One of the first things I learned on the Shamanic path was the importance of intention. Whether it be heading into a Shamanic journey or ceremony, the Intention is the seed or beacon we plant so the Universe can respond. If it all aligns, we will be supported in the process of its germination, budding, flowering and fruition.
Here is an intention setting ceremony that can be used at any time of the year.
It’s a synthesis of old ancestral ways and simple practices. Like a leaf gently falling from a tree, it takes you deep enough to hear your Soul’s voice and the fire/passion of your Spirit, and when these two come together, we can get to a clear and energized intention.
Create Sacred Space
Ceremony is only as potent as the container holding it, so start with creating a sacred space. Clear away clutter, tidy and bring order to your space. Cleanse the air and energy by opening the windows, and either spritzing, or burning plants like lavender, sage or other plants.
Settle your mind
Clear the mind-clutter may be easier after physical activity, so try a brisk walk, some sun salutations, or a 10 minute dance break. Then braindump on a big piece of paper by writing down all of your random thoughts or lists.
Whatever way works for you is perfect! Pranayama, breath awareness, mantra, mindfulness. Just give yourself 10 minutes to create some internal space to quiet the committee of voices up there.
Listen to Your Heart
Often when we settle the mind, we can finally drop into our heart. Journalling, preferably with your non-dominant hand, is a great way to let it pour out - all of it! Open to yearnings, desires, regrets, and any grief that needs to be expressed. Allow it all to flush through.
Now the Soul Can Speak
Sit or lay quietly, close your eyes, ease your breathing, and bring your awareness down and in. You may like to put on some music or shamanic drumming. Whatever will support you to stay alert and not get sleepy. As you do this, open your inner senses. Your vision, hearing, body felt sense, emotions, deep knowing, and your instincts. Tune in and be open to what bubbles up as you say, “Thank you for showing or revealing to me three seeds that are ready to be born and that I need to come to fruition.” Continue to sit quietly, going down and in and repeating these words.
As you sit or lay in this state, make a mental note of what you see, hear, feel or sense. You will intuitively know how to interpret what comes. For example, your hands might get hot. This is a seed, so ask your Soul what this is about. You will know.
The Three Seeds:
As you receive each intention, ask for a colour associated with it. Now write them down on pieces of paper with the associated colour. Craft them so they are simple, clear, and in the present tense. This way you can turn to them in each moment that you place your attention upon them. Remember that these are intentions and not goals. For example: “I intend to have more fun and adventure this year,” rather than, “My goal is to travel to Scotland in September.”
Anchor your intentions by using the colours. You may wrap three colours of twine around a stick and place it on your desk. Perhaps you might like to paint three small canvases, one with each colour and hang them somewhere you can see them daily.
This will keep your intentions conscious.
Plant the Seeds
When you’re ready head outside with some offerings, your written intentions, and a lighter. You may have a special place you visit or perhaps a spot in your garden. Your offerings may consist of plants or flowers or food or whatever is compostable, so that Mother Earth can receive your gift.
Mindfully place your offerings into Nature by gently holding each one to your heart and whispering your intentions as place them. You might also enjoy creating a mandala or design to reflect your intentions. Once you’ve done this, you can take a pic on your phone as a keepsake, or even on your wallpaper to remind you as you move into life.
Send them on the Smoke
Next, take out your written intentions and burn them. Ask the smoke to carry them into the Universe or to Creator as you let go of your attachment to the outcome.
Intention to Attention
Now that you’ve set your intentions and aligned them with Spirit, it’s time to move from intention to attention.
This means you move from the internal or receptive feminine energy, to the external or active masculine energy.
Attention is the sun that shines on your seeds of intention. Amongst many things, it can include setting goals, prioritizing, limit setting, and taking action. As you move into the realm of attention, be mindful and conscious of everything that you are learning including your resistance and your flow, and what synchronicities are showing up. These will all provide you with feedback about how you’re navigating life with your intentions in place, and what or how you need to grow or change in order to bring them to fruition.
Wishing you a blessed path in 2020,
Angela - LittleBird
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We would like to acknowledge the ancestral, traditional and unceded First Nation territories of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Stó:lō Nations on whose territory we live, play, and work.