River Rituals with Dr. Rosita Arvigo

This is a partial transcript of our June teleseminar with Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  Click here for recording.

In her recent teleseminar for ONE, Rosita Arvigo spoke of her long spiritual connection with the Macal River in Belize. When asked about rituals with the River, she responded with love and eloquence:


One of our favorite (rituals) is to take a full moon cruise down the River in a canoe. And it is magical because you can see the Moon above you and you can see the River that you’re on like a piece of liquid glass that reflects the Moon so it gives you this tremendous sense of a certain entirety of creation and you floating right down the middle.  It’s a silent meditation as you float down the River. It’s one of our favorite things to do—the full moon float.


River Rituals and the Moon

I have also practiced, according to the moon phases, certain river rituals. For instance, if I am in a phase where my life is about to change, I’m asking the Goddess who is the primary spiritual being of the River—I’m asking the goddess to bring assistance and to bring clarity, I’ll go to the River on the new moon, in the evening, just as the sun is setting, so you get that sense of sparkling, changing light colors along the River which is so emotionally and spiritually uplifting, and I put my hands and my feet into the river. And I might spend 20 minutes in just silent meditation . And then I spend some time to notice what I notice: it is a very beautiful practice that comes from Shinrin Yoku tradition.  You simply notice what you’re noticing about the River, about the flow, the colors and the sound, and it gives you a really deeply integrated sense of being one with the River. And you can get your mind and and your soul into a feeling of being one with the River as a mutual aspect of creation. It gives you a very deep sensation of relaxation, but also there is so much inspiration that can be taken from the River and the air as it flows and moves below you.

water rings.jpg

And on a full moon I would like to go to the River sometimes simply to give thanks for life.  It’s like on the full moon everything is burgeoning, everything has reached its maximum growth capacity. So if my garden has been really full and we’ve had a fabulous winter of vegetables and fruit, I go to the River to give thanks.


Praying with the Waters

I have studied a great deal of Masuro Emoto and his concept of helping to heal the planet by simply using prayer and intention at the riverside. So what I like to do, and even ask my students and friends who are with me, is to go to the River, sit at the riverside, put our hands and our feet in the river and pray.  The Inca, and Dr. Emoto and the Maya have all discovered that that prayer becomes a living, moving energy that goes along with the moisture above the River and the moisture drops of any river anywhere and even a lake, but more so with a river because it is moving. It actually carries the memory, carries the thought and the prayer along the entire river basin where the River flows. So that we’re actually giving blessings and light and transformative prayer to everyone below, and around the world. There have been prayer days to do specifically with Rivers or bodies of water around us because of the way they flow continuously around the planet. So if we can keep that intention in mind that this prayer is a being of light that we’re sending into the water and along the passage of the moisture of the water, I think we can do a great deal for healing around the planet. And of course it’s important that we do that just for the River-- to give the River back some of the love that it gives us. 


Rituals of the Maya

The Maya also have a very charming ritual that is for transition: when you have come out of a really hard time, be it physically or emotionally and you really want to experience a transformation, of leaving the old behind, and welcoming the new. What the Maya healers say, is you take a basket and fill it with 9 flowers.  They should ideally be the same kind of flower. And you stand at the riverside at noon, where the water is easily flowing. And, one by one, over your shoulder you throw the flowers in.  And then you turn and watch each flower flow away, imagining that one of the 9 things that have been bothersome or problematic are now flowing and moving away from you. And you throw another flower over your shoulder and you turn and watch that one move. And as each one is finally out of view, you throw throw in another flower. I have found that to be incredibly healing and transformative and just helps you step over into the next phase of life in a much more calm and relaxed way.

So those are my water rituals. 

Macal River in Belize

Macal River in Belize

When you are not near Water

When asked what one can do if there is no river nearby, Rosita replied that most often there is some body of water within one’s ability to get to —even a little creek or waterway in a city, and then:

You get to a creek and do that simple ritual of putting your hands and feet in the water and giving thanks and sending out love vibrations and allowing yourself to receive the love vibrations that are inherently present in that body of water and imagine and think of it as a spiritual body. It actually is a manifestation of a divine being. 

And barring that, if there is absolutely no water anywhere, I think that a silent meditation or a guided imagery of being close to the body of water that is the closest to you, maybe it’s a hundred miles away—but if you sit in silent meditation and allow yourself, as in a guided imagery, to be at that waterside,  I believe we can energetically transport. And again, give thanks and allow yourself to receive the love and the pure spiritual energy that’s present in Water, because all it does is support, assist, and make life possible. That’s its purpose… I think it’s always possible. And finally, get a glass of water, right out of the tap. Dr. Emoto proved to us that water can be transformed by prayer. You simply pour that glass, sit with it, put your hands over it or around it, and you can hold it up to your chin and then just let that prayer—it’s like an emission, vibration that’s going into the water. And you can drink that or you could leave it in your living room, put it in your bedroom. It doesn’t have to be a prayer where you’re asking for something or begging the divine to assist us, it only needs to be a prayer…

Rosita Arvigo.jpg



…Love is always a place to start. 

I say, when I drink water, “Welcome, into my sacred body” You’re recognizing Water as a sacred force and you are recognizing yourself as sacred. So it’s just a simple thing I say as I drink and I immediately feel transformed.