Prior to a recent shamanic pilgrimage to ancient, sacred lands in Mexico I sat in my studio and inwardly connected to the ancient shamans and peoples who have for centuries walked this land in ceremony and ritual. I asked for a vision and guidance to prepare me for my journey. An image (to the left) began to flow onto the canvas, and I began to feel the guidance of a great shaman. He was a Master, fully awake and filled with Light, Wisdom and Love. Though male in presentation, I experienced an androgynous sense of this Being, completely balanced in the male and female energies. He told me he is a Huichol Mera 'kame.... or shaman of the Huichol peoples. He is a teacher and is here to bring more light through his imagery and messages. He came to prepare me for my journey to Mexico. He told me I would only paint part of this painting now, and then finish the painting upon my return from the pilgrimage I was about to set off on.
After I returned from my 5 day pilgrimage, I found it was quite easy to complete the painting. I had returned with energies and teachings from my experience that would be imbued into this painting. The download of higher frequencies were apparent and came into the painting as a result of what I was given on my pilgrimage.
As with most things in life that are worthwhile and rewarding, this pilgrimage had its challenges and sacrifices. It took a great deal of time and effort to get to the sacred land. I met with a group of 23 like-minded pilgrims. We filled 3 white vans, looking somewhat like the CIA on an important mission. This alone was an interesting challenge, getting everyone to one location to meet, to travel together, to take pee breaks and food breaks together, to make it across the border and through customs with rented vans and passports from around the world, past government military boys aiming machine guns at us as we drove past security points... any lesser mortals would have turned and run the other direction. We dealt with many fearful warnings of mishaps and killings in Mexico... only to turn to our shamanic allies, seen and unseen, to protect us and to assist us on this sacred pilgrimage of the heart.
These seemed like the smallest of challenges and sacrifices as we moved through the miles. A day into the trip false-personalities flared and several of our pilgrims were at odds, airing wounds that were asking to be healed on this trip... (you see, anytime you decide to take a sacred pilgrimage, or to go deep into spiritual practices, you can expect anything of the ego, or of wounding, to come to the surface to heal... for it is part of the sacrifice you have offered to Spirit for your own growth. And, as part of a group "Dreaming our own dream," we also understand that we are all responsible for any conflict... for we are dreaming this dream individually and collectively. Whatever my friends were airing between them was part of my dream too. So, it was time for me to do work in healing any wounding I had about separation, control, ego, etc.
When we arrived in our first location on our pilgrimage one of my teachers said we must sacrifice something to the land with our prayers. This could be an offering of chocolate, of money, of a stone, of sacred tobacco... give up and above what is easy and know Spirit is giving back beyond what could ever be given physically. Give from the heart, let go of the ego and fear, trusting Spirit will give back and fulfill the prayers given. Even more importantly it was a place to sacrifice the false-personality and all the lower ego attachments to the physical and to any fear. Let go and trust!
While on this pilgrimage, it was apparent that I had many allies, including the shaman from my painting. As I awoke my third morning in Mexico after many heart prayers for healing, I experienced Mama Maria and Jesucristie in the presence of my heart and inner knowing. They were there to relieve the old patterns, and to bring assurances of the love and healing coming because we had asked, and were ready.
After breakfast we all gathered to walk to the top of a sacred mountain, to pray as a group and to call in healing for ourselves, our families, our communities, and the family of humanity. All the way up the mountain I found myself in prayer and conversation with Mother Mary in the form of Guadalupe (the Aztec dark Mother of the people), and with Jesucristie (very clearly the presentation of the Christ energy in the form of the indigenous peoples of this sacred land.) I felt the sense of hope, love and strength as I walked from 9,000 feet to 11,000 feet up the mountain over the next few hours. It was Spring Equinox and we were right on schedule to send our prayers to Spirit at this powerful time of planetary alignment and seasonal change.
As I walked down the mountain after a very full morning and mid-day, my fellow travelers dispursed in their own ways down the mountain. We were each in our own prayerful walk, inward, yet present to the mountain and its teachings. Mother Mary and Jesuchristie were speaking to me, along with directives from Grandfather (the shaman). There were times when the path would split and I couldn't see down the mountain to know which way to go. I would inwardly ask, and would get an answer that either way would lead me down the mountain. I would look to see one path to the right was quite smooth and even looking, and the one to the left was more rugged and hilly. It was truly a parable about the simplicity of life. Sometimes we choose the smooth path and move easily down the road of life, and at other times we choose the path with more texture as it can be quite interesting. However, neither are better than the other necessarily, and they truly lead to the same place in the end. I smiled as the simplicity of life was revealed on this walk down the mountain.
I also realized at times it seemed no one was on the mountain but me. Many of my fellow travelers had gone before me and I could no longer see them. And a few more were behind me, out of site further up the mountain than I. As I would have a thought of being alone, I again would feel and sense my guides of Mary, Jesus and Grandfather, smiling and showing me how I am never alone. At any time I could sit down and someone would eventually arrive and find me, helping me if I needed assistance. At other times I just knew that all I had to do was take one more step, and then another, no matter how tired I might be, and that I would come upon my friends in just a little time.
As I returned to the small mountain village, I came upon a small burrow who works hard to help its human friends. I thanked it for its hard work and service, offered sacred tobacco in the general vacinity of this little one, then crossed a bridge that returned me into town. As I got across the bridge and looked toward the village streets to find my way back to the hotel, I saw one of my amigos awaiting me. Tears flooded my eyes and my heart opened even wider as I saw my friend, just standing and smiling as I came from my alone time on the mountain to reunite with a loved one. Again, I felt my guides smiling, for as they had promised me, I am never alone... there is always someone waiting, someone before me, someone behind me.
That night we celebrated in this great little hotel in a remote mountain town, laughing and enjoying ourselves. We had worked hard and had many great rewards. We were one in our laughter and our hearts. All had healed what had been difficult in our own hearts, which had opened them so we could now celebrate our love.
May it be so simple and full of love for each of you.