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

February´s variable and turbulent weather reflected the ongoing pressure on all aspects of life and structures on Earth to adjust and re-form. Is this process complete? Not yet! Though there are many signs and symbols suggesting gathering momentum, it just needs each of us to grasp the tiller to steer in the direction of our choice.

Though the letting go is by no means complete, light is beginning to appear for many on their way ahead. We offer here some insights into our views and experiences into the co-creation we are all part of in this year for Your Purpose.

March is an intense month with many different aspects coming into play. In particular asking for each of us to choose what to create in our life, then the Universe can provide its assistance.

The next Phase
In addition to the weather, February brought wake-up calls for many. The intensity has also been evidenced in the emotional flow, including disrupted sleep patterns. Some found they needed more than usual and others just not sleeping at all – or so it seemed!

March is about hearing the call to evolve and grow and acting upon it. The next phase begins with the solar and lunar eclipses of 9th March. This is a moment of rebirth when big shifts, major letting go and amazing new beginnings occur.

These eclipses are asking us all to resolve unfinished business, even though we probably have yet to discover what it is! They will bring us into emotional connection with whatever is unfinished. It is as such moments the shaman is called upon to help identify what is unfinished and to then assist in letting it go.

There is a strong shamanic spirit about this phase. Its purpose being to create more balance – hence the call to the medicine person to provide assistance. For simply to say “let go” will meet with resistance – for if we knew `how to´ then we would have already done so!

Thought for March
A Life Enhancing Prayer

"You who are the source of all power
Illuminate also my heart
So that it too can do your work"

Whilst chanting, praying or singing this beautiful prayer:-
- Open your hands to the heavens
- Visualise the sun´s rays streaming forth into the world, entering your heart, then
- Streaming out from your heart centre and back into the world.

May it be so

To help in the creation and understanding of the new, discover more about your purpose and the unseen world of insight, why not take action by booking one of our events? Last September´s Vision Quests helped provide clarity for all, so why not your turn in March?

The first event of 2016 was Discovering the Inner Realms…an Introduction to Shamanism - given an evaluation of 9.7 out of a possible 10 which is absolutely superb.

Comments from participants included;
"It was amazing, as always I learnt a lot of new things about shamanism and myself...";
"The experience opened new doors of realisation and ways to release...";
"Total eye opener, my personal journey has been enlightened through this experience.";
"I felt fully supported, encouraged and guided throughout the experience.";
"The two days were a profoundly moving and transformative experience."

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 – 17/20th March. The final ceremony on the Sunday will recognise that 20th March is the equinox.

The next Vision Quest is from 13/19th June during Wilderness and Questing, with the final Vision Quest for 2016 from 22nd to 25th September.

A complimentary copy of our "All About Fire" workbook will be provided to all who book.

On 6/7th May will be Deepening your Shamanic Practice - The Healing Ways of the Shaman. This event is for those seeking to develop their journeying practice. It is particularly for those wishing to use journeying to heal deeper issues. It will also focus on working with nature, understanding the guidance of the natural world. Understanding what are signs, symbols and omens.

A complimentary copy of our "All About Air" workbook will be provided to all who book.

The full list of events in 2016 is available by visiting this link: http://shamanicsinportugal.com/category/forthcoming-events/

Ceremony is an event that is of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. It may mark a rite of passage in a human´s life, such as marriage, death, initiation at puberty. It is when society/community and groups of people gather together in deep respect and come together as one.

It does not always need others as you can also hold your own ceremony for self, on your own.

There are many forms of ceremony, the two main ways are -
1) - Traditional ceremony, which has been handed down through the teachings of the ancients, given and passed through the years as specific teachings given by a medicine person. These you only do with specific permission and are to be respected and not altered.

2) Self generated ceremony. These are ones that have been given to us through our own intuition, dreams, visions and meditations. We can bring in our own framework and adapt them as feels appropriate.

One of the most important aspects of ceremony is respect. Respect for the space, for the Elements, for Mother Earth and Spirit.

We learn through ceremony to come together, unite as one in celebration, in cleansing in release and in healing.

There are many forms from the traditional ways. For example, the Native Indian pipe ceremony, weddings, funerals, and many different traditional dance and fire ceremonies. We also celebrate, or mark the different cycles of the year, such as equinox and solstice. The list is enormous, if not endless!

Through ceremony we learn how to give back, we sing, drum, pray, dance - we open our hearts, our minds, our voices, our bodies and we give thanks.

When we come together we make a sacred space. The energy changes, time shifts and alters and we move into a different space and awareness.
Giveaway and re-birth are at the centre of all ceremonies. They bring us close to our true nature, opening us up to energy and to all of creation around us. All is made new and everything becomes sacred.

To perform your own Sacred Ceremony:

  • Decide on your intent, on what you would like to give away/celebrate.
  • Set a time when you are not going to be disturbed. Switch off all outside contact such as the telephone and radio and ensure no visitors etc..
  • Find a special place, inside or outside in nature.
  • Light a candle
  • Sage yourself
  • Give thanks to Great Spirit and Mother Earth
  • Call upon your guides, animals and spirit helpers
  • Call in the energies of the four directions - North, South, East and West
  • Call in your ancestors to be witness to the ceremony

And then follow your own instinct...for example you may wish to:...

- Sit in silence, or to move and dance or sing

- Have a rattle or a drum

- Follow your own intuition and go with the flow

- Just give yourself time to be in this space

After a while you will feel guided to bring your ceremony to an end:...

- Sit in silence and give thanks

- Write in your journal if you have received any guidance, and wise thoughts to self. Note your experiences

- Breathe and bring yourself back into the present world

- Give yourself time to adjust for you have just done something very powerful

For with this space you have released and opened to new possibilities.

This can be done on your own or if guided, you can offer this to others you feel would welcome this practice into their lives.

Keep it humble and sacred.

Portuguese power animal for March -- Snake

Snake indicates: Transmutation -- Change

As the land starts to warm and spring is around the next bend here in the Northern Hemisphere, Snake becomes active again after its time in hibernation. Snake represents the source of life in some cultures.

If Snake comes your way in dreams or in your everyday life, take note, as there are many messages for you to investigate...
(Full 'Power Animal' article available in this month's edition of the Earth Spirit Journal at: http://shamanicsinportugal.com/newsletter/)

...and finally
March is a 12 universal month, the number of learning and waking up to your natural creative urges. As you step out and recognise new opportunities to grow, stay clear of drama and instead direct your emotional expression into creative writing, conversation, music and art.

The new moon on the 8th will create a total solar eclipse. Major growth can happen when the moon "blocks out" the light of the sun. Symbolically we learn to see in the dark by leaping into the unknown, the new (and generally improved) terrain, even if seemingly forced to do so by outside circumstances.

Then just after the equinox on the 20th there is a full moon eclipse - the final one in a series that began in October 2013. After this eclipse we will be fully immersed in the mutable signs – bringing a lot of change. During a lunar eclipse, as the sun and moon oppose each other, we can see the Earth’s shadow turning the beautiful full moon intense shades of reds, browns and greys.

Lunar eclipses allow us to see our shadow side… and though this can at times seem challenging, the end result is that we have come face to face with the part of our nature that – made visible now – is allowing us to be set free. Ready for the coming phase.

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