I’ve completed for many years the cyclical ceremonies of solstices, equinoxes and rites of passage in various places in Quebec and in Europe. Amazing things occur and people find a lot of inspiration, healing, personal growth and harmonization with nature. In every ceremony the spirits of nature communicate in some way that our prayers have been heard.
We’ve just completed the 4 days of the autumn equinox ceremonies in the Estrie region of Quebec. Experiencing this harmonization with nature is so good, so inspiring. Words are too small to describe the wonder and awe we experience when seeing the signs that nature gives us, On the last day, when we were dancing the rite that describes the manifestation of spirit in its ideal form upon the earth, 2 eagles flew in spirals over us, going from North to South. For those who knows the symbolism of the directions this is no coincidence. Then a huge monarch butterfly, flying really high flew over us going from north to south. Butterfly Dragon Woman had performed her first sweat lodge ceremony with great power and integrity during our rites. Again, not a coincidence.
The cyclic ceremonies (planting, harvest, equinoxes and solstices) are logical and beneficial activities. They are in fact essential for those who live in agricultural communities. The community context is essential, giving thanks to nature at the change of seasons is a community responsibility. It is the combined energy and synergy of community members giving thanks to nature that will create the return pulse that creates the favourable circumstances in nature that are essential for good crops and kind weather patterns.
It’s the first thing I do at the beginning of every cyclical ceremony, creating this spirit of cohesion and community amongst participants. Even if it can seem a bit artificial at the beginning, as some people come from remote places and are meeting for the first time, after a short while the feeling is very strong and people do not hesitate to help each and demonstrate friendship and affection. It’s a natural instinct in all people to help each other and build community. But this feeling does not persist. I don’t always perform these ceremonies every season, as the energy required to create the adequate feelings requires a lot of energy and is short-lived.
For many generations people have been immersed in a world forged by separation and distrust, so creating community spirit is not easy. If there are no gardens, no durable relation to the earth to anchor people in the community, this spirit disappears. People now live surrounded by huge numbers in cities and metropolises yet all live as strangers and sharing, building together is only done where there is private ownership of money involved, and this only creates fear of losing and distrust of those who may covet our money and belongings. That’s why we have locks on our doors.
We recently accomplished two complete cycles of the change of seasons ceremonies, one in Europe and one in Canada. Although the public was invited this was done within the framework of the Certified Shamanic Practitioners training, a four-year cycle of teachings I offered in Canada and France. The extraordinary experiences, deep friendship and sharing, the incredible beauty of the signs of nature, the healing and personal growth were there as they always are. Now that it is all completed my students will take that torch and carry the teachings forth into the world.
In all indigenous and agricultural communities cyclical ceremonies are very important. They are in all communities, as all human beings have the same needs. Ceremonies offer circumstances where people can meet, celebrate, have fun, exchange and barter for various goods, share music and dance, artistic creations in clothing and various usual articles to beautify our daily lives, learn the songs, young people can seek for their soul mate to create a family, clans can share their teachings, sharing new methods that have been found in agriculture and harvesting, changes in the environment, and preparing the coming season. It is the moment to finalize organization of the most important tasks for the season and to see who will take responsibility for them. And most important of all the ritual and ceremonial offerings to harmonize the community with nature.
Nature, animals, plants, trees and the elements are, despite the ignorance and narrow mindedness of scientific thinking, receptive to the energies emitted through the ritual and ceremonial offering of thankfulness and gratitude for the abundance they give us. If we want to live in harmony with nature, the cyclical ceremonies are a hygiene of life as essential as washing and brushing our teeth after meals. They are essential, as they lead to the understanding of who we are in relationship with the world which surrounds us. The ceremonies are based on an ancestral relationship with the spirits of the elements and nature. All of nature recognize and appreciates our offerings and traditional prayers and will then agree to collaborate with us.
It is one of the reasons for which the elements are so chaotic today. As our modern world has forgotten these ways and the important fact that nature and the elements look to humanity for direction, they are no longer in harmony with our communities. Thus the steady increase in floods, droughts, violent wind storms, wild fires and earthquakes that are all increasing in frequency and violence.
It’s very important that ceremony and ritual have meaning and a logical foundation. Occult practices (with dark or hidden intentions) are not beneficial. It’s important to understand why we do things, at least for those who lead the ceremonies, to be aware and conscious of the symbolism and energy dynamics that the rites activate.
Many ceremonialists from different religions perform the rituals and ceremonies of their religion because tradition imposes that they are done a certain way, without really knowing why there are done in that way. Occult practices enslave the spirit and prevent us from thinking and from understanding. Occult practices make us dependent on a religion, on a person or on a practice. To depend on a rite or on a religion can prevent a person from asking the questions which lead to the understanding of who we are and why we are on earth. Spiritual sovereignty is essential if one is to become a True Human Being. A true human being is one who works with nature rather than destroying nature. The relationship of Man with nature and with the divine (whatever the name we give to the divine be it God, Great Spirit, Allah, Primordial Intelligence…) must be direct, personal, as we all have the power to co-create the world.
That is why community ceremonies are not a substitute for the responsibility that we all have to reflect on our reason for being on earth. It’s the role of the puberty rites of passage to introduce this reflection. This quest continues then throughout our lives as certain aspects of our reason for being are transformed as we accomplish and move beyond our initial goals in life. Other rites will also help to propel us on our evolutionary path.
Birth rites, the first steps, receiving a new name, marriage, clan initiations, becoming an honoured elder, and the last rites for the ultimate transition accompany the seasons in human life. Rites of passage give our lives meaning, purpose, wisdom and clarity. When a community celebrates a person’s growth and evolution through life, life is much easier, transitions into new seasons in life are more harmonious and we evolve much faster.
Proof of this are the negative manifestations in modern society of a nonexistent rite of passage. In native communities there are benefits that a woman has because she is a woman. This rite of passage doesn’t exist anymore in our modern technocratic civilizations. As a result many woman experience premenstrual pains and many problems and discomfort during their cycles, or as we say, moon time. Another consequence are undesired pregnancies. The worst and most disastrous result is the difficulties many women have in being respected by men. Disrespect and outright harassment happen to many ladies in many situations, at work, on the street and even at home. The role of the rite of passage when a girl becomes a woman is to demonstrate for all to understand the wisdom and teaching of what it means to be a woman, a lady, a mother that insures the continuance of the community by bringing forth new life. This rite of passage creates circumstances that lead to moons time that are imbued with inspiration, purification and renewal, knowledge on how to manage and control sexual desires and pregnancies and total respect for all women as they are the hope and fertile future of the community and as such are really very fragile and sensitive.
Spirituality is the wisdom stream that can create the beneficial rites and ceremonies that structure and harmonize our lives. Rites of passage and cyclical ceremonies with nature are essential in all human communities. They will anchor wisdom and knowledge in our lives and relationship with nature and each other. The repression, genocides and systematic destruction of the way of life, spirituality and traditions of Native People by those hierarchal governments and societies dominated by occult religions has created a civilization which destroys nature, pollutes our ecosystems and is completely ignorant of basic human needs. Religion has been replaced with science today and as far as we can see scientific reasoning and communication are just as occult as religions are and worst as they leave no room for higher aspirations and moral conduct.
Metis and First Nations traditionalists have carried and cared for this knowledge despite centuries of repression and violence. We choose to forgive what was done to us, so we may be able to share the wisdom way with you. These teachings, rites and ceremonies are necessary if we want to survive the destruction of our ecosystems and help in the inevitable process of the earth’s global purification. We have always extended a hand to help you understand this … will you finally see the benefit in accepting our help?
Peace Light and Love