Conference Protocols

The co-organizers of the 4th International Babaylan Conference/Gathering recognize the necessity to lay protocols before our community that will help us hold ceremony and ritual in a respectful and honourable way. Our intentions are to deepen and expand our Sacred Work; organize with our communities; and cultivate reconnections with ancestral and indigenous knowledge.

 

Ritual and Ceremony have always been central to the work of CfBS as envisioned by its founding members and core volunteers over the past decade. We honour the Center for Babaylan Conference Studies' first mentors in how to be in Ceremony/Ritual: Letecia Layson, Bai Liza, Virgil Apostol, Lane Wilcken, Venus Herbito, Frances Santiago and others who have offered their practice and their wisdom to our connection with Spirit. 

 

In preparation for the 2019 Babaylan Conference, members of Kapwa Collective met with Pine Tree Chief Kanenrahkénia:te (Terry Sahanatien) to learn about the Wahta Kanien’Keha:Ka community. We are grateful for his generous offer to share a ceremonial Thanksgiving Address and other teachings at the conference. 

 

The following protocols were developed by 2019 CfBS Core Members and Kapwa Collective with contributions and permission from their Indigenous & Spiritual teachers including: Mamerto Tindongan of the Ifugao tribe, Davidica Little Spotted Horse of the Lakota tribe, Oglala nation, Two Clouds of the Ramapough Lenape tribe, Boi B of the Obo-Manobo tribe, Lukayo Diwata Bitoon (Estrella) from the Bikol diaspora.

 

  • We arrive into Ceremony and Ritual grounded in the Ceremony and Ritual that is our Lives. We recognize that gatherings, in which we invite Spirit, are part of the wholeness of our existence. They are not sensationalized or spectacular events; rather they are moments of communal honouring of our ever-present connection to the Spirit world, and an acknowledgement of the totality of our humanity as beings with body, mind, emotion, and Spirit.

 

  • When we come together in Ceremony/Ritual we make sure to express our intentions for the Ceremony/Ritual. We encourage everyone choosing to participate to do so with mindfulness, in the spirit of Kapwa co-creation and collective responsibility.  

 

  • We honour the Land in which we hold Ceremony/Ritual, fully cognizant of our indebtedness, and we are called to stewardship and service to the land.

 

  • We follow in the lead of our Ritualists and Ceremonial leaders, Elders and Kapwa who have offered to hold our circle in prayer. We understand that they have laid down the work that has brought us together, sharing their skills and understanding to support our relation to Spirit.

 

  • We take our cue and guidance from Elders and experienced Ritualists who are present at this gathering, who know to lead us into courage, clarity, and good relations with both the Seen and the Unseen Worlds.

 

  • We seek awareness of any ill will, resentment, or mean thoughts and offer these up for enlightenment and transformation of Spirit, thus moving our energies, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in alignment with our collective/communal purpose in gathering together for Ceremony/Ritual.   

 

  • We hold a social justice and service lens in our conduct of Ceremony/Ritual. We know we cannot do our Sacred Work in prayer without also actively working for the healing of all beings in our locales and  communities in concrete and practical ways. 

 

  • We are grateful for every lesson that is uncovered in Ceremony/Ritual, knowing it is for our collective instruction and growth.

 

  • Some commonly accepted offerings of gratitude to the land are songs, chants, prayers, dances and movements. It is important to respect the spirits of the land and how our own ritual practices may affect plants, animals, and other living beings - seen and unseen- in the area. 

 

  • There will be verbal and written guidance for the protocols of the Dambana/Collective Altar and Sacred Fire space. Please take time to listen, read, and ask any questions to any organizing member. We are here to support one another in collective learning & being in Ceremony. 

 

  • If any member of the community cannot, or finds difficulty holding these Protocols, consider this an invitation to reflect and gather lessons that may probe the depths and shadows of our existence and to feel free to reach out to any organizing member or Elder for support and encouragement.

 

Thank you for being with us in a good way throughout this gathering. We look forward to uniting our most loving thoughts and hearts as we commune with the spirits & ancestors of the highest good.

 

Please see Jen Maramba or Jana Lynne Umipig or any other identified Elders if you have any questions, require support or would like to inform us of anything important to you regarding these protocols. 

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