Today I initiated one of my students as a teacher and healer within the People Israel. It is an ancient rite of initiation, as old as the Hebrew People are old, going all the way back to our shamanic earthy roots when the healer- storyteller- vision bringer person was trained up and initiated by the medicine elders of the community. It is a process that we call S’micha, which means leaning into, and which represents a soul-merging of the person performing s’micha and the one being leaned into. Teacher into student, student into teacher. Two souls breathing as one.
I do a lot of work mentoring upcoming teachers. It’s one of my specialties. And I focus my greater work through this lens, of mentoring teachers, because this is one of the greatest needs we have in the world today, uplifting and empowering our teachers and healers. We need people to be out working in the Light. It’s a tragic reality though that there are not enough people available to mentor the wealth of folk wanting to commit to working with Spirit in the World. People do not have access to the mentorship and guidance and nurturance and support that they need to grow into themselves as teachers, and this is something that needs to be corrected. The world needs its healers now, and we who have established ourselves in the Spiritual Arts have a responsibility to guide those coming up from below.
Having said that, the process of cultivating an authentic Spirit teaching path is long and slow and requires huge measures of patience and perseverance on the part of the student. I find that a lot of people want to serve, but not so many have the self -discipline to wait out the process, to invest themselves integrally in the path they are trying to claim. So when I have student that holds the path and grows into himself so awesomely that I cannot help but uplift him as a fully embodied teacher within our People, it is such great goodness– brilliant and amazing.
This student that I uplifted today stayed in the process, growing himself step by step, piece by piece, every moment along the way. It took him years to achieve this first level of initiation, and he did it with an equal measure of humanity and grace. He struggled in all the right places, not running from, but into challenge, willing to look where it hurt and thriving on the Being-ness of being In Process. And slowly, as he emerged into doing more and more work in the field– slowly he began to embody his calling in a way that it has become inseparable from who he is, flowing from the very root of his being-ness in the world.
This is what we want to see before initiating the Rite of S’micha— we want to see that the person has been uplifted by their own students, by their community, by their peers, by the Divine, and most importantly, from within their very inner self. When all of these places of affirmation of the students work and calling come into alignment, then we know we’re ready for S’micha— then and only then do we lean into the person, merging soul essences from the outside to within.
We also make a Covenant of Salt with the student-initiate. In the Covenant of Salt we are saying that we’re going to continue to walk with and support the initiate as they move fully into their work in the world. Just because we empower them to work independently doesn’t mean we abandon them along their path. With the Covenant of Salt we’re saying, we’re going to be with you in all the Salty places. We’re going to be with you even if times get hard, even if times get impossible, and even when you get into those moments, as all teachers and healers do when the struggle becomes thick and full and seemingly impenetrable. And also, we’re going to be with you in the places when the blessing and goodness is so intense one cries tears of joy. We’re going to be there in grief and in laughter, in the highs and the lows and in the in-between. And, like salt which preserves and endures, our walking of the path with the person is something we commit to being lasting and enduring. We uplift the initiate into their calling, giving through the soul merging as much of ourselves as we can to support their path, and then the Covenant of Salt seals the longevity of the mentoring relationship, up-shoring the fledgling teacher’s independence with a committed support system.
This I had the pleasure to do with my student today. A new teacher born into the work of guiding souls in the ways of Spirit. A new passionate and vibrant force for doing the real world work of bringing healing to the Earth in an Age of Humanity that is simultaneously bless-ed and frightening. I give him all of my blessing that he continue to find a path for himself that is good and right and whole; that he deepen in the ways of Spirit; that he find sustenance and joy in the work he does with community; and that he finds success working with Hearts wherever he finds them.
Blessed is the Holy Ancient One who brings forth Healers.
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