Opening and closing sacred healing space
a guide to help you create a safe medicine wheel chamber of love and protection for healing
Directly from the Mystical Shaman Oracle Guide Book:
The medicine wheel is a sacred hoop with the four cardinal directions well-marked. It represents the cycle of Life, the cycles of Nature, and the circular pattern of our Cosmos. It has been used for Millennia in indigenous cultures to bring Harmony and well-being to the Village. It’s Direction symbolize the four steps the shaman takes to become a person of power and wisdom.
To manifest Clear Blue Skies in your life, it is important that you take a look at certain aspects of your being. Enter the medicine wheel from the south and reflect on how you are still clinging to events from the past. Continue to the west and notice which relationships are toxic and drain your energy. Step into the North and ask yourself “Do I know my passion and show it?” And in the East Direction, visualizing how you want to live the next chapter of your life. It is up to you how much time you spend in each direction– minutes, days, or months. But when you are done, make sure you two step outside the wheel and contemplate your journey.
You must not postpone your healing Journey any longer. It can be difficult to start, but you must find the inner strength to step into the medicine wheel or you may lose your opportunity. There are many ways and many paths, choose the one you resonate most with. Once you have found it, the only mistake you can make is to not follow it. Go boldly!
Invoking Sacred Medicine Space
Across many cultures humans have felt a deep need to create distinct places and times dedicated to ‘out of the ordinary’ experiences of a spiritual nature. Sacred space is a subset of a more generic ‘ritual space’.
Sacred space is specific to spiritual matters whereas ritual space is broader to include many forms of rituals such as rites of initiation, passage, death, birth, marriage, and seasonal changes.
In sacred space the veil between worlds thins and we feel closer to Spirit.
Sacred space can be opened simply or more elaborately. It is our intention, reverence and sincerity that opens it.
The Shamanic invocation of sacred space we use is a derivative of the Inka cosmology and traditions as practised in Peru mostly by the Q’ero peoples.
The invocation involves ‘calling in’ the energies of the four cardinal directions and then the earth and the heavens.
This is a common practice among indigenous people. For the Q’ero Shaman, the four directions are related to the four layers of the Luminous Energy Field (LEF), to the four levels of perception, to the four major aspects of being human: body, mind, soul, spirit, and to the journey of human being-ness, what is called the Medicine Wheel.
As such, invoking a relationship with these four directions also creates a relationship with these associated aspects.
The inclusion of drumming or rattling is useful as a signal that we are entering or leaving a different space.
When we open directions we are leaving ordinary, every-day (profane) space and creating sacred space and time.
The use of spirit water as a spritz, or the smoke from sage (or paulo santos) to smudge, is to energetically cleanse/clear the area.
Invoking each direction is concluded with an exclamation of completion, like the word Amen. The Q’ero use the sound Ho or Ah-ho.
In the following paragraphs I will describe the attributes of each direction and then provide sample invocations (in italics). As you gain familiarity with the energetic essentials of each direction you can call it with your own words.
The South direction is symbolized in many traditions by the great serpant, the physical body particularly the five senses, physiology, biochemistry and physics, life force.
Materiality, birthed from the earth (all our physicality comes from the earth), so the earth is our first ‘mother’.
Symbolized by the serpent (Amaru, or Sachamamma) that is closest to Mother Earth, and is gentle on her. Serpent is soft and quiet in relation to Mother Earth.
What separates us from Mother Earth are boundaries we create such as fears, beliefs, expectations for how life should be, rules. Serpent sheds it’s boundary, skin, in one piece, and we too can shed our disconnections from Mother Earth in one go.
Serpent sees life just as it is without making up meanings, explanations or stories. Everything is just the way it is.
INVOCATION OF THE SOUTH DIRECTION:
Winds of the South, come and influence us tonight. Remind us that, like Serpent shedding its skin all in one piece, we can shed the stories that bind us. Ho!
Another version: Winds of the South, we call to you to come and influence us tonight. We invite your gifts into our circle. Help us to honor our physical bodies, our communities, our planet. Let us remember how alive we are, let us experience the life force inside us and around us. Help us release any fixed ways we see things, like a snake sheds its skin, all in one go, release our beliefs so that we may experience the truth of this life as it is. Inform us so that we may walk in this world with beauty and harmony. Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it)
Another version: To the Winds of the South, Great Serpent, I invite you to our healing space today. Wrap your coils of light around us and teach us how to shed the past, our mistaken beliefs, our prejudices, our impediments to spiritual growth as you shed your skin – all at once in one piece. Teach us how to walk softly on our mother, the beauty way. Whisper your wisdom to us Winds of the South. Ho!
Another version: To the Winds of the South, Sachamama, beautiful coiled serpent, Wrap your coils of light around us as we do our work here today. Help us to shed our stories the way you shed your skin…. Amaru, mother of the waters, mother of all that moves, teach us to walk soft belly on the earth as you do, To touch all that we touch with beauty, Help us to understand that we never left that garden. Be with us sweet one. Ho!
Another version: Earth of the South, thank you for providing our density, our gravity, our basic organizations and belonging to a family and country. Thank you for providing the substrate of our physical bodies and our physical lives here on Earth. Thank you for providing dark places that hold the parts of us we cannot at this time experience. Thank you for holding all the seeds. Remind us tonight to honour the earth, and all the substance out of which we are created, the top soil, the sand, the rocks, the minerals, the precious gems, the deep underground rock-scapes, the molten core, and the force field that holds our atmosphere to the earth. We honor you, element of earth, and invite your intelligence here tonight to inform us.
The winds of the West are symbolized in many traditions by the level of mental activity, thoughts, emotions/feelings, a product resulting out of the body so at the next level of perception
Symbolized by the big cat Jaguar (Otorongo), a master tracker, the one who knows death very well, who brings death which brings beyond death which brings rebirth – Jaguar knows the cycle of life intimately.
Jaguar makes everything have a personal meaning. Nothing is as it seems!
Jaguar’s tracking skills help it sniff down the trail to find out first hand if the meaning is true and in so doing stalks life, helping to recycle/mulch what needs to die.
INVOCATION OF THE WEST WINDS
Winds of the West, come and influence us tonight. Help us to release, like the fierce tracker Jaquar, the fear of living and dying that is at the core of all our stories. Ho!
Another version: Winds of the West, we invite you to join our circle with your wisdom and energy. Remind us that life is a cycle of birth, death, beyond death, and rebirth. Like the great cats jaguar and cougar, help us track our lives, to see in the dark places, or to sniff out what needs to move into the next aspect of the cycle. Show us the ways we create our world with thoughts and feelings, that we create meanings, meaningfulness or meaninglessness. Whisper reassurance and encouragement when we doubt the subtle reality of creativity, intuition, fantasy and vision. Winds of the West, Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it).
Another version: To the Winds of the West, Great Jaguar, I invite you to our healing space today. Protect this space as we work. You, who are the master, teach us about tracking, about death and dying, about beyond death. Show us the path beyond fear of death. Help us become a friend of death – death of identities, of roles, of positions, of ego. Teach us the way of peace and balance, to live impeccably. Whisper your wisdom to us Winds of the West. Ho!
Another version: To the Winds of the West, Otorongo, Mother-Sister Jaguar, You who have seen the birth and death of galaxies, the rising and setting of many suns and moons, Be with us. Come across the rainbow bridge, Help us to see the dark places, into the shadows, Help us to give back to the earth that which no longer serves us, so that the earth may become more beautiful, And that we may become luminous warriors with no need of enemies within or without. Be with us, Mother. Teach us to walk beyond death and beyond fear. We welcome you. Ho!
Another version: Water of the West, we honor the great flow of the waters of life, the rivers, the lakes, the ponds, the rain, the underground springs, the great oceans, our drinking and bathing water, our blood and all the water of our bodies. Teach us about flowing with life, about the great cycle of living with emotions of desire, fear, anger and sadness. Teach us that our emotional life is like the wetness that feeds the seeds of our growing soul. We honor you, element of water, and invite your intelligence here tonight to inform us.
North direction is symbolized in many traditions by the level of the personal soul; the unique individual spiritual aspect of each being from the soul’s perspective, this being human has an epic quality to it (think of how limited we are compared to a spiritual being), an enduring aspect that comes with an earthly life. And legend and lore has it that we are the heroes of the universe for embarking on such an arduous project.
Symbolized by the hummingbird. The bird that flies in all directions, tasting dozens of blossoms to find the flowers with nectar. The bird that migrates thousands of miles burning through its energy reserves to the very brink of death – the epic endurer.
North reminds us of our energetic ancestry to universal patterns, of our human ancestors, and of our descendants, all of whom are soul brothers and sisters of this hero’s journey, the beingness of human being.
Invocation of the North
Winds of the North, come and influence us tonight. Help us to draw to us the great stories of life that feed our soul’s journey. Help us fly like the epic journeyer Hummingbird looking for sweetness. Ho! Another version: Winds of the North, we call on you to come and influence us tonight. We invite your gifts into the circle. Refresh us. Remind us of all the grand patterns of life in us that we seek out and experience the inspiration of song, poetry, dance, ceremony and the great myths and archetypes of living. Remind us of the soul’s epic journey that like a hummingbird or a chickadee has great courage and knows where to find the sweetness to nourish us. We honour our people and all people who have gone before us and our children and all children who will come after us. We honor the soul’s journey, past, present and future. Winds of the North, Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it).
Another version: To the Winds of the North, Great Hummingbird, I invite you to our healing space today. Show us how to be, as you are, epic travelers, tireless and persistent, bringing our intention into this plane. Teach us about nectar, finding and drinking from the sweetness of life even if it means flying in all directions. Whisper your wisdom to us Winds of the North. Ho!
Another version: To the Winds of the North, Cirrwakinti, Royal Hummingbird, great journeyer, Come be with us, take us under your tiny wings today, As we take another step on our epic journey, our hero’s journey, Teach us where to find the nectar, the joy and the sweetness of life, Ancient ones, ancestors, grandfathers and grandmothers, all you who have stepped out of time. Come be with us. Warm your hands by the fire in our hearts here today, As we honor all you who have gone before us and you who are yet to be. Be with us, today. Ho!
East direction is symbolized in many traditions as the level of pure energy, spirit, essence of unity with all of creation since in the beginning we were together.
Like the dawn, each moment is new, and has potential of creation. Everything is energy.
The royal couple, our local star the Sun (Inti Taita, Grandfather Sun) and moon (Mamakila, Grandmother Moon) rise in the east and remind us of our energetic essence, our light beingness.
We too can rise up to see a grand overview of our lives, our place in the vastness of the cosmos, like an Eagle.
Eagle sees details, and Eagle sees the larger landscape. Eagle floats on the wind and is the high flyer, closest to Grandmother and Grandfather.
we transcend thoughts, feelings, concepts, ideas, and judgments.
Invocation of the East Winds
Winds of the East, come and influence us tonight. Help us to experience the fresh moment without any preconceived stories or even words. Help us to fly high on the winds of creation like Eagle. Ho! Another version: Winds of the East, we invite you to join us here in our circle. We look to you for our rising awareness of the energies of the cosmos, both directly experienced like the sun, and indirectly experienced like the moon. Help us experience the life force as thermals of rising energy. Lift us to fly high, with eagle, wingtip to wingtip floating on the energy of creation. And then, help us see an overview, a big picture and different perspective of our lives; yet when necessary having vision to see minute details. Winds of the East, Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it).
Another version: To the Winds of the East, Great Eagle, Condor Apuchine, I invite you to our healing space today. Come to us from the place of the rising sun. Encourage us to fly with you, wingtip to wingtip with Great Spirit. Show us the mountain tops of our lives that we dare to dream of. Help us see the big picture, the overview, the vista of reality; and when necessary the details of this dimension. Whisper your wisdom to us Winds of the East, Ho!
Another version: To the Winds of the East, great eagle/condor, Fly to us from the place of the rising sun and moon, Take us up on your wings so that we may fly wing tip to wing tip with you to the great spirit. Allow us to fly and soar, to feel the updraft under our wings today, As we go higher and higher above the mountain tops, And be with us as we dream a new world into being. Apuchen, mover of mountains. We welcome you. Ho!
Another version: Air of the East, great space of the sky that allows us to take flight, communicate, and extend beyond the solidity of what we perceive with our physical senses. Teach us about vibration and energy. Teach us how we are energy beings of great lightness, wisdom and presence. We honor you, element of air, and invite your intelligence here tonight to inform us.
Mother Earth is symbolized in many traditions as the life force beneath our feet. This is because our human being lives are fully and completely dependent on our first mother, Because all life is as dependent on her, we are all her children, and thus we are siblings in her Earth family.
In her womb we have the opportunity to grow into the beings we truly are, spiritual creators.
Invocation of Mother Earth Below our feet
Mother Earth, thank you for being the ground of our lives. We honor you and all our relations. We feel your love. Ho!
Another version: Mother Earth, thank you for being with us tonight. We feel your firmness under our feet and know that you provide all the elements that we are made of. We honor the rhythms and requirements of all the beings on this planet: the winged, the finned, the furred, the two legged, four legged and the creepy crawlers. We experience your weather and atmosphere, your mountains and valleys, your rivers and oceans, all your geography, and vow to honor the life cycle of all things and to be of service to you. You are our first mother. We receive your embrace, sense your heart beat, see your beauty and know your unconditional love for us. Great Mother Pachamama, Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it).
Another version: Mother Earth. Every atom of our physical form came from you so you are our First Mother. We gather here in this healing space to come into balance with ourselves, and with all your children: the stone people, the plant people, the legged ones, the finned, the furred, the feathered, the small ones, all our relations. Sweet Mother, Ho!
Another version: Sweet Mother, Pachamama, Mother Earth, We come in deepest honoring of all our relations. Stone, plant, tree, furred finned and the feathered, the 2 legged, the 4 legged and the many legged. Be with each of us this day, hold us sweetly, Mother. Allow us to feel the deep support you have for us, all the ways you love and nurture us every day of our lives. We welcome you. Ho!
Another version: Sweet Mother Earth, thank you for being our first mother who is always with us, nourishing and protecting us. Thank you for providing us with the sacred space of life and all the elements of creation. Come and teach us tonight about love, receiving, trusting and appreciating.
Father Sky is symbolized in many traditions as the spirit that runs through us; Called by a thousand names in six thousand languages, the unknowable source of the universe.
Reminders of the mystery include the stars (and all things star-like), and the four great forces (electromagnetic, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, and gravity).
Invocation of the Great Sky Father (all light beings in the cosmos)
We are grateful for the opportunity to be alive. Father Sky, Mystery of Life, you who are known by many names and are unknowable, we thank you for the space and creative wisdom of the cosmos. We thank you for each breath as we live within the mystery that is life. Ho!
Another version: Mystery of life. Father Sky, Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Sun, Star Nations, God, Allah, Manitou, Wakan Tonka, Great Spirit, to the quality known by thousands of names and yet unknowable: we stand in this circle listening. We feel life in us. We give thanks for this breath of life; and this breath; and for all breaths of life past present and future. Mystery of life. Ho (or ah-ho, Amen, so be it).
Another version: Great Spirit, you who are known by a thousand names and who is un-nameable, Star Nations, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, Father Sky, we gather here to sing the song of life with this breath , and this breath , and every breath past present and future. Ho! Another version: Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, Star Parents, Star Brothers and Sisters, Over light this space today. You who hold the cosmic order of all things as we do our work, And Great Spirit, you who have 1000 names and yet are unnameable one, Thank you for bringing us together that we may sing and dance this song of life and joy and love this day. Ho!
Another version: Great Mystery, Stars, Sun and Moon, thank you for being our ancient fathers and mothers, full of magic and mystery. Be with us tonight reminding us of Life’s unfathomable intelligence and endless creative energy of expansion and joy.
Closing of the sacred space
Closing the Directions At the conclusion of sacred activities or events is just as important as opening the energy portals when you call the directions in. It is very important to remember to release the portals that you create by invoking the directions and close off with love and thanks.
Otherwise you are leaving portals open and unknowingly could allow things in that aren't intended.
To keep things of the utmost integrity, please close space with dignity and much gratitude to the directions, the spirit animals, the keepers, angels, guides, guardians, light beings, and all who you call in to assist with your healings.
HOW TO CLOSE YOUR SPACE
This is a similar process to opening the directions, except we give thanks, or express some form of appreciation for the attendance or participation of the directions (and the essence of or qualities of the direction).
Allow yourself to say the words that feel right for you.
A very simple version for example is the following:
Winds of the South, physicality, thank you for your presence here. A-Ho.
Winds of the West, Jaguar, thank you for the teachings you bring. A-Ho.
Winds of the North, rhymes, rhythms, patterns, ancestors and descendants, thank you for being with us. A-Ho.
Winds of the East, details and grand overview, ,thank you for the light to see by. A-Ho.
Sweet Mother Earth, we inhale your breath, we drink your blood, we eat your flesh, we – your children give thanks. A-Ho.
Father Sky, we stand in awe and reverence of your great mystery. A-Ho.
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