Rituals as Remembrance

We are remembering and being re-Membered when we enact a ritual bridging the seen and unseen worlds. The simple act of offering a ritual begins when we become quiet, listen, and observe the natural world. Rituals emerge from the spaciousness of nuna (soul) surrounded by the living pulsing heartbeat of our mother earth, father sky, cosmic canopy, and all our relations. Stepping into a sacred relationship creates a dialogue that unites us with the Teqsemuyu (the divine cosmos or circle of origin).

Medicine Basket of Offerings – Photo by Deborah Sullivan

Medicine Basket of Offerings – Photo by Deborah Sullivan


We enact a simple ritual with the medicine of love when we are sitting at the mesa, beneath a tree relative, feeding an apacheta, creating a despacho, or offering a ceremony. Our beloved maestro, don Oscar, reminds us that ritual begets relationship—relationship ignites love—and love begets life. This honoring of reciprocity gives birth to remembrance.

I love to hike in the mountains and offer rituals to the mama pacha (natural world). Here, in Southern California, we experienced an El Nino rainy season in 1998 that radically changed the topography of the land and trails in the backcountry. On a sunny day, a friend and I set out to hike a favorite trail in Oso Canyon. We drove as far as the river crossing, which was closed, and set out on foot. Stepping into the swiftly moving waters was dicey and I had to steady each footstep as I waded through the knee-deep current and over the slippery moss-covered substrate to arrive at the other side.

Oso Canyon - Photo by The Silent Hiker

Oso Canyon - Photo by The Silent Hiker


I paused to dry my feet, tug my boots on, and marvel at the lush green foliage fanning out in a velvety carpet of richly-hued grasses and leaves that glistened in the rays of the early morning sunlight. I offered a prayer of gratitude to the golden-leaved cottonwood trees whispering in the gentle breeze, their soft kisses brushing the sky. We followed the roaring creek alongside the road until we reached the Upper Oso Campground, and then headed up Camuesa Canyon Road to the Santa Cruz trailhead. The birdsongs and rushing water were music to my soul. Overhead a Red-tailed hawk soared on the thermals, piercing the calm of the blue sky with its calls. Hawks often accompany me on the trails, and the call of a hawk reminds me to change perspective and look with far-seeing eyes.

Entering the canyon, you can feel the presence of the Awkikuna (plant and nature spirits), Malkikuna (tree beings), and the Apukuna (sacred mountain deities). The faces of the ancient ones were etched on the rocks, reminding me of the Tirakuna, and the beauty of the trees and mountains surrounded me in all directions.

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc


A beautiful horizon awaited us around each bend as we slowly climbed the steep inclines by way of the switchbacks. I chanted part of a verse from a Navajo Earth Spirit Prayer, “I am the spirit of the earth; it is all beauty, it is all beauty. The feet of the earth are my feet; the legs of the earth are my legs; the strength of the earth is my strength; all that surrounds the earth surrounds me. It is all in beauty, it is all in beauty.” Those were the words that guided my footsteps. I left Mikhushankus (ritual offerings of tobacco, cedar, cornmeal or strands hair) along the way. The offerings received phukuy (blowing breath and prayers) before resting them on the face of the earth.

Upper Oso – Santa Cruz Trail 1998

Upper Oso – Santa Cruz Trail 1998


After hours of walking I sat down and looked out over the solemn beauty of the land from the canyons to the tops of the peaks. The thrum of beating wings announced a hummingbird circling close by—very close by. The magnificent bird darted to the left and flitted around behind me, then to the right, hovering mere inches from my face. It zigged and zagged to-and-fro like an aerial dancer, its jewel-toned feathers iridescent in the sunlight, its heart beating twenty times per second, its wings beating fifty. It stared into my eyes and then zoomed off into the canopy of a Coastal oak, disappearing in the shadows of the leaves. I was stunned by the visitation and ushered into the Sacred. The hummingbird’s medicine infused me with spirit. The mama pacha and hummingbird were guiding me home to the seat of my soul. When I slowly came back to my body, tears were streaming down my cheeks. The vista I found did not come by way of summiting a mountaintop, this vista was an internal one—seeing and being seen by the sacredness of the natural world.

Photo by Zdenek-Machacek

Photo by Zdenek-Machacek


My hike back down the trail had become more vibrant and conversant with the mama pacha. Golden light was casting shadows where it had been shining earlier. The winds were whipping up as they often do late afternoon in the canyon, clearing out any energy within me that was ready to move on and be recycled. I was carrying the sacred back with me as medicine for my beauty walk, and my feet felt lighter as they touched the earth.

The act of offering a ritual infuses the mundane with magic, transforming obstacles into medicine and awakening the beauty inside and all around us. Ceremonial rituals can be elaborate, but they can simply be one breath with a stone relative or k’intu in-hand. By breathing in our intention and breathing out prayers with love, our heart is holding sacred space. We play between the mundane and magical, the ordinary and extraordinary, transforming and being transformed.

Ritual and prayer bring sacredness into our lives, honoring the great mystery and all we embrace as holy. We become interconnected with all our relatives and take our place in the sacred web of life. Ritual offerings guide us to our soul home—uniting us with the ancestors, holy ones, and the shining ones that remember us. Our sacred rituals, however simple, manifest as medicine for restoration and harmony in all worlds as our souls walk in beauty.

K’intu Photo by Tom Stewart

K’intu Photo by Tom Stewart


“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi

Deborah Sullivan
Plant Spirit Compacto
Photo by Deborah Sullivan – White Sage

Photo by Deborah Sullivan – White Sage


Our plant spirit allies offer a beautiful way of uniting nuna (our soul) with the sacred hoop of our mesa. We are drawn into a communion with the ancient plant lineages when we enter the plant’s medicine. Through this intimate relationship a compacto emerges allowing that inasmuch as we pick the plants, the plants pick us. In this way they speak to us revealing ways to respect and offer their medicine.

The plants have an interconnected living consciousness like the cosmovision of our mesa. Our plant relatives inhabit a body, spirit, intelligence, and soul. When we partake of their medicine, a sacred relationship is created, which deepens our trust in their healing ways.

The shamanic art of consecration, through prayer and humble intentions, invokes the Holy Ones, the Shining Ones, and the Tirakuna (watchers) around the mama pacha (natural world) to come forward. We listen, attune and receive the guidance of the plant relatives as they bless us and lovingly cleanse, and anoint our mesas, khuyas, apachetas, and ceremonial rituals.

Rituals are an evolutionary art that beautifies our spiritual vision and humanness.

Don Oscar Miro-Quesada

Photo by Emiliano Campobello - White Sage Bundles

Photo by Emiliano Campobello - White Sage Bundles


Many moons ago I was invited to a ceremony for a man who had died. It was led by the spiritual Grandmother, healer, and leader of the Santa Ynez Chumash Indians. The Chumash are the keepers of the Western Gate and their origin legend tells of a Rainbow Bridge. In their cosmology, Hutash (Earth Mother), created a bridge out of a Whishtoyo (rainbow) so the people could cross from Linuw (the islands) to the mainland. This is the place where they watch the spirits exit this world with the setting sun and return to the path of the Milky Way.

The spiritual Grandmother brought a large suitcase packed with white sage to the ceremony. She laid out a colorful blanket and gathered us around in a circle. She opened the suitcase and gently fanned the air with an eagle wing, sending the aroma of freshly picked white sage wafting through the air. She began to tell a story and sang old songs with a wansak (clapper stick) carved out of an elderberry branch. She sang to the ancestors and the spirits of the land as their presence permeated the room. A portal opened and we witnessed the man crossing over the Rainbow Bridge to the star path of the Milky Way. We had traveled between worlds in healing service to his soul’s journey.

In that moment I received a visitation, an initiation from the spirit of the white sage. I was called to the art of consecration by remembering my compacto with the plant allies.

Grandmother placed mounds of sage in the middle of the circle and showed us how to make bundles with the colorful ribbons used for prayer ties. She said to make four bundles, and three of those were to be giveaways. We made the bundles and listened to stories of the man’s life and witnessed his soul flight to the Milky Way. My hands were covered in a black, sticky substance, the essential oil that is the life blood of the plant. The air was redolent with the perfume of the sage. I rubbed my hands together and took a long deep breath that filled my whole being with reverence and gratitude.

Photo by Deborah Sullivan - Black Sage

Photo by Deborah Sullivan - Black Sage


There are several species of sage indigenous to this area: White Sage, Purple Sage, Black Sage, and Hummingbird Sage. The California white sage, salvia apiana, or waykway (Chumash), has many healing properties. The mountains are covered in chaparral and sages both large and small. The fragrances of the coastal sage shrubs—with their shimmering silver leaves—are ignited by the warmth of the sun and float on the breezes. From April to Mid-July white sage plants bejeweled in white and pale lavender flowers, send spires, upwards of eight feet into the sky. Pollen from the white sage glitters in the sunlight, resembling gold dust carried on the wind. Sages more than a year old are deeply rooted, enabling them to survive fires and drought. The intelligence of these wise, herbal relatives teaches us to root deeply into the Pachamama and to adapt with the changing cycles and seasons of our lives.

Here in our backcountry is a place named, Sage Hill, which is covered by a sea of white sage shrubs. The plants live between the Pachamama and the sky canopy—receiving the sun by day and the stars at night. I talk to the sages, telling them how I intend to use their medicine, and then make an offering consisting of either my hair, a libation, cedar, cornmeal, tobacco, or a k’intu. In the spirit of sustainability, the compacto leads me to pick only what is needed. I whisper my prayers and phukuy (blow) them into the wind.

Photo by Deborah Sullivan - Apacheta Blessings with Libation, Sage & Cedar

Photo by Deborah Sullivan - Apacheta Blessings with Libation, Sage & Cedar


We are calling on the plants in a simple act of love and gratitude when we consecrate with sacred smoke, anoint with essential oils, or spray with the infused life-giving waters of our mother, una (water). Thank you for your beauty, thank you for your presence, thank you for the ancient medicine that lives in your body, roots, stems, leaves, berries, flowers, needles, and seeds. We see you transforming our altar ground and receive you in our hearts.

A synergy occurs between the seen and unseen realms when we collaborate with the plant spirits. We call in our plant spirit allies to cleanse, and bless us when we sit at the mesa, the apacheta, or sacred places. This partnership energizes the altar or ceremonial ground, clearing and recycling any residual hucha (energetic density). Plant relatives connect us to all the elementals and cycles of the Pachamama. Our compacto with the plant spirits is strengthened when we practice the art of consecration.

Photo by Amy Hazard - Black Sage in Local Mountains

Photo by Amy Hazard - Black Sage in Local Mountains


There is nothing in this world that does not speak.

Everything and every being is continually calling out

its nature, its character, and its secret; and the more

the inner sense is open, the more capable it becomes

of hearing the voice of all things.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Deborah Sullivan
Honoring the Darkness - Becoming Hollow Bones

“Some nights stay up till dawn, as the moon sometimes does for the sun. Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way of a well, then lifted out into light.” Rumi

As Winter Solstice returns, I feel in my bones the ancient ones guiding me to hibernate in the primordial cave of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). During this season of the year, I attune with her rhythms and resonate with her cycles. Like a compass turning me inward to release, rest, and reflect, I walk toward darkness. I’m drawn into reverence and ritual to honor her Holy Season. Holy! Holy! Holy!

Photo: Teddy Kelley

Photo: Teddy Kelley

Many indigenousness cultures have origin stories wherein they emerge from the heart of the earth—the mother’s womb—and return cyclically for renewal, prayer, and ceremony. The Hopi (Peaceful People) offer their prayers in a Kiva deep underground where the Kachinas (ancestral spirits) come to receive their prayers and take them back up to their Apu, the San Francisco Peaks. They are the intermediaries between the people and the Holy Ones. The time is ripe for consciously choosing to lie down, rest, and dream with the Mother in the pervasive silence of her quiet season. We curl up and dream in the pervasive silence of the season. The Pueblo People say ‘the earth needs to rest for a while’. We need to be dormant so that we may become fertile again, incubating our dreams and visions as the days grow longer with the return of sunlight. We rest so we may dream with our shadow.

Photo: Adlers Jilden

Photo: Adlers Jilden

“Full moon,

Where will you be going from here?

Into a retreat.

Why do you take a retreat after fullness?

To make myself full again.”

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Photo: Marcos Lovenberg

Photo: Marcos Lovenberg

The heartbeat of the night travelers calls us on a journey to surrender to the darkness, not run away from it. We invoke our beloved mother, father, creator, creatrix, Wiraquocha (Great Originating Mystery), and animal allies. Kneeling with our foreheads kissing the earth, we offer prayers to the Pachamama and then feed the –Tirakuna (Watchers) and all the Holy Ones. In the sanctity of her womb we are refined in her alchemical waters where anything blocking our usefulness will be transmuted so we may become hollow bones. The darkness is emptying us and purifying the vestiges of stories, old traumas, thoughts, and feelings that no longer serve the great work. For me, Jaguar is by my side mulching the dense energies and recycling by mikhuy (feeding) them to the denizens in the lower world.

During the Winter Solstice we are called to take refuge in the abode of the soul, to travel to the Ukhu Pacha (inner realm). There are many pathways into the sanctity of the darkness. Life invites us to consciously commune in the unseen depths, and many life transitions strike like a bolt of lightning, shattering our world and casting us into darkness. Plunged into the dark night of the soul, we take painful shapeshifting journeys that deliver us intimately closer to Spirit. Where the duality of pairings balance and inform one another—grief and love, fear and trust, dark and light, vulnerability and courage. We’re tossed about in upheaval and uncertainty, riding the waves from moment to moment—some arrive gently, others like tsunamis. We surrender to the experience by listening and trusting our soul’s intuition not to recoil, resist or run away. We endure by trusting that there will be a new shore.

JChopiartist - Background image courtesy of Kathy Franklin

JChopiartist - Background image courtesy of Kathy Franklin

The vital waters of life flow from the darkness when we’re submerged in the mercy of the nubilous depths. We’re guided on pilgrimages into those primordial waters, so that we may become hollow bones, sacred empty vessels to fill with munay (love) and K’anchay (luminosity). We are held in the tenderness, mercy, and compassion of the Divine Mother’s love. She comes sometimes as the Black Madonna. Andre Harvey reveals her as, “the blackness of divine mystery celebrated by the great mystics who see the divine as forever unknowable, mysterious, hidden from all our senses in a light so dazzling it registers on them as darkness.” She is the Queen of Nature symbolizing an urgent call for reciprocity and Earth-honoring ways. Willka Nusta (the black virgin), is an Incan mythological princess of the black light. The mystery of the black light reveals the Yanantin (sacred pair) pairing of light and darkness. The holy coupling of light and dark embody the sacred duality of their complementary union.

Chaco Canyon Nightfall 1998 – Photo: Bill Hertzog

Chaco Canyon Nightfall 1998 – Photo: Bill Hertzog

I am so grateful for all the sacred strands of life’s lessons that lead me to my soul’s tapestry of becoming an embodied spirit. Many years ago, when my beloved and I were in Taos during the holy season, a Taos Pueblo elder drew a map to Chaco Canyon on the dusty window of our truck and handed us a piece of heartwood from a pinyon pine for our fire. He prayed in his language and waved us on our way. We had just chosen a drum and he instructed us to play it after we had settled in the canyon and lit the campfire. We hadn’t planned on making a pilgrimage to Chaco in the dead of winter, but there we were in the dark of the night heading to a place we’d never been with a map scrawled on the window of our truck, a drum, and a piece of wood given to us by a revered elder. I was already filled with a sense of wonder and magic from earlier that morning when we watched the first snowfall blanket the Blue Mountains during a sunrise Turtle Dance at the Pueblo, and I could sense that the ancestors and Holy Ones were guiding us as we four-wheeled and bobbled our way along the rutted backroads. When we arrived at Chaco everything was alive and speaking. The presence of the ones who had come before us was in the rocks, the ancient kivas, and the starry night sky; we were on hallowed ground. When my beloved lit the fire with the wood, we were instantly connected with the spirit of nina (fire element) and its life-giving magic. The first drumbeat sync’d us with the heartbeat of the Pachamama while the ancient ones infused the cold of the long night with the medicine of their light in the dark.

Adams Calendar South Africa - Photo Ajaya Sommers

Adams Calendar South Africa - Photo Ajaya Sommers

As children of the Pachamama and Inti (Father Sun), we return again and again to receive the medicine of the darkness from the womb of Mother Earth. We emerge when the light of the sacred dawn returns. We become hollow bones, so that the light and love of the universe can stream through us, imparting love, wisdom, and compassion in all directions. Our passion for our service inspires our compassion, igniting the courage to dive into the Ukhu Pacha (inner realm). We incubate in the womb of darkness to return and shine as beings of the light. We restore wholeness and bring balance by living the Earth-honoring ways in reciprocity with the sacred web of life. We emerge from the protective darkness of the womb and harken to the wind whispering “Wilka, Wilka, Wilka, Wiracochan, Nunay” (‘Sacred, Sacred, Sacred is the Living Soul of Creation’).

Contact me if you would like to schedule a shamanic energy medicine or soul path mentoring session.

Come see some of the new audio offerings in the audio shop.

Shop for aromatic alchemical blends.

Deborah Sullivan
Rise of the Sacred Feminine
Photo - Bill Hertzog

Photo - Bill Hertzog

The rise of the Spirit of the Feminine is now. She is a weaver of visions and dreams known by many names—curandera, medicine woman, shaman, wild woman, and wise woman. The Sacred Feminine is the life-giver breathing life into all her children. She’s the incubator of infinite capacities, restoring the being of Gaia, Pachamama, and all that has been disconnected, abandoned and forgotten. We are held in her loving arms just as we are in the grit and grace of our humanness.

Trust in the waqyay (call) to fulfill the dreams of the ancient ones and awaken humankind in love, light, and beauty. I entered a sacred relationship with the living Earth and the cosmos when I made room for the sacred feminine in my womb, my heart, and received her wisdom into my mesa ground. Now, I dance with her, my feet kissing the earth as I walk in service.

Painting Ikoshy - Life-Giver

Painting Ikoshy - Life-Giver

I pray for guidance from the sacred feminine—Creatrix, Beloved Mother, and Pachamama—while sitting with the dark moon. Benevolent blessings are showered one by one through the infinite faces of the feminine upon Mother Earth and all her children. She enters our hearts whether we are in darkness or light and reaches out with her compassionate hands to take us home to the restoration of our soul.

The sacred feminine is loving and inclusive to all. She is the sacred elements—her body is of the mountains, rivers, oceans, clouds, trees, and animals. We embody her and midwife the medicine of munay (unlimited love) into the world when we resonate with her love. We are not separate from nature, and there are no separations between male and female, human and animal.

The sacred feminine is the holy ground of oneness that unites opposites rather than seeing them as irreconcilable differences in conflict with one another. The spirit of the feminine weaves differences together as holy pairs, as helpmates fashioning a tapestry from the strands of male and female, light and dark, love and indifference, anger and forgiveness. She intertwines disparate elements into a web of wholeness and holiness, so that they may dance harmoniously together in the pukyay kawsay, (game of life).

Ikoshy - Changing Woman

Ikoshy - Changing Woman

I’ve had many visitations from her over the decades. We have a reciprocal relationship, I call to her and she summons me. The sacred feminine came to me as part of an initiation during a dark night of the soul. I was praying for guidance after the upheaval of a painful divorce when she arrived as a mysterious presence filling the room. A gentle breeze wafted over me. I sensed a hand on my shoulder and a tall shining one standing next to me. She guided me to a place not of this world, but behind the veil with the holy mountains and the starry sky canopy above. I did not know her name or that she originated from a Navajo Creation Story. She called herself Changing Woman (Asdzáán Nádleehé), and showed me ways to regenerate myself again and again through the cycles and seasons of my life. I trusted deeply in the visions guiding me, and felt her medicine in my bones. Her presence is always with me. She is behind the veil with the Holy Ones, inspiring each step I take walking in beauty on Mother Earth.

Her reflection can be seen in the face of a child, in a two-legged, four-legged, or a winged one—her spirit is everywhere and in everything. We receive her messages in the wind, her heartbeat in the earth, her fluidity in the movement of the water. She is the primordial water—the mother of us all. Let her spirit illuminate your heart like the first rays of the sacred dawn. Take refuge at her compassionate hearth where glowing fire melts the frozen shadows covering the soul and rises to the ether.

Photo by Aurelien-Designatic

Photo by Aurelien-Designatic

The Pachakuti Mesa Tradition is a universal medicine ground, uniting cross-cultural wisdom ways into our mesa. In the PMT Jaguar aligns in the East with Inti, the medicine of the sun on the masculine side of the mesa. Its element is nina (fire). In the Mayan calendar, Jaguar represents the animal ally for the sacred feminine on the day of I’x and its element is water. The spots on a Jaguar's coat symbolize the heavenly stars to the Mayan culture. This magnificent jungle cat is a protector of all that is sacred on the mama pacha (nature). Jaguar walks the earth and speaks of the great mystery in the stars, bridging the terrestrial and the celestial. Jaguar is an ally in my medicine service that I invite into my heart, my mesa, and my beauty walk. When I call in Jaguar I feel a holy pairing of male and female—androgynous beyond form. They create a unified field of medicine that serves the great work.

The spirit of the feminine awakens the original instructions to live in ayni (sacred reciprocity). We give back through ceremony, through the sacred actions that embody our prayers, feeding that which gives us life. She infuses the cosmovision of the PMT mesa ground and all the holy places we offer rituals, ceremonies, and prayers. Her spirit dances in the wind delivering our prayers in all directions.

She lives in the mythos of the sky and earth creation stories around the planet. Honor her in the many forms through which she’s called: Osun, Hathor, Sekhmet, Isis, Durga, Kali, Coatlicue, Changing Woman, Hahay-i wu-uti (Grandmother Katsina), Palhik Mana (Water Maiden), White Buffalo Calf Woman, Guadalupe, Brigid, Tara, Mother Mary, Black Madonna and Kwan Yin.

There are as many ways to mikhuna (give offerings) to her as there are hearts and hands to send them. I am often called to Una (sacred water element), I talk to her and confide in her. Her reflections bring a courageous truth to what is transforming within me. I look and listen to the messages being reflected when I sit in silence by a stream, river, or ocean. Simple offerings can be given through tears, tobacco, herbs or a libation. When I phukuy (blowing) prayers into the sacred waters she is remembered and fed. When we feed the life-giver we seed the dreams for a beautiful world, for all our relations, and all the children on Pachamama.

Photo - Bill Hertzog

Photo - Bill Hertzog

In beauty before me I walk,

In beauty behind me I walk,

In beauty below me I walk,

In beauty all around me I walk,

It is finished in beauty,

It is finished in beauty,

It is finished in beauty,

It is finished in beauty,

The mountains, I become part of it.

The herbs, the evergreen,

I become part of it.

The morning mists, the clouds,

The gathering waters,

I become a part of it.

The dew drops, the pollen,

I become a part of it.

Walking Thunder - Dine’ Medicine Woman

The trees, plants and grass that grow

upon her are like her hair.

The stones and rocks are like her bones.

The water and natural resources that flow

in her are like her blood.

Until we know her as a living breathing being,

it’s only then that we can honor her.

Belinda P. Eriacho Dine’ and Ashwii Elder

Deborah Sullivan
Ofrenda - A Love Offering
Love Offering Kintu 1.JPG

One simple gesture, the K’intu – enough, nothing and everything. I am a prayer walker in this world and in all worlds offering a simple K’intu, speaking from my heart as an invitation to unite all that I love. I’m walking a beautyway path of service to all our relations, the next seven generations and beyond. One k’intu sent with intention reverberates out into all seven directions.

Prayer is the bridge to the unknown inviting the unknown to be made visible. Here at the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean, I often make ritual feedings, (Mikhushankus), to Mama Cocha. I can feel the presence of the watchers (Tirakuna) and all the holy elements watching while I sprinkle white sage, cornmeal, tobacco or a libation on the sand. All that is sacred to me is being restored in beauty, with each gesture and offering bringing balance and harmony to all worlds.

Last fall I offered a ceremony in my community. Most everyone was new to the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. I set up a mesa and called in the Cosmovision, called in the ancestors, spirit helpers, animal and plant allies, and offered gratitude to the spirits of this hallowed land. The ceremony was called to honor our grief with love. The altar was adorned with carefully placed pictures and personal effects in reverence to our loved ones, our memories of them imbued in a pair of boots, a necklace, envelopes, papers with notes, a heart shaped rock, and a pouch containing a memento. The keepsakes were placed there to honor those who have made their journey to the stars.

The ritual that guided our circle was the offering of one, three-leaf k’intu from each person. I was awed by the countenance on each of our brother’s and sister’s faces as they held their first k’intus, peering into the face of the great mystery. The portals opened, and we were shapeshifting into receptacles receiving and transmitting this loving energy to one another, to our loved ones, and to the Pachamama. The space was infused with the scent of the fresh picked bay leaves, and as they breathed their first breath into the k’intus, the atmosphere was palpable with potent magic and medicine from the seen and unseen worlds. Around the circle we were being transported by the language of the soul, as we silently, or in whispers, prayed what was in our hearts. As they touched their k’intus to their foreheads, hearts and bellies the energy was infused with the sacred, and one could sense the hand of the Holy Ones inspiring and guiding the communion. A deep state of reverence filled the room like a transparent mist. The portals opened, and our hearts became vessels from which to talk to spirit, listen to spirit, and receive guidance. All that we love was transformed by this intimate conversation, consecration, and communion. All this in one simple gesture of a three-leaf k’intu.

Love Offering Abolone 1.JPG


I was guided to carry the prayers we had breathed into the k’intus to the holy element of water; to Mama Cocha. Everyone had placed their k’intus into an abalone shell. The abalone shell is a medicine arte, a holy vessel reflecting rainbow light. The shell arte symbolizes everlasting life carrying with it the wisdom that we are family with the living sea. The abalone reminds us of our interdependence within the web of life. It is a revered receptacle to gestate and offer our prayers.

Love Offering Abolone 2.JPG

Nearby to where I stood in the sand, the sea birds were gathering to feed. From out of the vast, blue sky of late afternoon, they arrived both gliding and with wings fluttering as heavenly hues shone down, reflected in the cool, wet sand receiving my footsteps. During the magic hour when the sun begins its descent into evening, the rocks, trees and mountains reflect the golden glow. The gentle wind soothed my skin and sent ripples out across the water. I breathed deep into my heart the comingling of these sanctified energies. I placed the abalone beside my feet, sprinkled the cornmeal, and watched it intermingle with the textures of the glistening sand surrounding the abalone shell. The prayers, like hungry little birds nested within the k’intus, awaited their release into the natural world. One could sense their journey as they readied themselves for flight. There was a stillness behind the veil of all the rhythmic waves of movement. I was enveloped by the exquisite beauty and the raw unbridled forces of nature. Mama Cocha surged up to where I stood kissing my feet with her salty waters, and on that day her frothy, white foam engulfed the abalone shell bringing with it sami, a bubbly life force energy. The animated effervescence of sami swirled about, washing the k’intus and initiating a playful delivery of the prayers. The heaviness of the grieving during the ceremony had been transmuted into the lightness of love. Sami blessed us and delivered the prayers into Mama Cocha’s holy womb, spreading them around the Pachamama and up to the celestial canopy; the beauty of the natural world (mama pacha) awaits our remembering. One simple gesture, the K’intu – enough, nothing and everything.

Love Offering Abolone 3.JPG

Navajo Ceremonial Prayer
May all be beautiful before me
May all be beautiful behind me
May all be beautiful below me
May all be beautiful above me
May all be beautiful all around me
I am restored in beauty

Deborah Sullivan
Grief - Grace - Gratitude
Photo by Thomas M. Stewart

Photo by Thomas M. Stewart


“I said: what about my eyes?
He said: Keep them on the road.
I said: What about my passion?
He said: Keep it burning.
I said: What about my heart?
He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?
I said: Pain and sorrow.
He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
- Rumi

The veils between worlds was lifted when I was struck by a lightning bolt of grief. The untamable nature of grieving requires vulnerability and outrageous courage to enter and sit in the fire of transformation. I didn’t want to run from it, turn away from it or numb myself. Although I was in shock, I wanted to embrace the grief and loss of my beloved soulmate. When he died unexpectedly in 2014, death and grief became portals, initiations, and a Pachakuti. A river of tears was unleashed, and I dove deeply and wholeheartedly into those waters. There was no dam for my tears, they were raw and primal emanating from the depths of my being. Surrendering to my animal body, I howled, bowed, kneeled, and then reverently drank from the cup of grief medicine. 

All journeys are unique when death comes calling. Grieving is individual and universal. One’s journey with death and grief is as distinct as a fingerprint, no two alike, yet the experience unites us like all the fingers of a hand. The grief medicine reflected our life lived, our unfinished life, and our future life which had shape-shifted in a nano second.

When he died, I was enrolled in, “The Path of the Universal Shaman - Advanced Intensive,” and I’m so grateful to don Oscar, Cindy and the ayllu for their love and presence during my first steps on this journey. Everything as I knew it, myself, my beloved, my medicine, and all worlds became untethered and I was free falling.  As a mid-wife to those entering the Kay Pacha (Middle World, “this” world) and those making their journey to the Hanaq Pacha (Upper World), I’ve held ceremony and vigil at the crossing to the river of stars, but as I said: each journey is its own. The suddenness and shock of his loss left me feeling unwhole; some of me went with him, as some of him had stayed with me. I vowed to stay with him during the 49 days through the bardos, it was our love compacto, and my way of remembering him as my soul mate here on the Pachamama and receiving him now as my star mate.

Cindy guided me to place a candle at the northwest corner of my mesa, I felt Siwar Q’enti (royal hummingbird), hovering, building the K’uychi Chaka (rainbow bridge) for his soul’s crossing. The portal was wide open. The Saywa (shaft of light), received K’anchay (a brilliant light) transmitting luminosity from the northwest corner of the mesa to the Hanaq Pacha (UpperWorld). The mesa is me, is us, the ground, the sky, the celestial canopy where all worlds united and work together for the medicine that I was gestating. Candles burned during those 49 days. The mesa became the ground of transformation holding him in sacred space and ushering him home to the ocean of stars.

Photo by Deborah Sullivan

Photo by Deborah Sullivan

Photo by Q-liev-in

Photo by Q-liev-in


During the 49 days in the bardos I went on many Ensueño journeys - dream travel with my beloved. One morning as dawn was rising, I was drifting in and out of a liminal state of awareness wherein we were walking together in nature as we often did, holding hands and graced in the beauty of the Pachamama. In the darkness I could hear a stream running alongside us. The milky way shimmered above our heads. I sensed the touch of his hand in mine lessening as his presence evanesced. The transition felt as though I was losing him, and I relived him being torn from my heart. Once again waves of grief had overtaken me. I wanted so badly to go with him, but the waters separated us. I was being swept away into a rapidly-moving river of frothing, milky waters, and I surrendered to the flow. The waters morphed into the life-giving energies here on the Pachamama. Soaking in the animated essence of sami was my medicine, and I received the message: my path was to continue here.

Soon after the Ensueño journey, I remained behind the veil and met him at a river crossing where an effusion of light emanating across a galactic ocean guided me to a riverbank. He was lying in a beautiful hand-hewn canoe with sentinels standing at each end. His long black hair was flowing over his robe of light and his face looked human, a mirror reflection of his beautiful, kind and loving Self. The sentinels beckoned me to come. I had never crossed the river before, just held vigil at the bank. My soul filled with brilliant, white luminosity as I crossed the waters, gliding over him like a cloak of love honoring both his earth life and his awakening to the sea of stars. Approaching the shoreline, there was a palpable field signaling that I could go no further. After he crossed over, the womb of the universe returned me to the Pachamama, there was only munay - infinite love that never dies.

Later that week, two hawks were circling our home they flew away and came back three times dancing in the sky together, and then flying off to the distant horizon toward the ocean. It was a blessed visitation, and I knew it was him. From the line of the horizon one of the hawks flew back to circle above my head, and land on a nearby tree. This love language, messages from the celestial canopy and the mama pacha (natural world), continues to inspire the story that guides me.


Photo by Thomas M. Stewart

Photo by Thomas M. Stewart


Don Oscar’s words, “tears are the safety valves of the heart,” have become a source of refuge for me. I felt witnessed, seen, and invited to honor my tears without expectation or judgement of myself or the grieving journey. The rawness I embodied couldn’t hold the immensity of the pain, but our love became a holy ground for me to dig deep so I could harness the strength to meet each wave of grief with love and gratitude. Slowly, my mantra became ‘Grief, Grace, and Gratitude,’ and it was my gratitude for our love that carried me toward the next shore, and I am still on that journey. The love that we were, that we continue to be, grows and becomes the medicine for my beauty way walk here with the Pachamama. It is the love that helps me to be brave, to embrace what emerges within me moment by moment. My wound is where the light entered me as Rumi so beautifully speaks.

We are stars wrapped in skin. . .
There is a sacredness in tears. . . 
Through love, all pain will turn to medicine. . . - Rumi

Photo by Thomas M. Stewart

Photo by Thomas M. Stewart


There are many ways to connect and walk together when you're experiencing turbulent transitions and losses.  I can meet with you remotely over the phone, or during an individual session in person, or you can call in a ceremony:

Contact me if you would like to schedule an energy medicine or soul path mentoring session.

Come see some of the new audio offerings in the audio shop.

Shop for aromatic alchemical blends.

Deborah Sullivan
Returning to the River of Stars
Bill Sunset Ceremony 11-21-2015.jpg

“I was dead, then alive. Weeping, then laughing. The power of love came into me, and I became fierce like a lion, then tender like the evening star." - Rumi

Rumi, ‘revered as the friend’, his poetry always inspires my journey, at this moment three years after my beloved made his journey to the river of stars, each of these words whispers a message to me. That night we wept, and we laughed. I remember the first time I laughed after Bill died.  The sound, the sensation felt strange, even foreign, yet laughter was such an expression of our love for each other. I had forgotten how to laugh in the grip of grief. Laughing was bittersweet.  I felt and continue to feel, as I walk on this path of grief and love, the fierceness of the lion and the tenderness of the evening star.  These sensations, these emotions carry me to the stars to be with him and ground my feet to the earth so that I may look up to the night sky and see him in the river of stars.  The power of love washes over me gently, as a rain shower, and fierce like raging rapids, guiding me to unknown shores. This water that cleanses and carries me is the power of my tears. The release of my tears is sacred, I realized they are a safety valve for my heart. The watershed of tears becomes an ocean of remembrance for the beloved. I dive deep into those sacred waters and do my best to let the currents take me. 

I was in shock, and too numb to plan his ceremony so soon after he died. But I wanted to give him what I thought then, was one last gift to go with him on his journey.  My beloved sister, Treeka and I lovingly prepared a pair of moccasins he wore on his earth walk.  We filled them with treasures Bill and I collected at the ocean and in nature over the decades, adorned with crow and hawk feathers to give him flight, and beautiful fresh white sage to swaddle him in sacred scent.  We wrapped them in some fabric from one of his favorite blue shirts. I placed them on the sand in the direction that he was now traveling toward the stars. There was something mysterious, symbolic seeing an imprint of his feet, making their way to the sky. They sat there all evening receiving the infusions of love, stories, songs and prayers shared during the ceremony. 

Every year on his birthday I would ask him what he wished for and it was always the same, he wished for peace.  Peace in the hearts of all people everywhere, peace for our Mother Earth and all her children he loved so dearly.  He was cremated with his spirit bundle gift and I prayed that peace went with him. 

The photos I’m sharing with you are from the ceremony for my beloved Bill, just four days after he made his spirit flight to the stars. I could say I don’t know how I led that ceremony, but it led me, and our love guided every word, gesture and ritual offered. He was in all the in-between spaces, silent and unseen yet present like the setting sun, the moonrise and the stars appearing in the night sky. Much like he was in life. His entire life path was whispering in the calm wind that evening, flickering in the candlelight, the birds’ flight as they gathered for the setting sun, the sound of the waves washing in and out at the shore.  He was also ever-present in the faces of the ones he touched during his life walk, and in the stories as they shared.  

We were at the ocean where he and I had just walked the weekend before. Our footprints were offered to this holy ground countless times on our walks together.  He would hold my medicine pouch as I would offer prayers to the ocean.  He stood behind me, the waves coming up to receive the prayers. I would turn smiling at him, we would hug and continue walking down the beach.  Nothing needed to be said.  Just a simple and profound gratitude to be in love, to love and to be together. During our ceremony, he was as present as when I would turn smiling at him after I offer prayers to our Mama Cocha, Mother Ocean.  Now he was everywhere, he was everything but invisible. The ceremony gave all of us gathered a way to share our stories honoring his life gifts as they spoke to each of our hearts. But it was also for him, to send our love and prayers for his journey back to the river of stars.  The prayers and our hearts our palpable from the images.  The ways in which our Mother Earth, the trees, the birds, the water, the sky, the clouds and the moon gathered with us, speak to the magic and mystery of being together in ceremony.

Bill Ceremony Candellight 2015.jpg


 “The dimension that separates the living from the dead is exactly as wide as the edge of a maple leaf." - Handsome Lake, Seneca Indian

Death lifts the veils between worlds and shakes us to our bones.  We are raw, we are vulnerable, we are shattered.  Our flesh has been stripped away and what remains are the bones.  The bones take us back to the ancient ways when our bones were revered.  Our bones connect us with Spirit. A community would sit around the fire and honor the one who had died, and each other. They drank the grief medicine from their river of tears. Their river of tears became the river that the loved one traveled on to the river of stars. We were a tribe that honored each moment of the dying journey with love, respect, and compassion. We were hollow bones so that Spirit could move through us, and show us the sacred ways of sending our loved ones back to the stars, knowing that one day it would be our turn, and our tribe would gather for us and honor our journey, and our loved ones would be there to guide us home.  

Death and living are holy pairs, helpmates, part of a unified whole. Just as Bill and I were helpmates, soul mates during his earthly pilgrimage.  Now we are in all worlds, he is my star mate. Death can awaken in us the passion for living. A sense of aliveness infused with the love and beauty of the one we love, when we surrender to our grief. The hole, the void I feel from his loss is never filled. It is becoming a hallowed ground, where I can place my grief, sadness, love and I know he receives me. I know the love that we were, that we continue to be receives the gifts that I open on this journey. 

Death awakens us as a community to regather our tribe and simply be here for each other. Death and grief are as natural as breathing but we have forgotten.  But ceremony beckons us to walk back through the threshold of losses with love. 

"We are stars wrapped in skin – the light you are seeking has always been within. . .
Lose yourself completely, return to the root of the root of your own soul. . .
Don’t run away from the grief, O Soul, look for the remedy inside the pain. . .
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. . .
Through love, all pain will turn to medicine. . ." -



There are many ways to connect and walk together when you're experiencing turbulent transitions and losses.  I can meet with you remotely over the phone, or during an individual session in person, or you can call in a ceremony:

Contact me if you would like to schedule an 20 minute complimentary discovery session



Deborah Sullivan
Abode of Grief and Love
Chaco Canyon.jpg

“Sometimes you hear a voice through the door calling you… This turning toward what you deeply love saves you”. ~Rumi  

Grief is a threshold, a doorway into an initiation as a rite of passage.  We are ushered into the sacred abode of our soul.  We are invited into the intimate chambers of the heart where the mystics reveal the trinity of union, separation, and reunion.  We suffer from the illusion of separation from our body, from one another, from our community and from the natural world.  This illusion of separateness is a gateway into the remembrance and reconnection with the intimacy of our soul.  It reminds us to live in death, to love in death here in our body.  When we are shattered by our losses we arrive in our loneliness, our solitude, at the door of grief, grace, and love.

When we enter our grief, the veils between the worlds are lifted. Grieving has a wild, untamed nature that takes outrageous vulnerability and courage to enter, to abide in, to sit in the fire and hear that soul language.  We turn from it, we run from it, we numb ourselves so we do not have to face it.  But it is us, we are turning away from the most powerful and profound essence of our primal nature. We intuitively have a felt sense in our animal body where this pain has struck. Pain, sorrow, sadness are alchemical elements of love, joy, and beauty.  They comingle in the alchemical soup of life.  Surrendering to grief rattles and shakes our bones all the way back before time, when we sat around the community fire and drank the grief medicine from our river of tears. 

Our grief serves us our greatest wisdom. When we ignite our bravery with the flames of our love we partake of the mystery it holds.  Our courage gives us entry into the sacred abode of grief, we bow, we kneel on that hollow ground stripped of all we thought we knew. We are submerged into an untamed, uncontrolled ocean of tears.  The first year after my beloved, Bill died I lived in a sea of tears.  I was ravaged by pain. I felt dismembered, in between worlds, not with the living. But only he died I couldn’t go with him, but I wanted to. I felt like I didn’t exist anymore, my inner compass, my ways of making sense of the world were gone.  I felt isolated and alone. I was struggling to swim in a river of tears as he was traveling to the river of stars. My grief was a mirror of what I’d lost.  My loss of him was more than I could bear. The rawness, the wreckage I inhabited couldn’t hold the immensity of the pain, but our love became a cave for me to gestate, to dig deep so I could harness my irrepressible, fierce nature that would give me the strength to meet each wave of grief and love with gratitude.  Slowly my mantra become Grief, Grace, and Gratitude and it was my gratitude for our love that carried me toward the next shore, and I am still on that journey. It is love that helps me be brave, to embrace what is emerging within me moment by moment. My wound was where the light entered me as Rumi so brutally and beautifully speaks.

Grief and love are the holy of holies ushering us into the inner sanctum of our being, cutting through all the veils, cutting through all the self-imposed judgments and limitations of who we think we are, of what we believe is possible. Even of what we think death is. When grief comes it shatters us, it shatters are illusions, it breaks us open to the mysteries that lie dormant within us, waiting to be seen, to be heard, to be felt and to be lived. Grieving is an intimate relationship with what has been lost, unfinished and sometimes traumatically ripped away from us. It requires our full presence, our participation, and our compassion.

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”  ~ Jalaluddin Rumi - written on his tombstone in Konya, Turkey

 Rumi invites us to turn toward grief and love while calling us to surrender to who we are, and what we are meeting again, and again, and again. Lovingly encouraging us when we stumble, or fall, are broken, or shattered to turn toward - to cross the threshold into the abode of grief and love. There is a tenderness that grief ignites in us.  We sit in the fire of grief feeling the flames of sorrow burning our raw heart, slowly the flames become transformational waves carving new contours into our heart and life. It’s visceral, it’s palpable we are growing new skin and the raw bones are being re-fleshed. We are forever changed, transformed and renewed over, over, and over again. Our loss is still a part of us, and us a part of them different, but intimately present.  We carry them in our hearts and the legacy of their love lives on in us continuing to grow us, and them on the other side.

 "Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom." ~Rumi

Our humanity, our humanness engages us in the pain, our pain and the global pain for our Mother Earth and our global family.  We are faced with the challenges and difficulties of being a human. Our relationship with the messiness of life can be a source of compassion, of loving generosity toward others because we are bravely being with what is.  We aren’t trying to run away from grief. We’re her to speak the truth about our pain. We're here to embrace, to embody all that we push away with love and tenderness. When we show up, even though we feel broken, feel as though we’ve lost our mind, our sense of who we are, but we just keep coming again and again to the moment we are touched by that love. It’s a sacred touch, a merciful touch and somehow it feels like the touch of our beloved reaching through the veils comforting us and guiding us home. 


stone carin.png

Grief Rituals - Soulful Offerings

There are many ways to explore the landscapes of grief, grace, and love. It is helpful to anchor what we are experiencing within, here on earth in form.  Something tangible that speaks from our heart and symbolizes the medicine we are receiving. Here are some possibilities to create an abode for grief and love.

Create a safe, sacred space that can receive your tears, your prayers, and any offerings. This sacred space can be inside your home, as an altar or just a nourishing space to sit or lie down.  You can also make a space outside if that speaks to you or both. I love waking up in the morning and offering a drink if water to our mother earth, and sprinkling tobacco or cornmeal on the rocks I’ve gathered as I offer my prayers, and talk to my beloved and the Holy Ones.

•    Lay down on the earth – Walk with the elementals.
•    Dream – Call on your loved ones, ancestors and guides during dream time for support and visions.
•    Journal – Write or draw in a journal your story, feelings, and experiences.
•    Rest – Practice yoga nidra to reset rhythm and balance.
•    Scent – Burn incense or anoint and spray with essential oils.
•    Altars – Create altars for your ancestors and your loved ones.
•   Touchstones – Choose a stone that grounds you. You can hold it and even put under your pillow.
•    Stone Cairns - Choose a group of stones where you can make offerings. 
•    Rituals – Offer rituals that feed your prayers for what you are letting go or calling in. 
•    Create rituals to honor your beloved ones.
•    Ceremony – Come to a ceremony to come home to the circle and the ancient ways.
•    Community – Find others in your community that you can connect with for support.
•    Music & Poetry – Listen to music that soothes you and read poetry that speaks to your soul.
•   Listen - to your needs and create ways that nurture you through the waves of grief transitions personal and global.

"Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.  So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen, of a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do.  You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand.  It will not let you fall." ~Rilke



I have come to drag you out of yourself, and take you in my heart. I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.

There are many ways to connect and walk together when you're experiencing turbulent transitions and losses.  I can meet with you remotely over the phone, or during an individual session in person, or you can call in a ceremony:

Contact me if you would like to schedule an energy medicine or soul path mentoring session.

Come see some of the new audio offerings in the audio shop.

Shop for aromatic alchemical blends.

Deborah Sullivan
Walking on Our Soul Path

It might be liberating to think of human
life as informed
by losses and disappearances
as much as by gifted appearances,
allowing a more present participation
and witness to the difficulty of living.  
What is real can never be fully taken away;
its essence always remains.
~ David Whyte

Walking on our souls' path is mysterious, mystical and messy. The messiness is part of the beauty of our humanness.  Each of us experiences losses and disappearances in this life. We often are grateful to receive what we perceive as blessings from the light, the gifted appearances. What appears in the shadows we often do not let in. We can be blinded by the dark, strangers to the beauty and gifts hidden in our losses. Our brokenness is an invitation, an initiation to dive into the waters of our soul.  As Rumi the mystic reveals, ‘the wound is the place where the light enters you’. 

Trusting the medicine of our soul takes intention and practice, especially as we open to the unknown gifts that are hidden in our pain. When we listen to the language of our soul, when we trust our gut, we are trusting our losses and disappearances. They're moments that are clear and we feel it in our bones.  They're moments that are veiled and distant. Yet, we are invited to go on our soul’s journey and navigate the terrain trusting in the unseen.

I serve as a midwife to the soul’s mysteries. I roll up my sleeves and dig into the dirt and grit of this messy human life.  I dive into the soul waters, riding the currents, not knowing where they will take me. I surrender to the Call of my soul, trusting where it will guide me. Excavating the torn, broken and fragmented pieces of my heart I regenerate myself again and again through the transitions and challenges of simply being human.  Trusting what is uncomfortable, and what seems unbearable. I experience moments of stillness and calm, moments of raw vulnerability and fragility, meeting and greeting each sensation and emotion as it arises.  I surrender, kneeling, bowing to the unknown messengers that arrive at the threshold of my heart.  When I am broken open, my pain can be a compass, helping me navigate the unknown territory ahead.

The soul holds up a mirror, so I may courageously look and see what is being reflected. What encourages me to look, to reclaim the disparate, fragmented and broken pieces of myself is turning within, turning to love, turning to the beloved. My soul tethers me to the seen and unseen forces of the universe, at moments as intimate as my breath, and at moments seems as vast as the moon and the stars in the night sky’s canopy. 

I wonder where I am leaving my soul prints? The landscapes of my soul embrace the losses and brokenness inside me. My heart is a sacred container, a cauldron for them to co-mingle and gestate in the alchemical waters of love.  I am transformed, regenerated and shapeshifted when I surrender into losses and brokenness. Love creates a pathway to the threshold, to the doorway of the soul.  We leave the footprints of our love wherever we go. The losses and disappearances that we show up for, that we meet with a full embrace, that we sit with moment by moment surrendering to their medicine as they transform us, carry the imprint of our soul. When we receive our losses and disappearances with our gifted appearances, what is authentic, what is real, is never truly gone, its essence remains with us and the ones we love.

‘What is real can never be fully taken away; its essence always remains’.  These words resonate so deeply within my heart. When my beloved, soulmate Bill died suddenly I felt him being ripped out of my heart.  My heart and my life as I knew it was pierced, shredded and I didn’t feel like I could go on. I felt suspended in time like I was standing still and speeding forward in the same breath.  The breath felt knocked out of me and everything was surreal. I was untethered and in free fall. I wanted to wake up from this nightmare, I didn’t want it to be real. One morning sitting in his chair, crying, sobbing, searching for some sign of him somewhere, I felt a calm wind come through the house. I sensed him standing behind as he did when he was alive. Leaning over me his arms outstretched over my chest.  I felt his breath on my face, his sweet smell swirling in the air around my face. I said, ‘Where are you? I just need to be with you.’  I heard him whisper in his gentle quiet voice that I love so much, ‘I’m as close as your breath honey. I am your breath’.  I felt the shape of his beautiful hands on my heart and I felt the contours of his fingers soothing my heart. Again, he whispered, ‘I’m as close as your heartbeat. I am your heartbeat”.  I was viscerally reminded that that love doesn’t die. The body dies, the essence of love remains and continues to grow, here in my heart and I with his soul in the stars.  It is as palpable and real as it was when he was here. Whether the intimacy of my breath or the unseen magic of the universe, I feel the grace of my soul. Trusting my soul, here in my body, growing a garden with my soul’s gifts as I open the gifts that are wrapped in pain, brokenness, and beauty. 

Soul Path Mentorship is a Collaborative Relationship that Invites you into the Intimacy, Creativity, and Dreaming of your Soul. 

Soul Mentoring Sessions can Support you too:

  • Discover your soul’s calling.
  • Listen and attune to your unique medicine gifts.
  • Build and sustain a medicine altar, field or ground that engages your medicine gifts and soul work.
  • Strengthen your communication with your ancestors, guides, plant and animal allies.
  • Honor the sacred elements by making offerings and building a sacred relationship with them.
  • Meet and move consciously through the transitions that are opening up for you at this time.
  • Engage transformational processes that renew energy and flow into your energy field and life.
  • Transmute painful experiences into your medicine gifts.
  • Develop your abilities to deepen your intuition, visions and conscious dreaming.
  • Experience rituals and ceremonies that honor earth-based sacred ways.
  • Receive universal practices that may be shared in individual sessions, circles and group gatherings.

'The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind does not understand'.


'The soul is not the witness of an external event but the medium in which the event takes place'.

~don Oscar Miro-Quesada

There are many ways to connect and walk together on your soul's path:

Contact me if you would like to schedule an energy medicine or soul path mentoring session.

Come see some of the new audio offerings in the audio shop.

Shop for aromatic alchemical blends.




Deborah Sullivan
Rituals for Transition and Transformation

Listen more often

To things than to beings

The voice of the fire can be heard

Hear the voice of the water

Listen in the wind

To the sobbing bush.

It is the breath of the ancestors.

~Birago Diop

Since ancient times, indigenous peoples all around our Mother Earth and our ancestors had sacred ways of receiving and celebrating life’s original instructions. They had a compacto, a relationship with all life. Making offerings and saying prayers was a way of engaging and honoring their relationship with everything in the seen and unseen worlds and in their communities.   

Rituals are an evolutionary art that beautifies our spiritual vision and our humanness.  They bring us back to the original beauty that we witness in nature and in our true nature. Rituals are a way of entering a sacred relationship with all that we love. A way of talking, of communing with the beloved. Rituals connect us with the ancient ways that we carry in the marrow of our bones. They shake us so we can become a hollow bone.  Empty to receive and give with gratitude, generosity, grace, and compassion. They awaken in us ways to receive guidance from the seen and unseen realms and infuse the earth and our lives with that guidance. As Rumi says, “Let the beauty that we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth.” Bowing in humility and vulnerably is an instrument of ritual.  If all you do is offer a prayer and blow your breath into the wind, it is holy.

Returning to ritual, again and again, draws us into silence, into deep listening.  Bringing us into the sensations in our body, joining our heartbeat with the heartbeat of the earth.  They are a doorway, a gateway, and a pathway that return us home to our primal embrace.  Thomas Merton reminds us of the intimacy in the heart of ritual when he says, “In solitude we remain face to face with the naked being of things.” It’s a relief to sluff off the thoughts, stories, and baggage we carry and enter moments of innocence. Reclaiming our childlike wonder. Entering the magic that comes when we surrender all the thinking and doing and just listen. We tune into the art of listening, the mystery of silence, and surrender into the nakedness of being.

Offering a ritual can be simple when it is heartfelt and comes from your soul’s wisdom.  An effortless ritual is a relationship with what is sacred to you.  Connecting to what is moving through your breath and heart in the present moment. An intention that is rising that carries your visions and dreams for yourself and all that you love. It has a voice that speaks from within you. You are talking with the Beloved Mother, with Spirit, with the Divine, and you are listening to the messages that come in whispers, images or symbols.  It can be the Holy Ones, the ancestors, the spirit guides, the sacred elements or our beloved Mother Earth and Father Sky.

Rituals are regenerative, magical and practical. They are sustenance for your whole being, bringing your body, mind, and heart into wholeness and holiness with your soul.  We call and spirit comes.  Spirit calls and we answer.  The practice of ritual stirs your remembrance of your authentic Self, the one who re-members the way to walk in beauty.

Ritual practices for me are food for my whole being, reminding me to reset rhythm and balance in my day and my body.  They remind me to call in the essential so I can embody that peace and magic into all the moments of my life. They are the sacred ways that I call in the ancestors and the Holy ones to pray for my family, friends, and our beautiful Mother Earth. There are as many ways to enter a ritual as they’re hearts to offer them.  Sometimes with a heart full of gratitude, or a grief stricken broken heart, or fierce compassion, or bewilderment.  The universal language is being honest, raw, naked and authentic in the moment.

Rumi invites us back again and again when he says, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” There is no judgment. We may enter just as we are, and the Holy ones will receive us and our prayers. Let the juicy, animated aliveness within you inspire you. Rituals are living. They are not mechanical or prescriptive.  Call in your creative fire to guide you. As don Oscar Miro-Quesada says, “You are creativity creating creation.”

A Ritual Offering

A k’intu is a little prayer fan of three leaves. In Peru, they use cocoa leaves.  I select bay leaves or sage leaves. Choose a leaf that speaks to your heart, that is indigenous to your land. I’m sharing the roots of where this practice was born and is still offered today, so you can enter the sacredness of its transformative energies and respect its lineage. 

The k’intu has rich roots in the ancient medicine ways of Peru.  The three leaves represent the three worlds. They also symbolize the three fields of a mesa, (a shaman’s medicine altar), and their primal curative energies. The k’intu prayer fan is a symbol of the integration of body, mind, and heart, working in ayni, which represents a core guiding principle of sacred reciprocity guiding the Andean peoples. 

For this offering, you collect the most beautiful leaves and make a bouquet prayer offering. You attune and awaken your mind, heart, and belly, to the qualities of Yachay, Munay, and Llankay which are the sacred receptacles for wisdom, love and right action. They come together to bring balance and equilibrium to your whole being and your relationship with all you hold holy. You can add a white flower petal symbolizing spirit and the Apu’s, holy mountains, and a red flower petal honoring Pachamama, Mother Earth. You are invoking the ancestral ways transmitted through the holy mountains, the winds, the elements and primal forces of the Mamapacha, mother nature and the unseen realms.

You become a conduit for the energies of light, love, and earth to unite within and all around you, radiating into all directions for the next seven generations and beyond.

Ritual Guidelines for K’intu Offerings

Center Yourself - Breathe and Ground Yourself between Father Sky and Mother Earth

•    Call in your ancestors, spirit guides that speak to your heart.
•    Show up - speak the truth. 
•    Blow your heartfelt intentions and prayers into the leaves as many times as you like.
•    Reverently touch them to your forehead, heart, and belly.
•    Offer them in the four directions, above and below, connecting your prayers with the East, West, North and South - to the      Heavens and the Earth.
•    Honor all the sacred elements, earth, water, air, fire, and ether.
•    You may continue adding prayers to them for yourself, your loved ones, and for our Mother Earth.

There are Many Ways of Sending your Intentions and Prayers:

•    Send them into the wind and let the wind take them.
•    Bury them in our Mother Earth.
•    Send them into a body of moving water.
•    Give them into a fire.
•    Let go of the outcome.


It doesn't have to be
The blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together, and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but a doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~Mary Oliver

There are many ways to connect and walk together on your soul's path:

Contact me if you would like to schedule an energy medicine session or a soul path mentoring session

Visit the new audio store here

Shop for aromatic alchemical blends

Deborah Sullivan
Sacred Space Sprays
“We use the Elemental Nature Sacred Space Spray in our sanctuary and on our altars. The seen and unseen realms and medicines wake up and take the essence in fully, expanding the energy of the space, dissolving veils and brightening spirits. They are truly lovely.” Cindy Miro-Quesada, South Florida

We enter into a sacred relationship with the plant’s spirit and medicinal energies when we receive these transformational scents. The plant's are a bridge between worlds.  The plant's transport us, realign us, and bring us into the present. The medicinal plants in these sprays have been used for centuries for ritual, purification, ceremony, and healing by indigenous cultures all around our Mother Earth.

Like smudging spraying may be done as a way of connecting to the Holy Ones, the unseen beings, and the ancestors. When, we connect with the realm of the spirits we are creating a ceremony. It is the moment that our prayers are taken to the stars, to the unseen beings. We pray with the Sacred Space Sprays the same way we would smudge with smoke when burning the plant material. Spraying can be done as a daily ritual calling the plant spirits as allies and friends to support your well-being, your intentions, and your visions. Simply bring your passion, your love, and your heart to each molecule of mist and receive them with the wonder of the present.

Sacred Space Sprays may be used for clearing and cleansing your body, energy field and environment.  You can spray a mist a veil of protection and blessing around your body. They may be sprayed around your environment and sacred spaces like your altars. These sacred plant medicines may be used to bless, clear and heal a person or object that is being smudged with the mist of the spray.


Sacred Space Spray Ritual

The Sacred Space Sprays can be used to cleanse, clear, and realign you and bring light into the luminous energy field.  As they’re mixed in our precious water, we are receiving the blessings of our Mother Waters and her cleansing and life-giving energies. As you spray with these sacred scents may they be a healing balm to the waters around our Mother earth and within our bodies.  May the spirit of the sacred waters be invoked and bless and protect our Holy Mother in all her life-giving ways.

You may spray around your body or in your environment. Breathe into this moment offering a prayer as you prepare to mist yourself for purification and blessings.  As you mist, you partake of the plant’s gifts, renewing and transforming yourself and the earth.  Use the sprays with the same respect you would when you are smudging with the plants.  Spray around your body, then your heart, your forehead or wherever you are intuitively drawn. Closing your eyes, bring the mist up to your face with your hands and take four deep full breaths. Sense the shift in your body, in your energy field. Notice as you clear your energy field you are transported into a place of stillness.  You are being bathed in light, radiating into your energy centers and luminous body. Embodying  this luminosity in your forehead, heart, and belly.


Each of the Sacred Space Sprays are organic and wild crafted grown, harvested and distilled in a sustainable and loving way. Since they are prepared with our mother waters we receive her life-giving vital energy when we spray. 

Read more about Sacred Space Sprays
Coastal Blessings
Earth Spirit
Native Spirit
White Sage



Magnificent Flowering White Sage Plant - Santa Barbara California 

Deborah Sullivan
Anointing Oil Breath Ritual

Listen to this Anointing Breath Ritual to support and inspire your receiving and honoring these beautiful sacred scents.


We create a sacred practice of prayer and renewal when we participate in a daily
anointing ritual. Through these alchemical scents, we are initiated into centuries
of tradition and ceremony that align and attune our body/being with the plant’s
ancestral wisdom. You may practice the anointing breath before yoga nidra,
before bed, or when sitting at your altar.

  • Center yourself.
  • Set an intention to receive the vital life force energy of the plant’s medicine.
  • Shake the bottle then open and pour a few drops into your palm.
  • Gently massage your palms together warming and releasing the aroma.
  • Bring your palms to your nose and take four deep full breaths.
  • Move your head side to side to breathe through both nostrils.
  • Feel the sacred scent envelop you - moving through your brain, inside you, and all around you.  Feel it spreading out into your energy field and luminous body.
  • Offer your gratitude for the life-giving ways and wisdom of these alchemical medicine gifts.

During this simple practice, the aromatic molecules will move through the
olfactory system (our nose) and enter directly into the brain. As the molecules
move through the nostrils they effect both sides of the brain and move into the
limbic system which governs memory, instincts, emotions, moods, motivation
and various autonomic functions. The aromas affect us instantaneously and the
innate wisdom of our bodies knows what to do with the scent; to relax, to
energize or to balance. This alchemical liquid wisdom from our plant relatives is
delivered through our breath, moves into the brain, and then into the nervous

This practice combines the dermal and olfactory system’s absorption of the
aromatic molecules when we breathe in the scent. The molecules are so tiny
that when we rub our palms together they pass through the outer layer of the
skin (the epidermis) penetrating the deeper layers and go directly into the
bloodstream. The heat that is produced when we rub our palms together
increases the blood flow to the surface and we absorb the oil through our skin.

Deborah Sullivan
Honoring Our Mothers - Life-Giver
Mama’s Favorite Place to Sit and Write - Her ashes are in the coffee can ready to release into our Mama Ocean

Mama’s Favorite Place to Sit and Write - Her ashes are in the coffee can ready to release into our Mama Ocean


Talking with the things and with ourselves

The universe talks to itself:

we are its tongue and ears,

its words and silences.

~Octavio Paz

On this Mother’s Day may we remember and honor all our mothers. They gave us this precious gift of life. They are our maternal lineage and become our ancestors. Our grandmothers and mothers continue giving us guidance and protection on our path. We also remember and offer prayers to our Pachamama, Mother Earth, and our beloved Mother Waters every day. There are as many ways to honor and remember all our mothers as there are hearts to offer prayers and hands to put those prayers into action.

This year I am offering this vintage, limited edition of Sacred Waters anointing oil, as a way of honoring our Mothers. And she has a story to tell.  All the alchemical blends I create have an origin story. This one was inspired by my mama, the one who gave me life.   My mama loved to smell good, but she wanted here perfumes to be good for her as well, so I made them for her. This blend was created to support and rebalance the water element in her body and smell yummy.  When she was dying, it was one of the last blends I made for her, and my sister anointed her with it in her last weeks. I wasn’t there physically but this sacred scent connected us across the miles.  I journeyed with her during her transition between worlds, and we were lovingly guided by these sacred plant medicines.

After she died, I was going to stop preparing this blend. Then I realized I would continue making it in honor of her, and it took on a legacy of its own.  Sacred Waters became a blessing for our sacred mother waters in all her myriad forms. Mama loved the water. Soaking in it, sitting and walking by the ocean and making her black strong undrinkable coffee with it.  She loved her coffee so much, my nephew came up with the idea to put her ashes in a coffee can. I could feel her smiling when we placed it on her favorite bench where she would sit and write.  We read something from her journal that day when we released her into the ocean of love and remembrance. She wanted her ashes offered to the waters in Alaska at Willow Lake and the Kenai River where my sister and her family live and where she spent the last chapter of her life.  We offered them here at her favorite spot in the Pacific Ocean in California where she spent decades of her life.  

Now she has taken her place in our maternal lineage as our ancestor.  She is a nova in the star nation shining her light and wisdom upon us and reminding us to bless and honor the waters.So, the spirit of my mama is inspiring this offering, this sacred scent, and this message to you this Mother’s Day.  Her message is to be grateful to the Holy Ones. To listen and talk to them every day.  They are everywhere and in everything.  Create a sacred space, an altar to pray to your ancestors and the Holy Ones.  Make offerings to our beautiful Pachamama, Mother Earth. I pray we take care of this precious gift of our sacred waters for today, for all our relations, and for the children of the next generations.

My mama loved my altars. She was always taking pictures of them and telling me how beautiful they were.  They comforted her, and she felt a sense of peace sitting by them.  When she visited, she always wanted to sleep near one of the altars.


Mother Water Offerings

When we come into sacred relationship with our Mother Water and speak our prayers, they go wherever we send them.  Talk to her, confide in her, and tell her what is in your heart. She holds up a mirror to wherever we are courageously looking. Sit by a stream, river, ocean or bowl of water in silence and look and listen to the messages she is reflecting. Then give her an offering.  It may be your tears, flowers, tobacco, corn meal.  You can pour some libation on the Pachamama, Mother Earth. You can blow your breath with your prayers for her purification, protection and to honor into the water. As you anoint with Sacred Waters, may it be a healing balm to the waters of Mother Earth and within our bodies.  When we come into balance with the sacred element of water, we help realign and bring balance to the Pachamama, Mother Earth.

When I rise in the morning, I offer my first glass of water to the heavens. I then pour some out onto our Mother Earth, hydrating and feeding her with my gratitude and love. I look into that water and say, “thank you for being the life-giver, for replenishing me.” I say to her, “I love you, Mother Waters.” I pray that the waters around our Mother Earth are respected and kept clean.  I talk to the water spirits and guardians in the four directions and pray that everything comes into balance again. I pray that we humans come into sacred relationship with all her resources. I pray and that our Mother Waters and all the sacred elements be protected. May we walk in a sustainable way.

SacredWaters Goleta Beach Golden Blog.jpg
Sacred Waters 5ml Goleta Golden Blog edited.jpg

The Sacred Waters alchemical blend may be applied as an anointing oil or as a sacred perfume.

Available in Organic Jojoba Oil

.35oz Roll-On 10% Organic & Wild Crafted Essential Oils

5ml 50% Organic & Wild Crafted Essential Oils


Deborah Sullivan
Elemental Nature Sacred Scents & Anointing Rituals
Peppermint leaf drop oil.jpg

When the soul approaches the mysteries;

when it tries to rally

to the great spiritual principles,

the perfumes are there.

~Marguerite Maury

We create a sacred practice of prayer and renewal when we participate in a daily anointing ritual. Through these alchemical scents, we are initiated into centuries of tradition and ceremony that align and attune our body/being with the plant’s ancestral wisdom. This ancient holy art has been offered through ceremonies, rites, and rituals to initiate, celebrate, consecrate, and heal.

Anointing simple means to smear, rub or touch with oil in a sacred way. This is a symbolic gesture that re-connects us with spirit and awakens our consciousness, then we connect with forgotten aspects of ourselves. It is a powerful, symbolic love language and draws us into a sacred attentiveness like prayer and meditation. 

The ritual of anointing is an intimate conversation between you and all that you love. The act of drawing in the sacred scent through your breath brings you closer to all that you are and who you are becoming. Here you envision your intentions and dreams.  You are taken into the present moment, the immediacy of the moment, to the innermost frequencies that resonate within your soul and with the soul of the plants.  Your subtle body/being remembers the ancient ways and responds to the messages that whisper through the scents, calling you into your soul’s garden.

Hands oil sunset drops.jpeg


Anointing with Sacred Scents

Center yourself.

Shake the bottle, then open it and lovingly watch a few drops flow into your palm.

Gently rub your palms together warming and releasing the aroma.

Bring your palms up to your face and take four deep, slow inhalations.

Now you may intutively anoint your body with the oil.

Offer your gratitude for the life -giving ways and wisdom of these alchemical medicine gifts.

You may apply before shamanic journeying, yoga nidra, meditation, dream work, and sleep. Or anytime during the day when you need to return to the moment to re-align and balance yourself.


May we be transformed by these enveloping scents

May we be imbued with a deep sense of well-being.

May the fragrance of the compassionate heart unfold

throughout humanity like the petals of the lotus

bestowing love, kindness,

and generosity of spirit.

For the next generations and beyond.


Deborah Sullivan
Rituals for Rhythm & Balance

Restpause and Peaceful Nights each support our returning to our bodies natural rhythms and balance. Enjoy these rituals to bring wholeness and vitality as you create a cradle for real rest. These alchemical blends were inspired by Mother Nature's fluid cycles and seasons as she rejuvenates herself again and again. These powerful scents came as a way to bring us back home to our true nature which we experience when we are rested, restored, replenished and remember our sacred relationship with source.

Rest Rituals

Developing the art of rest and relaxation is the gateway to both wisdom and compassion with ourselves and each other. This synergistic blend invites you to create a cradle for restorative practices. Be kind to yourself. Give your body/being what it needs to let go and replenish itself. Let the scent draw you into deep relaxation and restoration. When you are rested, you have a fresh perspective, your mind is clear, you can focus, and your creativity is re-awakened.

Creating resting rituals helps re-set and regulate relaxation patterns that reflect nature’s rhythms and reclaim the real rest that nourishes your body/being. You can create a rest cave as your sacred space with an altar that reflects your rest intention. It may be a quiet space in your home, a favorite chair or place you lay down to nap. You can use an eye pillow, listen to sacred sounds or read poems.  You may light a candle or make an offering to create your sacred ritual. Come to the practice with an empty mind and open heart.  Reflect on an intention for your practice.  It may be unwinding from a stressful day or situation, taking a nap or preparing for a good night’s sleep.

Read more

Pause Anointing Oil Ritual

We create a sacred practice of prayer and renewal when we practice a daily anointing ritual. Through these alchemical scents, we are initiated into centuries of tradition and ceremony that align and attune our body/being with the plant’s ancestral wisdom. Lovingly place a few drops of pause in the palm of your hand, rub your palms together. Bring them to your face, and take four deep, slow inhalations, letting the scent envelop you. Breath and pause in-between each inhalation and exhalation. Just pause and breath, feel the silent moments of presence that flows with the rise and fall of the breath in the belly.

You may anoint your forehead, kidneys, and adrenals. Pause may also be applied before you go to sleep or take a nap. You may anoint yourself before for yoga nidra, or meditation practices.

Read more



Peaceful Nights Bedtime Rituals

Peaceful Nights invites you to create a cradle of releasing and restorative practices to prepare your nighttime sleep rituals. Be kind to yourself. Give your body/being what it needs to let go and replenish itself. Let the scent draw you into deep relaxation and the mystery of dreams.

Come to the practice with an empty mind and open heart.  Reflect on an intention for your practice.  This may be a good night’s sleep or feeling refreshed when you awaken. You may be setting an intention for conscious dreaming or returning to a dreamscape that you have previously dreamt.

Read more

Deborah Sullivan