There are specific locales on Earth that hold great power, contain the ability to heal and can quicken the awakening process. These areas, sometimes referred to as power spots, act as portals to the spirit world and often reside near natural expressions of beauty such as mountain peaks, waterfalls, caves or an old growth forest. Some power spots are well known tourist attractions, such as Machu Picchu, while others are relatively anonymous except for those in the know.
Recently I was honored to visit Wiricuta, a power spot nestled within the high desert of central Mexico. Wiricuta is the ancestral land of the Huichol people. Annually, the Huichol travel vast distances to honor their gods and ancestors, keep alive the traditional stories through song and ritual, find healing and pray for a most auspicious year. Wiricuta, like many power spots, will grant boons to those who approach with sincerity, devotion and respect. As the Huichol and other indigenous people have taught me, an essential component to a successful pilgrimage is the act of reciprocity, a giving of sacred offerings.
An offering is an act of gratitude and generosity; it’s a giving back to the source of universal creative power. The Huichol often use cornmeal, tobacco, candies, coins, woven objects, prayer arrows and candles as their offerings. A heartfelt prayer or power song are also examples that are employed. Reciprocity can be as simple as ‘Thank You’ or might be as elaborate and complex as a several hour ceremony.
Here are a few pointers to help you understand and incorporate the power of offerings as a practice. Keep in mind that you don’t have to travel to exotic lands or big power spots to practice this. It can be done daily, anywhere and at anytime to great effect for all.
- Make the offerings meaningful to you. Provide an element of sacrifice. An example is spending time growing your own flowers, sage or tobacco, collecting wood from the land near you home or water from a local spring. Having a preexisting relationship with the spirit of the offering will enhance its effect.
- Charge the offerings with intention. This can be done with breath, prayer, song or visualization. For a big pilgrimage, you can charge your offerings daily and keep them on an altar for weeks or even months before their event. This practice increases potency.
- Give the offerings with heart-centered presence and gratitude. Don’t be in an impatient or scattered state of mind. Before the final act of gifting, hold the offering to the heart for half a minute or more. Be thankful and humble; allow your gift to be a boon and blessing to its intended source.
- Spend a moment in a state of receptivity and openness. This is an ideal time for meditation and stillness. Take advantage!
Remember, reciprocity ultimately means giving back to Pachamama, our Earth Mother. Life as we know it is birthed through her magnificent creativity and intelligence. Humanity takes more and more and rarely gives back. Make sure to practice the art of reciprocity so that balance and harmony may manifest in our world.