You are viewing the "ritual" Archives
Posted on:  Nov 13, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Podcasts, Power/Leadership
Posted on:  Nov 12, 2016 @ 11:25 Posted in:  Power/Leadership
My friend comes home after an evening of dancing and moving energy for Standing Rock. She’s exhausted from an intense week of community gatherings — first a Samhain ritual in honor of the beloved dead, with so many passing this year and so much collective grief in the air, and now tonight, a passionate, full-embodied group prayer for protection, for peace, for justice.
All of this was a preparation for what awaits her. Death has arrived on her doorstep.
Two four-point bucks, with their antlers impossibly locked, are wound together in a huge piece of seine fishnet. Her car headlights illuminate them in the darkness. She bears sacred witness to these beautiful wild beings, heart wide open and broken, as they thrash violently all over her property for an hour, unable to free themselves.
The bucks are exhausted, terrified. Fortunately she has a friend who is a gentle hunter. When he arrives, he’s able to take clean shots, killing the bucks instantly and saving them from an agonizing death. Strangely, in their dying the second stag lands on the first. In death, the combatants lie serenely on top of each other, like a pair of sleeping cats.
As sacred witness and gentle hunter, these two friends speak to the fallen bucks, pray for them, and mourn their passing.
The image of the bucks and the story I’ve just shared, in the words of my friend, appear in my Facebook feed. I stop what I’m doing, my heart wide open and broken, understanding that these bucks have gifted my friend, our community, this world, with a powerful vision that speaks to the tumultuous change of these times.
Posted on:  Apr 24, 2014 @ 9:52 Posted in:  From the Tale, Path Basics
Annie begins a rich, seductive beat on her drum, and sings, “She changes everything She touches, and, everything She touches changes.”
I rock my hips, with my legs wide apart, stripped down to my tank top and yoga pants, letting the building energy of the song undulate through my bones and muscles. With dream-hooded eyes, I watch the music ripple through the group; the song’s rhythmic spell catches us all, calling us to weave our voices and bodies as one expression of the liquid power moving through us. A kaleidoscope of enraptured faces, with mud-painted brows, pass me by; warm, moist flesh brushes up against warm, moist flesh, and I gather the scents of others on my body, like a lover with her beloveds.
As our heat and passion intensifies, so does Annie’s drumming, pounding out a tempo that moves our bodies faster and faster, with dancers egging on drummer, and drummer egging on dancers. The song’s lyrics drop away, and we utter, in gasps, just single words — touch, change, change, touch. My hips are no longer my own, nor my rushing blood. And then the words vanish, and there is only the insistent voice of the drum, and my dancing out a power too big and too beautiful for my body to contain.
Posted on:  Jan 23, 2014 @ 11:15 Posted in:  From the Tale
“I exhale long and slow, clear my throat and then spill my guts, sharing the whole story that landed me in their laps: the hunger that rose up from my soul, my encounter with the raven, the dream about the feathers, all the wacky synchronicity that led to my impetuous decision to come to Salt Spring, and my treasure hunt travels that guided me to this chance encounter in Barb’s. The words flood out of me, and I don’t let myself stop, or breathe much, until I am done.
For a few breaths no one says a word or moves. Kayla and Selena’s tea cups sit untouched and cooling in the middle of the table. Then Kayla gently turns my face so I am looking into her probing eyes.
“You’re right,” Kayla says, her voice slipping into a deeper, richer octave, “Something is shifting in you Sarah. Your hunger comes from your disconnect from who you most deeply, truly are, and you are choosing to wake up and reclaim what is missing from your life.”
“What will happen at the ritual?” I ask.
“We will be enacting an ancient Sumerian myth,” Selena says, “The tale speaks of the Goddess Inanna’s descent to the Underworld, to the realm of Her sister, the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal.
The Winter Solstice amplifies the power of this story. It calls us to open to death of the life that we know, so something new can be reborn within us. If you do this magic with us, you may be setting yourself on a path that will change your life forever.”
“Are you in?” Kayla asks.
I pause considering what Kayla and Selena have shared with me. My heart is still beating wildly in my chest, and I squirm restlessly on my chair. Selena’s words are big, foreign, scary, enthralling. I only vaguely understand what she is talking about. Oh my God – am I really crazy enough to consider this? Yes, damn it – be bold, be brave! If I don’t embrace the treasure I find along the way, and take some risks, then why the hell am I here at all? Kayla is right. Something has awoken in me and it won’t go back to sleep. And I don’t want it to. If this is magic then bring it on, and screw the consequences.
“Count me in!” I say, and see my delight mirrored in their shining eyes.”