By Sandra Ingerman
I have been passionate about teaching people in our modern day world about the power of bringing ceremony into our lives to restore our connection to the divine within and the power of the universe. Performing ceremonies has been a core practice in shamanism for tens of thousands of years. Ceremony helps us navigate the changes and transitions that we are all going through in life. Once our connection to the divine is restored we can enter into the flow of life. Once we are in “flow” versus trying to “control” all the outcomes in our life spiritual forces guide us and provide help in graceful ways.
My shamanic ceremonial practice began in the early 1980s. No matter what challenge I was experiencing in life I found that by creating sacred space and performing a ceremony would be transformative.
As I would gather my sacred herbs to burn and state my invocations in honor of the compassionate spirits, the power of earth, wind, water, and fire, my ancestors who want to see me successful, happy, and healthy, and the spirit of the land where I live a sense of ancient support would fill my energetic field. I no longer felt alone in my struggles I could feel my ego and sense of “smallness” dissolve as I met theses ancient forces knowing they were joining me in complete support for my prayers for healing.
To feel such solid spiritual support from the forces of the unseen allies in nature I found myself feeling so centered, calm, and peaceful. We are living in a time where everything is destabilizing. Performing ceremonies helps us to feel solid and empowered to focus even among all the distracting forces. This is why I wanted to introduce people to the healing power of performing ceremonies which led me to write The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred into Every Day Life.
When we perform ceremonial work we actually step into a very ancient collective. For ceremonies have been performed for tens of thousands of years with the spiritual support Earth who of 4.6 billion year old and ancient elements of the wind, the sun, the moon, the constellations, and the primal sea. These forces have been guiding us in creating more balanced ways of living through eternity. Our ancestors sing for us as we perform our transformative ceremonies to bring healing into our lives and into the world.
We step into a new frequency and a new vibration of life where we can travel back and forth between dimensions of the unseen realms building bridges so healing energies can flood this current collective.
Recently Jo wrote to me. She has been a student of mine since 2013. Jo shared that for two days she did physical projects outside with no joy, desultory. That experience led her to decide to perform a ceremony the next morning before embarking on her day. Once she did perform a ceremony she went on to find joy, fun, adventure, and even excitement in the same projects.
One of the simple ceremonies I teach is to buy a bottle of bubbles from a toy store and blow blessings into the wind to be shared with all of life. Some of my students are doing this in urban areas raising the curiosity of others and once learning about the intention join in to radiate peace, love, light, prayers for harmony, honor, and respect, and for healing.
We can send wishes into the wind to be carried up to the power of the universe who joins with us to manifest our greatest dreams and desires in the right time and in the correct way. We have to trust that our ego’s limited vision gets clouded to the broader perspective of life . When we perform ceremonial work we have to step away and surrender the outcome to a loving higher power.
The same is true with the cross-cultural ceremony of creating Prayer, Blessing, Wishing Trees. Some of my students have designated trees in parks and leave strips of ribbons to tie prayers around the branches (loosely) to not choke the life so they can continue to grow. These ribbons contain prayers for oneself, loved ones, all of life, and for the planet itself.
These simple ceremonies are contagious and raise people’s awareness to how we can work alone or in community to transform our lives and that of the planet itself.
In The Book of Ceremony I inspire people to design personal ceremonies as well as bring local communities together for support and healing. And I show how to inspire people in local communities with ceremonial work no matter what their religious or political orientation!! Ceremonial work can be bridged into every community by simply adapting your vocabulary to reach the hearts of all gathered in behalf of other community members and the planet.
Ceremony is a way to step away from operating on a rational level to tap into a flow that leads to manifest what is best for you and your community. It is how shamanic communities world wide build an invisible world of substance that is needed to manifest a new fabric reality to replace all that is dissolving in our outdated paradigm.
Ceremony helps us recover the sense of deeper meaning and sacred connection that makes ceremony a powerful tool for transformation and healing. Ceremonies have always been used to create transformation and create a bridge between the material world we live in and the world of the unseen, the divine, the power of the universe.
While performing a ceremony we step out of time into the sacred while lifting us out of ordinary reality and our humanness and puts us as equal partners with spiritual forces and allies.
About the Author:
Sandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life (October 2018; Sounds True). She is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism and has been teaching for more than 30 years. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture, addressing the needs of our times. For more information, please visit and follow the author on and .