Saturday, 1 December 2012

Astroshamanic Basic Ritual

Omne trinum est perfectum (Everything in threes is perfect)

The Astroshamanic Basic Ritual is a classic astroshamanic practice celebrated individually or with a group. It includes three main stages, which may correspond to three positions chosen by the participants while moving around a circle on the floor. This is traditionally a circle depicting the twelve astrological signs. Though the use of an astrological circle is not mandatory for this ritual, it usually makes it much more powerful and significant for most participants.

In the Basic Ritual, after a moment of preparation which may involve smudging, calling the Directions or any other practice that suits the group or the individual involved, the participants focus on their Intention and enter the first stage of the ritual. 

First Stage - Intention:

Participants walk clockwise around a circle on the floor at least three times, either physically or with their imagination, and then stop at a position they feel drawn to. That point is connected with their current Intention, which they focus upon, by giving it space in their thoughts, emotions, movements or body posture. 

After spending some time aligning with their Intention, they are invited to overtly express their conscious will and desires, focusing on what they want for themselves, the community or the planet at large. This means, as for all stages of the ritual, to open up to feelings, images, sounds, words, or whatever happens, without judging or premeditating. The Intention is expressed through gestures, dance, verbal expressions, chants, sounds, a posture of the body or by just being still and in silence.

Second Stage - Release:

At the end of the first stage, participants move in an anticlockwise direction around the circle for at least three times, either physically or using their imagination. The expression of the conscious Intention is bound to draw its contrasting elements and create the conditions for the emergence of the Shadow. Participants stop at a position in the astrological circle they feel drawn to, as they did before in the first stage.

This position represents the Shadow, which includes whatever we fear, hate, deny, repress, project, cause grievances or unmanageable emotions in ourselves and others. During the second stage the Shadow is acknowledged, owned and released. 

The energy of the Shadow can be expressed through feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, images of people, or whatever happens in that moment. The Shadow is expressed similarly to the Intention through gestures, dance, verbal expressions, chants, sounds, postures of the body or by just being still and in silence, although it is preferable to act much more intensely here.

In this ritual the Shadow, and all related wounds and grievances, is regarded as spiritual compost, a key substance for power and creation in the universe both at dense and subtle levels. When unpleasant emotions are denied, projected or expressed horizontally they cause major destruction and upheaval. When they are released vertically within the boundaries of this ritual, they promote the manifestation of our highest intentions.

In other words grievances and pain paradoxically operate as the main source of healing energy in this ritual. This dark energy when directed towards luminous intentions can become the most potent fertiliser for community well-being and spiritual growth. 

The second stage represents the crucial phase of the ritual. It is the moment when everyone is invited to contribute the energy for the sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the Latin sacer and facere, i.e. holy and make) means to perform a sacred action that, in this context, consists of giving away something to the community, the planet and All That Is. 

This sacrifice is an offer of grievances. A grievance is any physical, emotional, mental or spiritual disturbance, including any attitude or situation, even of apparent well-being, that supports the ego and the illusion of separation. Contrary to common belief, here grievances are the most favoured offerings to the spiritual realm. In the shamanic trade with multidimensional reality they represent material of great value. 

All situations in which our Shadow is at work, and we are full of grievances, are moments of great power. “It is there” says Ur Kuran “that you are confronted with a tremendous choice, the decisive choice that you faced since you began to move your first steps in this reality.... Whether you are aware of it or not, a part of you knows very well how valuable grievances are. For this reason, when they become available, you instinctively tend to keep or hide them. When you do that, you betray your original calling. It is a foolish act as grievances do not bring any wealth if you keep them for yourself or sell them in the markets of this planet. Their value is acknowledged only when you access the vertical axis and trade in the multidimensional markets. This only happens when you refuse to deposit or let them circulate on Earth.... The second stage offers you this opportunity. If you succeed in this enterprise, even for an instant, the gratitude of the Spirits will come abundantly to you”.[i] 

Third Stage - Healing: 

In the third stage the movement is in a clockwise direction, either physically or with the imagination, for at least three times. Then participants choose another position. Here they are invited to receive and surrender to whatever comes to them as a result of the previous work with the Intention and the Shadow.

Once they have completed the first and second stage, they move into a neutral, receptive position where they can simply allow the two polarities of first and second stage to integrate. For this purpose they can relax, sit or also lie down. 

This stage can provide very profound insights and guidance for it is meant to align with our deeper holistic nature, a space of inner and outer wholeness, which this ritual is ultimately aimed to promote and implement.

At the end of the ritual, what participants have experienced can be acknowledged by sharing with the group and/or taking notes.

Please be aware that the above ritual is provided for individual use only. Employment of this ritual in work with other people or in any public event requires further information and a specific training.

Specific forms of music, dance and drumming can accompany this ritual, which can also be performed in total silence or in a sitting or lying position, without any physical movement. Various drumming CD and cassettes to support this ritual have been produced and are available (click here for details).

© Franco Santoro, Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill, Forres IV36 2RD, UK,

Trinity by Jeff Neugebauer
Visionary Comments on the Ritual:

There are incredible varieties of dimensions and realms. As I move on the spiritual path my horizons are bound to extend considerably. This can cause confusion and unmanageable emotions. Here I need to be clear about my role in all this apparent infinity. This is what I need to find out. I am unable to cover all the possible roles that exist in a space of wholeness. Yet, once I got to know what my Intention is, no matter how limited it is, I am indeed fulfilling all roles.

Connecting with the Intention is the priority. This means moving with what truly motivates me, my passion. In the ritual I start with what, according to my current understanding, I believe to be my Intent. I do not commence with my ultimate and true Intention, for I humbly accept that this is inconceivable for my present awareness.

The key is to honestly follow what draws spontaneous attention, what engages my passion, what causes involvement, joy and excitement. The Intention has nothing to do with what is regarded as ideal and high according to conventional opinions.

The advantage of the ritual is that I can employ and explore any Intention without necessarily affecting the outer reality. My experience and enactment of the Intention takes place only during the practice. Yet, this experience is as tangible and valuable as any so called “real” experience. Whereas in the outer world many actions are limited by rigid regulations and may cause misunderstanding, in this ritual I can allow myself to venture into any situation.

The moment I connect with an Intention that is authentic in me and start to nourish it, more energy is drawn. This means that the fragmented parts that are blocked elsewhere begin to be triggered by this force. They say: “We also want to join this enterprise”. Other energies may still be reluctant and before contributing need to be convinced. At times long negotiations are required. Therefore, once the Intention is activated, a long process of retrieval is put into motion. Now, since I do not have a holistic sight, I am not aware of what is really going on.

My perception is very limited. What happens is that whenever I connect with my Intention an area of power is generated. This power is a magnet that draws other energies. Since my perception is limited, when a fragmented energy arrives I may lose sight of the source of power and only be aware of the fragmented part.

If the power is white, and the fragmented energy is black, when I meet the fragmented part, I will see only black. Human ordinary awareness only consists of two channels. With one channel I identify myself, while the other is the object of my awareness, separate from me. I identify only with one polarity and the other I see it as the “other” reflected in what I perceive around me and/or deny within. This "other" is the Shadow.

When I see the black energy, the Shadow, I can either identify myself with it, seeing the white energy as something which is not me, or I can see the black energy as something separate from me (and identifying myself with the white). Indeed they are all parts of me and the aim is to allow them to merge.

The moment when fragmented energies are drawn is very critical for it will determine whether the process of expansion of power or reunification continues or not. I regularly experience moments of bliss followed by moments of nightmare. In this process I understand that the latter are indeed the most powerful ones for they prove that the power I have previously perceived has done its work. The dreadful experiences are drawn by the power itself in order to achieve the original unity. If you are a very powerful healer, it is obvious that those who need healing and power are going to be drawn by you. As long as this is limited to the physical realm, you can clearly see the difference between you and your patients. At more subtle levels this is not the case though, yet the process is the same. When I activate a space of power, that power becomes visible for energies that long to unite with it. These energies do not come to harass me. They come to merge with the power, to create unity. When I am not aware of this process, when these energies do arrive, instead of letting go I may begin to fight or block them.

The Basic Ritual provides an educational structure aimed at bringing operative awareness into this process. The experiential assumption is that everything arises from, and is ultimately aimed at returning to, unity. In this context, I can choose to play an active role.

Here it is vital to acknowledge that since I am not my grievances, I am not going to be affected by their release. Step by step this awareness can allow me to liberate my true identity from the cobweb of emotions and thoughts. Rather than repressing grievances and passions, the second stage involves feeling them as totally as possible without succumbing to them or becoming identified with them. As a result grievances will flow and be recycled in harmony with All That Is.

The release area usually corresponds to the Lower World. It is a critical zone for whenever we move there we are confronted with long-buried memories. Their retrieval would crumble the ideas that we have of ourselves and the limited safety we have created in our life. Something so revolutionary would emerge and that would annihilate the world we believe to live in.

For many years I had difficulties in understanding this process. Whenever I connected with my Guide, I would feel a great sense of joy, unity and love. I thought that as a result of that experience my life would change forever. “I will continue to be in this space for all my life. At last my life will change!” Alas that was not the case. After just one day or even less I would find myself in the deepest state of misery and terror. Having touched heaven, I would go directly to hell.

“How come? What did I do to deserve this? Did I make a mistake? How can I connect again with that blissful state now that I am in the most negative space? How could I do that? I will be severely punished. In order to retrieve that loving state I have now to work hard and pay compensations.” This went on for long. At a certain stage I was even afraid to experience any state of bliss for I knew that later I would experience hell again. Therefore I decided to interrupt my connection with the Guide. I could not take it anymore. “I am not going to connect with you until I find out what this misery is about. It keeps coming back. I want to know what it is.”

© Franco Santoro, Findhorn Foundation Cluny Hill, Forres IV36 2RD, UK,

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[iii] Oral transmissions from Ur Kuran adapted by the author.

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