The Great Principles
Bring no harm to yourself or others.
Be true to your word, and let your word be true.
Do not steal, not even a glance; walk your talk.
Use wisely the life force within you.
Give more than you take, for nothing in the world really belongs to you.
Creating Sacred Space
Shamans always begin healing ceremonies by opening sacred space. In this space we leave behind the affairs of ordinary life, the bustling world of meetings and schedules, and prepare to meet the divine. Sacred space allows us to enter our quiet inner world where healing takes place. Within sacred space our burdens become lighter, and we can be touched by the hand of Spirit. After we finish our healing work, sacred space must be closed by again acknowledging the four directions, Heaven, and Earth.
Sacred space is a healing sphere that is pure, holy and safe. Imagine it as a shimmering cupola above the area where you do your healing work. Everyone within this space is protected. Sacred space creates an environment where our defences can be lowered, where we can explore our soft, tender underbelly. Sacred space also gives us access to the luminous healer-the medicine men and women who assist us form the Spirit world.
You can create sacred space and summon the healing power of nature anywhere on Earth. You can use it while your own prayer reveals itself to you. The shaman's covenant with Spirit is that when she calls, Spirit answers. Powerful medicine people from the Spirit world appear in the form of luminous beings who assist us in our healing work. You can employ a smudge stick of sage or a little scented water if you like. Shamans throughout the Americas accompany their prayer by fanning smouldering sage or incense with a feather in the appropriate direction they are addressing, or holding their hand up to the sky and saluting each cardinal point.
You will need to determine the points; ideally this is done with a compass, but a close approximation based on your knowledge of the landscape is fine. Begin by facing South. Smudge or blow the scented water to the South, then hold up your hand, palm facing out. Recite the first verse, calling upon serpent. Face each direction in turn as you repeat the process. Touch the Earth and look to the Heavens when directing your prayers there. You close sacred space by thanking serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle. Release their energies and allow them to return to the four corners of the Earth. To connect with the energy of one of the directions, do not close that direction. Instead call on that archetype to enter you and accompany you on your path.
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