EXPLORING RITUALS WITH JEN MARAMBA


Jen M

Jen Maramba is a Filipnx Healing Guide, Spiritual Guide, Ritualist and Reiki Practitioner. She supports others in their healing journey and in developing their own intuitive practice. She believes each one of us holds a special gift to heal ourselves and one another.

What ritual helps you to be present, meditate or reflect?

Developing a ritual practice can take time and can also shift over time. The experiences I share here are deeply rooted to my spiritual work and are developed through the lens of my Filipnx Diasporic Identity acknowledging myself as a settler and ally on Indigenous Land.

Ritual for me can mean many different things at any given time. In the last 7 years, I have come to develop a consciousness that is led by seeing life as ritual. From walking in the streets, grocery shopping to creating sacred space during new moon ceremonies I do so with the mindful intention. I try to embody the spirit of ritual by connecting to my breath and allow each simple gesture, movement and thought to be aligned with my sacred calling and to be one with Divine, in the alignment with my life’s purpose. I call this ritual “Ritwal ng Araw” which in Filipino (Tagalog) means Ritual of the Sun. This ritual allows me to continue “checking in” with myself throughout each day.

I truly see every act as a moment of ritual, a moment or many moments of beauty and opportunity to listen to the deep wisdom within.

Are any of the rituals you practice connected to your Filipnx identity?

Yes, for ancestral work, I like to feast with my ancestors by cooking traditional meals with food items I know they loved to eat or imagined they loved to eat based on what was available to them in our home country and region. My family and I also like to offer candy, chocolate, rice or mango to our ancestral altar. Our ancestral altar consists of family photos, nature items and medicines from the Philippines and often times a bowl of our food offering. After a day or week (depending on the food that is offered) we would either enjoy the food for our ancestors by ingesting them and/or discard them by a tree to allow the animals to eat them. By doing this we honour the ancestors that continue to guide us as an act of prayer for them and also to honour our bodies that carry our ancestors to eat our medicinal foods in ritual. I also find this type of ancestral honouring to be a decolonizing path of healing.  

How did you learn this practice?

I learned this practice through witnessing our family creating an “atang” (food offering) during large gatherings by placing a meal on a plate and drink aside for the family members who passed to join us in the party and to also ward off evil spirits. This offering would often be placed on a separate table or altar. I’ve adapted to this way of ritual offering to include my intentions to pass on the traditions to my children and continue the ancestral learning of food medicine that I have been disconnected from since being born and living in the diaspora. I also take the opportunity during these honouring and inviting rituals to connect with the teachings each ancestor has to offer me and my family. It is important for me to say that when we call our ancestors to us that when the ritual is complete we are very careful to send them in peace by saying and feeling deeply “Thank you for joining us, we love you, we forgive you and we send you to your higher self in peace”, this is so the spirits we call don’t keep hanging around and that they return to a higher frequency of being. We practice the “atang” during special occasions and for a whole week during “Araw Ng Mga Patay” or Day of the Dead in November.

Is there a ritual you still feel you need to develop?

The ritual I would like to develop is the act of silence and listening while retreating in nature by myself. Basically, a quiet retreat in the woods. Being a parent, a healer and community worker where the offering of my energy needs to be restored, to find a quiet place to relax, listen and be grounded in nature is a beautiful medicine to receive. I am always thinking back to my responsibility as a settler on indigenous land and any potential protocols I should be aware of when holding a ritual in nature. I want to allow that sacred time to centre my spirit and body to open sacred space for the spirits and my intuition to tell me how to proceed with a ritual. For me, ritual can be a lot of work to prepare and experience but once that portal is open, it is so beautiful, freeing and a graceful dance with the awakening soul.

 

 

You can contact Jen via email at jenmaramba@gmail.com.  She offers sliding scale rates and exchanges for 1:1 support and group ceremony & ritual.