In Memory of Paul Bingman

Apr 27th, 2011 Posted in Ceremonies | no comment »

I had the honor to be a part of a memorial celebration for my dear friend Paul Bingman. He was an integral part of the Portland scene, ranging from Techy, trains, writing, music and pagan circles. We put together a grand gathering and celebration for this giant Bear with the Big warm heart.  I was the person to share about his Spiritual  inner life, in a prayer and commentary.

here is my  offerings…………

For Paul:

Our Paul has graduated with a Ph.D. from the school of life. Congratulations Paul!

Opening Prayer:

Holy Father, Divine Mother and Great Goddess, Creator, Great Spirit, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Universal Mind, Great Mystery, Source, You with so many names, and You that is un-nameable, we recognize and affirm our Unity today, with you, the great cycle of Life. Today, We gather as one community made from several, to honor and give thanks for our dear one, Paul Bingman. Though we may feel saddened by his passing, we are still full of the gratitude for knowing him and loving him and being loved by Him…this Big Bear with the biggest warmest heart. For He has now graduated with a PhD from the School of Life. And in the words of Rabbi Kominsky, “May the Source of Comfort grant Peace to all those who seek it.” And may it be so…And so it is.

Our Paul was a son, brother, uncle, mentor, friend. Obviously, he knew a lot of so many circles. Techies and nerds, train buffs, writers, Bakers, Artists, Preistesses, and Shamans, musicians and fairies, theres is even rumor that he knew Mermaids. Being a private man, he kept aspects of his life in compartments, so many of his circles were not even aware if each other. And everyday we made new conntctions, and the circle grew bigger and bigger and bigger, much to our amazement.

He could do this, flow from circle to circle to circle, because he was a highly Spiritual person who lived his Spirituality in everything he did.

His home was his sanctuary. He surrounded himself with his beloved computer, his inventions, his shop, his dark room, he had journals that he made notes and recorded observations in everytime he went out…all his beloved books. It is where he had his computers for his business, his shop and dark room, memorabilia, beloved books, wrote his observances in journals, made and collected dozens of videos and CD’s. He drank tea, made his own shirts, secretly played the piano and the ukulele, recycled everything he could or just kept stuff till he or someone he knew needed it.

He was intrigued with Theosophy and was a member of the Hermetic Fellowship, who’s principles holds all religions or spiritual traditions hold a unique aspect of a larger truth, and the purpose of Humanity is to strive for unity with that larger truth or Divine Universe. This foundational principle led him to join groups like the Red Cedar Circle, part of the Native American Church, and help create and was on the board of the Nine Houses of Gaia organization, both which holds the sacredness of the Earth and our connection to it. He was an esteemed elder who helped create the Spiritual Anarchist Beltane Celebrations, to celebrate the Divine in the form of the Goddess and her life renewing fertility. He was a member of a very active mens group, and many other alternative spiritual groups and attended numerous festivals and celebrations for many years. He made connections and brought people together to make more connections.

He loved the contemplative walking of a labyrinth as a metaphor for life, seeing it from different angles, reaching a center, being replenished then returning back to the outer world. He also was a great student of Jungian, Depth and Transpersonal Psychology, the enneagram, and mythology. He studied the Kaballah with a study group. He investigated Sufism by attending the Dances of Universal Peace or observed a Sema ceremony of Whirling Dervishes channeling Divine energy… observing and experiencing the universal principles at work as applied to the human experience.

Even though he was a private person, he loved to go out and meet people and introduce them to others and build networks of hearts.he thought would go together well. He encouraged any reason at all for people to get together whether it was a conference, presentation or just for beer or Tea, Paul wanted to make mischief, merriment, or invent something new.

He not only saw that each spiritual tradition was part of a larger truth but also that each person was the bearer of their own spark of Divinity. One friend told me Paul saw everything like it was a work of ART, people and things alike. Another friend, said Paul was the Ultimate Voyer, He observed everything and everybody. He loved inclusively and diversity, which Portland is well known for having.

He was fascinated with the creative capacity that humans have, the ability to create a steam or deisel locomotive, to computers, movies, new devices to help people live better, scrumptious food, thought provoking Art. …anything that pushed and redefined the conventional. ..

For our Paul, it was not what he did or with whom he did it with, but How he did it., how he lived, how he was, the quality of his being. and we know very well it was always with his heart. It was bigger than he was physically.

His love of people and their creative nature kept him connected to Life. His friendship was known as such a blessing to many, even to those who knew him for a short time. They felt his warmth in his beingness… in his bear hugs, his smile and charm.

Paul was a great Being, and set a positive example of how we too can allow ourselves to live by our hearts.

Pauls gift to us then is how he reflected back to us our own spark …..of divinity..

to be the best us…

In history, we know this beloved poet Jellaluddin Rumi. And when Rumi passed, his funeral was attend Jews, Muslims, Christians, storekeeprs, prostitutes, the lowly and the high, everyone loved Rumi equally. And in some ways, Paul is a lot like that. He knew a lot of people, he gathered people around him, he connected people together, his heart was so large.

So to quote a Rumi poem from one of Pauls book, one he highlighted….

The Light you give off

did not come from a pelvis

Your features did not begin in semen.

Don’t try to hide in anger

radiance that cannot be hidden.

Now, at this moment, think about his face, his Being…and how sweet he was.

And in your own way, say Thank you.

Springing into Spring

Mar 20th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | no comment »

Are you feeling the need to Spring?

peering into a tulip

At this Spring Equinox, it is time to re-emerge from our dreamy Winter hybernation and Spring back into life. I know you have been feeling the call to stir, wake up and greet life head on. We are all springing into Spring in our own ways.

Are you feeling the surge of new ideas, energies and attitudes? Isn’t it wonderful to be alive at this time of planetary shift?

This is our time to make new deeper connections to our Earth, our communities and our Higher Selves.

Make a commitment to pamper yourself a bit with a massage or Reiki treatment. Then, offer the same back to your friends or colleagues.





..Make a list and amaze yourself…

chat about this on your Facebook page..have fun..

oh and remember to sniff the flowers as you walk by…

see ya around the neighborhood…


making room for the New to Manifest

Jan 26th, 2011 Posted in Rituals | no comment »

If you want something NEW to happen in your life, then you must make room for it to manifest.

January is THE  MONTH to start stirring things up in you home or office by a ritual rearranging of furniture, art, trinkets and removal of old debris of dusty cobwebs and clutter. With this in mind, I  decided to really shake the old up by not only rearranging the objects in the room, but to change the room itself. I (with the help of my sweetie, Dennis) gave a freshen up coats of paint in  the Living room and  Music Salon downstairs.

I must admit that I am in love with our color choices. We put a yellowed green, like pea soup? in the Living room, to pick up a color in the Persian carpet. In the Music Salon, we chose a warm Burnt Pumpkin. One friend said the color reminded her of Hungarian mushroom soup with paprika. But now what to paint the Dinning room? I am leaning for “Iguana”..a sagey green, kinda color.

The use of color can be quit dramatic in how it influences how we feel in a space.  What do you want the room to feel like? What does certain colors “say” to you?

I’ve heard that in some detention centers, Pink has a calming effect upon people, and calmness is probably very important in that situation.  I like warm and stimulating colors, especially in the Northwest, where winter days can make me feel all I want to do is dream, read or reflect all day.

A new color on you walls is a great way to stir up new inspirations.

Next, you’ll be wondering what new color to wear on your body.

Dreaming of Summer!

Jan 9th, 2011 Posted in travel | no comment »

Ok…it’s only the third week of January

and I am starting to dream of what to do and where to go this Summer.

it’s never too early to make plans (?)

Reflecting upon where I have been in past summers; Machu Picchu in Peru in July of 06,

Machuu Pichuu, July 06

many times in the Southwest,

(the Canyonlands and Capital Reef in Utah are some of my favorite places),

Canyon Lands National Park, Utah.

Canyon Lands National Park

Time with friends in Southern Colorado…………………………….

Tipis for the Sundancers with the Rocky Mnts in background

and then there’s the Redwoods on the Northern California coast.

How far up can I see?

looking up into the canopy

This is Dennis next to a wall of tree…

a wall of tree, Redwood Hyway, Calif. Coast.

So where are you dreaming  of?

Year End Rituals

Dec 28th, 2010 Posted in Rituals | no comment »

What are YOUR Year End Rituals?

Kwanza Candles

What’s that you say? You don’t think you do any rituals?

If we define a ritual as an activity we repeat at regular intervals that has special meaning to us, then we can come up with a pretty long list.

The use of light. We use light to commemorate  historic events, such as the eight candles for the eight nights on the Chanukah Menorah, or seven candles for seven principles during Kwanza. We symbolize Spirit with  candles for a Christmas eve candlelight service. We love to give our meals a romantic ambiance with candlelight, or we will light a candle to remember a loved one who is far from home or has passed away.

We also use light to decorate the outside of our homes, not in candles but in a festive string of bulbs. There is also the procession around the house, in the dark of course, with the yule log at the lead. With all the local friends and family cheering and marching, we symbolically beseech the return of the sun. And again, we light our own candles from the yule fire to rekindle the fire of life in our collective hearts.

Then, there is Food. Making and eating certain favorite foods like the same cookies or Yulekake (Norwegian Christmas bread) we ate as children, (all from Moms recipes) or how Dad carves the Turkey with the family carving set are 2 more rituals that come to mind.


We each have our own versions of these rituals and probably several types more. Mine includes a ritual cleaning of my home environment.  During the last week of the year, starting with the day after Boxing day, I start to tidy up, clean, de-dust, vacuum and touch up the paint in some places. I will often move and reorient things like the beds, dressers, chairs and the couch. I hang the artwork in different places, put some textiles, souvenirs or trinkets away and bring out others. Sort out and trim up the old fading houseplants.

Then I cleanse myself with a ritual bath, again with candlelight, bath salts or bubbles, perhaps some champagne? …lotion applied head to toe, and other usual self-care rituals.

When I have made myself happy with the new arrangements, I smudge the entire house with smoke, drumming and sprinkling of scented water, which dispels stale or stagnant energy and tends to make everything feel fresh and new by circulating it around a bit.

Shifting energy in your house, mind and body will help bring in the new life energy that will assist the manifestation of your goals and plans for the New Year.

This shifting goes far beyond the normal cleaning or disinfecting of the toilet or scrubbing the sink or bath tub. It is also a blessing of the spaces we inhabit. It is to  give thanks for a safe container where we can recuperate from life’s challenges or incubate new dreams, where we eat together, sleep and love together, share our communal rituals together.

So, what are Your rituals? Do you wear a special sweater when you sit down to write? Do you eat certain things during the week? Do you say or do things just before you leave on a trip? What gives your everyday life meaning?

Would you like to have more meaning? Can you make your own new rituals? I bet you can. I invite you, be your creative self and share them with me on my Facebook page.

With Love and Light…


Thanksgiving Despacho

Dec 1st, 2010 Posted in Ceremonies | no comment »


This is the season when we stop and reflect upon the year and our life in general.

With that in mind, I offered an Andean “Despacho” ceremony for our friends who gathered at the Divinely Guided Center for Healing in Hillsboro Oregon, on Thanksgiving day, 2010. I have included pics taken by Brian Jasinski and my partner, Dennis Godfrey.

Click a photo for a slideshow of enlarged images.

The “Despacho” ceremony is an expression of “Ayni”, the Q’ero word for sacred reciprocity. It is for honoring and giving thanks to “Pacha Mama” (Mother Earth), “Wiraqocha” (Spirit) and the “Apus” (individuated Spirit usually residing in mountains) for the constant abundance we receive in so many forms. The Q’ero are the direct descendants of the Inka who’s great kingdom and empire was in Peru and parts of Bolivia. The “Despacho” ceremony is performed for the community by a “Paqo”, (the Q’ero word for Shaman). Today, many “Paqos” are willingly share their wisdom and knowledge with anyone of like-mind and heart. Their desire is to spread the knowledge of working with the world of living energy that makes up the Universe, to empower anyone who is interested. Then in reciprocity, we all are to share what we know, to continue the flow, to build upon the wave of awakening to our sacred relationship to the living Universe, the “Kawsay Pacha”. One way we do this by holding a community “Despacho”.

When the “Paqo” performs a “Despacho” ceremony, they use those things that are special and dear to their culture; Cocoa leaves, a Llama fetus and Llama fat. In addition to these is red wine, Pisco (a strong clear alcoholic beverage), various seeds, nuts, sweets and cookies, shells, figurines, colored threads and candles are traditional ingredients in the mandala shaped offering. As a North American “Paqo”, I use variations that reflect the region and the needs of the group the “Despacho” is for. In this ceremony, I used Salmon and Cedar (both sacred to the Native people of this region) and cow butter instead of the Llama fat. I also used the local leaves of Blackberry, Salal, Oak and Rhododendron along with the traditional red and white roses (the last from our garden). I collected all the live greens myself in mindfulness of what and how I am collecting them. When I pinch or cut off leaves or flowers, I talk with the spirit of the plant to tell it what I am using it for and always give thanks. In the Native North American way, I would offer Tobacco. My own way to acknowledge my connection and share of myself with this plant spirit, is to share energy and give a strand of my own hair, draped on the shrub in exchange.

With all the ingredients collected, (paper, greens, flowers, seeds, food, sugar, chocolate, pipe cleaners and paper to make representations of the things we are giving thanks for) along with my Mesa (a sacred bundle of objects (“Khuya”) that connect me to sacred places, my personal powers and teachers) were all on the table, we could begin.

Since this ceremony is from an oral and visual tradition, each person drew on paper a symbol of what they were thankful for this year and cut it out. We also made representations of the animal and human companions we are blessed with as well as the Cross that symbolizes the Divine Masculine out of pipe cleaners. The Divine Feminine is symbolized by a shell.

When that was complete, we started with a prayer to invoke the presence and guidance of the Divine. Our intention was to give thanks and honor our connection to the Divine, and to broaden our relationship to it and with each other as a community.

Starting with a “Kintu”, (a prayer imbued collection of three leaves and a petal stuck together with the butter), from every person, the first layer of the Mandala was formed. More petals were added that held more prayers. As each “Kintu” was received, prayers were said silently asking for the person in need to have their prayers answered.

Next we called in the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. As we passed around the symbolic shapes, we imbued them with the names of Beings we felt close to.

With that first part completed, we then added samples of the things we want to collectively share in reciprocity. To start, food was offered: beans, corn, rice, peas. Then the animals we eat or get a by-product from: salmon, cattle, honey from bees, etc. Then we offered thanks for the humans and animals we live with as companions (both in pipe cleaner shapes) and for the wild animals who live on this planet with us, i(n cookie shape). Then vegetation; cedar, fern, elder berry and other medicine plants. We added clouds to represent the self-made illusions of separation from the greater Source. These lessons, though painful at times, help make us what and who we are, and are grateful for them. Money was added. Some printed play money at first, then actual dollar bills were added. We were giving thanks for it and asking for more. Then the drawn personal symbols  were added. This was all covered with many dowses of glitter, confetti, sugar, chocolates and splashes of wine (mead) and much bell ringing imbued with more prayers.

As the momentum and the energy grew, we felt wanting to give more, to celebrate. This was the time of sharing the gift of Chocolate with each other. Then, we all put our hands over our offering and felt its power.

Burning the DespachoWith the offering complete, the bundle was tied up with string and then each person was blessed with it before  it went into the fire to be transformed and received.


I offer these ceremonies and rituals to the community as part of my personal spiritual practice as a “Paqo”. If you would like to take part in the next “Despacho” or have one for yourself or your community, please call me to make arrangements. My fees are reasonable.

To read more about this ceremony and other Andean rituals, please read, Masters of the Living Energy, by Joan Parisi Wilcox. Visit the site of Valerie Neistrath for information on tours to Peru and the initiation process of the 4th level Paqo with our esteemed teacher, Don Juan Nunez del Prado.

Welcome to my Blog

Nov 30th, 2010 Posted in Welcome | no comment »

Dear Friends,

Here it is..the first official posting..

In this Blog, you will find  postings about my offerings of Transformational Learning classes and work/playshops, plus ceremonies and public events. I will also share my travels in and around the Northwest, the Southwest and parts of Peru.

I plan to post on a variety of topics like: Transpersonal  Psychology, Spirituality and Spiritual practices, ceremonies and rituals as tools for community building and healing.

I invite your comments and feedback about anything I write.

Thank you in advance,

Alethea Devi, MTP