I decided to spend the 4th of July a bit differently than I had in the past. It was one of the rare times where id did not see or hear a single firework, did not hear our nation’s national anthem or the “ohhh” and “ahhhs” of a multitude of people as bright explosions of color occurred overhead. Instead I arrived in Florissant with my best friend and his family members to attend a rare ceremony. A woman by the name of Maile Lama, was going to perform a traditional Healing and Divining Ceremony. Maile Lama is a Shaman of Nepal and had never had a formal education but was instead trained as a shaman since she was around eight years old. This woman was not an outsider curious to learn shamanism after being raised in a modern civilization, she was born into the culture and tradition she practiced. As far a “pure” magician and seer, completely immersed in a tradition this was as close as anyone could get and rare opportunity for me.
We arrived far up in the mountains in the early evening with light rain coming down. After warm greetings and introductions from the host and several other attendees, we made our way up to the top of a hill where a large fire circle was built and places to sit. Maile Lama sat next to her translator and another assistant awaiting the rest of the gathering. The shaman woman who looked to be in her early 60’s or late 50’s was introduced by the translator and the nights proceedings were explained. Before long, Maile Lama began to drum and the drumming lasted for quite a time. I kept my senses open to absorb everything I could from senses, to opening my inner vision to see if I could catch glimpses of her ancestors and helpers spirits as she called them to joint eh circle. Before long the drumming had me in deep trance and I lost track of time and what I was even doing. I saw wisps of light move around the circle, the rains and the winds seemed to calm down and I could feel the thrum of the ceremonial drum from the earth beneath me and extend through my body. From what my sense were able to communicate to my intellect, it seemed that the drumming and chanting formed a perfect cord of frequency extending beyond time and distance to link directly to her ancestors, spirits and god-forms who had helped them to bring them into that space and time in no subtle way. The rhythm, the words, the motions, the mind of the shaman all linked from, her to the energies she contacted and desired to bring into that space. IT was a language that the surrounding forests and rocks knew, it was a pattern of energy agreeable and familiar yet unique. My instincts told me there was no part of the ceremony simply for sensation or show. Each ingredient seem to bring about the desired effects in the most harmonious way possible.
The ceremony reached a climax where Maile Lama, chanted and danced around the fire pit with very intentional practiced movements. As soon as the drumming ceased the entire atmosphere seemed to hum with the same harmonious frequency, …as if a sandbox, made with chaotic images and sculptures were shaken till all that remained was uniform smooth, and an undisturbed level of sand. Everyone seemed to mirror this same feeling as I came gently out of the deep drumming trance and looked around. At some point in the midst of the ceremony the shaman invited those in need or want of healing to come forward, one at a time. For each individual healing she seemed to move intrinsically to the correct spaces and the person responded in turn. IT was very involved and intricate, taking several minutes to complete. Her use of the ritual implements, drum, ash, incense, water, all familiar in many respects and fascinating to me. Even though I didn’t feel like I had any major health concerns at the time, I went up to receive a healing nonetheless and experience what I could. Closing my eyes and opening my senses I could feel the motions and touch of the ritual daggers, drum and ash, all making my inner sight and senses tingle and at some points I even got senses of vertigo as things seem to realign within me. I felt “lighter” afterwards with a sense of peace and very thankful for the entire experience. Offerings and prayers were made to the fire before the final closing ceremonies and the entire event wrapped up perfectly as the night deepened. All in all a very interesting and worthwhile experience for me and I was grateful for the opportunity.