Her Light entered the room before she did. I felt a shift in the energy. You know, like if Nelson Mandela walked in the living room, you figure you’d probably “feel” it. Well, yeah. I felt it.
I was expecting this woman who described herself as a clan storyteller, an author, a teacher. She had called earlier to meet about holding circle at the little storefront I was running called the Shamanic Healing Arts Center in San Diego, California. And I admit I was nervous to meet her. I was previously a Stanford-educated attorney, so I was hyper aware of honoring rules and protocols. Yet I had been called by Spirit to describe myself as a “shaman." It felt strange to do so without having permission from a native person. So frankly, I was a little nervous about meeting Maria. Would she approve when she saw my lily-white complexion? Although I’d experienced a spontaneous awakening at the birth of my daughter that had me experiencing visitations by native-looking spirit guides who were guiding me in my path, I was not trained by a living native person.
When Spirit directed my friend Alora and I, two upper-middle-class overly educated white chicks to use the term “shaman” to describe our unique and spirit-led untrained mode of channeling/healing/teaching people – well, we were a bit concerned. What would this look like to the “real” native people? Would they be angry with us? Don’t you need some kind of bloodline or tribal training or certification or something to call yourself “shaman?” We had been praying to receive guidance about this, to call in a teacher who
My nervousness about meeting Maria lasted approximately one second after she walked in the door. Maria Yraceburu, this woman tiny in stature and huge in spirit and poise, was grinning wildly at me with a sly look in one eye, and wide open arms inviting a big family-style hug. Her housthé or (lifemate) partner, Lynda, wore a matching grin and wide hugging arms of her own. I was reeling in the Light of this welcome. In embracing these women, I felt a greater movement of Spirit around us, as all of our Guides were also embracing, reconnecting, rejoicing in this long-awaited moment. My rational mind griped that I was making a big deal out of just one little greeting – a few moments of hugging a stranger. But my heart knew that these women were no strangers to me. They were family – sisters – aunties – teachers – mentors – comrades – colleagues – they were FAMILY.
My good friend and business partner Alora and I sat on the floor of the Center and told our stories. Maria and Lynda listened to us while we enthusiastically recounted the miraculous events that led to the opening of the Center. My cheeks hurt from the wild grinning.
Maria admitted that she had been led to the Center. She said that now she could see why. We were meant to work together as priests and as family. She encouraged us. She validated us. She told us skin color doesn’t limit us, and neither does blood. Because Spirit puts us in bodies the colors of the rainbow, and it takes all colors to build that totality of Light. It is time for All Nations to come together and live the prayer of All Our Relations – not just in tribal groups – but in this crazy modern world of the Rainbow.
As Maria and Lynda left that day, we thanked Spirit for this beautiful beginning of what continued as a partnership, a camaraderie, a family of Spirit with Maria and the tlish diyan tradition.
Alora and I prayed, “Thank you for bringing us these teachers of Integrity, Tradition, and Truth. Thank you for providing us this validation that our blood and skin are acceptable in this Calling. Thank you for leading us from one miracle to the next in the service of the Highest Good. Lead On, Spirit! A-Ho!”
And this was the beginning of seven years holding intensive ceremony and circles together, in the Center, in the mountains on the land, in Southern California, Northern California, Hawaii. And ten more years of collaboration and connection, living in different towns but sharing many students and communities as we followed our paths.
So many people are awakening to their inner indigenous awareness. And now with my own work, I have the privilege of teaching some of Silicon Valley’s top geniuses, and some of our nations politicians, artists, and creative leaders of all kinds what Maria has shared with me, combined with my own modern American point of view. And the seeds are spreading farther and farther, supporting many leaders to become more conscious, more empowered to their own callings, and more centered on their own paths as they bridge the worlds of earth and spirit with purpose. Maria opened the door for me almost 20 years ago now. She adopted me into her family. She taught me better protocol so I could walk the line of cultural respect while still following my own path. She walked me through initiations of power so I could grow in integrity and connection. She gave me the guidance and encouragement I needed, and still draw upon today. I am ever grateful. ashne ate, diiyin, shima. I love you, Maria, holy one, my teacher auntie mama!