by Fu-Ding Cheng: The New Year and new cycle of the Mayan calendar is off and running. Beginnings are auspicious times; Decisions made now can set the tone for all that follows. Just as a house requires a strong foundation, we want clarity of intent before we plunge into the adventures of this new cycle. It’s a good time to re-assess our longings and misgivings, challenge basic assumptions we’ve lived by all our lives, and be fluid in adapting to ever-accelerating change in the world.
What are the characteristics of this new cycle? One of the most important is that humans of this new phase––“the Sixth Humanity” say the shamans––will re-attune to our Source. Spiritually, we reconnect with Being, (or Spirit or God). Physically, we reconnect with Mother Earth, and mentally we identify with our hearts.
How can we cultivate in our daily life the characteristics of this new humanity? One fundamental way is to actively reestablish our connection with Spirit by entering “Sacred Space” through the power of rituals:
ENTER SACRED SPACE.
Entering “Sacred Space” is a classic process to put aside our ego and formally invite transcendent powers greater than ourselves to guide us in thought, word, and deed. These powers are known as Spirit, Source, Being, Angels, Saints, God(s), or our Illumined Self––any being or force of our own choice that we feel transcends the normal ups and downs of life.
Entering Sacred Space is highly beneficial for any significant event where we want to be at our best physically, mentally, and spiritually. These include launching important projects, opening meetings, beginning daily meditations, or conducting marriages. The rituals to do this are as varied as people. They’ll include activities as simple as lighting candles, drumming, singing, invoking (the calling in of spirits, saints, sages), smudging (the burning of natural herbs such as sage for the smoke that helps spiritual cleansing), and countless other procedures. A crucial element common to all, however, is the intent to connect with Spirit:
1. Set up an altar, the physical aspect to a ritual––you are bridging the world of Spirit with that of the physical. You can create an altar by lighting a candle; smudging an area with sage; or arranging mementos, photos of saints, or objects that represent to you something or someone that transcends physical reality.
2. Formally invoke Spirit and/or Spirit guides, (“We call in the saints and sages of all religions…” or “I invoke my Illumined Self…” or “I call in my creative muse for this project….”) to enter the space or circle of the ritual.
3. Express gratitude and the intent of the ceremony, “Please accept our gratitude for…” and then, “Please guide and inspire us during this ritual, and for this enterprise we are about to begin…”
4. After the event or meeting, release the Spirits, “Thank you, beloved Spirits, and now we release you to your proper abodes knowing you will continue to guide us in our daily life…”
The power of rituals defies reason. Much greater forces are set in motion, so practice unbending intent, trust your experiences, and not let your ego or reason dismiss the proceedings. (After all, your ego didn’t do such a great job in helping you get what we want; otherwise you would not have been moved to perform the ritual in the first place.)
Also, we don’t want to fall into the trap of assuming that just because we performed a ritual, we can become passive and everything will fall in place like magic. Rituals are like planting powerful seeds; we still need to water and feed them with our attention. Alert to impulses from our heart, we will be ever ready to take appropriate action and keep faith that invisible forces are guiding us behind the scenes.
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