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Create Your Own Mesa para un Altar en la Casa: A Shamanic Healing Altar

Updated: May 11



In today’s intense and busy world, it is very important to have special places where we can recharge, come back into balance, and even heal. While we may find this in nature, we can also create sacred space with a shamanic altar or shrine.


Shamanism acknowledges that everything is energy and that the divine Love-Light out of which all is created is everywhere and in everything. But at the same time, it can be accessed or felt even more easily in and around sacred places. For instance, when we visit a beautiful temple or cathedral, no matter what we believe, we can often feel a powerful presence, or at least a palpable peace.


Shamanism as an earth-rooted spiritual way of life with sacred altars has been traced back millennia in human history. Among some of the proof is in the many Neolithic and Megalithic stone circles found all over the world in places aligned to particular celestial events, such as solstices and equinoxes, or in relationship to other distant stone edifices of a similar structure each to the other.


But we don’t have to wait until we go to a church, temple or mosque to tap into this wonderful spirit, nor do we have to be religious. We also don’t have to live anywhere near an ancient earth altar such as Stonehenge. We can have this luminous spiritual energy focused within what is called in Spanish, a mesa para altar en casa, a shamanic mesa altar in your home where on any given day, we can open it for guidance and nourishment in the stillness of a mysterious and mystical presence.


I have set up fixed altars in my home for decades filled with special objects, statues of the Buddha and the Dalai Lama, crystals, and stones. It felt like a very natural way to externalize my spiritual sense of interconnection with the Earth and Great Beings and Teachers of Light both in the body and out.


For the past 20 years as a shamanic healer, mentor, and spiritual teacher, I have also carried a mesa, or a portable medicine bundle that I use for shamanic energy healings.

I am here to help you start to create your own mesa altar.


Understanding the Role of Mesas and Altars in Shamanic Healing Ritual


The shamanic mesa tradition is central to the spiritual cosmology of the Q’ero medicine people in Peru. These small bundles consisting of a handwoven mesa cloth filled with stones, crystals and other sacred objects, are the mark of a healer-shaman. They are a sacred site connected to Great Beings of Light, healing frequencies of land and waters, and ancestral lineages going back to the ancient Inka and before.


Until more recent times, Q’ero healers and shamans hid their mesas out of sight of others. But in the past few decades, many Q’ero shamans have come forward to offer this sacred practice to any who are of good heart. Each artifact, stone and crystal in a mesa is attuned through meditation, visualization and journeying to particular transformational energies, rituals and sacred powers of Earth and Sky. For instance, my mesa stones and crystals are anchors or seats of power for certain Mountain Spirits, or Apus, as they are called in Quechua, the language of the Q’ero in Peru. Some also hold the energy of the healing initiation I underwent 18 years ago under the tutelage of my teacher, Alberto Villoldo, founder of the Four Winds Society.  They sit in the formation of a medicine wheel—the 4 directions, North-South, East-West. Each of these portals also hold certain healing and spiritual gifts.



What this means is that my mesa is a powerful focal point for healing frequencies and transformational energies. I start any healing ceremony by praying with and opening it. It is actually easy to feel a shift in the energy of the room, even as it automatically shifts my emotional, physical, and spiritual state.


How to Create your Own Shamanic Mesa and Healing Altar


You can start to create your own healing mesa by collecting these essential items:

1)      Five stones and/or crystals of a size to easily hold in the palm of your hand.

2)     A beautiful cloth that is sturdy enough to hold them.

3)     A beautiful tie to wrap around and secure your closed mesa.


You can also perhaps add one or two small objects that feel sacred to you. For instance, if you have a crucifix or a feather or a small picture of a saint.


Place one stone in the center of your mesa cloth, with the other four stones or crystals in a circle around them, each sitting in one of the cardinal directions. In this way, the 5 stones represent the 6 basic foundational portals that hold this physical, space-time continuum together. Besides the 4 directions, there is the Earth below and the Sky above.



Now, you will pick up each stone one at a time and while holding the stone for that direction in your left hand with palms facing forward and down, say the shamanic prayer that I have provided for each. After you have said the prayer, stand and feel the energy come in. Then, take the stone or crystal up to your mouth and breathe that frequency of Love-Light into it 3 times like you are saying “Ah!”  Then put the stone back into its place on the mesa cloth and pick up the next in the order provided below.


Center Stone: For Mother Earth and Father Sky

(Reaching to the Earth)

Beloved Mother Earth,

Rock and stone people,

Tree and plant people,

All those who walk, swim, crawl, fly and creep.

The Powers of Nature and the Forces of the Elements:

I send you so much love and gratitude.

I call upon you to dance with me

In this Medicine Space.

Let us dance the dance of sacred reciprocity,

Exchanging the burdens we each carry,

And together transmuting them

Into gifts of light, love, wholeness, balance, and peace

For one another and our blessed Mother Earth.

Aho.

 

(Reaching to the Sky)

Beloved Mother-Father,

Our Cosmic, Divine Parents,

God-Creator-Spirit,

I send you so much love and gratitude

For the Love-Light out of which you have created All That Is.

I ask you to widen the portals of Love-Light

Here in this medicine space

So that we can know ourselves once again

As interconnected in love and compassion

With all worlds and all beings.

Abo.

 

South Stone (facing the South)

Spirit of the South,

Grandmothers and Grandfathers,

I send you so much love and gratitude.

I call upon you to pour your healing into this medicine space.

Teach me to walk gently in my life,

As I shed stories of lack, limitation, scarcity, and fear.

So that I may harvest the abundant fruits

Of all the good seeds that have been planted,

And give back in sacred reciprocity

To my family, community, and all beings

As an Earthkeeper.

Aho.

 

West Stone (facing the West)

Spirit of the West

Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

I send you so much love and gratitude.

I call upon you to lead me fearlessly,

With eyes wide open,

Into the darkness and even into the land of death.

So that I may befriend all that is in shadow,

And find the deepest wounds

Ready to be transmuted into gifts

Of light, love, harmony and balance.

Help me walk with integrity,

So that I may walk my talk as a Peacemaker.

Aho.

 

North Stone (facing the North)

Spirit of the North,

Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

I send you so much love and gratitude.

I call upon you to lead me to the Great Table of the Soul

Where I may sit in council with the Wise Elders, Ancestors in the Light,

And the Great Cosmic Guardians of Light.

So that I will come to understand

The deeper meaning and purpose of my life,

And harness the highest destiny for all,

As a Wisdomkeeper.

Aho.

 

East Stone (facing the East)

Spirit of the East,

Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

I send you so much love and gratitude.

I ask you to take me above the Great Mountain Spirits

Where I can hear their songs of love,

And see all things through the eyes of the Great Transcendent Mystery,

Standing in my sovereignty

As a co-creator with an in Spirit,

Dreaming a new life and a new world into being

As a Spiritkeeper.

Aho.

 

This is the beginning process of creating a mesa para altar en casa, or a healing mesa. You can add an Animal Ally and a Mountain Spirit in each direction by calling upon them with a welcome message and blowing their energy into the stone in that place on the Medicine Wheel. You can then put pictures of archangels or saints in the mesa. When you have it open, you can offer it sage smoke.


Once you have your sacred altar created, you can then speak to all these beautiful Beings of Light and the Divinity within, through and around you, of all that is on your mind: your troubles and cares, your triumphs and joys, and what you would like help with.

They are already waiting for you! It is in fulfillment of their highest mission and purpose! So, do not hold back! Ask away.


And upon folding up your mesa, you may carry it around and travel with it. Or you can put it on a sacred fixed altar—a mesa para altar en casa—and amplify that vibrational frequency in your home. To learn more about the shamanic mesa, go to this blog: The Healing Mesa Tradition in Shamanic Practice (rachelmannphd.com). Or join Rachel in her classes on Awakened Heart Shamanism. She also can also work with you to create or expand your existing mesa practice in her Shamanic Apprenticeship Program.


With more than 20 years of experience, Rachel Mann PhD dedicates herself to being your shamanic healer, spiritual teacher, mentor & coach. She triggers the fires of powerful healing in her clients. Her spiritual teachings stir your soul, her  mentoring and coaching build regain authenticity, build your confidence, courage, and empowerment. .Over 2,000 clients worldwide have manifested their authenticity and creative and spiritual gifts in the world. 


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