I was introduced to Carissa Schumacher in September of this year through two different friends. They both told me I needed to speak to her. They said she would make sense of my world and change my life for the better.
They explained that Carissa is an empathic intuitive, spirit medium, “Pure Source” energy channel, energy therapist and psychic intuition trainer. That seemed like a lot to live up to, but—after waiting one month for my appointment, as she was completely booked up—we finally spoke ... for three hours.
During that conversation, it was as if time stood still. She shocked me with knowledge about my life, where I was going and how I arrived at this point. She really blew my mind. Afterward, I kept our conversation to myself to ponder all that we discussed. And I couldn’t stop thinking about this spiritual journey she would be leading in December in Sedona, Arizona.
Finally, earlier this month, I decided that I would go on the trip and enlisted a friend to come along on the adventure. I saw this magical experience in Sedona as a celebration of the Winter Solstice and also myself. As the year was drawing to a close, I wanted to honor myself for all that I accomplished and all that I still longed to do. It was an intimate trip for a luminous group of people, all on different journeys.
I made the right choice: the experience was powerful, joyous and liberating and that was only the beginning. It offered a space in which to breath and just be ourselves. There was nothing I needed to achieve: I could just honor my true self, free from judgment and expectation. I was there to revitalize, strengthen and illuminate the sacred essence of all that I am.
The four-day trip was led by Carissa and Greywolf, an honored Lakota tribal elder, shamanic healer and guide. And each day was special, soulful and memorable. Winter Solstice marks a reunion, ending, beginning and rebirth all at once and I was at one of the world’s energetic vortex epicenters to experience the unimaginable beauty and peace. As Sedona is known for its powerful volcanic red rocks, the days were spent hiking to spots like the Sacred Shaman’s Cove to reconnect with Mother Earth, learn grounding techniques and release soul wounds.
Our first destination was to the top of Airport Mesa, reached via a small climb at dusk. There, I began to understand the spiritual connection of the people who came on the trip. All of us were stargazing, looking to gain or release something different. A bond was formed in those early moments and grew quite strong throughout the journey.
The other spots we visited (Wind Caves, Crystal Creek and our rainy meditation at Isis Mound Vortex) were captivating and surreal. Time went by so slowly and every moment of being present was all encompassing. I actually forgot to eat and drink, as my focus was so in the moment. By the end of the days, I was exhausted. My body felt like it was turned upside down. The energy was stirring my nervous system and needed to be released.
Winter Solstice was celebrated on Apache sacred lands during a beautiful Medicine Wheel ceremony. We were given the opportunity to give a verbal, physical or written offering to the Great Fire, which could be a gift to Mother Earth, something we wished to release for healing and rebirth or even a dream we hoped to manifest. Carissa let us know that we would be in the company of ancestral spirits of chiefs, shamans and ceremonial elders, who have been holding sacred space upon these lands for millenniums. Thus, anything we wished to contribute would have a heightened and magnified vibrational current. Giving it with respect, honor and gratitude was of the utmost importance.
We were lucky enough to witness the most unusual and unreal picturesque image that evening: the sky lit up like a fire and, from a distance, it looked like some lost civilization from ancient Egypt. All of the red rock formations were illuminated—almost golden. It was breathtaking and glorious to see how beautiful the world could be. We were a powerful bunch. In fact, Carissa and Greywolf had never seen anything like this before. It was a gift.
Our last day was spent going to Amitabha Stupa, a sacred structure of Buddha. They say: "All negative karma and obscurations...are purified by dreaming of a stupa, seeing a stupa...and even being touched by the shadow of a stupa." Stainless Beam Sutra, Lord Buddha. This was just another testament to the energetic power that Sedona embodies.
As the evening came upon us, we were brought to Greywolf’s home, where he had organized our Inipi purification ceremony at his sacred sweat lodge. He had spent the day heating all 28 of the rocks that would be placed into the middle of the tented structure, made of animal skins. On mats on the ground, we sat closely together, chanting, speaking, meditating and inhaling the medicinal scents of sage and sweet greens. All the while, we used our collective energies to rid ourselves of anything unwanted. The ceremony lasted an hour and a half and walking out of the lodge was the most freeing feeling I have yet to experience. Sitting by the fire and getting ready for the closing ceremony, I let go of the past and surrendered to the present. Carissa spoke her last words:
Energies of the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the Stars... we thank you for being Present with us today to aid and assist us in our activation and manifestation as peaceful warriors of light. We thank you for granting us the courage to turn within and to surrender our hearts, our bodies, our minds, and our spirits to the higher purpose and higher truth of the divinity inherent to our humanity. And moving forwards may we be greeted with the energies of love, peace, and abundance within the mirror of the world for we have illuminated those energies foremost within the mirror of self.
Energies of the 4 directions, 4 colors, 4 winds, we ask that you may surge together to create one clear path towards the heart of the peaceful warrior of light so that we may stand as beacons... illuminated within our truth, discerning within our wisdom, balanced within our grace, ruthless within our compassion, and unconditional within our love. May we emanate, may we c-create, may we be.
We love, thank and honor you for being present with and within us today, tomorrow and always.
One truth, one love, one heart, one song, one path, one tribe, one Creator, one Source, one Light. Aho Mitakuye Oya'sin. Aum Shantih. Amen.
During this short amount of time, what I had experienced and taken away was inconceivable. I now feel energized, happy, relaxed and ready for the new year. Taking time for me and spiritually connecting to nature and the core of who I am was exactly what I needed.
I’m looking forward to 2014 and all it has to offer!