From the moment we discover that a part of our lives has changed forever, from loosing a loved one, to finding out that we ourselves are now in the dying process, extreme letting go and grieving begins to wash over us, and without extra support it can be extremely painful and hard to process.
This is where a ceremonial shamanic process of letting go may be helpful, as it works on the spiritual level giving us time and space to process in a container that is deeply held and supportive to the process of grieving. Even if you do not have 13 full months, the ceremony can still be done to great affect in 13 weeks. The first step is to meet and see if we are a good fit, if we are then we will move into the possibility of doing some shamanic healing work should that speak to you, followed by shamanic ceremonial bundle making, and then we move into the last phase which is the 13 month process. Everything is described and broken down here for you to read and written for both those who are in the dying process, and those who have lost loved ones.
If you have lost a loved one: When we loose a loved one our lives change forever, and the process of grieving them never really goes away, it just changes and gets easier over time. However sometimes as we go through our own unique process of grieving we can get to a place where we begin to feel stuck, or that the grief will never end no matter how much we rally ourselves, and this can often leave us feeling isolated and alone in our process. This is where having extra shamanic support and a ceremonial process can help us to not feel so alone, but also help us to move through some of the stuck aspects that grieving can bring. Also depending on how our loved one died it may be possible that a psychopomp is needed to
If you are in the Dying process: If we ourselves are in the dying process,we may begin to feel that we want to reconcile our lives and make peace with our loved ones as well as making peace within ourselves so we can ease or fear around what is to come, and re-developing our connectedness to our personal understanding of spirit. We may also wish to find a deeper meaning from our illness and let go of our attachment to how we thought things would be for us as we move into what is happening in the moment now as someone who is dying.
What the 13 Moon Letting go Ceremony is: The 13 moon process is based on the Sagh'ic tradition and is a ceremony performed by ordained ministers such as myself. What the 13 moons ceremonial process does is work to support us as we move through our grieving with the goal of allowing us to move through our feelings and emotions while letting go.
We will first meet and get to know each other a bit, making sure that we are a good match for the process. If we decide to move ahead I will explain things more in depth to you about what to expect from our time together, and we may also decide to move into some shamanic healing work first. Sometimes a soul retrieval is needed to bring back much needed soul parts, and/or return any soul parts that may belong to others, before we move into the creation of a bundle in a letting go ceremony.
Making a Ceremonial Healing Bundle: Ideally the bundle is created in a community gathering of our closest loved ones who understand what we may be going through and want to support us in the process. This is because when we gather in community healing happens not just for ourselves but for everyone who attends, and as a group the benefits ripple out from us and into our communities.
We will then begin the ceremonial creation of a sacred letting go bundle, for which an image of either ourselves or a loved one is placed at the centre. Flowers and specific herbs are used to represent aspects of the letting go process you are currently in. Once the bundle it made it will sit in a special place in your home for the next 13 months or until the time of our passing. At this point the bundle will either be buried or creamed with us or buried or burned in ceremony upon the completion of the 13 months.
What do we do for the next 13 months? Once we have had our healing work done, and our bundle is created we begin the next piece of the process of healing for the next 13 months or weeks depending on time.
If you are in the dying process: Each month for 13 months we will set about taking one object of ours that has meaning and giving it away to someone we care about. Ideally we are able to spend some time with this loved one so that we can explain why we choose this object for them, and to have some private one on one time to make amends, and let go. it is important that our loved ones do not see the object as us, but rather as a memento of out time together, and the letting go during this process is on both of our parts. I will support you in the choosing of the object and facilitate, if needed, retrieving the object and setting up the meeting for you and your loved one.
If you have lost a loved one: Each month we will take an object or memory we have written down of our loved one and place it in a box with the intent of letting go in small increments. During this process we are aware that at the end of the 13 months this box will be either buried or burned as a symbol of our letting go process. I will support you in the choosing of the memory or object, and I will hold space for you while you process how to let it go, Even-though we will always remember the object or memory, the ceremony of letting it go has great meaning and supports us in our process.
Completing the process: Once we have completed the process, and depending on circumstances, we will gather in ceremony with your community of family of loved ones to let go and mark the deep process we have just been through. The bundle and objects will be buried or burned and we will release spirit boats out and into the water lit with small flames to show the tender and yet beautiful aspect of what it means to be human and experience loss.
I will also follow up with either yourself or your loved ones within a month of our completion ceremony to make sure that everything feels tied up and completed.
“Nikiah thank you so much for all of your support and for the letting go ceremony you created after we lost our baby, it was so meaningful to us, and really helped us to see some light at a very dark time.” Hanne and Stuart.
Living and working on theunceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.