Re-Establishing Our Connection to Our Ancestors

"Our ancestors were better able to assimilate change into their lives because new events and challenges were incorporated into present patterns through the use of tradition and ritual. Rather than being overwhelmed by dozens of sources of ever-changing and often frightening news, ancient people passed on their 'news' in the form of stories told around evening tribal fires. Potential problems, current events, and challenges were discussed and evaluated in view of ancestral history. This provided an anchor, a way of situating the present in terms of the past, which in turn provided a context for future decisions. A sense of tradition and the collective memories of past successes, as well as failures that were eventually overcome promoted feelings of security in facing difficulties in the present. Awareness of the line of a connection between all the generations — past, present, and future — ensured a sense of grave responsibility about the impact of present actions much further down the line. Re-establishing our connection to our ancestors helps instill a sense of a continuum that gives us a greater understanding of who we are and where we have come from."
Sacred Legacies

You Are an Evolving Elder

"The fact of the matter is that you are already an elder in many ways, an evolving elder. There are areas in your life where you have learned valuable lessons that have helped you to survive. Take a look at these. Observe them, and then honor the significance they have had in making your own life and the lives of those around you better. No one becomes an elder all at once. Each choice you make, each small victory you achieve in the ongoing process of living, increases your personal store of wisdom and makes you a more valuable member of your community. What made the elders invaluable to our ancestral communities was the vast store of wisdom that they had amassed during their long lives. You are in the process of building that storehouse of knowledge and experience right now. It is a great and highly significant responsibility."
Sacred Legacies

Everything that has ever existed is your ancestor

"You follow in the steps of the ancient ones who have gone beyond you. In no small way everyone and everything that has ever existed is your ancestor. Your cells contain the blueprint of all life and all form and all being. Your ancestors dwell within you. Honor them and you honor the sanctity and sacredness that dwells within all life, within you, and within the cosmos."
Sacred Legacies

Altars and the Connection to Spirit

"In the fast pace of today's world there is a growing need to reconnect to the sacred elements of life. An altar can fulfill this need through being a powerful visible representation of the spiritual energy that surrounds and sustains us. It serves as a kind of reminder of our connection to spiritual realms. Creating and using an altar can be an effective means of forging a connection to higher powers. A home shrine can be a gateway between the seen and unseen realms which can connect us to the rhythms of nature and the universe. This can help infuse the most ordinary aspects of life with a divine sense of meaning. The physical form of an altar reminds us of the importance of honoring the hallowed places within ourselves; it is also a focus for prayers to the spiritual forces that shape our lives.

"An altar dedicated to increasing your spiritual awareness can become an energetic point of convergence for symbols that propel the human spirit forward. It can bring a remarkable grace and beauty into your life. This type of altar can be used in three ways. It can be used as a place to pray and ask for divine guidance, a place to listen to messages from the spiritual realm and a place to give thanks for blessings received."

Life Transitions and the Home Altar

"Traditionally an altar was also used as a place to memorialize the turning points in life. This type of altar is valuable in today's world because there is a noticeable lack of places where we can express and celebrate life experiences. In ancient times, whether the events were happy or sad, there were always appropriate rituals for commemorating significant losses and major successes. By contrast, in modern life, a person is often given only one day off work to attend the funeral of a family member, and few people acknowledge that the period of mourning extends far beyond the funeral. The end of a marriage is often marked only by the ceremony of signing legal papers and perhaps an appearance in court. To honor happier occasions, we may go out with friends to celebrate a new job or moving to a new home. But often these festivities consist of little more than a round of drinks or possibly dinner, while the deeper personal significance of what has taken place may be overlooked.

"The home altar is a place where life's passages can be given their proper homage over a longer period of time through the use of ritual and ceremony. This can help you process, acknowledge and fully experience each of the important events in your life. When you use an altar to honor the transitions in your life, you are taking the feelings that are inside you and giving them a physical form. This articulation gives your emotions the attention and care that they deserve, and allows you truly to hear what is in your heart."

Shrines: A Focal Point for the Sacred

"Your alter is a focal point for the sacred: a place where you can retreat for stillness and reflection. It can serve as an anchor through difficult times as well as be a place to celebrate when you feel on top of the world. Your personal shrine can also be where the various and sometimes conflicting facets of life can be symbolically joined together in a meaningful and deeply satisfying way. There is no limit to the kinds of altars which can be created. Some people decide to have one main altar, which may change over time as different needs or occasions arise. Others choose to create a special alter with one particular focus. Some individuals construct a multi-purpose altar that combines a variety of themes. Whatever yearning you hold in your heart, whatever you hope for and dream of — these will serve as guides for deciding how you want to use your altar.

"One of the most profound uses of an altar is as a sacred place to deepen your connection with the Divine. This type of altar serves as a bridge between the reality of everyday life and spiritual realms. It is a place of prayer where you can untangle the brambles of your mind, quiet your thoughts and listen to messages from the Creator. It is a holy space that can call you back to your true nature."

After Your Vision Quest

"When you return to ordinary life, the dishes and the laundry still need to be done and bills need to be paid. In Zen Buddhism there is a maxim: 'Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water . . . after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.' The Quest is not about turning away from ordinary life but rather embracing it with compassion, integrity, and joy. Though the outward form of life may remain the same, your inner life begins to change. It's as if an ember of spirit in the soul has been fanned by the winds of heaven to become an inner flame that will burn deeply and brightly throughout your life.

"A Quest done with intent and an open heart is like a pebble dropped in a still pool; the ripples will touch the farthest shores of your consciousness. Even in those times, after a Quest, when the vision seems so far away — 'Was it all a dream? Did it really happen?' — the inner flame continues to burn. Your vision will grow inside you. Even in the darkest moments. Even when you are unsure of yourself. Even when you are angry or afraid. This is the power of the vision.

"May your Quest be the beginning of an adventure that leads you to the center of the soul."

Our Homes are Mirrors of Ourselves

"Our homes are mirrors of ourselves. They reflect our interests, our beliefs, our hesitations, our spirit and our passion. They tell a story about how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. A home is more than a place to lay your head and seek comfort from the elements. It is a place where you can interface with the universe. It is a crossing point in time and space that can attract energy or repel energy.

"Your home can be a place of renewal and hope. It can be a sanctuary within which you can retreat and recharge during the changing times, an oasis of peace amidst turmoil. Homes can be places of healing and regeneration. Not only can your home help to strengthen and heal you, but your home can be a template of harmony within which you and all who enter can be invited to step up to a higher level of spiritual frequency."
Sacred Space

All Life is Energy

"Ancient Native Americans understood that all forms of life, from the clouds, to the trees, to the buffalo that roamed the Great Plains, were all transient swirling patterns of energy. This is an understanding that goes back to the most primordial times in cultures spanning the world. It is one of the most basic underlying perceptions of life held by native cultures. Our present-day concept that the universe is fixed and staid is dramatically at odds with this fundamental insight.

"All life is energy. We are immersed in an ocean of energy. The energy that is around us flows and moves, in constant, ever-changing currents through time and space. Physicists acknowledge that the atoms and molecules in all things are in constant motion. Beneath the surface of fixed objects, existing in a linear river of time, is the reality that energy swirls into form, dissolves and coalesces once again. The world is a dance of the two opposing yet harmonious forces in the universe: yin and yang, mystery and form. The world around us and within us is an interplay of these patterns of energy in ever-fluid relationship. Energy ebbs and flows around us, not constrained by the limitation of the past and future. We are in an infinite, yet patterned, timeless drama of light and dark. Underlying this motion is a cosmic order. There is an innate harmony inherent in all life as waves of energy and pulsating electrons spiral 'form' in and out of existence."
Sacred Space

House Clearing Step 1: The Day Before

"One of the fastest ways to cleanse the energies in a home is simply by cleaning it. Almost everyone can notice the difference in the feeling of a home before and after it has been cleaned. Not only does the general straightening of the clutter make a psychological difference in feeling but whenever your home is cleaned there are subtle shifts in the energy fields that people will feel. I don't necessarily believe in having a compulsively neat house. I feel that it is important to feel comfortable and creative and relaxed in your own home. If you don't feel like doing the dishes after a meal and feel like letting them sit until the next day, so be it. If you feel like throwing your clothes over your shoulder as you undress, let 'em fly. My home often looks like a major disaster area. However, before a house clearing, it is valuable to clean your home. The deeper the cleaning, the better. Wash the windows. Vacuum under the bed. Really give your entire home a deep and thorough cleaning. This will greatly facilitate the clearing and will give your home a stronger energy field."
Sacred Space

Room Misting for Purification

"Emotional energy tends to stagnate in a room long after the events that gave birth to the emotions have passed. After an argument, the air in a room might seem almost charged. This is, in fact, precisely the case. There is an electric 'charge' left hanging in the air as a residue from all the negative emotions. The fastest way to neutralize this residual energy is to mist the room. Spraying your home with water to create sacred space is one of the simplest and most effective techniques for shifting your home's energy and to cleanse residual emotions."
Sacred Space


"Clapping dissipates energy. Think of a time when you've been at a very powerful performance. Remember when the clapping started? Often it is at that point when the energy generated by the performance began to dissipate. It is said that in ancient China at the end of an artistic performance, they would never clap, because they knew that clapping would dissipate the energy created by the performers. So the audience would leave in silence in order to take the energy of the performance with them."
Sacred Space

Steps to Create More Peace in your Life

"To create more peace in your life fill your home with the energy and feeling of peace. Paint a room blue. Replace reds and oranges with blues and pastel colors. Get rid of any object that you don't like or anything which makes you feel irritated. Play soothing music. Dedicate your house crystals to peace. Have pots of ferns about your home. Invest in an aquarium with slow-moving, graceful fish. Create an indoor waterfall so you can listen to the relaxing sound of water flowing. Put up photos and paintings of peaceful nature scenes. Soften sharp corners by draping or hanging fabric there. Spray lavender aroma throughout your home periodically. When your home feels like a sanctuary of peace, peace will fill your heart."
Sacred Space

The Universe is Whispering to You

"In every moment the universe is whispering to you. There are messages for you carried on the winds. There is wisdom for you in the morning songs of the birds outside your window and in the soft murmurs of an ebbing sea. Even ordinary, everyday events in your life carry communications from the realm of spirit. . . .

"It is now time to regain this lost ability. Our planet is changing very quickly, and in the face of this rising tide of change we need to remember how to taste the messages in the wind and how to listen to the gentle voices in the clouds. This ability will be increasingly important in the years ahead. As we hurtle in to the twenty-first century, there is an accelerated awakening of planetary consciousness. We are entering a time of signs and omens. There has never been a more powerful time in the history of our planet to realize our magnificence. Signs can show us the way. It is now time to relearn how to listen to the whispers of the universe."
The Secret Language of Signs

Signs are Always Around You

"Signs are always around you, manifesting in myriad forms. In fact, there is never a time in your life when you aren't surrounded by signs. Though most signs appear visually, they can present themselves through smell, sound, or touch, or they can appear as a hunch, an intuition, or even in a dream. For those individuals raised in native cultures, signs usually appear in natural forms, such as in the clouds or in the movement of animals; but to people raised in Western cultures, they can appear in manmade as well as natural forms."
The Secret Language of Signs

The Connection between Plumbing and Emotions

"The systems within your home can relay important signs. Water is often thought to be a psychological symbol that represents emotions and feelings, so the state of plumbing in your home can be a sign of your emotional state. If your plumbing is clogged, it can be a sign that your emotions are blocked. If a toilet overflows, it can be a sign that your emotions are overflowing. Frozen pipes can symbolize that your emotions are frozen. A leaky tap can represent a constant drain on your emotions. Of course, a leaking tap could simply mean that you need a new washer, but often there is a correlation between plumbing and one's emotional state."
The Secret Language of Signs

A Deliciously Enlightened Life

"Simply put, food is much more than, well, just food. It's surprising, but it's true: you really can eat your way to a deliciously enlightened life! When we think of a spiritual path, we often envision meditation, yoga, fasting, chanting, or prayer. We don't usually consider our everyday meals as a potential gateway to mystical transformation. Yet the food you eat and your approach to it can be one of the most powerful pathways to spiritual renewal."
The Mystic Cookbook

Alchemical Cooking

"In the Middle Ages, alchemists, the precursors to modern-day chemists, tried to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Their aim was to transform base metals into precious gold. We now know gold can't be made from iron, tin, or aluminum; however, even though they didn't succeed, these men were onto something. It ispossible to transform something common into something special. Indeed, by taking ordinary ingredients and imbuing them with energy, food can be a conduit for a spiritual awakening and an alchemical transformation of the soul."
The Mystic Cookbook

Energizing Your Dining Experience

"You can have the most exquisite bouquet of freshly picked flowers that seem to shimmer with color; but if the vase is dull and dingy, it can decrease their beauty. This is also true in cooking. Even if your cooking is stellar, a kitchen or dining space that doesn't sparkle with energy will diminish the overall experience of the meal. True mystical cooking not only includes understanding the subtle energies within each part of the meal you prepare, but also it includes a wise comprehension of the energy of the rooms where you cook and dine, and the people who whom you share your meals. To elevate your dining experience from the mundane act of fueling your body to a delicious moment of enlightenment, it's beneficial to spend time creating sacred space in your kitchen and dining room. As a result, your meals will be filled with magic."
The Mystic Cookbook

How Do You Give Grace?

"To embrace the time-honored tradition of giving grace, take a moment of silence in humility and thankfulness to your spiritual source. Be present. Be grateful. Speak from the heart. There doesn't need to be a formula or a set of rules. Express what's authentic and real. A short, heartfelt prayer can be much more powerful than one that has lots of flowery words and drones on and on. Grace can be shared with bowed heads, by holding hands, or by simply taking a moment to be present in silence before a meal."
The Mystic Cookbook

Cooking for Yourself

"Hospitality toward ourselves is something that very few practice; it's a Divine spiritual path that ignites the energy of invitation, graciousness, and openness in your heart. It's often easier to be the gracious, loving, and kind host for others than it is for yourself.

"As a suggestion, imagine the person you revere the most, either someone who's alive or maybe someone from history. Imagine that you're going to prepare a meal for this person. Now ask yourself, if you're willing to create this meal for them, couldn't you make it for yourself? Of course, you don't need to treat yourself this way every night, but once in a while, take the time and care to be your own honored guest."
The Mystic Cookbook

Awaken the Mystic Chef within You

"Let's cook up some magic! In the previous chapters, we've learned how to harness the life-force energy in our food, cook with Spirit, and create sacred space in our kitchen and dining areas. Now it's time to put all of this to use and whip up some spirit-filled meals that are not only flavorful but are also a gateway to eating your way to a deliciously enlightened life.

"Magic is everywhere. It's in the air we breathe and in the food we eat. It's simply a matter of being open to it. In this chapter you'll create a meal to activate abundance, dedicate a dinner to the four elements, invite the fairies to join you for a picnic, and plan a meal to voyage into your far past. Join us on this journey to create magical feasts. Turn the mundane into the transformative, and awaken the Mystic Chef within you."
The Mystic Cookbook