When people think about working with a Shaman or even with Psilocybin, they often picture the classic one-on-one dynamic. Sometimes their mental picture includes a big comfy couch or a jungle setting. Honestly I always thought that I would have to go deep into the Amazon to have a "big" or meaningful experience with plant medicine. Well, this was before I started working with it myself. One thing that doesn't get talked about much is what happens in a Group Ceremony and how it looks different than this common 1:1 dynamic. In this blog, I want to talk about the Group Ceremony work I personally do at Sacred Heart and I am hoping it will paint a clearer picture of what that experience looks like when I lead it.
Specifically I am speaking about the Ceremony that we hold that extends over two days. I anticipate launching a one day Ceremony for the community, but the dynamic to that has yet to be revealed to me. I am not sure if it will look the same way I describe below.
It is also worth mentioning that I have participated in many group Ceremonies, but I have yet to find one that looks like what I do. At least from what I could tell at the time that I was sitting or Facilitating. I will try to put my current experience into words the best that I can.
The ability to conduct a group Ceremony is one of my greatest gifts. Each time I lead a group into this magical Otherworld, my life purpose feels more clear and resonates more deeply with my heart. Spirit tells me it is what I need to be doing full time and I am trying to navigate how to make that work! Two weeks ago I led a group into brand new territory and it is what inspires me to share in this blog today. In this Ceremony, we did something bigger than I expected was possible and we were blessed with the presence of both Ayahuasca and Mushroom spirits (among a collective of other beings).
When I decide to set a date for Group Ceremony, the container begins to build. I carefully choose a physical container (piece of land, airbnb, building that has been offered to us, etc) and a date. I tune into the energy around that date and start to see what will be coming into the group space. What is happening cosmically? What is going on in collective consciousness? What will I need to move out the energies that are ready to be cleared and who will I bring in to help me as my assistants?
As soon as people begin to sign up, I tune into their energy, I want to know who is coming to my table and who will be by my side as I prepare to for this massive undertaking. Sometimes I meet with everyone's guides in the Otherworld or with the "higher self " of the people who intend to sit in Ceremony. Nearly all of the people who will be sitting begin doing clearing and attunements in the dream space with me well before we meet in person. Sometimes their "demons", entities or attachments begin to visit me in my own journeys or dreams. They are getting scared, as they know it is time for them to move on, and they attempt to chase me away.
About 6 weeks out, I have a grasp on which Facilitators and volunteers I need by my side. I ask myself a series of questions based on the energies I am feeling and what the guides are telling me. Do I need a solid pillar to help me hold the container firmly into the earth? Do I need a Tantra practitioner to open up vulnerability and base energies? Or someone to transmute dense energy to high vibration energy? Maybe I need an Underworld Gatekeeper to help me tame one of the beings that will be coming up from the underworld who will need to be soothed so that I can move it out of our dimension. I also consider if I need a singer or musician to assist me, someone who can transmute and channel through song.
In the days that lead up to the Ceremony, I spend a great deal of time sitting with all that is coming up. I speak with my guides and my other spirit friends. I speak to the plants and the trees who reside on the property we will be using. I speak with the house itself - who is almost always delighted to be assisting us in the work we are doing! They come to me in my visions, reassuring me of their support and sometimes letting me know the role they are playing in our Ceremony. I go through my altar and Ceremony spaces and call on all of my tools, idols and power objects. At this point, I start to get a clear picture of what is going to happen based on who is coming for the ride.
Spirit provides me with something of a checklist and all I have to do is listen and surrender to the process.
And then one person in the group will bring "the thing" we are doing our primary work with.
I have learned that sometimes there is just something so big, so heavy, that it requires a literal group of people to hold and process it so that it can be released. Can you imagine carrying this your entire life? Can you imagine the weight of it? In one of my recent groups, this was the energy of Abandonment. This man carried the weight of abandonment held by his ancestors, his culture, the collective, and his own childhood. He showed up to my group, without any experience in this work, and had the courage to face something he knew was going to be big. Through his experience and willingness to look at this energy, he helped us pull it from all of these places, as well as from the collective and all of the individuals who shared space with him. I am still blown away by his strength.
When we entered the Otherworld, it was familiar landscape. I knew immediately when I entered that we were to be working with Ayahuasca and Jaguar energy. This means we are working with deep, dense and heavy energy. It is often what I encounter when I am helping people move Ancestral Trauma. I begin to summon the energy that wanted to be released, and it slithers out like a snake who has been under my spell. The facilitators and myself spend hours with this energy. We sit with it, love it, see it, feel it, move it and transmute all the heavy residue that comes out with it. Then, after I know it is ready to be released, I look it straight in the face and give it permission to move on, move through me, to be released forever from it's contract with the collective. It has served it's purpose and it is time to move on. This is part of my gift as a Sin Eater (more on that below). The entire group often witnesses this experience and can feel the weight that has been lifted off of themselves and lifted off the collective consciousness grid... This is in addition to whatever other experience they have had on a personal level.
And then we celebrate.
An example of some other things we have pulled from the collective during this group includes some of the dense constructs inflicted in military consciousness, feminine victim wounding by the masculine, or the toxic machismo energy.
My favorite part about doing group work is the magnitude of what we do and how the outcome looks. Not only have we released the massive energy from the collective, each person in the group walks away with their own experience, their own spiritual healing, and an abundance of gifts for participating in and holding space for this momentous experience. When a group of people come together with the intention to heal and to become the highest version of themselves through such a spiritual activity, the energy that pools within the space is some of the most powerful. It is an energy that I am beyond grateful to be gifted the opportunity to work with. It has been my experience that such power is often abused or used to create these lower vibrations we are working so hard to extract.
I mean, you can see why this is my favorite type of work, right?
Thank you for allowing me to share this important work with you all. The group Ceremony space is truly my favorite aspect of my Shamanic path and I highly recommend experiencing it for yourself!
A further note about being a Sin Eater: This is an ability I never had a name for previously. I don't think I was allowed to know what I was doing until I was ready to fully accept the terms of this job, to fully understand, and hold it without being consumed by it. I can pull dense, dark energy from a person, bloodline or from the collective and process it for release. This energy is extremely heavy and permeates throughout everything if left unchecked or unprocessed. Initially I was able to do it with people who had pedophilia throughout their family line, but at this point it has extended to many other energies. There are many people who are drawn to working with me because they have such an energy begging to be released because it no longer fits in our reality/paradigm/dimension/bloodlines. I have been told by many of my teachers that this ability is indeed quite rare and I am so grateful for the honor of holding it, even though the job can be challenging for me at times. It is always a beautiful and joyful experience in the end.
Read more about our group work here: https://www.sacredheartmedicine.us/group-psilocybin-ceremony
Photo credit to Facilitator, Kip. He drew this in one of our previous groups.