I was offline in July. I went on a pilgrimage to be in nature and be immersed in beauty. Whenever we immerse ourselves in beauty we step into a new dimension of life. Due to my time away I ended up writing both the July and August Transmutation News at the same time so I would not need to skip a month.
For the August Transmutation News I decided to share just a portion of the chapter I wrote in The Bookof Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life on the topic of honorable closure in which I share ceremonies to honor endings in our lives and also to honor our loved ones who died.
In times of such environmental challenges as we are dealing with right now we can also perform ceremonies to honor the beings in nature who have died. These can be our precious pets, or nature beings in our locale, or in other places on the planet.
We grieve for all species we are impacting as humans and forget to honor all that is alive and how they contribute to the web of life. By honoring their life and death is a way to create honorable closure. This helps with our own grief. But most importantly honors all of life.
Adaptations for Honoring Death
You can use adaptations and improvise on the ceremonies I shared to honor the death of a pet, an animal from the wild, species who have died in mass, trees, a plant, and so on. Every living being on the planet should be honored while it is alive and once it transitions.
Burying a Pet
If you perform a burial ceremony for a beloved pet, you can place food and maybe a bit of water or milk in the grave. Share words of love for this precious animal who was a family member. Then raise your arms while wishing your pet a loving journey home that is filled with light, love, grace, and ease.
I wish I had a green thumb, but I love plants and grow many.
I actually created a plant graveyard in an isolated part of my land. I bring the deceased plant to the graveyard. I thank it for sharing its beauty in my home and on the Earth and wish it a good journey home. I apologize for anything that I did that did not support its life by overwatering or not being able to provide optimal growing conditions. I leave offerings of blue corn meal.
I visit my plant graveyard frequently to pay my respects. Yes, I am a bit of an eccentric.
When a tree dies on my property, I visit with it. I thank it for the beauty and grace that it shared with all of life on this great Earth while wishing it a good journey home. I leave an offering of blue corn meal in honor of its life.
I have received quite a bit of correspondence from people who were once loggers. They feel so much guilt about killing beautiful and oftentimes ancient trees. I share the ceremony I do with my trees. You can perform the same ceremony for a mountainside where logging has occurred. You might not be able to talk to each tree individually, but you can stand in the affected area.
After preparing, say what is your heart to the deceased trees, even if they have been removed. Drum rattle, sing, and/or dance while praying in your own way that the trees have a good journey home. Thank them for their beautiful and powerful presence on the Earth. Leave heartfelt offerings. This same ceremony can be performed for trees lost in a blight or during a forest fire.
Honoring Environmental Losses
There are sad events that we are witnessing where many die due to pollution in the land, air, and water where they live or during an environmental disaster. Climate change and war have created tragic situations for humans and all living beings. Floods, fires, earthquakes, tornados, and other disasters can force living beings to flee their homes and lose their lives. Even more heartbreaking is the mass extinction of so many precious species who could no longer survive in their natural environment.
There is such a power in performing ceremonies for living beings who have suffered devastation, whether these are human communities, animal and plant populations, or species lost to extinction.
You can perform a ceremony inside or outside to honor those who died. Thank them for the energetic signature they shared with the web of life and the beauty and preciousness they brought to the Earth. Say what is in your heart. Drum, rattle, sing, or perform your ceremony in silence as you honor the beings that have transitioned.
Since these are issues that affect us as a global community, you may find many people who want to join you. Performing local ceremonies or global virtual ceremonies helps us honor the lives lost and create a graceful journey home back to Source.
Virtual Ceremonies for Honorable Closure
A powerful way to work is by using the virtual altar that I suggest in my book. You can create an altar room in a journey. Travel to the altar room alone or with a group. You can bring your group together remotely by phone or online. The leader should do most of the speaking in the ceremony, since cross-talk is even more disruptive over electronic connections.
Lead the group to the altar room using a guided meditation or journey. Be cleansed by loving guardian spirits while leaving your ordinary thoughts and burdens behind. Gather at the altar cloth and greet each other. You might use a shamanic instrument and sing and dance to begin and end your ceremony.
Take turns to share words and feelings. Once the sharing is complete, reach your arms up to the sky and wish the beings who have transitioned a good journey home. Thank the helping spirits.
Travel home. Take time to share your experience of doing this powerful and heartwarming work. Some members of the group might have received spiritual messages of love to share from the beings you honored.
You might witness an accident or a traumatic event, or come across the body of a deceased animal.
Many shamanic practitioners carry offerings in their car or on their person for such an event. At the scene of an accident, say a prayer for those impacted and leave an offering on the land. With a creature found dead on the road or while walking in nature, you might, say prayers of honor and respect for its life and gracing this earth with its presence, leave an offering, and even bury it in a ceremonial way if the situation allows.
While grieving any death, we often feel heartbroken. Though this is painful, it gives our hearts the opportunity to open, expand, and embrace more compassion.
In shamanic cultures, ceremonies were performed to honor the transition of a community member. But ceremonies could also serve to honor the grief of loved ones. Grief has its own process. We go through different phases of grief. Ceremonies might not heal grief immediately, but they can begin a process that is an important passage in life.
All of life grieves. Even animals, trees, plants, birds, and so on grieve the death of a partner. Each individual’s grief has its own timeframe. Whether it takes days, months, or years to heal from grief, honoring the process through ceremony can help us through each step on the journey.
I feel strongly that it is important to honor the death of the nature beings we so love. It holds them in love and creates a field of energy of honor and respect. This makes a huge difference for all beings who are part of our web of life and contribute so much to all of us.
The full moon is August 15. Let us continue to build a strong relationship with the moon. Request to step into the moon’s field of energy. Keep building your relationship with the moon so you feel as if the moon is part of your family. Learn about its exponential power to support us in our work. Take time to prepare before performing your sacred ceremonial work to transfigure. Allow your inner divine light to flow while emanating unconditional love for all of life. Let’s continue weaving a brilliant web of light within and throughout the Earth touching all of life.
According to Robert Moss, the best way to tap into your very own Imaginal Realm is to pay attention to your nighttime dreams, filled with rich images revealing the true desires of your soul — as your rational, waking mind takes a backseat.
Robert will help you discover exciting ways to move past daydreaming and wishful thinking into true creative imagination and wish fulfillment –– for a life filled with more joy, more possibility, greater wellbeing, and lots of magic –– during a FREE video event, Dream Growing: 9 Secrets to Unlock Imagination & Live Your Soul’s Wildest Imaginings.
I will be a featured presenter at the FIND YOUR MEDICINE, BE THE MEDICINE conference this October 24th-27th in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Society for Shamanic Practice is sponsoring this event and has put together a great lineup of presenters. Together we will guide you on a journey of reconnecting with your personal medicine and discovering how you might offer yourself in service to your community and our planet in these times. I encourage you to visit their website for more information. I hope to see you there!