Early on I began to have visions and mystical experiences that became the foundation of everything in my life. I studied with teachers and I ready every spiritual text I could get my hands on. I joined temples and groups practicing a variety of religions and spiritual practices. Yet, after years of study the most profound teachings still came from these mystical experiences where all of what I had read and studied was real. I cosmic truths in everything in front of me: all of nature, quantum physics, indigenous ceremonies, pagan rituals, a flower bud unfolding, death, life, everything reflected the spiritual truths I experienced in these visions.
My life became a ritual . a Shamanic practice that involves the understanding that everything we do and say imprints in the Natural Laws of Creation. We are all powerful creators in this universe with much more power over our lives than most people understand.
A Shaman is guide that bridges realms of reality, and brings back the knowledge received there, sharing it, for the good of the people. I have spent my life traveling inter-dimentionally to mystical realms, as a path finder, returning with the map that links realities, opening doors and teaching navigational skills to those who also wish to journey beyond this plane of consciousness. It is a commitment I made upon my initiation into the role as a spiritual teacher and guide. I have found my own unique way of blending my shamanic practice, wisdom and professional expertise so that I can support individuals on their personal path to wholeness and empowerment.
In my life I have certainly experienced being told, for one reason or another, that I was not ok: I was too young, too old, too fat, too short, teeth too crooked, too opinionated, too smart, or a number of other qualities some individual decided I needed to be . or not be.
About 15 years ago a wonderful group of people invited me to teach a workshop and held a dinner party in my honor. A male guest approached me and said, .You are too feminine and pretty to be a Shaman.. Really . too feminine and pretty to be a Shaman? Now that was a new one. I guess in his mind to be spiritually aware I needed to be stripped of my femininity and sexuality. My divine feminine as it was, was not ok for him. But it was then, and is now, for me!
From that night on I embraced myself in a new way . A Feminine Shaman.
I am feminine and a Shaman.
I am feminine and intelligent.
I am feminine and powerful.
I am feminine and strong.
I am feminine and intuitive.
I am feminine and receptive.
I am feminine and transcendent.
I am feminine and silent.
I am feminine and whole.
I am feminine and...I could go on and on!
It was a choice, an Aikido move, as to how to handle the energy that came towards me from that man. I frequently thank him, in my mind, for inspiring me to claim my power as a Feminine Shaman, in both name and form.
We are evolving to a time when visionaries are rising up and speaking again, as they once did. We are evolving together as a species, collectively changing our world, and understanding the importance of cultivating a more conscious way of living together on our Earth.
The art of ritual and ceremony is being reclaimed so we can gather together to honor the cycles and rhythms of nature and life. Transcendent truths that are basic to ancient mystical traditions are being proven by quantum physics. Earthbased and transcendent traditions are joining hands with science, bridging realities, and guiding us in understanding the natural laws governing the .how to. of manifesting in this universe.
Ritual connects and empowers a community as we come together in conscious circle to send our powerful intentions out for the good of all in the world.
A community that shares ritual is strong.
A community that shares ritual is powerful.
A community that shares ritual shares it's soul.
Most Earthbased traditions center around the teachings that are mirrored in the wheel of the seasons of nature. The Sacred Wheel is speaking to us about what we have forgotten.
We are remembering the sacred days as we move through the seasons of nature. We are remembering the quantum principles as they are mirrored in our natural universe . look into a sunflower and see the sacred geometry reflected there. The transcendent appears in the center of the natural world. We are remembering our power to transform our lives, and the our universe. We are remembering how to align with these natural laws to create the magic of transformation . the art of living alchemy.The Sacred Wheel Is Our Guiding Mirror
Nature is the physical form in which all of the universal principles can be seen. Sacred geometry, the rhythms and cycles of nature, the worlds of opposites and duality: in and out, dark and light, life and death, breathing in and breathing out. Many of us are drawn to the rhythms and energies of nature whether in the wilderness or in our own gardens, where we feel a powerful sense of peace and awe and a part of something so much larger than ourselves. We know there is something there but we don't always know what the sensing is showing us. Sometimes we need a guide to remind us of what we have forgotten. I have developed a program based on the Sacred Wheel that reaches beneath any single cultural and religious dogma and presents the core teachings in a practical manner. The cycles and wisdom the Sacred Wheel teaches can easily incorporated into our daily lives.There Is a Season
In a world detached from the natural cycles, we have the luxury of procrastination. We have the illusion of always being able to extend our time artificially in some way. We .buy. time when needed. We have belated birthday cards. This is not an option when we live in harmony with the true cycles of life and the Natural Laws of Creation. There is a perfect timing to this universe and the physical manifestation we revolve in. The Sacred Wheel turns continually. Time passes and the seasons do not wait for us. The snows of winter do not wait for us to cut our firewood. Spring does not wait for us to create the compost we should have already prepared in time for planting seeds. So it is with our lives. The Wheel teaches us that we only have now and when the now is lived consciously, fully, and in harmony with these laws, everything we need becomes available in perfect timing and rhythm.
Connecting with these teachings was easier when as agricultural communities our lives were directly linked to the cycles and rhythms of the earth as she moved through time and the seasons. The changes and requirements of each season, on which our survival and quality of life most immediately depended, were sensed, anticipated, and responded to. That is the awareness and wisdom our ancestors knew, and modern-day agrarian cultures still know, but many of us have lost.
I have developed a program (link) based on the Sacred Wheel that reaches beneath any single cultural and religious dogma and presents the core teachings in a practical manner. I present the underlying wisdom of the Sacred wheel so it can easily be incorporated into our daily lives as a guide for navigating life and planes of consciousness.
Spirit has no gender. As we descend from the spirit realms into the denser planes of physical reality, and our divine nature is incarnated into the realm of form, we begin to see the appearance of polarities, one manifestation being gender: the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.
Spirit incarnated into the Divine Feminine inherently has a strong relationship to the qualities I list below under the feminine and spirit incarnated into the Divine Masculine has a strong relationship to qualities listed below under masculine.
It is important to remember that many differences we see between the sexes are culturally learned and reinforced. So don't be fooled . women were born with strong Divine Masculine traits and men with strong Divine Feminine traits that over time have been stomped out by enculturation. That being said we are born into the body of one or the other gender and that has impact on our journey into our divine nature expressed in this life.
Electrical polarity manifests as a positive or negative charge that is necessary to create a power circuit. It is the same within each of us. Developing both the feminine and masculine qualities in our inner life enables us to bring this powerful wholeness into the world: each bringing a different power to add to the cauldron. Each brings a less developed side that can learn from being in the presence of the other.
As women we must honor our spirit incarnate - the divine feminine within us.
As men we must honor our spirit incarnate .in the divine masculine within us.
As humans we must learn to actualize both sets of qualities so that we may become whole.
As spirit incarnate once we embody wholeness within ourselves, we can transcend polarity and our physical nature and know our transcendent selves.
Left to right: Wind Hughes, Christopher Love, Marion Woodman, Robert Bly (Photo by Linda Wolf)
I had the privilege of working with Robert Bly and Marion Woodman when they participated in our multigenerational program, Gender Talks - Creating Peace Between the Genders, as part of the Daughters / Sisters project, 501c3 from which I co-authored my award winning book - Daughters Of The Moon: Sisters Of The Sun - Young Women and Mentors On The Transition To Womanhood.
|Truth - Spirit - Transcendent|
|An Incarnated Expression of Polarity - Gender|
|Feminine Shaman||Masculine Shaman|
Shamans most typically have had visions, mystical experiences of some nature. Most facilitate some manner of healing work and are skilled in trance induction. They often incorporate chant, drum, rattles, dance and other tools for shifting consciousness.
|Divine Feminine||Divine Masculine|
|Initiated by a Feminine Shaman||Initiated by a Masculine Shaman|
Though one is initiated into the awareness of their Divine Feminine or Masculine nature through solitary practice and study, or within a group circle or program, this is not the same initiation/vow a shaman takes as a life path.
The role of priestess does not necessitate a prerequisite of achieving altered states of consciousness, visions, or traveling between the physical and transcendent realms.
|Female - Right brain - yin||Male - Left brain - yang|
|Intuitive, rhythms,||Logical, linear, action, hierarchal|
|Earthbased, wisdom, flow,|
|Seeks the whole first,||Seeks the details first,|
|then the details||then the whole|
We must become like the Corpus Callosum - the nerve complex that connects both sides of the brain - so we can work in harmony.The Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, within each of us, and between the genders, must work together to bring wholeness to our human expression on earth and to facilitate peace and transformation. One without the other is polarity - separation - limitation.
I initiate women into their Divine Feminine, and train and initiate women wishing to take the vow of service as a priestess so they can be a facilitator of rituals and women's spiritual circles.
I also facilitate men and women working together as allies and collaborative peacemakers in the world.
Let me shout it out - ritual is crucial to life and communities. I can't live fully without it.
Ritual circles, often women's ritual circles, have been an integral part of my life and my community. Creating ritual for significant personal and spiritual work, and to honor the sabbats as they live in the Sacred Wheel, helps me to remain spiritually awake, consciously aware of my moment-to-moment experience, and to create and manifest powerfully in my life. We don't have to be practicing shamans or priest/priestesses to access the power of ritual that emerges from our own connection to spirit and the rhythms of nature. That knowledge exists within each of us. It is my experience that individual life and community is strengthened by ritual. When a circle of individuals meets regularly to share ritual, a collective empowerment arises and a deep connection is created. Members do not have to have a shared religion or dogma. Ritual can exist outside of any one path or practice, and members do not have to socialize outside of ritual if they don't want to. Circles can decide their own guidelines for defining the nature of their relationship. I have participated in circles where we were integral parts of one another's lives and community, and I have also participated in circles where our primary time spent together was in ritual space. Each was meaningful in its own way. I have also had periods of being a solitary practitioner, and though it served me well at those times I truly enjoy and value the power of ritual community.
I am often asked what the difference between ritual and ceremony is. For me, the answer is simple. Ceremony provides the container, the context in which to celebrate and honor what is sacred in life: a special event, sabbat, or time for healing or prayer. You can create a ceremony for anything. Ritual is a series of repetitive words, actions, sounds, and chants that compose the body of the ceremony, and are selected depending upon the meaning and intention of the ceremony. The magic is created here.
Ask someone who has never created a ritual before to create one, and watch their anxiety rise. We are so removed from our own wisdom and knowing that something as natural as an expression of our spirit feels foreign. To create a simple ritual you need nothing more than an understanding of your intention and the willingness to listen to your spirit's guiding wisdom. A ritual can be as simple as bowing to the sun while saying your prayers, or singing with your friends at a celebration, or being handed your diploma at graduation, or saying your vows at your wedding.
The first step in creating a ceremony is to determine what the event or intention of the ceremony is. Are you honoring a sabbat or holy day, or a life event? Are you desiring ahealing or possibly calling something into manifestation? Is it a simple ritual or what I call an ecstatic ritual, where a trance, a consciousness shift, is required to empower the intent? A simple ceremony, such as one designed to honor a special day or person, might be served by as little as lighting a candle and allowing it to burn all day. A sabbat with a specific intent might be designed to include chanting prayerful words which embody the nature of the sabbat in order to bring the essence of the sabbat meaning more literally into your life. Depending upon the level of power you wish to draw upon to support the intention, the ritual might be .illumined. by candlelight, the power of the sun, or the power of the universe. For outcomes such as calling something forth out of creative law and into form, a more involved design, and the expanding of consciousness, would be of huge importance.
Aligning with the energetic aspects of nature as they are mirrored in the Sacred Wheel, and consciously working in the flow of natural law, facilitates working in harmony with the Laws of Creation. For example, if you want a ball to fall to the ground, you release it into the law of gravity. That naturally facilitates your intention that the ball will fall. If you hold onto the ball and do not release it to gravity, trusting in the law to work, the ball will remain in your hand and not fall as you intended. The same principles are in action when we work with the laws of the unseen world of spirit and creation. If we understand the principles of creative law and their relationship to the Sacred Wheel, we can release our intent, prayers, and visions to these creative laws, and live in harmony with the natural flow of this creative energy, trusting in the natural process.
The alchemy of words, phases of the moon, seasons, times of day, and other elements can have great effect on the work to be done in ritual. The vibration of the various aspects of nature, seasons, and cycles can be tapped into in order to align with the highest frequency and raise the energy.
Ritual and ceremony can be an integral part of your life in simple and magnificent ways. We are born into the grandest ceremony of all - our earth experience, and we are here to create a most magnificent ritual with the choices we make each day, each moment, with each breath. The choice is ours to manifest the most amazing and powerful ritual of all.
(For more in depth information on how to create ritual, the difference between simple ritual and trance ritual and aligning with the Natural Laws of Creation in the Sacred Wheel please read chapter 6 in my book - Life Is The Ceremony.)
Copyright © Wind Hughes, 2016