Saturday, April 20, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day Honors the Sacred Feminine

I can’t think of a more perfect way to honor the Sacred Feminine than to celebrate our beautiful Mother Earth.

A friend and scientist helped me understand that when we look at the biology of a human and the earth, we can see a clear connection that explains why we refer to her as Mother. Approximately 75% of the human body is water and that is true for the earth as well. The minerals that we find in the earth are the same minerals we find in the human body.

My Native brothers and sisters refer to Mother Earth’s blood as our blood and her flesh (the minerals, perhaps) as our flesh. We really are the flesh and blood of Mother Earth. What we love in her is a part of us.

When I first began to explore this concept, it wasn’t enough for me to get it intellectually. I wanted to feel it in my bones. That desire led me to Native ceremonies, where this relationship is clearly understood and honored.

In time, I was called to offer ceremonies, and one of my great delights is in watching and feeling people discover this reality within their own bones. It is one of the great and elevating discoveries that a human can make—to feel and know how connected we are to life around us.

Such moments of realization have been called peak experiences and mystical moments. These are moments when the boundaries of separation fall away and we realize that life on earth is all connected in a great movement of Divine creation.

If you really want to celebrate the earth and her wonder, consider coming to SpiritQuest this year, and delight in the great Mother around and within us all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Bad Things Happen and What To Do About Them


By Misa Hopkins

Today, as I was doing a Life Path reading for a lovely woman, she asked why such terrible events as the bombing at the Boston marathon take place. "What does this say about our hopes for the future?" she wondered.

Such violent acts seem impossible to understand. Deep within our minds we might be asking ourselves, "If we are so barbaric what hope is there for us as a species? How could God have made us this way?"

We long to understand what seems impossible to understand.

“If love and compassion are the saviors of the world, how am I supposed to find love and understanding for that kind of violence?”

Please allow me to offer something from my visions that might offer some glimpse of understanding.

The soul longs to know it is love. Life was born in a womb of love and its first expression in self-awareness is the very essence of love. Sound, light, and everything we know as creation emerges from this limitless love we call by many names, including God.

Life creates itself in increasing density so that it can explore itself. The first sound and light eventually become manifested as earth, animals, plants and humans.

Most humans, when we incarnate here on earth, do not come in with complete memory of the history of our creation in place. We come in asleep, so that we can experience the profound uniqueness of earth without full awareness.

Earth is a grand play-ground for self-discovery. In the best of possibilities, we would come to play in great delight in the sand-box of earth, within the full awareness of ourselves as being love and loved.

However, here on earth, just as we forget our Divine origin, we also forget that our souls were born from love.

If we have not been able to feel enough love, we ache—terribly. We experience emotional and physical pain in our profound need to feel what it means as a human to be loved—to feel heard, understood, worthy, seen, believed, respected, etc.

In order to make sure we are felt in our pain, some of us in our most desperate moments inflict pain on another so that someone else will know how terrible our pain feels to us.

Others of us ache so badly, we crawl inward into deep depression and isolate from the world. We languish in the belief that we will never be loved and turn the violence against ourselves.

Those of us that are the loudest with our pain or the quietest with our pain are the ones that feel the most cut off from Divine love.

Of course, these violent acts make us powerfully angry and deeply sad. We feel the violence that is done to others as violence against us, and it is violence against us. It is violence against the whole of humanity, and humanity is a great creation of the Divine.

Violence is a way of striking out against love for not loving us…

And yet, love is always there. It has been forgotten, not destroyed.

Those who do the greatest harm to others and themselves are people most in need of compassion because they are hurting the most.

Compassion, as we discover in teachings about the Sacred Feminine, does not imply that we do not enforce justice. It means that we do so with understanding. We open our hearts and hold them in their pain, while we set clear boundaries and terms of agreement for what it means to live peacefully as humans.

I am not suggesting that holding another in compassion while ensuring justice is easy. I am suggesting it is worth it. If we truly want a future in which violence is laid to rest, as we know deep in our hearts, compassion is the way.



Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day Honors the Sacred Feminine

By Misa Hopkins
I can’t think of a more perfect way to honor the Sacred Feminine than to celebrate our beautiful Mother Earth. A friend and scientist helped me understand that when we look at the biology of a human and the earth, we can see a clear connection that explains why we refer to her as Mother.

Approximately 75% of the human body is water and that is true for the earth as well. The minerals that we find in the earth are the same minerals we find in the human body.

My Native brothers and sisters refer to Mother Earth’s blood as our blood and her flesh (the minerals, perhaps) as our flesh. We really are the flesh and blood of Mother Earth. What we love in her is a part of us. 

When I first began to explore this concept, it wasn’t enough for me to get it intellectually. I wanted to feel it in my bones. That desire led me to Native ceremonies, where this relationship is clearly understood and honored. 

In time, I was called to offer ceremonies such as vision quests or what we call spirit quests, and one of my great delights is in watching and feeling people discover this reality within their own bones. It is one of the great and elevating discoveries that a human can make—to feel and know how connected we are to life around us. 
 
Such moments of realization have been called peak experiences and mystical moments. These are moments when the boundaries of separation fall away and we realize that life on earth is all connected in a great movement of Divine creation. 

If you really want to celebrate the earth and her wonder, consider coming to SpiritQuest this year, and delight in the great Mother around and within us all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

SpiritQuest for Families


When the spirits brought me the vision of SpiritQuest, I was shown that it was a ceremonial space for families. This surprised me because Quest is often an individual experience done with just your elder and perhaps one or two assistants

But this vision quest was different. In my visions, I was shown a community of people holding space in camp for their questers. In return, the quester’s prayers and sacrifices, through fasting and being in silence, deeply benefit the members of the camp. There is a profound spiritual exchange that occurs, and though natural, it is something very few of us have ever experienced.

Learning how to do this became a wonderful and unique challenge.

At SpiritQuest, everyone in the family is welcome to participate. We have had three-year olds that came to Quest and played a significant role in the sacred space we created. And they were part of the family that the questers came home to when they completed their quests.

Troubled teenagers have come to Quest, and to their surprise, discovered their spiritual strengths. They developed a deep sense of self-respect and recognized their true value in community. The stories of our youth have been part of the spiritual fabric we were weaving together, as we learned what it meant to be a true spiritual family.

Because our community focus is on our questers, who are sitting alone with Spirit for several days away from the community, we learn what it means to place another’s needs before our own for a few days, while still managing to meet our own needs. This is significant because during this time our questers are the most vulnerable members of our community.
At Quest, we have discovered it is possible to hold the vulnerability and spiritual needs of another with great care and respect, while never losing sight of our own.

This requires great cooperation together. In the Native ceremonies I have been privileged to participate in throughout the years, parents understand this delicate balance. They bring their children, knowing they are fully responsible for them throughout the ceremonial period. Children are welcome in the ceremonies (in our case at the Sacred Fire) as they are able to participate respectfully.

Until that time, one or more of their parents or guardians tend to the children so that they can play, while also ensuring the children respect the sacred space the community is creating together.

In turn, elders or the ceremonial facilitator often finds a way to help the children have their own special experiences. At Quest our children have attended a special round in sweat lodge, created just for them. They have received their sacred names, been taken on their own nature walks, taught their own ceremonial songs, shared in talking circle with the adults, and participated in our morning circle at sacred fire with traditional songs and dances.

Over the years, we have watched children blossom as their spiritual gifts are recognized, they are honored for helping in camp, and know that they are valued as members of sacred community.

If you have children, they are welcome to come to SpiritQuest with you. We only ask that you honor the traditional and respectful ways, by making sure that someone is responsible for them at all times. If you are a single parent and want to participate in the Women’s Ceremony or help tend at Sacred Fire, please bring another adult with you so that someone you know and trust is always available for your children.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Spiritually-Gifted People Love SpiritQuest

By Misa Hopkins

Have you gone through most of your life with your deepest, most precious spiritual gifts never being recognized?

I felt that way for years, until I went to my first Native ceremonies. There it was actually considered normal to:

•    Be empathic
•    Have visions
•    Hear sacred sounds
•    See, hear and relate to spirits
•    Be telepathic
•    Astral project
•    Understand the medicine plants
•    Know the power of crystals
•    Have profound relationships with real and spirit animals
•    Know that the elements respond to your thoughts
•    Be psychic
•    And more.

Basically, it was cool to be “weird” and I loved it. Quickly I discovered that what I thought was a need to be recognized as special was actually a need to acknowledge the special gifts that lived within me.

It felt great to be in an environment where my heightened state of awareness was considered normal because it meant I was connected to my spiritual gifts, which connected me to the Mystery—and after all, isn’t that how we are supposed to live?

Best of all, in that environment, my spiritual gifts became even stronger as I better recognized and nurtured them.

Just being around other people in their heightened awareness stimulated my own gifts. Dreaming at night in an awakened community opened my inner senses to still another level of realization.

I left ceremonies feeling as though I had experienced who I really was. I knew I had tasted what life is like when we all live in respect for our unique and wonderful spiritual awarenesses.

For seventeen years, I have been privileged to facilitate a week of Native ceremonies for people of all cultures that want to discover what it means to live with and use your spiritual gifts in an atmosphere where you are honored and respected for doing so.

Every year I hear about how affirming it is to get to be who you really are—not in a boastful and arrogant way, where you feel like you are trying to get people around you to see who you really are—but in a humble and genuine way, where you are actually seen and loved for your precious and true nature.

Creating a place where spiritual gifts are recognized and honored is one of the great experiences of attending SpiritQuest. Being seen and heard for who you truly are is wonderfully healing and life-inspiring.

If you are ready to be seen and heard in a sacred environment that honors your true nature, while honoring the true nature within everyone, you just might be ready for SpiritQuest.