I'm late with this entry, but I've been a very busy bee this past week. I've been closing a deal and planning a trip. I've been doing holiday baking, finishing up holiday gifts, and I led a gathering of weather shaman as well as led a drumming ceremony and despacho with one of my teachers. It's no wonder I am so tired.
It all started with an idea. With my Year of Transformation one of the benefits is the quarterly drumming ceremonies, basically on the solstices and the equinoxes I drum for power and blessings on behalf of the participants. A year ago I attended an enormous drumming event. There were over a hundred people drumming to celebrate the solstice and the end of the Mayan calendar. Since then I have wanted to do my ceremonies in community, at least on the solstices. I tend to drum alone on the equinoxes. I was planning a drumming gathering and my teacher was too, so we decided to combine our events.
The first thing we did of course was to journey to make sure we could even hold the event. December is a bit unpredictable. We've already had one snow and ice storm and you never know when another one will blow through. My first journey was to the weather spirits to ask if the roads would be clear and safe for travel. We were told there would be a window for us to hold our event. I was thinking we would have to worry about snow or ice, but we ended up with thunderstorms. Forecasts were calling for 5-6 inches of rain and flash flooding. There is a creek right near my teacher's house as well as a pond where the road dips down a steep hill. I was worried that the road would be underwater. I kept repeating to myself, "They told us we could hold our event I'll just trust that we can." When I arrived the creek was still in its banks and the pond had not overflowed. The weather had scared off a few of the participants which left the event packed instead of being insanely crowded.
I am lucky in that I have 3 shamanic teachers. Two of them live locally. Both of them were there last night. I was given the reins for the ceremonies. So here I was leading ceremony in front of the people who taught me and a group much larger than I had ever worked in front of before. I was very nervous. (Yes I do get nervous when I work in front of a lot of people). At least a third of the room were authorities in one or more metaphysical fields. No pressure at all you know.
Which of course brings me to the solstice itself. The winter solstice is the time when the world (well at least north of the tropics) is at its darkest. Here we are forced to rely more on what is inside of us rather than the light around us. We carry the light within us, and it is in the dark that we find out the quality of our light. What is our power and how well do we apply it? These are what the starkness of winter makes us look at. The trees are bare dreaming their roots deep into the ground. We too must go deep within ourselves and keep the spark of light alive within our hearts. This time of the year we feast and gather with loved ones to share our light and warmth. This is our response to the winter solstice. In Faery the good folk feast, the winter court celebrates the height of the darkness, the summer court celebrates the return of the light. We have to find our light and discover what it illuminates in us and in others.
I said this and more when I called in the space. I donned my mask of leaves and shared my light and that of my drum with the circle as they shared their light. It was beautiful, lifting the heart and filling it with joy. We built our despacho and filled it with flowers, candies, wine, and our prayers. When we went to burn it the wind quieted the rain stopped and a stillness came upon the glade we were standing in. For the length of time it took for the bundle to burn the rain held off, and the wind stayed calm. The weather spirits had said we would have a window to perform our ceremonies and we made use of it. We also thanked weather often and profusely. The miraculous thing of course was the moment we all came back inside (for the food of course) a huge flash of lightning and clap of thunder broke the skies. A torrent of rain began and didn't stop for over an hour. It started as soon as we finished. Some might call it coincidence, but I call it as I see it and that was weather being generous at the same time demonstrating its power over the events of our lives.
Winter is a good time to reflect on the past year and to make plans for the new one ahead. I felt called to gratitude for this ceremony. I was grateful just to be able to hold it, that my teacher opened her home to host it, and that so many people joined in to make it so powerful. This is the time to stoke our inner fire and focus our light. What are you focusing on?
Peace and Blessings,