My use of herbs for healing, ritual, manifestation and spiritual workings began at my grandmother’s knees and continued with my training at the CAISH institute in Toronto with Dr. Ismat as a tri-doshic Ayurvedic apprentice. And continues to be inspired by others I come across during my online adventures.
For example, deciding to share this aspect of my workings was inspired by a new YouTube channel I stumbled across called Headology and The Witch. She has a great video on working with the body as part of ritual, which I will post at the end of this entry. For now, I share my journey and use of body masks for healing, shadow-work/journeying and manifestation.
In my shadow working section of this website, I briefly discuss that one of the stages of my shadow work involves masks. These are both physical masks and more recently, clay facial masks. But I realized over time that there is so much more potential with mask workings in my spiritual crafting.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE JOURNEY:
My mask is based with Zeolite Clay, Red Alaea Sea Salt, Black Hawaiian Lava Salt with a dash of activated charcoal. To this main base I add additional herbal powders depending on the journeying, healing or manifestation energy required.
You may notice a trend in the base ingredients, they are all volcanic based. I find the energies of volcanos similar to that of the Tower Card in Tarot. It creates from destruction. When doing journeying work, soul searching, healing and even manifestation workings, we must always remember that something has to be released for something to be gained. Energy has to be transmuted. Here is a little basic information on these foundational elements and what they mean to me in this aspect of my practice.
Black Hawaiian Lava Salt with a dash of activated charcoal.
Hawaiian Sea Salt is combined with activated charcoal to create a powerful detoxifying salt base. While the salt does provide protection, the food-grade and therefore body safe activating charcoal, aids with detoxification on all levels, physically, and through the energy body layers. It pulls impurities from the air as well as the body, and therefore the sacred space, and body temple, you are working from.
In creating my masks, the black lava salt forms the boundaries for the space. It is essentially the ‘circle’ cast, or the temple body for the ritual to be created within, or from.
This protective clay is comprised of a group of volcanic minerals with a unique and rare honeycomb structure. It is naturally negatively charged which allows it to draw out impurities from body and soul. In my ritual, the Zeolite acts as a personal filter. While the black lava salt is a barrier removing toxic energies from external sources, the zeolite works to remove any negative vibrations I might bring to the ritual myself. Doubts, fears, lingering energies of past failures, even hate, anger and resentment can at times creep in, especially when dealing with shadow-work and soul-retrieval.
In creating my masks, the Zeolite is layered in as a secondary circle within the black salt.
Red Alaea is a volcanic clay infused Hawaiian Sea Salt. Native Hawaiians employed it for religious purification rituals and healing practices.
In my ritual, the Red Alaea represents the sacred womb of the Goddess Mother, this is the safe space I retreat to for healing within the womb, to begin my journey a new either to the shadows, or for soul-retrieval, both culminating in a rebirth. The red is the blood of death and rebirth within rites. For manifestation magicks it is the womb of creation. In all ways and in all things, we return to the Mother. I therefore fill the temple space, with the womb of life, death and recreation.
A great way to infuse the mask with intention is through ashes. If I am doing the mask to journey for answers, I would burn an image of the totem spirit and add the ashes to the mask.
If I am shadow journeying I burn traits or situations I need to ‘face’. If I am journeying for soul-retrieval, I would write out aspects of the experience that may have caused soul fracturing.
For manifestation in the outerworld, if I am going to be face to face with someone and need assistance with manifesting results, such as: job interviews, dealing with the dymanics of family get-togethers, conducting public ritual or workshops, etc., I would write out a petition outlining the aid and/or manifestation intentions on the paper and burn it, then add the ashes to the face mask. Think of the mask as a glamour. Another way I have worked with the ash is when I am adding energy for manifestation or healing rituals and applying the final mask to my hands as well!
ADDING THE ENERGIES:
In many ways, this is another level of adding intention. Once the foundation is made, I would then select the crystals, herbs, resins, roots and more that will be added to the masks. These should always be non-toxic and skin safe based on your own body type and allergy alerts! I tend to do what I refer to as layering energies. So I will generally add the same herbs that I am working with throughout the ritual. For example, for ancestral workings, White Lotus and Sandalwood with Jasmine are generally the base components for upper-world/ancestral workings so I would work with these within the creation of my mask.
The final stage, after the mask is applied, may or may not require working with a mirror. Today I need to journey to find answers within myself so mirror work with this journeying was needed. The hardest thing to do at times is face your truth. Own your shadows.
I hope you found this post interesting. I would love to know of any ways in which you use masks in your workings!
Namaste, Blessed be, and as always, live in balance. Kayla Alyssa, your Shakti Shaman.
Additional resources you mind find helpful:
A really great article on activated charcoal can be found here: http://amazingdiscoveries.org/AD-newsletter-spring-2004-Charcoal
YT Videos that inspire: