I didn’t receive any questions this month, so I will dive into another fundamental topic to SAMS… the importance of ceremony.
Ceremony is a foundation of Shamanic Astrology
One of the reasons you were probably drawn to Shamanic Astrology is to learn more about yourself and why you are here. Another reason most likely is to better understand what is going on in the world around you. Both are excellent reasons, as the planetary alignments in the sky give us much more information than we have simply floundering around in the dark. Awareness of the cosmos supports us deeply.
You may not realize but doing ceremony is a key aspect of this awareness. It’s one thing to have intellectual understanding of your birth chart or the current night sky, but it is an entirely different experience to bring that cerebral knowledge into your heart, into your body, where you feel it and know it. Learning to use ceremony makes you a part of the whole, not just an observer on the sidelines.
Ceremony connects you more deeply
Ceremony enables you to co-create with the universal energies present in your natal chart, the transits you are currently experiencing and the cosmic soup we’re all floating within. When you take time to honor yourself and your connection to Spirit, Source, Great Mystery, God, Goddess (whichever term you prefer) you add your special sauce to the mix. Not to mention, Spirit loves to be recognized and honored. When you do ceremony, you are saying, “Hey Spirit, (insert emoji wave here) I see you… I want to work with you in doing what I came here to do. Thanks so much for your guidance, love and support.” As Cayelin Castell often says, “We inform the mysteries, as much as they inform us.” You are a creative part of everything that is unfolding around you and all of us. You are literally juicing the energies present and helping to create together what is in your highest interests. That is pretty cool!
What does Ceremony look like?
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal. You don’t need to earn your Girl Scout Priestess badge to do it right. In fact, you literally can’t do ceremony incorrectly. You just have to do it. That’s all. You could make it up or you could Google some ideas to get you started. Some common steps I like are cleansing myself, meditating, writing and burning what I wrote.
You can begin with some sort of cleansing, such as smudging yourself and your space with white sage. You could alternatively use palo santo or resin from frankincense. You could even take a small branch from an evergreen tree near your home. Let it dry and then burn that. I love to spray myself with hydrolats – the medicinal plant infused water created when distilling essential oils. I’ll also use sacred essential oils tool. You could also wrap yourself in white light and cleanse yourself that way. This is simply a step to create the sacred around and within you. You could even skip this step. Like I said, you can’t do it wrong, so do whatever you feel called to do.
Next, light a candle or some incense, something to mark the sacredness of what you are doing, something that makes it a special moment. Take a moment to honor the energy your engaging with, by speaking directly to Spirit, kneeling for a prayer or sitting quietly for a minute. Set an intention for your ceremony. Examples could include really getting the most out of your Saturn return or your Pluto square. It might be to engage into the archetypal power of your ascendant and the path you came here to walk. It might be setting a monthly intention at the New Moon or letting go of some way you hold yourself back at the Full Moon. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Do whatever you feel drawn to. There are no “shoulds” in Shamanic Astrology.
Try the Moon cycles for starters
Doing ceremony around the Moon cycles is a great way to begin. The Moon is easy to see and follow through the sky. It’s phases are easy to find with a Google search, even my Google calendar gives me the option to add the Moon phases into it. This upcoming Full Moon is an especially potent time begin with, as it marks the cross-quarter holy day of Imbolc for some people. The Irish celebrate this mid-winter holiday beginning on the evening of February 1. Shamanic Astrology marks the cross quarter when the Sun is at 15 degrees of Aquarius. That’s on February 3. That gives you a whole week to try out your own ceremony. Do it with a friend or family member. Make it fun.
It’s a New Year, so what intentions would you like to set for yourself or the world at large? Write them down and then burn them in the candle, watching your intentions go up in the fire and smoke to merge with Source and become one in your co-creation of your life. Ceremony can feel silly when you first begin, but if you keep with it, it becomes a powerful practice that leads you closer and closer to your intended path with love and magic. You begin to feel held in your life by Spirit and all that you do. That is an incredibly powerful experience.
Don’t forget! Send me your questions for next month! firstname.lastname@example.org This article is meant for you!
I enjoyed what you wrote, Sheridan! Thank you for touching base with cermony and astrology, especially because the word carries a lot of meaning and some get intimidated by it. But it really is fairly simple to do. Even meditation is an acknowledgement and honoring of spirit during a particular astrological aspect.