I spent this past Valentine's Day with the many different species of animals, birds, and other marine wildlife at the Seattle Aquarium. It was the third field trip for Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, and we had let all of the animals know that we were coming to be with them to listen, collect their prayers for ceremony, and perhaps offer a little Reiki here and there.
This past weekend I taught the last class of the shamanic 4-part series Spirited Living: A Shamanic Journey into Self-Healing.
On Saturday night we had a potluck dinner before the fire ceremony. As part of the Peruvian shamanic tradition we have a single bowl set aside into which each person places something from their plate. This offering of the first and best to Pachamama (Mother Earth) is done in thanksgiving for all that we have received and enjoy with this meal. The Pachamama Bowl is then taken outside and placed on the ground and left overnight. Usually the contents are gone by next day.
That night we gathered under an almost full moon for our last fire ceremony together. As was usual my dog, Puma, joined us, however this time he snuck away at some point and went off exploring. I had to push my concern away and focus on the ceremony, something I managed to do until he came back quite damp, and I had a moment of angst wondering what mischief he had been up to, but decided that I would not ask. Sometimes with dog moms it is better not to know!
Next day we had leftovers from the previous night’s dinner for lunch, and again we put out the Pachamama Bowl in offering. With a sense of satisfaction I noticed that the previous night’s offering was gone.
Later in the day we again went outside for another fire. This time we were burning individual despachos to give thanks for all that we had received in healing during the training as well as to bring ayni (balance and harmony) to who we were becoming.
I noticed that Puma was quite eager to join us; he bounded down the stairs ahead of everyone. Once outside the reason for his haste became clearer; he made a beeline straight for the Pachamama Bowl, and quickly gulped down the contents!
The students have now tagged Puma with the nickname “Pachapuma” in honor of his chosen role as representative for Pachamama.