I have been writing about three tools of the shaman, and of anyone who lives a rich and powerful, fully human life.

The last of the three tools in our human tool box is the tool called “Blessing”.

Before we get to the description of what I am meaning by blessing, it will be wise, I think, to address some (western) cultural “wisdom” on the subject. This is the vague opinion that only priests or ministers or someone else who has been ordained as worthy  is allowed or able to bless anyone or anything else. That somehow one has to be above / beyond / better than the rest of the sweating mass of humanity in order to be qualified to bless.

If you are not swimming in the same cultural sea that I am, feel free to skip ahead….

My thinking on this topic is that we are all qualified to bless, for two reasons.

The first is that we are all human, and part of our birthright is that we have the authority and the ability to bless, simply by being human. If you can speak words with love in your heart, then you can bless.

The second is that no one else is standing where you are, so no one is in a position to know better than you what the members of your immediate community (and this means not only the humans, also the plants, animals, fungi, microbes, clouds, winds, stars and everyone else who is a part of the world that you share) might find helpful in fully  expressing their essence here in this world.

So, you are a human being standing where you are. You qualify as someone who can bless.

How, then, do you go about it?

Well, you open your heart, so that it touches not only your bodily self but your energetic / spirit self as well. This lets power flow from the unseen world into the seen.

Then you ask spirit and your finest, truest self, “What is the truth behind what I see (as a problem, person, pattern, etc.)?” while remembering and allowing to unfold your gratitude for life, for this world just as it is.

If you can’t do this last thing, being grateful for the world / person / your life / the situation just as it is, yet, then possibly you should put off using the tool of blessing for a little while until you can feel gratitude for what is.  Because the next step is very powerful and has the potential for doing some damage (not irreparable, but also not helpful to you or the recipient) if you leave out the gratitude part.

So, with your heart open and full of gratitude for what is, your eyes open to see the truth behind the reality, you speak. Sometimes the words speak themselves, but often you have to employ your mind fairly fiercely, so that you describe the truth behind the reality and re-shape it with your words so that it is even more full of light. Blessings are full of well-wishing, of the calling in of help from all sources  – and never of binding or tying or containing. That is another thing altogether, and has its own place, just not here. Blessing leaves the recipient entirely free (maybe even freer) to make the best choice possible of who to be.

Here are some examples of blessings that occur to me.  I am directing them at myself as a reminder to me not to leave myself out of the blessings I speak each day:

“Laurie, may you find your feet on your soul’s true path again this day. May you have eyes to see it, ears to hear the invitation and a heart that is open to your own true nature, so that you may make a free and informed choice of who to be this day.”

“May Laurie find peace today: deep, abiding, astounding peace that opens the heart, heals the soul and energises the body. May her path through life be lined with friends who love her and workmates who treat her with respect, and may her body produce abundant health and a strong, balanced immune system.”

“May the bees who have put themselves under my care, and the bees who have put me under their care, be full of light. May their queens be strong, long-lived and fecund. May their drones sing mightily. May their young rejoice. May their maidens be wise and capable. May the air of their hives breathe health to them. May they find propolis, nectar, pollen, water and minerals in abundance, and may the wind always be at their foragers’ backs.”

We may bless those whom we think need help or a boost; we may just as well bless those who seem fine to us. Blessings all round – you can never have too much of this good thing!