Welcome to Shamanics in Portugal´s Newsletter. Our intention is to remind you our readers, friends and connections we are all part of a much larger, ever evolving community. As part of that the Journal is now available on Youtube so that you can listen to it as well as view some of the scenery where our events are held.

In this Journal we offer here some insights into our views and experiences into the co-creation we are all part of. Recognising each of us is alone responsible for what each of us creates in our life. Only then can the Universe provide its assistance, if you so desire?

November has for many been unsettling when events have seemed to stop us in our tracks even though we thought momentum had been achieved and our direction clear!

Whilst this may seem at least frustrating, this is often what happens when a shift is underway. Be it in our relationships, finances, our view of the world and of ourselves. Nothing is sacrosanct at this moment, all aspects of our life are being reviewed. Particularly if they are/were the cornerstones on which we had built it. This is/was the moment to reflect, review and release.

Once complete it becomes apparent momentum has always been present only we have not adjusted, caught up in the departure of the old and so not recognising the arrival of the new. Let alone the shift which is underway.

As we leave 2015, what are your reflections on what it has meant to you? Do you feel any different from what you recall as you left 2014? How do you view the coming year? What intent have you set for 2016?

Have you taken a few moments to give thanks for what 2015 brought you, do you feel more at balance within yourself and so your world around you?

If so, then set your intent as to how you desire to feel in 2016 and beyond.

If not, then our suggestion is to complete a Fire Ceremony to burn all you no longer desire. To understand how to connect with the transformative power of the element Fire we have prepared for download a workbook All About Fire. (Become a Valued Subscriber to Earth Spirit Journal in December and claim this gift: http://shamanicsinportugal.com/newsletter/shamanics-newsletter/)

In addition to setting out the shamanic purpose of Fire, it also sets the chakra it links to and which finger indicates you have an issue with Fire. There are six exercises helping you to connect with Fire and what it means for you.

All About Fire is just one of the five new workbooks we have prepared; one for each of the elements. (You can read more about the workbooks here: http://shamanicsinportugal.com/elements-package)

Thought for December: SILENCE (An investigation)

“What is silence?” -- For there is always sound where ever you are. There is always noise and vibration. in the city, the village, the countryside, the sea, the deserts, the mountains, there is always sound.
What does it mean to sit in silence? - To try and discover this sit and just be. Listen with your whole being and take note of what you can hear.

Nature brings its own naturals sounds, the birds singing, the gentle breeze playing with the leaves on the trees, the mouse rustling in the undergrowth. Rain pitter-pattering on the roof tops, the cracks of drying wood bark in the hot sun, the list is endless. There will always be this sound from nature.

Silence for humans is when there is peace within the mind. (Inner silence) The chitter-chatter of every day thoughts that are constantly there as a background chorus: 'What am I doing?', 'Where do I have to be, I am late, I have got so much to do', 'No one loves me', 'I am angry because so and so let me down or did this to me'... The list can go on and on and on...

Stop, Now, and Listen. What are you saying to yourself, can you hear? We confirm so much of the time of what we believe just by the constant mind-chatter. To be in silence is not to not have the natural sounds around us, but it is to stop the words that fill our minds so habitually. We do not give ourselves time to just stop, to rest, to be in the space where nothing is there with no words, no confirmations of who we are and why we are doing what we are doing.

Just to be, to move into a space of wonder.

Observe what you say to yourself, observe when you are with others and how you fill in the time, fill in the silence. Can you sit in a room and not say a word or seek confirmation that all is ok. It is as it is.

Become the witness to your own head talk.

Meditation is a time where you sit in the silence of no talking, but when can you sit there and not talk to yourself? No one else can hear you, can you hear yourself?

Stop, Breath and try not to catch hold of the words that keep popping up. Rest the mind, loose the tension in your body, again become the witness and then become the witness of the witness and lose yourself in all time and dimensions.

Once silence becomes you, a crack in the world opens and you become free. The fire crackles, the sun lowers, the moon rises, the ants go about their business and you are free.

The choice each of us has to make is choosing what is our natural state? For it is our choices which will shape and create our world in 2016. Should you wish to do so whilst on a journey, why not listen to an extract from our first drumming mp3 audio and find a quiet space where you allow the two drums played by Suze and Steve to take you there?

A Little About Celtic and Druidic Wisdom

The Celtic and/or Druidic systems are generally thought of as emanating from British and Irish origins. In fact they inhabited much of Western Europe and it was the Celts who held up the Roman advance through Iberia by their dogged resistance in Portugal. Perhaps one of the unknowing attractions to us at Shamanics in Portugal!

Celtic magical beliefs are firmly rooted in the Earth herself and in the elemental spirits that are the very essence of all Nature. This includes the four basic elements which constitute Nature – Earth, Air, Fire and Water, represented by the Celtic cross.

The ancient Celts had a vast array of knowledge of, and respect for, the healing and magical properties of plants and stones. They knew and used the power flows of the Earth, trees and special outcroppings of rocks.

Perhaps the strongest belief, almost unique among recorded peoples, was their devotion to the Great Mother, the mother and warrior goddesses. Giving them equal status to their gods.

They believed their deities could appear at any moment and it was our duty to call on them for assistance. They also believed that it was the responsibility of each person to take action to improve their life, which included the use of magic! To accomplish this meant each had to be willing to continuously learn and grow.

Magic is about suspending what we see, rather a belief in what we cannot see, yet intuitively know is there. To the Celts magic was simply being willing to learn about and use plant and herbs as well as certain stones to bring them into service. The powers of the Elementals and the Elements were also respected, petitioned for help and befriended. Only in this way could balance and harmony be created.

Portugal with many traditions tracing back to their Celtic roots makes an ideal place to awaken these long lost connections. Attracting fresh winds to blow away the cobwebs laying on these ancient pathways. One of the reasons the site where we hold our events is truly magical.

Additionally the area has many dolmens, burial stones and other artifacts from the Celtic period as well as their conquering Romans. The Celtic influence is still strong with many of the annual festas being linked to events from the Celtic calendar.

Shamanics in Portugal Upcoming Events

The final Shamanics in Portugal event in 2015 was a Fire Ceremony (The Give-Away Ceremony) from 18th to 20th December. Aligning with the solstice, the Fire Ceremony is a ritual handed down and still practiced by many peoples. The format followed at Shamanics in Portugal comes from various traditions.

Each of us will create and bring to the ceremonial fire something which represents what we choose to be no longer bound by, whether from the past or present. Time will be spent creating an object to give to the fire. You may create something unique and beautiful and find it difficult to give it up. This is the work!

Included in the two days of preparation and completion will be the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness - Hoʻo Pono Pono. This corrects, restores and maintains good relationships by addressing the causes and sources of trouble. For those wishing to 'start afresh', the next Fire Ceremony guided by Shamanics in Portugal will be in 2016!

The first event of 2016, however, will be Discovering the Inner Realms... an Introduction to Shamanism from 19th to 21st February. This will introduce you to the shamanic experience of ritual, creating sacred space, journeying, meeting your guides, power animals and much more on our experiential journey together. It will provide you with powerful, effective tools to let you tap into the unseen world for insight and healing which requires no external authority, intermediary, or even beliefs.

There will be a half day Introduction to Shamanic Journeying, on the morning of 17th March followed in the afternoon by the first Vision Quest of 2016 - 17th to 20th March.

The full list of events through to September 2016 is available by visiting the calendar of events page on the website:

The full Earth Spirit Journal Newsletter also includes an introduction to this months Portuguese Shamanic Power Animal... Or in this case a bird -- 'Crow' the symbol of Magic and Creation. Feel free to visit the website at http://shamanicsinportugal.com/ to read this part of the Journal, or subscribe using the link provided earlier to receive your own copy of the monthly newsletter.

The Shamanics in Portugal team wishes everyone a happy completion to their year, and a successful commencement to 2016!

Author's Bio: 

Besides creating and running http://creatingharmonyinyourlife.com/ Gregory Reece-Smith, the author of this article, is also one of the three main guides with Shamanics in Portugal alongside Steve and Suze Plenty-Light Elliott. You can visit the team's facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShamanicsinPortugal, and their website at http://shamanicsinportugal.com/

Gregory is an experienced transformation facilitator, both within organisations and with individuals. As well as coaching, he conducts workshops at various locations around the world allowing participants to gain experience of how to effect a shift and bring greater clarity in their lives. Gregory´s first book 'The Seven Secrets to Living in Harmony – A Guide to Freeing YOU to Create YOUR Life', was published by Divine Time Books and is currently available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/b00reowcry.