Read more about Bali’s High Priestess here
Last month I travelled to her small farming village about 15min from Gianyar, to receive a water blessing and purification for my motorbike and me.
Water represents flow of energy (also known as Prana or Chi), connected to emotion and intuition and is the key element to the Balinese purification ceremony. Hindus believe that these rituals assist in cleansing our bodies on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.
Embarking such a big adventure, which, of course comes with some fears and worries about being out there on the road by myself, I felt a strong call to see High Priestess Ida Resi Alit for a blessing. Another personal reason for such a ritual was, to clear out some of the old energies and programs that I may be holing on to, which will not serve me on my journey. Also, my bike has been worked on, by so many different hands over the last few months… It has been stripped down to it’s “bones” and put together completely customised. Energetically my bike to me felt a little “campur”. Nasi Campur is a traditional Indonesian dish with “a little bit of everything” and rice (nasi) on your plate. It was about clearing our souls, the bike’s and mine; as well as to bound a stronger relationship, after Verve Moto has officially handed it over to me. For me, this ceremony was an initiation of a new chapter of my life, in which my bike and I will be acting as protagonists and be best friends for each other. Some may say, “this is just a motorbike, Aileen” – well, for me it is much more than that. Not only is TMQ a spiritual journey for me; I also have never done anything like it before. It takes a lot of trust and good connection to my moto, for it to carry me through all the challenges that I may be facing. So why not starting this adventure with a little ceremony…
I arrived at Ida’s family compound a little bit nervous and with great respect. I didn’t exactly know what to expect, apart from getting wet. I spoke to the High Pristess before hand on the phone and told her about the journey I was about to start and asked her for permission of bringing a film camera along. When I met Ida Resi Alit and shook her hand for the first time, I felt a bit more relaxed as she appeared like very humble Balinese lady at about my age. She greeted me with a warm but shy smile and asked me to get changed, then to wait for her near the house temple.
I morphed from my bike outfit into a traditional Balinese gown, which includes a sarong, a traditionally printed cloth, which is wrapped around the waist and covers the lower body. As well as a kabaya (a blouse) and selendang, which is a belt-like decorative sash. (A stumbled a bit away here in the video…) A woman’s hair must be tight, so that hair loss doesn’t fall in the temple area, to maintain the sanctity. However, for the water purification I was asked to open it.
Ida Resi Alit began the ceremony with chants and prayers to invoke spirits and connect to source. Her words and the vibration of her voice sounded to me like a delightful sacred language, beyond the earthly realm; and the energy that surrounded us and the temple, shifted in the most beautiful way.
When she turned her body back to me kneeling high on the temple bale, Ida asked me to invite my own spirit guides and gods and to let go of everything that came through: “Whatever you feel, like let it go. Let it all go. If you want to cry, if you want to shout, stomp your feet, whatever.”
The following ritual felt like an eternity and I can’t tell you at all how long it actually went for. When she doused me with buckets of icy water, exquisitely scented of jasmine and frangipani, while chanting powerful mantras, I lost every sense for this ordinary reality. I could hardly breathe and after the first few seconds of surprise about the intensity of it, I completely surrendered to the unknown experience. (The ceremony was very personal, intense and sacred for me; therefore you only see a few seconds of the actual blessing in the video.)
Afterwards I was left with some space and time for personal prayers.
I felt, besides being completely drained, lighter and very present. I was filled with a strong feel of inner peace and empowerment; an illuminating light seemed to surround and protect my body like a shield of Devine energy. Every cell of my body appeared to smile.
Now it was to bless my bike.
First Ida tied an orange cloth around the front of it, to act as the “clothing” for the motorcycle… In the Balinese culture, everything has a soul, and a soul should be “dressed” for a ceremony, just as people are dressing in their sarongs. She placed two little woven dishes with flower offerings and burning incense on the bike and started chanting and praying while sprinkling water, which she had earlier blessed, over the offerings and then over the bike itself.
This was the time for me to close my eyes again and to fold my hands for another prayer. It was an emotional moment for me, as it felt like the beginning of a very special relationship between my little lady and me; as well as the beginning of a very important quest, which feels incredibly overwhelming to me at this stage. My thoughts drifted to all the beautiful places that I might visit, all the souls that I’ll meet and roads I will get to ride. I tuned in with the feeling of freedom and independence, with the disconnection from the structured and controlled life in western societies and opened my heart wide for the magic and opportunities that lay in the uncertainty I was facing.
I asked for guidance and protecting, for the right people to come my way and for the wrong ones to stay away. I asked for kindness and help wherever I travel and for always having a place to rest and enough money to fill my tank and my tummy. My eyes filled with tears of joy, gratitude and a bit of fear.
In my head I mumbled a few words to my bike “Soon it’s just gonna be you and me out there, my dear… The world is waiting for us… You ready…? Am I ready??”
Ida instructed me to leave everything on the bike until it falls off on their own accord. In case you wondering in my photos, what that orange piece of fabric around my forks is… Well, it hasn’t come off since.
A little bit cold, very hungry and with some kind of a magical feeling, I swung back in the saddle and was now looking forward to a traditional Indonesian dinner with my boys Tofan and Archi from Bird Mountain at the night warungs in Gianyiar. The perfect end of a truly very very special day.
Video by Bird Mountain