It was a very important day in my life. I was with my beloved teacher Irma Star Spirit Turtle Woman, and my dear friend Leigh, preparing for a shamanic journey to meet the Sacred Spirits and learn my medicine name and my symbol. This is one of the most important steps for initiation as a shaman because your medicine name reveals your true nature, your unique medicine, that which heals. It is your gift to the world. Sometimes it is called your Dharma or Sacred Mission, depending on the tradition.
My teacher guided us in this shamanic journey during which Leigh met with my sacred guide spirits to receive from them my medicine name and symbol. I, in return, met with Leigh’s sacred guide spirits to receive her medicine name and symbol. We do this for each other rather than for ourselves to prevent our own egos from interfering with this sacred process.
Leigh and I returned from our journey and we each wrote on a piece of paper the medicine name and symbol that each other’s Sacred Guide Spirit had revealed to us. We handed the papers to our teacher so that our medicine name could be revealed for the first time during our initiation ceremony.
The day of our initiation arrived. Irma and many other shamans/curanderos welcomed us, the initiates, and our families. One by one, in turn, each initiate walked, our teacher in front of us, a family member or friend to our right and another to our left, and all the other shamans and initiates behind. As we walked around the circle we received the blessings of each cardinal direction, and our medicine name was pronounced for the first time by our teacher and repeated three times by the rest of the group.
When my turn came, my teacher voiced my medicine name: “K’an Coszcatl Zipactonal, Precious Jewel of Harmonic Light”. Then my name was repeated three times and my heart exploded with joy. In my name I found a confirmation of my essence, which I had known all along, but I had doubted it. Hearing my name also confirmed my journey and path because for me, the most important thing to do in life is create and sustain harmonic relationships, which form the base of a joyful, harmonic life.
In my life I have seen how relationships – with myself, with others or with the world – are part of a practice of attunement to create harmony. In an orchestra each musician brings the beauty of a different instrument, a different sound that adds beauty in a harmonious piece of music. In the same way, each of us has a special medicine, that has a specific tone or sound, and this is our gift to the world.
In our relationships, we listen to others’ voices, recognizing and valuing their medicine as much as ours, and we create a particular symphony with them that becomes our relationship. When there is disharmony in relationships, attuning our own instrument will help others to attune theirs, keeping our focus on the beautiful piece we want to create.
This is the work I have been doing and perfecting throughout my life. Healing and repairing my relationship with myself first, and then creating joyful, harmonious relationships with others and the world. My medicine name works for me as a mantra, chosen carefully to develop the qualities I want to embody.
I would like to invite you to try this. Choose a mantra that speaks of a quality you want to live in yourself. If you are calling for a specific quality, know that it is both your essence and your aspiration, or your being and becoming at the same time. Repeat this mantra in meditation until you feel it being your truest nature. There is no perfection, it is a choice to embody this quality every moment, a remembering until your nature just flows in any situation. This for me is blissful living and I envision this and more for you.
Elizabeth (K’an Coszcatl Zipactonal/Precious Jewel of Harmonic Light)