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    During yesterday and today I was undertaking the first four rites of the nine Munay Ki rites.

    It was held at a place called ‘Meg’s Place’ in a nearby town, this seems to be a place that is available for people giving New Age or similarly themed workshops. The room was lavishly decorated with pictures, mandala’s, little glass angels (for sale), and there was a large table with pamphlets, crystals etc etc. It was heated by an elegantly vase shaped pot-belly stove and had a small kitchen and bathroom attached. It was quite nice.

    Before I get too far into talking about what we were doing, I’d like to describe some of the tools they used. They used these gorgeous tools for smudging. Two of them had were basically the whole wings from spotted owls (road kill, presumably), with fur beneath and then fixed to antler. These had a very impressive movement of air. There were also a couple of others with wedge tailed eagle, raven and owl feathers, one fixed to antler and one with woven beads on the  quill of the eagle feather in red and yellow, with dangling beaded tassels. There was also a ‘drone flute’ which I’d never seen one of before, and ’singing drums’. I particularly enjoyed being ’smudged’ by the drums, they weren’t loud but held a pleasing resonance. Apparently there’s a chap in Reynella who makes these and holds workshops. Looking at their products it’s evident that is where Sa and Claudio got their equipment. I’m now eying off the drum workshops. It’s a pity the kids aren’t older ‘cos I bet it would be fun. Here is their site. http://www.nativeamericandrums.com.au/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

    So, we got smudged on arrival each day, both by sage and by drums. Then the six spirits were called to open ‘medicine space’ and a talking stick was handed around so we could do some initial sharing. I was amazed because the talking stick had actual beaver fur on it, and was somewhat distracted for a time by wondering where and how beaver fur was obtained in Australia. During the ‘talking stick’ times I got heartily tired of hearing the words ‘beautiful’, ’sacred’ and ‘gratitude’ but hey, I’m sure they meant it and it was appreciated by someone else.

    So, Friday involved receiving the Healers Rite, calling upon the energy of Jaguar, Eagle and Quetzalcoatl into the hara, heart and third eye chakras, and then blowing the spirits into the hands. This was a bit of a surprise for me, I was quite startled when Claudio did that. We then practiced the rite twice upon each other (which was done with the other rites too).

    For the next rite, the Bands of Power we needed a Pi Stone. This is a donut shaped stone (about pendent size) and to avoid any arguments about who got what stone they were all put into a baggie and passed around for us to put our hands in and pick one. Mine is lapis. The stones, which have been blessed with the Spirit keepers rite, were then used to put the five bands around the body.

    On the second day (today) we did the Harmony rite, which puts the energy of the four animal archetypes and then the three angelic like beings into the seven chakras. This was done lying down. Sa did this initiation on me and the first time she did it, it felt like a hand was pressing on me where she was working, but she wasn’t actually touching me. I peeked to make sure  ;). When she reached the solar plexus chakra my stomach started hurting and actually kept it up for about 15-20 minutes afterwards, which wasn’t fabulous.  I didn’t feel much on the other chakras.  Later, when working with one of the other students who was doing the rite to me, it felt to me like some sort of wheeled object was moving slowly from my base chakra to roughly below my heart chakra, slowly moving up and then moving down again. It was very weird. This repeated itself 3 or 4 times and then subsided. When discussing this with the other student afterwards, we decided it was likely the beginning of the Kundalini energy movement, which is just called ’serpent energy’ in the Laika terminology. Additionally, when she was working at my sixth chakra it felt as if she was pressing hard on my forehead, and my teeth actually started to ache!

    The final rite that I undertook was the Seers rite, which involves creating two bands of light to link the third eye chakra, the visual cortex area at the back of the brain, and the heart chakra. It is supposed to help you to see with the eyes of the heart, and to build the ‘Witness’ sense (what I like to call ‘It’s Not My Movie’. This rite used the Pi stone again.

    One thing that was NOT mentioned in some of the books, and is apparently quite important for the continued development of these rites is called the ‘fire ceremony’. Basically, it involves using a candle or similar, and re-doing the rites on yourself, cupping energy from above the candle and ‘feeding’ the ’spirit seeds’ that are implanted during the rites. We were told it would be likely that it would take a few weeks of regular fire ceremonies to fully develop these initiations. It is my personal idea that it might be possible to use a moxa stick as well, as it sounds very very similar to the use of moxa to put chi into an acupressure point.

    A few final notes. We did the chakra clearing exercise sitting in a chair with no problems. Some people got quite confused about how to go clockwise and counter-clockwise during this. I sat there listening to the confusion growing, then gave my own suggestion, which was to imagine that the left shoulder was one o’clock (1 looks like l for left) and then the left hip became 4 o’clock, the right hip 8 o’clock etc. Sa exclaimed ‘Ah, logic!’ and liked the suggestion very much.

    The other things were that it is important to open and close personal medicine space, and to express gratitude when working. The coordinators are planning on passing around everyones email addresses, and hopefully I can get one of the others to give me the rest of the initiations at a later time. I think that by at least doing the foundation rites, I have a reasonable grasp of what is involved, at least enough to continue to an extent on my own.

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