November 1, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Hidden Lake Retreat
Lauri Shainsky

The Beheading Ceremony

November 1

6 pm-10 pm

at Hidden Lake Retreat

Please read through the instructions carefully, and take 20 minutes or more to do the  preparatory journeys, most importantly the first one. Begin gathering intention and power for the ceremony.

Background about the Celtic Shaman’s Rite of World Healing

This beloved Celtic Ceremony was taught to me by Tom Cowan during my two-year celtic shamanic training. This ceremony was one of the most impactful I have experienced. As such, it is most definitely a shamanic initiation. This ceremony is one of powerful service that exemplifies the selfless path of the original, traditional shaman.

I have changed the name as it is presented publically because of what terrorism has done to people’s thgouthforms around the term “beheading”. This ceremony emerged from Tom’s extensive research into Celtic lore, where he found over and over again that great magical events followed, or were associated with, the circumstance of a hero being beheaded. Here in more privately held space, I share with you the true name of the ceremony, and originally, Tom called it the Beheading Game.

The purpose of the Beheading Game is two-fold:

1) to alleviate suffering in the world

2) to foster within us a visceral and impactful experience of selfless healing.

We gather power from the nature spirits and our compassionate helping spirits to ready us for the Beheading. Then, we support each other during an active shamanic Beheading ritual and reunification where we offer ourselves up as instruments that have the capacity to help alleviate suffering somewhere in the world.

One aspect I love about this ceremony is that we honor nature and trees, as we gather our “sword”—the sacred instrument with which we will facilitate another’s initiation. That we use a location in nature in Non-Ordinary Reality (NOR) to perform this ceremony. In Tom’s course, we had a spirit lead us to a “nematon” which was a grassy clearing surrounded by forest. The location of the ceremony here is determined by each of our divine helpers.

Another key thing I cherish about this ceremony is we get “alittle dirty” temporarily. In the neo-shamanism that most of us are being trained in, we are taught to be uber careful with energy, to not take anything on, to stay away from or dispense with quickly, dense, negative energy. Like we could actually be hermetically sealed away from it. Traditional shamans went to battle and put themselves on the line for their community, for their people who came to them for help. They waded in the muck, the spiritual muck as they did their healing work. This ceremony provides us with a taste of this, but in a way that keeps us all healthy and whole. Always of course, as we do here and always, surrounded, imbued, merged with and/or otherwise in sacred partnership with the divine, with their spirits.

From our process of taking on temporarily and dispensing with dramatically of the spiritual dimensions of suffering, we glimpse into, perhaps are moved by, but not stuck in or encased by, the suffering that is occurring in the world. The prayer is to help remove the spiritual dimensions of suffering. We take it on temporarily, dance it up into our head, and then dispense with it as we are beheaded. Where the contents go we may or may not see. We may have an exquisite opportunity for being of “no mind” for a while, until our cleaned out head is returned to us. Always an heartfelt gratitude and sense of accomplishment washes over us, aided by our human helpers.

I do not want to give it all away, but wanted to convey a taste of what we will be doing. We choose to do it on or near Halloween when the veils are thinnest. This and most years we gather on the  first of November so that parents can take their kids out for Halloween, then come the next day for the Beheading.

Obviously, Journeying skills are required.

What you will need:

* A sacred stick that is straight, smooth, the thickness of a broom handle, no side branches or stobs; ask for it to be given to you by the nature spirits for the purpose of the Beheading. It should be approximately 3 feet long;

* a small cloth (about the size of a place mat) upon which to lay sacred objects for a small personal altar;

* A few sacred objects for your altar that are physical symbols of power from your helping spirits-especially based on info from the preparatory journeys below*

* a votive candle in a glass container;

* a small bowl that can hold about a cup or 2 of water;

* a drum;

* your most beloved rattle;

* slippers or wool socks

* a sacred blanket

* a snack and water


Donation (check, cash or PayPal judith@hiddenlakeretreat.org)


* Donations are always appreciated to support our facilities and honor the facilitators time.

The Beheading Ceremony is really one of most profound experiences I have had in shamanism, and I love bringing this to our community. I look forward to doing this together!

Preparatory journeys: Please do these before you arrive.  

Journey to ask for a guiding spirit that will assist you through the ceremony. Ask them to reveal to you their gifts. *Ask them what they would like you to put on your altar for them.

Journey to the spirit of your rattle-ask for them to show you how they move energy. *Ask them what they would like you to put on the altar for them.

Journey to receive power, and imbue your stick with it, so that your heart is true for the Beheading. Connecting with the standing ones (trees) that yielded this stick would be helpful, honoring.

RSVP to lauri@shamanicsoundhealing.com




Cost: by donation $30-60

Please RSVP