Sharing a Shamanic food blessing ritual
by Clytie Lane
Some people pray, others sing, some meditate quietly, others offer food. Blessing and giving thanks for the fare on our table has long been an integral part of our celebrations and traditions and there are so many diverse ways to offer this reverence for Nature’s abundance. The simple practice of gratitude is an act of higher consciousness that can have a profound effect on our spiritual and physical well-being.
This, year, high in the mountains of Malibu, on the Sacred Chumash land of the Wright Ranch, a group of us came together with Ladamira, a Siberian shaman named for an ancient Slavic goddess whose meaning is Mirror of Love. In this gathering, I had the opportunity to experience my first authentic shamanic food blessing ritual; it has has a powerful and lasting effect on me.
Our table contained a mouth-watering spread of steaming oatmeal, honey, raisins, grapes, succulent raspberries and blueberries, yogurt, granola, nuts, fresh medjool dates, banana bread, and hot herbal tea. We joined hands standing around this bounty. We closed our eyes while Ladamira spoke a prayer softly but earnestly, thanking God and Goddess for these blessed gifts and asking that all energy be transmuted to the highest vibration, so that in turn the energy we receive upon eating be only Divine energy to support our spiritual growth and development.
The prayer closed with everyone chanting ‘Om.” Ladamira asked us to remain in reverent silence for the breakfast to guide us through a meditative shamanic ritual with the intention of heightening our consciousness and connecting us with our spirit. Rather than diving unconsciously into our meal, Ladamira invited us to take a small amount of food onto our plates and simply look at it with eyes of love and appreciation. Then she invited us to pick up a piece a fruit from our plate and hold it. I placed a raspberry on the tip of my finger as I had done so many times as a young child.
Ladamira’s hypnotic voice guided us in our sensory journey. I observed the color of the raspberry and noticed the pockets of berries making up the whole as well as the juice just beneath the surface. I inhaled its subtle fragrance. I felt its texture on my lips. The tiny fruit began to take on a far greater dimension than simply being food; somehow the idea of simply popping it into my mouth was fading.
She wove for us a magical tale of the fruit’s imagined life journey, from the farmer’s intention to plant the seed, to the tiny seed in the earth, the first sprout of growth, the time required to grow, how the environment affected its life, and finally the image of the fruit blossoming to ripeness—and then the moment of surrender when it may have been gently hand picked to end its journey here as part of our feast. I appreciated the raspberry as a living being; and in all of us, a sense of reverence for all of life awakened. Food sustains us on every level; the reciprocal arrangement is an energy exchange of love and gratitude.
Ladamira encouraged us to express our gratitude to the fruit as we began now to taste it and to enjoy the rest of our breakfast with a similar spirit. We ate slowly and silently together, yet engrossed in our deeply personal experience in relationship with our food. The energy was tangible; the presence of love filled and united us. I ate much less and much slower than usual and the lone raspberry bathed in loving appreciation could alone have filled me up. Its energy had radically transformed.
When the ritual was complete, Ladamira rang a small bell and we joined hands in circle with a closing prayer. The ritual had become more than giving thanks; it was a journey into ourselves, our awareness, our patterns and habits. The meal became a portal through which we could enter into our higher consciousness. It was a silent meditation during which we could consciously choose to perform the habitual action of eating as a new experience and with a new awareness.
What surprised me the most were the after effects of the food blessing ritual and the ripple effect they created in my every day life. I was able to control my impulses and reactions in life and in relationships. I was able to experience the feeling quality of pleasure and enjoyment in my being.
I can no longer grab a snack here or a smoothie there without some sense of connection with Mother Earth, a reverence for the divine, an appreciation for my own spirit, and a tangible feeling of gratitude for all of life.
With this prayer, you can invoke a shamanic blessing of your food:
“Dear God, Thank you for this food you are giving me/us. Please, help me to think of this meal as a spiritual ceremony and to transmute the energy of simple food and all heavier vibrations into the higher and finer vibrations and the delicate, subtle energy of love, gratitude, wisdom and light of consciousness, so that I may move closer to you and realize myself more fully. Please guide me to spend this divine energy in the fulfillment of my destiny and only in positive, bright emotions. So be it, so it is, may it be so, in the Name of God! Amen! Om Hare Hara Hari Om.”
Three Steps to an Everyday Shamanic Ritual
Collect food and produce from your own organic garden (if possible) or visit a farmers market or community garden for the freshest, organic fare straight from Mother Earth. Cultivate a relationship with the people who grow your food. Smell the produce, touch it, feel its prana (life force); if your taste buds are tickled, you know it has prana.
When you prepare food be sure that your thoughts and emotions are clear and focused when preparing your food since your energy affects the meal. Relish and be grateful for the food and handle it with love. Take pleasure in the process as this is the energy that you will offer to God, yourself and others.
Before eating sit quietly and connect to gratitude. If you are with others hold hands in circle and pray together to bless your food.
For more information about shamanic ritual, visit Ladamira’s website: ladamira.com.