Because Life IS Ceremony: Bridging Spirit and Physical Reality by Anyaa T. McAndrew

Posted on Sunday 19 February 2017

written for www.myconsciouslifejournal.com

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Ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate our life passages so that they are fully grounded and integrated within us. Life is ceremony if it creates a bridge between the spirit or soul and our physical reality. When we use our minds creatively to construct the perfect ceremony, with all the appropriate preparation, prayers, symbolic objects, place, and people, all aspects of us come together in a unified field of consciousness that feels fullling and gives just the right expression to our intention. Then our consciousness is uplifted, and we are different. The ceremony has done what it was intended to do.

Marriage ceremonies are perhaps the best example of the kind of ceremony we humans really enjoy. We publicly proclaim our commitment to another, accompanied by lavish beauty and spiritual or religious rituals. It does not matter how many times we have been married in the past, we will embrace the opportunity to do it again in front of new friends.

Anyone can create a ceremony. Some of us enjoy orchestrating them, others like to participate, and still others prefer to witness, an essential role because witnesses hold an energetic container that frames a ceremony and gives it substance. Ceremonies
can be as small as one person or as many as space can accommodate. Is the ceremony for yourself, and if so, do you want witnesses, or is the ceremony for a larger group or even the planet? Tune into what and who is right for you.

The first step for a creator of ceremony is to know your Intention. Why are you doing ceremony? When you can name your intention out loud, the reason for coming together, you have begun the process. The second step is Invocation. This is where you call on beneficial powers and forces greater than yourself to assist. Often evoked are nature and the elements, animal totems, the directions, spiritual dimensions, and Spirit. They are waiting to be asked and love participating with human life. Always ask for the highest and best energies, and the highest and best for all beings involved in the ceremony, so that rogue energies don’t come in uninvited! The next step is to perform the body of the ceremony. This can be accompanied by music, song, instruments, readings, dancing, acting out roles, special prayers, using sacred objects, and working with fire, incense, herbs, oils, and water.

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Ceremonies are as varied as our imagination. It is essential to keep the energy and vitality of a ceremony uplifted, so that our own spirits and the spirits we invoked stay with us. When the body of the ceremony is nished, a closing that acknowledges and offers gratitude to every person, spirit, and element that participated brings in the feeling that all is complete and good. And last, the nal celebration may include a feast, party, dancing, and merriment to round out the experience and bring in sensual pleasure.

Ceremonies can honor life passages like puberty, adulthood, motherhood, elderhood, signi cant birthdays, marriage, divorce, birth and death. There are also more spiritual types like sweat lodge, re-walk, an initiation, a priest/ess emergence, ordination, sacred union (within ourselves), even a relationship completion or forgiveness ceremony. If you have not included a ceremony in your life recently, seek one out or create your own. The spirits will thank you, and the spiritual part of you will feel fed and honored.

Anyaa McAndrew @ 4:56 pm
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Beyond the Fur: Discover the Hidden Keys to Understanding Your Animals’ Behavior and Physical Issues

Posted on Thursday 20 October 2016

 

Anyaa McAndrew @ 8:55 pm
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Walking as a WiseWoman by Anyaa T McAndrew

Posted on Monday 25 July 2016

There is a Karen Taylor-Good song that we use in the Shamanic Priestess Process™ called Use Me Up, that goes like this: “ When I meet my maker and my time on earth is done, when I stand before Her (word change mine) looking back on where I’ve come, I can only pray that with Her grace and love, She will say,” I used you up”. Use me up, let me give everything I am, pour out my heart and soul according to your plan. Use me up, let there be nothing of me left, no chance to love untaken, not one regret.”

As we move into the 2nd half or even the last 3rd or 4th of our lives, seasoned women of consciousness, what I am calling The Shamanic WiseWoman, know that time is now precious to give our remaining gifts to the world, to “use up” our time here fulfilling our purpose, telling our stories and leaving our own unique legacy. Our spice and seasoning  comes from years of hard knocks, tough lessons, and dark nights of the soul, and as equally from the joyful celebrations, pleasures and adventures of our lives.

We are intended to honor the gifts we have already given, and the thresholds already crossed, so that we can gain the energy to renew ourselves again and again. In the holy spaces we can create together as sacred women, we can rise from the ashes of old wounds and old ways, and consecrate our lives toward new ways of offering ourselves in service to our world which can so greatly benefit from our wisdom.

I am thoroughly enjoying walking as a WiseWoman these days, but that was not so until recently. I have been an eternal youth most of my life, choosing not to have children and instead focus on my sacred work and my “freedom” to be eccentric and forge new trails. I have been discovering new facets of myself as I embrace my wisdom and care less about self-image, accomplishment and achievement. Through all the twists and turns of my life, I have indeed cultivated the mother energy within me. Now she is becoming the grandmother! I am also discovering a new kind of spiritual sensitivity, a profound connection to the animal kingdom, and a deepening connection to my own inner mate.

These revelations were not available to me in younger versions of self.  I am able to be more present-centered, less distracted by the glamours of the world, as I drop into the last cycles of my life. I no longer have goals, because I want to follow more of what inspires me and less of what drives me.  Because I encounter it more often, I am drawn to explore the mysteries of death these days, and I look forward to doing this with a strong circle of strong women.

Are you eager to engage your own inner WiseWoman?  Do you savor the experience of a women’s circle?  Are you willing to ceremonially integrate your life lessons so far?  Are you ready to concentrate your life force on your sacred soul purpose, even as you move toward befriending the death mysteries?

We (Mary Manera, me, and Jacoba Groenwegen) completed our first session October 19th-23th at Isis Cove Community NC, as the Smoky Mountains were on fire with autumn color. For those who could not make the October session, we will repeat this first session in Cincinatti Feb 23-26th, 2017. Then we will form a committed circle to go forward to the Cincinnati in late April and complete in late June. An application process ensures you are resonate with where we are going, and you will be a huge part of the evolution of the Shamanic WiseWoman Process™.

Visit this page for more detail:

Shamanic WiseWoman Process: Path of the Sacred Feminine Elder

McAndrew, MA, LPC, NCC is an Ordained High Priestess, and a congregational leader of Full Moon Sanctuary. She is dedicated to the path of the Divine Feminine, facilitating women’s awakening and empowerment for the past 40 years. She is the creatrix of the Shamanic Priestess Process, the Shamanic Magdalane Mysteries and retreats, workshops and processes for women. For more, visit www.goddessontheloose.com

Honoring the Ancient Stone Circles

Posted on Tuesday 30 June 2015

A Final Call to Join Us at Avebury/Stonehenge and Crop Circles in England, August 5-12, 2015
by Daniel Giamario

Avebury Henge - photo by David Iliff

Avebury Henge – photo by David Iliff

The collaborative team of Daniel Giamario, co-founder of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School and the creator of the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm, and Anyaa McAndrew, of Full Moon Sanctuary, will facilitate another adventure celebrating the Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine.  Following their successful journey to Scotland and the Callanish Stones last year (with Nita Gage), Anyaa and Daniel are now exploring Stonehenge, the Avebury Stone Rings and Rows, Silbury Hill, and the West Kennet Long Barrow.

Our group will be held at a country estate hotel near Swindon England, located quite near to Avebury and Stonehenge.  At the time of this writing, the event is only weeks away and there is still room for you to join us!  Register for the event here! Any additional participants will be able to have their own private room at no extra cost.  Also, three meals a day are included in the price.

Some reasons to consider joining us:
(Continue reading…)

Anyaa McAndrew @ 2:51 pm
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Magic, Mystery and Sorrow in the Yucatan

Posted on Friday 20 February 2015

I am thrilled to offer you a few fascinating perspectives on our recent Yucatan Journey, facilitated by my husband Gary Stamper, myself and Carolyn Baker….I don’t have the time to write at the moment, and both authors Jo Ann Heydron and Carolyn Baker have said it all:

Guadalupe In The Laundry Room: A Yucatan Epiphany           Our Lady of Guadalupe
By Carolyn Baker from  Speaking Truth To Power

Knowing that each of us has our own experience of our amazing journey to Yucatan and that each of us makes sense of it differently, I would like to offer my perspective in the light not only of our journey, but our re-entry as well. Some of us have had strange if not bizarre re-entries. Many of us have returned feeling ungrounded and off-center, and this may be more than the result of jet lag. Perhaps something more profound happened to us in Yucatan than we yet understand.
My own experience with traveling to sacred sites and entering the territory of indigenous ruins is that they are anything but dead and inert. In fact, they are very much alive, and the spirits of the ancestors living there have never left. If we are open to their presence and their power, we may actually receive the wisdom we came there to discover, and perhaps even more instruction than we bargained for. If we’re serious about this “evolution thing,” it seems that it behooves us to be very curious about what happened to us in Yucatan and what might continue to happen. As middle class Anglo citizens of industrial civilization, all of us, including myself, would love to hold hands and dance around the many sacred sites of the world feeling bathed in light and love, but what if the spirits inhabiting those places have another agenda? What if they really want to teach us that suffering and light are not separate, just as none of us is separate from each other or from the earth? What if they need, to some extent, to kick our butts to make their point? I’ve personally had my butt kicked a number of times during and after visits to sacred places, and when I stay open to the possibility that that is precisely what is happening, the upheaval feels less bothersome.
Some of us got sick on the journey. Some of us had weird re-entries to our homes or perhaps became ill after the journey or just felt peculiarly ungrounded. Might this be part of what some call “a fiercely unwanted growth experience”? Our journey began with a psychic surgery performed by Israel. He knew what each of us needed in order to cleanse our psyches and open to the mysteries of Mayan tradition. Could he have been a messenger of greater forces wanting us to break down in order to break through?
Along the way in rural Yucatan we witnessed extreme poverty and heart breaking suffering of animals. The rational mind wants to separate this from the heart warming community we witnessed among the people and their devotion to the sacred. They are poor economically but rich in many other ways, yet those many other ways do not erase the excruciating reality of their suffering. We were immersed in opposites—poverty/richness; kindness/animal neglect; Mayan/Hispanic; indigenous/Catholic. One of the most difficult skills for any human being, but I believe the most crucial, is the capacity to hold the tension of opposites.
This was emblazoned on my mind on Saturday night when I walked into the disaster that was my room at Dos Playos and found a small lake beside my bed. Immediately next to my room was the laundry room where women apparently worked all hours of the day and night to provide clean towels for the hotel. In order to wipe up the mess on my floor, I wandered into the laundry room where many of these women were toiling, and at the entrance was a very large image of the Virgin of Guadalupe framed with flowers, and embellishing the image on the altar below was a cluster of burning candles. Clearly, Lupe’s presence was invaluable to these women who probably earn less money than we can imagine. Once again, the suffering alongside the sacred. After receiving my towels for wiping up the mess, I stood for a moment in the corridor of the laundry room, my eyes alternating from Lupe to the women and back to Lupe. For a moment, I got it: The suffering and the sacred are always inextricably connected.
As I write this missive today, I feel weird and ungrounded. Last night I came home to eight inches of snow and was locked out of my house. I spent the night with a neighbor who keeps her house icebox cold. Other than the two hours’ sleep I managed to get, I did little but compare the warmth I had just come from with the chill I had entered. I don’t know what other weirdness I’m going to encounter in the days ahead. But I know one thing: When Israel placed a warm crystal on my forehead and then on my heart, the ancestors expected me to pay attention, and they still do.

From Jo Ann Hedron at Talking to Strangers: An Introvert Hits the Streets

I promised myself that when I came back to this blog, I’d write about books and writing and nothing more. Whoops.

Israel May

My husband and I just returned from Mexico, where we and fifteen others met at the Cancun airport and traveled west by bus to the colonial city of Izamal. We spent a week there driving out to visit Mayan ruins and learning from a Mayan shaman. Gary Stamper, Anyaa McAndrew, and Carolyn Baker–all people I hope to know for the rest of my life–planned the trip. I don’t think any of them would object to my saying that the shaman we spent the week with, a quiet, modest man named Israel May, was our teacher and leader. With Israel we visited Mayan ruins in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo states of Northern Mexico–Chichen Itza first, then Ake, Tulum, and the Temple of Ixchel.

From 1800 BC to 1500 AD, the Maya thrived in stages in Central America, primarily in areas that now lie in Mexico and Guatemala. As you probably know, they developed written language, higher mathematics and astronomy, as well as skills that allowed them, without benefit of pack animals or metal tools, to build communities both beautiful and functional, and feed their people. A powerful mystical tradition also grew up.

Why the Maya “disappeared” is a topic of some interest to people in the collapsing cultures of the global North. We know that Mayan cities from the classic period (about 250 AD to 900) were deserted long before Spanish soldiers and priests began their invasions in the 1500s. There is no consensus as to precisely why these communities failed. Some guesses are that a long drought stressed the primary crop, corn, that too many rich demanded service from too few poor, that forests were overcut to clear land for farming and to fuel preparation of the limestone plaster used to ornament buildings.

From the jungles of the south, the Maya moved north. Although the north was dryer, they could tap into water tables at shallow depths. In magnificent cities like Chichen Itza and Tulum, the Maya maintained a culture remarkably uniform through the centuries until the Spanish tried their best to wipe it and them out.

Chichen Itza, Pyramid of Kukulcan, “The Castle”
Ake, roof of marketplace missing. Although Ake is Early Classic, older than Chichen Itza, it is not yet completely unearthed.
Tulum, El Castillo

 

Temple of the Goddess Ixchel, Isla Mujeres
The Mayan people, however, have not disappeared. We saw them, small in body, forthright in gaze, everywhere we went. Israel learned his shamanic skills from his grandmother and now educates northerners in ancient ways, doing as much good as he can for visitors who have trouble benefitting from what they don’t understand.
Anyaa McAndrew @ 5:30 pm
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