation and perception. Some feel nothing. Many feel deep peace and relaxation, and most individuals report a sense of being grounded and “in their body”. Individuals often express they feel at home again. In the days and months after a Soul Retrieval Ceremony most individuals report significant life changes.

SUCH AS…
I have heard people report all of the following:
A sense of spiritual harmony
Greater wellbeing and vitality
Healing of physical dis-ease
Clarity/remembering of the soul path
Unconditional love for the self
Restoration of individual gifts
Depression replaced with joy
Renewed relationships
An ability to be their authentic self
Courage to follow their dreams
A deeper connection to the natural world

Find out more about Maggie Harrsen and Puakai Healing here, and check out the details of her upcoming Hamptons retreat, which takes place July 27 and 28 2015