What an extraordinary time we find ourselves in. In the Northeastern United States, where I live, as far as humanity was concerned, March came in not "like a lion and out like a lamb", as the saying goes; instead, the reverse happened.
A pandemic, first thought by many of us to only be affecting far-away places, came to our own shores. We realized that regardless of where we are in the world, we're in this together. Fear was palpable as we isolated at home. While some eased into isolation, others faced chaos and loss. Civil unrest then stirred the world of humans, accelerating the upheaval and change. I found this frightening and hopeful at the same time.
Throughout all, for me nature is present and steady. The sights and sounds of spring filled our lives as my family and I watched - week after week, and often from our windows. Here in the Northeast, the rain fell heavily in April and May. June days were filled with a mix of rain, sunshine, and temperatures soaring into the 90s. And now summer is here. In accord with the pandemic guidelines we have gone outside for walks or bike rides. Those of us in the OMEC and Shamanic Reiki Worldwide communities, "Aimlessly Wander" and keep up our practices to nourish our bodies, hearts and connection with nature. We appreciate these practices even more; 'medicine' that soothes our souls and keeps us grounded and present.
I walk frequently in the woods for respite from all that is playing out. It is comforting to know that Mayan elders are enacting ancient fire ceremonies in Guatemala - to benefit humanity and nature by offering healing prayers. OMEC donations help to buy supplies for these ceremonies. Keeping the sacred fires burning is essential at this time. The ceremonies offer energy and prayers to transmute disharmony for us, and nature. Continuing to enact traditional fire rituals is a great support to the Mayan people, whose communities are also suffering at this time.
Here in the states, as our family business is considered essential, we've remained open. I didn't want to go to work, yet I was needed. I have shapeshifted each morning; composing myself to hold the container for others. Yet, as tragedy began to play out, many days I felt like a duck in water - appearing visibly calm on the surface while paddling like crazy underneath. Sometimes financial fears drained me.
Then I received a dream message: "wealth is in the wisdom of the ancestors".
Generations before us have faced many challenges. They found ways to regain their hopefulness and stability.
I listen to their voices now and realize that within this powerful time, this perfect storm for true change - the voices of all of our ancestors call to us. They ask us to awaken from our slumber; to remember who we are.
This is a time indigenous people of many cultures have prophesied. Is Mother Earth giving us a time out? Perhaps so, to listen to the voices of the ancestors and our own inner voices; to change how we live and come into balance with all aspects of the web of life.
Coinciding with the Summer Solstice, a rare alignment of a new moon and solar eclipse occurred. To me this felt like a sign from Pachamama (Mother Earth, Mother Time, Mother Universe) - telling us to take a quantum leap to cultivate peace and harmony for all.
I am grateful to work with OMEC, whose mission is to promote a sacred and responsible relationship with the Earth and to preserve the ancient wisdom of indigenous people. Our original peoples offer tools, perspectives and ceremonial practices that humanity needs now, more than ever. These provide our best hope to nurture the generations yet to come.
Thank you for honoring the Earth. Thank you for contributing to help OMEC preserve the wisdom and practices of ancient peoples.
From my heart to yours,
OMEC Board of Directors
It is with great reverence that we share the news that spiritual elder Don Carlos Barrios, author of The Book of Destiny, has departed from this physical plane.
Don Carlos died on the morning of Sunday, July 5, 2020. His 'change of form' coincided the energy of the full moon, lunar eclipse, and 'Guru Purnima', an annual tribute in the Hindu tradition to acknowledge enlightened teachers who selflessly offer to benefit humanity. Don Carlos was such a man.
The work of Carlos Barrios and his brother, Gerardo Barrios (d. 2011) not only brought the ancient Mayan teachings out to the world beyond the Maya-lands, it has been instrumental in helping indigenous Mayan communities reawaken to the vast wisdom of their ancestors.
on Carlos was a founding force with Saq' Be', an organization dedicated to Mayan and indigenous spiritual studies, and a vehicle to reignite the living Mayan traditions and share with the world in a way that honors its living lineage. He was a tireless support to the elders, traditions and wisdom of the Mayan people as well as to indigenous spiritual leaders around the world.
Llyn Cedar Roberts worked with Carlo's brother, Gerardo Barrios for years before his death in 2011. Her introduction to the Mayan energies and her first trip to Guatemala - were guided by Gerardo Barrios and spiritual guide, Mercedes Barrios Longfellow.
When Llyn was detained for a week during the border lockdown in Guatemala, she found herself lodging in the old colonial home where Don Carlos Barrios lived. This was an auspicious meeting that resulted in Don Carlos becoming one of the four groups of Mayan spiritual guides that OMEC raises funds for to support the Mayan elders to purchase ceremonial supplies to continue their traditional fire ceremonies, dating back more than 12,500 years. The ceremonies support harmony and healing for people and Mother Earth.
The beautiful and gentle and generous man, Don Carlos Barrios will be greatly missed by his family, including his two daughters, Denise and Solveig, and by his worldwide community. We offer prayers and light candles for his journey, as it continues. In the Mayan tradition there is never death, without rebirth.
OMEC also honors Don Carlos and his work by continuing efforts to encourage a sacred relationship with the Earth and to preserve the wisdom ways of ancient people.
OMEC is sending funds again very soon to support Mayan highland elders to purchase supplies for their fire ceremonies. This is especially important now, more than ever.
Thank you for your contributions to the Mayan Sacred Fire Fund.
From my heart to yours,
Lis Traphagen, OMEC board of directors
On our Guatemala trips, we work closely with Mayan spiritual guides, Dona María Ernestina Reyes and Don Marco Antonio Ramos N. I know many of you have met and grown close to them. These two elders are among four groups to which OMEC sends funds to help to purchase ceremonial supplies in the Mayan Sacred Fire Fund.
We respectfully share, below, beautiful words to all of us from Dona Maria Ernestina and Don Marco Antonio.
May their messages nourish you and support your path.
We thank you deeply for your support of this very important project. We would like to send more funds soon, thank you for donating to the
Mayan Sacred Fire Fund.
From my heart to yours,
"We are very grateful for the financial aid for the ceremonies. To date we have been making small offerings in our, thanks to the help of OMEC, we will add more materials in each ceremony.
We offer before this energy, first of all for thanks for our lives and the blessings received from the supreme creator and asking for forgiveness for mistakes made in life. Also requested for the light, peace and health of all humans and other living beings.
We believe that today more than taking into account the crisis of humanity worldwide, we must be more spiritual, that is why we have not stopped working with our ceremonies, because there we find the balance of our lives.
We reiterate our thanks to you and your organization."
"We are greeting you again, wishing you well. We want to share the ceremony held yesterday, Monday, June 8, 2020 with the sacred energy 13 Kemé; special day to ask for justice to the creator and the cosmic energies, for so many injustices against human life and other living beings on our planet. In this ceremony, this nahual was thanked for the blessings received in all aspects of life. We also reported to the Supreme Judge (Nahual Kemé) the murder committed against the spiritual guide Domingo Choc (from Petén). OMEC (and community) were present in our requests for blessing, thanks to their support we are using a little more material.
May our creator, the cosmic energies and our ancestors keep us all."
"We are also happy to share the ceremony on Sunday 21 of this month, before the energy of 13 Kawoq to greet the summer solstice, we enjoyed a sunny day, since in the previous days it was raining. Generally, in our ceremonies we emphasize asking for health, light, inner peace of each person and of the world. Because we believe that today more than ever, we need to be in harmony due to the current crisis. On our part, in the family we are well, by the grace of our creator."
"We are happy to know that we are united with the people who are praying, meditating and reflecting for the light, peace and health of the world, we are sure that we will move forward in the face of the world's adversities, our path is more spiritual."
Donate to the
Mayan Sacred Fire Fund
100% of your donation will be sent to Mayan spiritual guides to support them to purchase supplies for their traditional fire ceremonies, dating back almost 13,000 years.
Photo credit: Mitch Mattraw
In the Sacred Fire: A Reflection on My Journey to the Guatemala Highlands by Crystal Hawks
The fire's flames rise and fall with the waves of the shining lake behind us. I blink open my eyes to see my husband's shadow overlapping mine on the ground beneath my exposed feet. We left our home in the United States only a short time ago, but the frenetic buzz of city life, deadlines, and to-do lists already feel like a lifetime away. This isn't just a vacation to another country; this is an immersion into a completely different reality-a reality steeped in ancient Mayan fire ceremonies and the rhythms of the sacred Mayan calendar. It's here where fire communicates and heals, a single day stretches into weeks, and boundaries across space and time blur. I ask myself once again the same question I have asked every day since I arrived, "Is this a dream?"
I scan the group of travelers encircling the fire that flashes wildly in the center. We chose to embark on this journey into the Guatemala Highlands together-a journey into the mystery of time outside of time and magical rituals passed down for thousands of years. I've only just met these people, but we've quickly plunged past the superficial minutiae that infuses most early encounters. In fact, we're beyond words at this point. There's no need for stories or opinions anymore. We can simply be together in the eternal present, surrounded by the magnificent energy of Lake Atitlan-an energy that is alive and in deep relationship with all of us. We communicate with one another and with the spirits of this place in a language only understood by the heart. Everything feels the connection to everything else.
Each of us hold a colorful assortment of candles close to our chest and watch the fire's hypnotic dance. A choir of birds sing piercing tunes that reverberate off of the towering volcano that looms in the distance. The Mayan elders chant, lift their gazes to the sun, stretch their arms wide, and then pour forward to feed the fire. I begin to weep. I used to try to fabricate otherworldly experiences like this with mind-bending substances that sent me spinning into altered states. For years, I sought a connection to myself and a greater power, chasing one fleeting experience after another and turning up empty handed every time. Here I am now, years into my healing journey, and I find myself recovering pieces that were lost in the wreckage of my past. Like tectonic plates fusing back together after a thousand years apart, I'm starting to feel my totality-the wholeness of myself and of Spirit.
I walk toward the fire to offer it the bundle of candles that represent all of my fear and pain. The fire doesn't judge the offering. It welcomes everything. A cloud of smoke builds around my body before feathering into tendrils that slowly disappear. Clarity crawls in to illuminate undiscovered corners of my awareness. Restrictive delusions I've held as truths begin to fade, burned by flames and transformed into dissipating smoke. My old lens of seeing the world shatters, and I truly open my eyes for the first time as the smoke clears. When I return to my place in the circle for the final cleansing, the smell of ambrosial incense greets me-signaling that a new beginning has come.
And indeed, a new beginning has come, not just for me, but for all of us. Since the world was set ablaze with the loss, economic uncertainty, and fear of sickness from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we've been in the fire. The time for transmutation has come. The past is behind us. Life will not be the same. We offer the flames our fears, our old and harmful patterns, our hope for a better future. And as the fire casts shadows against the backdrop of a setting sun and purifies past realities, may we embrace the heat and expand.
I invite you to take time to explore how OMEC can support you to transform and expand through programs, books, and projects. We have already accomplished so much in 2020.
The book by Pacific Northwest tribal master-storyteller, Johnny Moses - The Medicine Clothes that Look at the People - listed as #1 New Release in Native American Religion on amazon, is out in August. Pre-order the book now!
Our most recent project contributes to the purchase of fire ceremony supplies for Maya spiritual guides in four distinct regions in the Guatemalan Highlands.
Thank you for supporting The Mayan Sacred Fire Fund.
Your donations help keep the Maya sacred fires burning. Contribute now so OMEC can send funds to purchase supplies for June Solstice Fire Ceremonies in Guatemala.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your interest and, importantly, for your financial support!
From my heart to yours,
Crystal Hawks, OMEC Board Member
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the midst of the coming spring. Here in the Pacific Northwest, trees are flowering, plants are thriving, and tender leaves are unfurled.
There are both windy, rainy and calm days, as well as cool and hot days. We never know what to expect, as winter's dormancy opens to a whole new cycle of life.
Pretty much all of us feel similarly now, that we don't know what to expect. What next?
Now, more than ever, it is the time to root into our inner knowing and within ancient medicine teachings. We are honored to share with you the Spring Star story from the renowned Tulalip Native American master storyteller, Johnny Moses:
"The grandmothers always told us that they were the ones who would go out and gather the medicinal plants, the flowers, the roots for medicines. Their job was to pass on the songs that are used for these medicines, and also for ceremonies.
The grandfathers' jobs were to be the ones to help with the medicines, in preparing them. Or, sometimes the grandfathers would be the ones that would go out and gather the medicines, and the grandmothers would sing to the medicines with spring star songs.
The teaching of the scarf that we wear on our laps is a good symbol of that.
There was a story that has to do with spring stars falling upon the grandmothers' laps.
As she was out in the woods (a grandmother) was crying. She was very sad, and she felt that she was very lonely, that she had lost herself. And a star could hear her - and this was in springtime - and (the star) sent a beautiful cloth upon her. This cloth fell upon her lap. He (the star) also sent the songs and the designs that went with it.
And, when she looked at the cloth that was on her lap, it was all these flowers of many kinds that were up in the mountains - a lot of wildflowers, and she had songs for all of them. And, she used these songs in doctoring ceremonies, to pray for people.
And, so, they say that's where this scarf comes from, when we wear this scarf over our laps. It's in memory of the spring star teachings - but they would never bring out that it was from the spring star in just any gathering, because when you bring it out you have to bring out a story from the spring star."
May the stars hear your prayers and may the songs of the stars, and the stories from the spring star, guide you.
See Johnny Moses' upcoming book, watch his free video and purchase Johnny's teaching videos here.
From my heart to yours,
Llyn Cedar Roberts, MA and the OMEC Board of Directors
*Johnny Moses is a Tulalip Native American raised in the remote Nuu-chah-nulth village of Ohiat on the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. He was raised in the traditional ways by his grandparents and sent by his elders to share their teachings with all people. Johnny is a master storyteller, oral historian, traditional healer and respected spiritual leader. His traditional name is Whis.stem.men.knee (Walking Medicine Robe). Johnny Moses carries the Si.Si.Wiss (sacred breath, sacred life) medicine teachings and healing ceremonies of his Northwest Coast people.
liberating in lockdown