Ceremony, ceremony, ceremony…… Ceremony offers us the opportunity to recreate & rebirth ourselves each & every time.
I realize a majority of people may understand ceremony as per the dictionary definition – A formal religious or public occasion, typically one celebrating a particular event or anniversary or the ritual observances and procedures performed at grand and formal occasions. This is not the type of ceremony I am referring to. Healing ceremonies are designed to address a specific issue. They provide a container to release what is ready to heal & make space for bringing in something new. They empower us & touch the very core of our being. They are done individually or with another, it depends on the intent.
Here is a ceremony for you to do should you wish. It holds the energy of Ak’bal perfectly. Gratitude to The Rainbow Bridge Ceremonial Society for this one.
VICTORY JAR CEREMONY
Intent: To train in the ability to celebrate the victories we have in life every day in order to improve overall health and well-being.
Introduction: Many of us grew up to believe that a good work ethic looked like this: pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion, remaining busy, chastising ourselves mentally for every perceived mistake, and looking for all the things that might go wrong. Today, psychologists call these patterns “dysfunctional.”
When something is dysfunctional in medical terms, it means that it is not functioning properly and it
might even be causing harm to the whole system. What we know today is that this very “work ethic” that our North American world reveres is making humans very ill. Mental illness is on the rise in our young people, despite many medical advances. Many people are overwhelmed and stressed emotionally with no strategies for how to deal with crippling depression and addiction. Many of these dysfunctions are appearing in children at alarming rates. So what is really going on here? From a shamanic perspective, if a belief is not life-giving, it has to go. It’s time to rethink what “success” really means and developing our own definition of that word.
Now that we know what dysfunction looks like, what might a healthy approach to living look like? Humans need space to play, compassion, dreaming time, creativity, and adaptability to live in the world in a balanced way. Not all of us can do everyday tasks with ease. All of us have different brains and some of us have brains that have to work overtime simply to make sense of the busy and chaotic environment we’ve created in North America to live in. The fact that such people continue to persevere is a victory indeed!
What is the antidote to changing dysfunction into health in our busy world? Celebrating our daily victories, no matter how small. If that sounds rather simplistic to you and you are not inclined to believe all the neuroscience and ancient knowledge that supports this practice, good. In shamanism, what is valued is experiential knowledge. You are invited to do the ceremony with your family members, if they are willing, or on your own for 21 days. Notice any positive shifts or changes within yourself as they occur.
500 mL mason jars for each person in the family participating
Dry macaroni, beans, marbles, beads or pebbles
Spirit Feeding List
Art supplies (optional) You may wish to decorate your jars
In your journal, write all of the things you do (or can do) in your life that feed your spirit. Note that some of these may not be things you have time to do every day, but that is okay. These things need not cost a lot of money. Many things that feed the spirit don’t cost any money at all (i.e. nature walks, visiting friends, playing board games, colouring, listening to music alone in your room). Some of these things might be ones you really want to try out. For some people, new adventures are really spirit feeding! This could be as simple as walking through your city aimlessly for a couple of hours and seeing what you find.
*Note: It is advisable to choose things on the list that help you become more connected to yourself or others. Avoid putting things on your list that are numbing behaviours that will further isolate you (i.e. eating sugar, zoning out in front of the TV, etc).
You don’t want to use a jar that is too big because it’s important to make sure that victories are celebrated often for the positive effect of this practice to grow. Your mission for the next 21 days is to notice any victories you have in your life during the day (no matter how small) and put one item in the jar for every success you’ve experienced. Some examples of successes:
~ Working with a mentor on a challenging task even though it takes a lot of effort.
~ Persevering through frustration after many failed attempts in order to accomplish a goal.
~ You were able to stop the mean voices in your head telling you you were stupid and change to loving voices telling you: you are trying your best and you will do better next time.
~ Staying neutral emotionally when a friend or family member are upset with you. Not taking on their “stuff.”
~ Taking responsibility for your own part in something and changing behaviour that is not life-giving for you or others.
~ Showing good sportspersonship when maybe other teammates or opponents don’t.
~ Standing up for yourself in ways that do not harm self/others.
~ Publishing a book you worked hard on.
~ Putting your art out for exhibit.
~ Setting up a YouTube Channel and putting out tutorial videos.
~ You chose to be kind to someone when you could have been mean.
When your jar is full, choose something from your list and take the time to do that thing with full enjoyment! Allow yourself to really take in that victory. Then put another item in your now empty jar because making space and time to celebrate is a victory indeed! And start the practice all over again. Journal any a-has and reflections you’ve had from this ceremony if you wish to see how this practice changes you through time. Keeping your jar practice going is highly recommended for good psychic and emotional hygiene upkeep. And congratulations on your victories!
Ak’bal’s essence is recreation. Birthing by combining the old & the new. Spring cannot come without winter. You evolve, discover & grow upon your past experiences. Death & rebirth.
If you have been following my blog the information below is a repeat from our last Ak’bal days. Akbal days this year so far: Jan 6th, 26th, Feb 15th, March 7th, 27th, April 16th, May 6th, 26th
Ak’bal manifests as a completion and the natural beginning
that immediately follows.
Ak’bal’s presence is like a mystery being revealed.
It happens only after something else, something necessary, happens first.
Ak’bal guides what and when something is revealed, as it comes to light out of the darkness or from the consciousness from the unconscious.
Ak’bal’s day is for revelations and for the next generation of truths to manifest.
Be open to new messages or information appropriate for the
immediate present or future, but not for the past.
Those who are born on an Ak’bal day are dreamers and visionaries.
They desire to bring forth something new in the natural evolution
of what is becoming outdated or complete.
This is an exerpt from Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy
by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah