Want to create a daily spiritual practice? Find out what works for you
Before I take you on this road test, I’d like to share with you my afternoon’s activities. I went on a nature quest, foraging for wild flowers in the nearby community garden. I found lavender, sage, rosemary and eucalyptus, which I bundled up with twine, wrapping it tightly around the stems in an upward direction, so the flame travels downwards first when it burns … or so I think. I’m new to making smudge sticks, having made my first one just a few weeks ago while in a circle with six other women.
Maybe I’m supposed to dry the herbs first…? I can’t wait that long and instead light my wild-foraged smudge stick, allowing its gentle golden flame to flicker across the room. Earthy, sweet bush scents fill my space, reminding me to take a deeper breath and drop further into stillness, to the place where writing flows from my fingertips and I bring you into the “sisterhood”.
Sarah Bruce, a reiki master and registered nurse with a background in mental health and trauma, invited me to her four-week course of sacred gatherings, Creating Your Daily Spiritual Practice, in the beachside suburb of Bronte, Sydney. These gatherings, born of the desire to bring women together to sit in ceremony, explore the many different spiritual rituals and practices you can use in your own day-to-day life.
Over dinner, we revealed certain parts of ourselves; already feeling so connected to these women, I freely gave away personal truths I often reserve.
Guided by the moon cycles, we began our first gathering on the waning moon, a time of forgiveness. Sarah shared with us the power of the moon and how to connect month-to-month with a new intention, a new opportunity to create abundance or release stickiness from our lives. We created smudge sticks using flowers and herbs foraged from her garden, drew oracle cards and discussed the earth element. Over dinner, we revealed certain parts of ourselves; already feeling so connected to these women, I freely gave away personal truths I often reserve. We sat in ceremony before finishing in the relaxing yoga pose savasana, listening to Sarah softly beat the drum across our bodies.
We met a week later, this time on the new moon. I arrived to hugs, forgetting that only a week ago I didn’t know these six women. Now they felt familiar, like lifelong friends. We explored the water element, drew angel cards and learnt about crystal grids, pendulums and altar spaces. Sarah gifted us with a selenite crystal each, sharing that it helps to remove blockages and deliver clarity of mind.
Our third encounter involved a nature quest through the forest, nearby a nature reserve. We created totems and drew spirit animal cards this time and, as we sat in ceremony, attuned ourselves to the sounds and sensations of Mother Nature, exploring the air element as it moved across our faces. We discussed commitment, the waxing phase of the moon and what had shifted for us in the past two weeks.
Before our final gathering I had a complimentary reiki session with Sarah. I had experienced so many shifts of perspective throughout the month, but this was the highlight. As I lay with eyes closed, I felt the energy move through my chakras, leaving me feeling more vulnerable and open than ever before. Sarah’s gentle nature comforted me, guiding me into a space where I could release past traumas manifesting as stuck energy in my body, trapped in my tissues and caught in my cells. She spoke softly to me, guiding the energy downwards, from my very open solar plexus chakra towards my sacral centre.
As this energy moved, Sarah invited me to visualise my divine goddess. I saw her so clearly: long brown hair, slender with white wings; flirty, effervescent, free, floaty and fun. She flew through me and around me, leaving my body to ripple and shake with a strong surge of feminine energy towards my pelvis and my womb. The feeling was of such pure love, joy, compassion and bliss that it completely overwhelmed me; tears rolled down my cheeks. The feminine energy I felt was so powerful, humbling, sincere and wholesome — why did it feel so unfamiliar to me?
I found myself thinking that, to create real change in this world, we need more women sitting in circle, in ceremony with each other.
When the session finished, I sat up and said to Sarah, “Our feminine energy has been so deeply suppressed.” She shared that the condemnation of women — suppressing our power, sensuality and sexuality — has been happening since the dawn of time. Expressing our femininity has for so long been labelled “wrong”, which is why we’re now seeing a masculinity-dominated world.
“Is the feminine energy powerful enough to change the world?” Sarah asked me as she handed me her tarot cards. I pulled a card from the deck. On it, I saw her — my divine goddess — with her long dark hair and white wings. She was soft and gentle yet powerful and strong. It’s this card that answered Sarah’s question and reaffirmed my reiki session.
At that, it was time for our final gathering. Channelling the full moon’s energy, we women adorned each other’s bodies with beads, paint and jewels, celebrating the fire element and the divine goddesses within. We danced around the dim-lit room, stomping our feet and shaking our bodies to the drumbeat. Then we sat, coming together one last time to celebrate the sisterhood, inviting our goddess energy to come alive once again — and stay.
I found myself thinking that, to create real change in this world, we need more women sitting in circle, in ceremony with each other. We need to confidently and honestly express our feminine energy. We need to freely share our feelings of love and openness with others; humanity needs a maternally supported shift towards compassion, empowerment, devotion, joy and love.
Over the month I learnt and experienced many beautiful things, but the most important was not to shy away from my femininity and, instead, to feel it, open myself to it and express it.
I miss sitting in ceremony weekly with my sisters now, but I’ve created my own daily spiritual practice. I cleanse with the holy wood palo santo and create my own smudge sticks. I spend time at my altar, setting intentions and practising yoga and meditation. I light candles, work with the moon and collect sacred trinkets and treasures.
The guidance I received from Sarah, along with the support of spiritual practices that resonated most, allow me to walk strongly, confidently and intentionally through life, honouring and owning the divine goddess within.