Dirty, Dangerous, Edgy, Shamanism, Should I Share Details?

I have been to comfortable shamanic rituals in living rooms and lodges. Sometimes powerful magic occurs. Often time it feels to clean and sterile for me. Yet magic is with us always if we live it and stay mindful in our intent. Magic is everywhere. I recently became rather fixated on these two books: JesusGate: A History of Concealment Unraveled, by Ernie Bringas. And Robert’s 101 Rules of Order for a Good Life by A. Robert Smith

cover Jesuse gatecover A robert's 101 rshamanism

Why? And what do they have to do with Shamanism? Jesusgate historically states that the odds are that no one who wrote the Bible was an original apostle or even eye witness to Jesus’ life. That tells me some very powerful magic underlies Christianity and the bible and how it is viewed.

Robert’s 101 Rules quotes everyone from Ben Franklin to Edgar Cayce to explain what a good life might be and how we can live one. This is shamanism this is magic in a simple but strong form.

Three years ago while I was living in the Yucatan of Mexico I spent time with some powerful magic workers, many of them Mayan. What they shared in common was that shamanic magic is about intent, expectation, often weird and strange rituals and results!

Shamanism comes in countless forms. I first visited Peru in 1974. I have been traveling back often to Latin America since then. I have, when I could arrange it, lived there. I am not a shaman. I will always be a student. The kind of shamanism I like best are the uncomfortable kinds. If I am facing my fears, my limits, my doubts, my insecurities, my need for comfort then I feel most open to strong life altering life enhancing magic.

If I am in the Amazon River Basin covered in sweat and mud and being bitten by insects as a shaman sings one of the sweetest songs I ever heard I know, something is moving. When I was not aware I was supposed to fast before taking Ayahuasca and I had the runs, and was throwing up and the wax in my ears was melting down my cheeks and I felt so bad I wanted to die, then I knew I was on the edge of a major breakthrough. When it was so cold my warm cloths felt like rags and only coca leaves kept me from freezing to death on an Andean Mountain peak and a shaman danced and I had visions of the Ice Goddess, I knew magic was real.

Tijuana’s Little People

I just finished reading two good books Robert’s 101 Rules of Order to a Good Life by A. Robert Smith and Jesusgate by Ernie Bringas they restarted me thinking over my  recent years. They inspired me to begin writing my new book on my blog.

little people4 (1)

After over a year of internet courting from the Americas to Sweden, Sofia came to spend six months traveling in Mexico with me. I had to tie up many loose ends in San Diego and was working two jobs to try and save some money towards the trip. We rented a lovely studio apartment on the Playa de Tijuana  (The Beach of Tijuana. )  It was a block from the ocean, inexpensive and magical. There were dolphins and seals swimming in the waves. You could sit in a café at night sip beer or cheap wine and watch the lights of downtown San Diego. The city of Tijuana is very safe in the days if you stay clear of all drugs. I would get up at 3 AM three mornings a week to drive across the border otherwise the wait was three to five hours. I would often spend a night at my sons rented house then driving back into Mexico is fast an easy anytime my work was through. In between I could work on my smart phone from any café.

Sofia and I explored many new places our different magic, shamanic, witchcraft and trance studies and practices overlapped. But the strangest perhaps was one morning I was to work in a café in Tijuana I was sitting on the toilet and out of the wall danced seven little Elves? I thought I was hallucinating. They proceeded to put on a show for me. Which they did many mornings over the two months we lived there. Usually making fun of me and Sofia and the people we knew and explain simple ways to improve our relationship and our lives.


A piece of my new book maybe?

The web the weave

I just finished reading two good books Robert’s 101 Rules of Order to a Good Life by A. Robert Smith and Jesusgate by Ernie Bringas they restarted me thinking over my past year and recent years. Technology has been important to me since I co-Founded Magical Blend Magazine. However in the most recent year I came to see it as an important part of my good life and my personal spiritual path.

MB #1

My almost 28 year old son Henry is great technically and loves vidio games especially Halo. He has taught me so much in these areas that expand my understandings of the potential of realities. My almost 27 year old daughter Sophia and her boyfriend have become Pokemon go fanatics. Hearing their enthusiasm and joy around this new evolution of apps and video games has forced me to expand my view of magic, fantasy, technology and how they can influence everyone’s lives.

In a good effective Shamanic ceremony, you become aware of your connectedness to all things on much deeper levels. You call on spiritual entities or forces or Gods and Goddesses. You often see the lines of energy that run from everything which exists to every other thing which exist. One ceremony I partook of a ritualistic substances and could not stay in this present day earth dimension. I kept rocketing off to alternative and expanded and even lower vibrational dimensions. It was beyond mind stretching and imagination stretching it was downright confusing and scary and overwhelming. Eventually I leaned against an old large tree which began speaking to me. It told me that it and most other things which exist on earth expand into most of these other dimensions. It said humans do but most levels are unaware of the other states of existence. But some beings like old growth trees and mountain ranges and rivers knew they existed in all these other dimensions at the same time which is no time.


In recent years due to work or research I and my wife Sofia have spent nine and ten hour days working on the internet more days than not for the recent year. We have become aware that our awareness expands differently but similarly as in Shamanic ceremony. We almost stop being human consciousness in human bodies. We flatten out and expand. I think of the old movie Tron. We become like many tentacles squids. We use our knowledge and skills to surf the web. We use our intuition to guide us to how best to position our clients to better promote their products, books or services. We stop where we can observe new uses of the technologies and where we can expand our knowledge base and expand our skills.


With powerful Shamanic ceremonies you have to scheduled one to three days of rest and reintegration before you can act natural in the normal world.  With our multiple months in the internet we find it is similar we must then schedule down time with very minimal use of any electronics. Lots of sleeping, good meals and a good deal of time in nature. Sex also helps. Only after a couple days or more of this down time can we buster ourselves back into the saddle and renter the wild new pioneer world of cyber space


Technology is like fire and money it is a double edged sword. It has ruined many lives It has enslaved many people. However, it can be and must be used in a mindful, intentional and controlled way and when that is done it is a cornucopia of wonderful possibilities. My wonderful wife Sofia Karen and I work in pretty much for the present live in social media. We love it we use it to promote good books, products, businesses and services to people whose lives will be better for knowing about them. But we do make a point of not owning a TV. And we do not allow ourselves to use our computers except on special events after 7 PM. We also hike at minimum an hour a day in nature and many weekends hike for many hours without any technology except a turned off cell phone for emergencies.


As I write this we have a client who is 91. He is a well-read author. He hired us partially to help promote him and his latest book in our unique fashion but he made it clear he wanted us to teach him all about social media and what we know about cutting edge technology. He wants to stretch and learn and be able to utilize new tools effectively into his late nineties. He is my new role model. I want to have adventures, do magic, write, learn and evolve until I am in my late 90’s and beyond.


Magical Living

I now have this blog. And I have written countless articles appeared in many anthologies and authored three books with only my name on them.  My most recent book Secrets of the Amazon Shamans was just reissued as an I book. But all three books ended over a decade ago. They were all pretty intensely autobiographical. My life has been endless adventures since I last finished a book. The Magic that is written of in my first books as taking place in the Andean Mountains and the Amazon rainforest basin and if not there mainly with the staffs and friends of Magical Blend Magazine over the last ten years became the main emphasis of my day to day life.

I have been picking at a new book since I moved to Faber, Virginia. Maybe because of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the articles I have had printed lately I feel I would do better knowing people were reading what I wrote soon after I wrote it. I also feel I would benefit from interested friends and reader’s feedback.

I am toying with a working title of Sacred Journeys, or Magical Living or Expanded Existence.  I am thinking it will be a series of short stories of my last ten years of magic and adventures. From Chico, Ca. to Faber, VA. With lots of Latin America thrown in from the Yucatan in Mexico to Cusco, Peru and a dose of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, Ca. Focusing on the most amazing nearly unbelievable magic and adventures. How does that sound to anyone?mexico market

Crop Circles as told on TheEchoWorld.com

August issue of The Echo World Magazine:

Extraordinary Design – The Beauty of Crop Circles

There have been crop circles sightings reported on all continents and most countries of Earth. Named after their usual appearance in crop fields, similar designs and formations have been found in many forms all over the world. There are crop circles made from trees found in Canada as well as in the Amazon Rainforest. Other formations found are made of stone and sand in the African and Arabian deserts. Some are even photographed under the sea. Some feel these unexplained designs have been with us throughout recorded history. Where do they come from? Why do they appear? Why are they most documented in Europe and especially the UK? These are but a few of the mysteries surrounding these geometric shapes. We know they touch a common popular chord because when The Echo World changed leadership readers came out of the backwoods saying, “Change whatever you want, but please do feature some new crop circles in 2016.”

Allen Brown has done great crop circle films on YouTube and explains crop circles based on the forms of the circle and the square this way:
“The circle is a symbol of spirit, of heaven, of the unmanifest, the immeasurable and the infinite, while the square is the symbol of the material, the Earth, the measurable and the finite. Noting that the symbolic essence of the problem was the reconciliation of seemingly opposing principles, and the resolution of dualities – they are a sacred, cosmological act.”

Dr. Ruth Moore, author of Crop Circles Revealed: The Language of the Crop Circles says: “Crop circles are present, in part, to activate the cosmic and soul DNA as well as the physical DNA and expand the brain’s neurosynapses. This happens when they are viewed through the iris and connected to the brain.”

Freddy Silva, author of Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles, states about the formations found in crop fields: “To date some 10,000 crop circles have been cataloged worldwide, and their anomalous features continue to be irreplaceable: plants bent an inch above soil and gently laid down in geometrically-precise patterns with no physical signs of damage, altered cellular structure and soil chemistry, discrepancies in background radiation, alteration of the local electromagnetic field, massive depletion of the watershed, and dowsable, long-lasting energy patterns, not to mention measured effects on the human biological field. So much, then, for two guys and a piece of wood.”

Many accounts exist of a trilling sound heard by people prior to witnessing crop circles forming. The reports describe a sudden stillness in the air, the morning birdsong superseded by a trilling sound, and the banging together of wheat heads despite an absence of wind. A whole section of crop then lies down in spiral fashion — the whole episode lasting less than fifteen seconds.
Circles researcher Colin Andrews has among many others heard this trilling noise himself.
Are crop circles messages from other dimensional beings carved out with sound to help humanity evolve? Wouldn’t it be nice to think so? We leave it to The Echo World readers to judge for themselves while printing crop circle formations found in 2016.

(Photo: from Yatesbury, North Wiltshire, England 2016)

The Echo World's photo.

During the Republican Convention we need to remember Leadership of Love!

“One with the People,” by Jack King is a much needed book on leadership. The reason is that this book
explores a new kind of leadership. Or rather, an old kind of leadership. That is, the book is inspired by ancient Native American teachings to explain leadership from a more enlightened perspective, then the ”strive for success at any cost approach,” most of us are used to today. Instead Jack King let the characters in his book talk of leadership in terms of love, service and understanding. This is very refreshing.

For anyone who has a great respect and interest in old Native American teachings – this book has much to give. King uses the story of a 21st century corporation that comes to a crises, and combines this with a story that goes back to the 9th century, letting the story of a four-day quest on the top of a grand mesa in the four corners region of America’s southwest be the place where wisdom about leadership pours out. Sani, a very old and wise Navajo man, prepares his adopted granddaughter, Topangah, a young Tongva lady, to take her place among the people and lead them to a new and better place. Sani uses the Anishinaabe teachings of the Seven Grandfathers to help Topangah understand what is truly necessary to lead: love, respect, courage, honesty, humility, truth, and wisdom.

This is an inspirational and easy read book on leadership, from a refreshing, spiritual perspective that works in any culture. by Sofia Karin AxelssonOne with the People

Robert Smith’s book Robert’s 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE

I just finished a great little inspiring book by a man who’s life is inspiring.cover A robert's 101 r


At the age of 91, after recovering from a massive stroke, A. Robert Smith has come out with his tenth book: Robert’s 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE. A. Robert Smith was the founding editor of Venture Inward magazine, author of nine previous books, including The Lost Memoirs of Edward Cayce and a former Washington correspondent and columnist whose work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Portland Oregonian, Virginian-Pilot and other publications.


In Robert’s 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE,  veteran journalist and author A. Robert Smith is sharing his wisdom of a long, productive life. But instead of a prose account of his own views he uses the old-fashioned style of proverbs―short, often punchy statements that are meaningful and often humorous. About half of the proverbs contained in this book express his views on marriage, family relations, child behavior, and other essential topics. The other half includes proverbs and sayings by popular figures, such as Ben Franklin, Shakespeare, Confucius, Schweitzer, Churchill, the Buddha, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers.


  1. Robert Smith explains how the book came about:

This book started in a Quaker Meeting when a woman stood up and said, God is Love. Then she sat down. Nothing more was said. Just a deep well of silence blessed The room. Mr Smith had heard this before but this time it was somehow different. As he meditated on it a new meaning of God came to him.


We can think of God as a being or a spirit. Mr Smith thinks of God as energy – Love energy. Love has a special power to change everything for the better. It affects most things positively – babies, animals, plants


The final act of love, as Reinhold Niebuhr said, is forgiveness. When you can forgive those who have wronged you, you are on the right track for Eden. Eden is what lies ahead after giving up parading around in our skin. The book is composed of proverbs to follow on the road to Eden.


What has been said about Robert’s 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE

As a trained journalist, Smith has spent decades carefully keeping himself in the background of his writing. Observing and then presenting beautifully clear, engaging information and balancing both sides of every story with fairness and truth. He maintained the integrity of a professional storyteller whether he was covering politics or the paranormal.


Smith has written this great little guidebook for anyone who is turning a corner. For recent grads, new parents, empty nesters, those struggling with divorce, relocating, or celebrating an important milestone. It also is a perfect gift to give to someone who is driving you crazy because by reading it they might just figure out why.


His advice is to the point and with a punch. But it won’t hurt you. Instead, it will make you say, “Ahhhh, of course!” In this powerful little package, Smith shares his personal wisdom, as well as the wisdom of his heroes; sometimes even on the same page. You can open it anyplace and feel the impact.

– Ruth O’Lill, is a free-lance writer and author of Songs to Sisters – A Celebration of Being Woman A Personal Guide to Hope.


  1. Robert Smith lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia

An Excerpt from my re released book: Secrets of the Amazon Shamans

AAA The secrets of the Amazon ShamansYagé in Ecuador

by Michael Peter Langevin


The following is an excerpt from: The Secrets of the Amazon Shamans: Healing Traditions from South America, by Michael Peter Langevin.  Michael tells about the native story of how yagé came to be part of the holy ceremonies of the people in the Putumayo area in Ecuador, and about participating in this fascinating ceremony. The Secrets of the Amazon Shamans was re-released by Crossroad Press in 2016.


The people of the Putumayo area, in Ecuador tell a story of the origin of yage’. When God created the world, he plucked a hair from his head and planted it in the Putumayo valley. He blessed this with his left hand. The native people discovered this plant and developed yage’ rituals, which taught them all about good and evil, the uses of animals, and the plants that could be used for food or visions. Yage’ taught them the meaning of life, and to live it. Seeing all this, God was shocked. He asked for and was given some yage’ tea. He trembled, vomited, defecated, and cried profusely, overcome by the many wonderful things he had seen. In the morning, God declared, “It is true, that the person who drinks yage’ suffers. But that person grows and learns wise things, and wisdom often comes from suffering.”

Don Pacienta utilized yage’ in his shamanistic rituals. I and others joined him at his rather large house set back away from the village. Don Pacienta explained to us that yage’ is a tool that you use as a cure, to improve your life and gain insight and intelligence. He went on to say that we might see beautiful things or horrible things, according to the state of our hearts.

Don Pacienta poured the yage’ and wiped it clean with a healing fan. We all drank, and immediately I could barely keep my eyes open. I looked around and we all seemed to be falling asleep, except Don Pacienta. I fell into a kind of sleepy trance. It seemed as if I were floating in a state where I was not fully capable of thinking or sleeping, but just lying down with my eyes closed. Then, after what I guessed to be an hour, I became aware of the nearby river noises and the breeze in the jungle trees.

Don Pacienta began to sing, but the voice didn’t sound like his. It seemed old and tired, not like ceremonial singing, but like singing for singing’s sake. The singing was almost torturously slow, both apart from and together with the yage’ journey being undertaken by the group. I could imagine this song existing before people lived on Earth, and thought that it might continue even after the planet ceased to exist. Just as I began to almost enjoy the seemingly endless, monotonous singing, one of the participants in the ritual suddenly jumped up and ran outside to vomit. It sounded so loud and disturbing, I opened my eyes, sat up, and looked around. Everyone else seemed asleep, except for Don Pacienta and me. The vomiting sound soon became all-consuming. It seemed to curl into and out of my stomach like a snake. Suddenly another participant left the house to defecate in a bush. His every movement was loud and it felt as though this act was being performed for me or maybe even by me. He suddenly yelled, “Snakes!” and ran back into the house, smelling awful.

“No, there are no snakes near here. I sent them all away before beginning this ritual. But this is what happens when people envy you; you have a terrible time with yage’,” boomed Don Pacienta. “Then the snakes come all over your body and your vomit goes back into your mouth as snakes, frogs, lizards, alligators, wild animals, and cockroaches. That is what you feel when you are sick. And it smells terribly, too.”

I realized Don Pacienta wasn’t talking about me or even to me. He knew everyone had been too aware of the man, who was vomiting, so he had broken the spell and awakened us. Now he was pouring second cups of yage’, and this time he was singing a lovely song. He sounded like himself, in a voice that transmitted healing energy.

Now he had a ring in his hand. One of the participants had asked him to instill it with protective magic. Don Pacienta shook the ring to the rhythm of the song, slow and deliberate. I picked up an occasional word in Spanish: “Buena suerte … no diablo … mucho amour….” (Good luck … no devil … much love). That was a strong magical song as I have seldom heard. He had us all try and sing along. The next thing I knew we were all singing faster, and Don Pacienta was swinging a bag of Chondur candy around the man with the ring.

Then Don Pacienta stopped abruptly. He handed the bag back to the owner, charged for protection. “This ring is now a powerful magic protector and the chondur will be a powerful love potion (quereme) to help win the heart of any women as you requested.” Don Pacienta giggled as he said this. And then he broke into howling laughter. The man began to laugh loudly also. Suddenly we were all laughing, as the world exploded with the humor of everything. It swept around the room in waves. The seriousness of the night, the vomit, the eternal song, and the dark, seemed to be cracked open like the shell, and into this opening we all tumbled willy-nilly, overflowing with laughter. In truth, I know the singing of that song and that night’s ritual made the rest of my travels better. Probably my whole life, too.  And the story goes on and became more involved until long after dawn.



Michael Peter Langevin was the publisher/ editor of Magical Blend Magazine. He has authored three books:  Secrets of the Ancient Incas, Secrets of the Amazon Shamans, and Spiritual Business. He has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America. His present day company LangevinAxelsson Marketing specializes in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations Consulting.  To contact Michael email:LangevinAxelssonMarketing@gmail.com




A Sampling of Spiritual Teachers

From the  January issue of Echo Magazine


A Sampling of Spiritual Teachers
By Michael Peter Langevin

Having lived now in Central Virginia for over a year and a half, I am in awe of the wide array of wonderful, alternative healers, psychics, intuitives and spiritual teachers who reside in this area. I emailed questions to a random selection of them and from those who responded I extrapolated what they offer and have put their responses together in this article. To read their full answers you may go to Echo’s Facebook page where we posted them.
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D. sees her job as being a near-death researcher who helps redefine what it means to be human. She loves sharing from her book Dying to Know You: Proof of God in the Near-Death Experience. Her teachings stresses: “Always there is life. Reconsider ideas about life before birth, now life, and any afterlife. We have always existed, we exist now, and we will always exist. . . because eternity is our home.” She states, “Let’s explore that together, and have a lot of fun doing it.”

Joanna DiMaggio’s two books Soul Writing and Your Soul Remembers are both great. She teaches a written form of meditation and communication with your soul. It teaches individuals to enter an altered state of consciousness and then communicate with a higher consciousness, asking and receiving answers to whatever their soul yearns to know through a stream-of-consciousness writing. Johanna says, “Just ask yourself—what if you knew, really knew in every part of your being, that there is an answer to every question you have ever pondered and all you had to do was ask. Well this is true.”

Terri Saunders: Is a nutritionist, herbalist, and certified, natural health professional who teaches how to heal yourself holistically through diet, nutritional supplements, and medicinal herbs. She helps clients transform mental and emotional stress to restore the flow of healing and balance the mind/body. She often utilizes astrology and human design charts. She explores ways to resolve challenges and evolve to one’s full potential. Her advice to readers would be to see yourself as the master of your body, rather than a victim.

Susan Wolf Star, teaches an orally tradition which has been passed down for over 10,000 years. She works with practical applications of shamanic philosophy with the goal of bringing spiritual awareness into one’s day to day life. Through this she shows how to access other realities. In this way, the soul is awakened and we become fully human. She says, “The greatest gift from the Great Spirit to each person on Earth is the gift of your personal vision, and the potential of your soul.”

Melissa Kitto, teaches how to develop your psychic sensitivity in order to tune in to your angels. She means that everyone’s angels are communicating with us, whether we consciously realize that or not. They are sending us hundreds of impressions and hunches every day. If we are too much in our intellect, we will dismiss these ideas and impressions very quickly, because they don’t seem logical. Melissa says, “Learn to raise your awareness and develop your psychic sensitivity so you are tuned in to your angels.”

Leigh Heasley’s book Awaken-Beings of Light is sweet. She states that she holds space and gently directs through intuition under the guise of yoga. Through living her joy and her truth, she finds the opportunity to meet others who are living theirs, or at least have begun their journey to find them. She sums this up as, “We are greater than the sum of our parts”. She inspires through movement, breath, poetry, art, and nature. She advises readers to “slow down…listen…breathe… and choose “you” first, above all.”

J. Dixon Stewart teaches Blue Collar Enlightenment, or how to be the awakened, mindful, happy, and imperfect human. He teaches how to take a huge step forward towards fulfillment, happiness and peace, and how to you avoid common spiritual growth traps. He asks, “What are non-dualistic living and spirituality without dogma?” He teaches how to overcome or better deal with fears, longings, feelings of doubt, and insecurity. His book 21 Days: a Guide for Spiritual Beginners teaches people how to become spiritual finders and much more.

Will Diefenderfer offers reiki, karmic astrology, guided meditation, past life regression, personalized meditations, and life purpose coaching. He works with the questions: “Where are you in life, where do you want to be, and how are you getting there?” He focuses on the symbology within your everyday. He says, “Why wait any longer to live to your fullest potential? You deserve greatness and it’s about time you claim it for yourself!” Will offers Shamanic retreats outside of Iquitos, Peru during the months of February and March.

We are blessed to have an amazing number of resident authors. Among them my favorite, spiritual ones are Frank DeMarco and Michael Grosso who have respectively recently released Rita’s World: A View from the Non-Physical and A Man Who Could Fly: St. Joseph of Copertino and the Mystery of Levitation. Both books are similar to attending advanced spiritual classes. I strongly recommend them.
This article could hardly scratch the surface of the teachers and authors of Central Virginia. I urge you to attend some of their classes I have mentioned, read some of the books and find other teachers for yourself. If you enjoyed this article, please let me know. I will gladly do a follow up with other spiritual teachers in the area, as well as healers, psychics or authors. Your suggestions are welcomed. Remember the rest of what these teachers responded that was left out of this article is posted on Echo’s Facebook page:

Bio: Michael Peter Langevin was the publisher/ editor for twenty-seven years of Magical Blend Magazine. He has authored three books: Secrets of the Ancient Incas, and Secrets of the Amazon Shamans, Spiritual Business. His and his wife Sofia’s company LangevinAxelsson Marketing specializes in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations Consulting. Their logo is “Let us help the world know you better.” To contact Michael email: LangevinAxelssonMarketing@gmail.com

Enhance Your Holiday Season With Rituals By Michael Peter Langevin (This was just released in Echo Magazine)

It is the holiday season. We just shared Thanksgiving and soon it will be Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and New Year. Have you ever looked closely at how you celebrate your holidays and why? What rituals do you follow in these holiday times?
Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They are commonly often defined as religious. But if you go to your best friend’s house every New Year, drink and dance with all your friends and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight, then this is a ritual too. Rituals can be defined as a sequence of activities involving known and expected gestures, words, and objects, being performed according to set sequence. Rituals are often prescribed by the traditions of a religion, belief-system, community, and families, and as characterized by formalism, traditionalism, sacral symbolism, and performance. However, rituals is not only about what you are used to from relations with your childhood religion, or long term habits with family and friends. They are also personal habits, conscious or unconsciously executed.
Many people who grew up with family rituals around the holidays and then moved far away for work and are alone around the holidays, often get very depressed, because their rituals are no longer there, and the loss of family and the familiar have all the more impact. For others, the holiday season, with all its joys and meetings, induces stress and impossibly long to-do lists.
But whether you believe it or not, you are to a large part in charge of how the holidays will turn out. A great place to start is taking a step back and observe your personal rituals in your daily life. This gives you insights and the beginning of the power to change and improve them so they serve you best.
Do you always drive the same way to work? Do you always get up have a cup of coffee, shower, dress and head out to work? Do you sit in front of TV after dinner for hours, or do Facebook? Life habits become rituals and often make us mindless, rather than enhance our lives.
I have lived and traveled frequently in Latin America, especially in Peru and Mexico. Things I took for granted from my life in the USA were not how things were done there. And partaking of Shamanic rituals in the Yucatan or the Amazon Jungles is very different from religious rituals I knew here in the USA. These experiences made me more aware of the impact rituals have in our lives, and how much they can differ from place to place.
One Mexican shaman once told me that many shamans perform rituals exactly as they are taught. I have decided that for me, originality, spontaneity and creativity are more important than old traditions. I believe spirit wants us to be authentic and clear in our intent and desired outcome.
I have tried to bring this back into to my everyday life. If I am washing the dishes and my intent beyond getting them clean, is to be performing a ritual act of washing away all the aspects of my life which do not serve me, then the simple act of washing dishes becomes a powerful ritual.
If I am working in the garden and beyond working to nurture the growth of healthy food I see myself nurturing the growth of all the healthy aspects of my life, then I have made that work into a powerful ritual.
In the same way, if you go into a challenging situation and make a ritual of it by saying ‘I will do great. I want to achieve my best possible outcome’, and in addition to this see a picture in your mind of what it will feel like when you have achieved your hoped for outcome, then you just increased your odds algebraically. Try it. Ritual can be a new kind of mind games or self-mind control.
I try to live my whole life as ritual and I love it. As an example, me and my wife Sofia, take time to create magic rituals after dinner a few nights a week, turning off all technological communications, and giving ourselves permission to open up to the spirit world. We sit in a comfortable place and co-create a magical environment where we then call in spirit and request insights or assistance with aspects of our lives, or the lives of people we wish to assist. Through these evenings we get much knowledge and energy that we can use for all kinds of things in our daily life. As the year changes, we adapt these evenings. Winter is a time to focus on hope and light. Spring is the time of renewal and so forth. Rituals require that we keep making it real, such as remembering to be thankful and say a prayer to whatever spiritual beings you feel most aligned with during harvest season.
If you look at how you choose to celebrate your holidays of this season, then you can start seeing that your personal rituals serve to empower or entrap and depress you.
Around the holiday season it takes major efforts to stay a bit removed from your rituals and even more to alter them. Maybe instead of buying expensive presents you could give people a written promise to share a time with them, like fishing with your son, or massage your partner. Maybe you always wanted to stay at home and cook your own Christmas dinner. Let people know that is your plan this year. Just decide to do something different. Instead of what stresses you out and depletes you. Cut your to do list in half, and decide to enjoy yourself with your own homemade holiday rituals this year.
You can make ritual your tool to use when you want and how you choose. It has been used by all religious and spiritual teachings throughout history because it works. However most of us do not realize that any individual or group can reclaim ritual as their own personal tool, their own way of enriching their lives.

Michael Peter Langevin was the publisher/ editor for twenty-seven years of Magical Blend Magazine. He has authored three books: Secrets of the Ancient Incas, and Secrets of the Amazon Shamans (Career Press) Spiritual Business, (Hampton Roads). His company Langevin Marketing specializes in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations Consulting. Their logo is: “Let us help the world know you better..” To contact Michael email:Langevinmarketing@gmail.com

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