I hope you all had a blessed summer solstice. Mine was packed full of good people and the sound of drums. The weather was perfect for an early evening ceremony, and that is just what we had. I've said in the past that on the equinoxes I drum alone and on the solstices I drum in community. This year I had a hard time pulling together a space and a group, it was smaller but a very powerful experience.
The focus this solstice was transmuting our burdens into blessings. I and many of the people I interact with have had a challenging year. For some there has been an equal number of rewards, but there has been a lot of effort expended to deal with difficult circumstances. At times it feels like we are carrying a lot of dead weight. So I thought why not use the energy of the solstice to help us transmute that into something useful.
There were only three of us this time that were physically present, but three is a powerful number. The trinity appears in many cultures as a potent numerical figure. There were also drummers that were separated by vast distances that came together at the same time (well we were just a few minutes late but basically the same time). Right before we opened sacred space, I felt a sensation, a hum in the center of my chest. I said out loud, "They've started." I knew it without a doubt. I could feel it in my body that our distant drum friends had begun. I've drummed with others around the globe before, but this was the first time I actually could feel them.
The second amazing thing that happened once we got started is that I started to hear a hum. It sounded like a very repetitive voice singing along with the drums. Chording sometimes happens with drums but this was different. It felt like it was coming from the ground beneath our feet. I felt the earth singing up to merge with the song of our drums. I joined my voice to the sound and soon it was if I had merged with the song the earth was singing.
I had journeyed the day prior to the upper world and was taught a prayer by one of the Ancestors. This is something I sang during the ceremony. I find it makes a good set of affirmations or mantra. It goes like this, "We come to receive the blessings of the earth. We come to give the blessings of the earth. We come to be the blessings." I love the progression of receiving to giving and finally becoming. We are one with the blessings themselves. We are not separate.
We drummed for probably a half hour. It felt like we would never stop, but all of the sudden it came to a halt. We all three felt it, and I could feel that our distant drum friends had ceased as well. It was as inexplicable a feeling as when I had sensed they had begun. I just knew. So we closed the space and visited for a bit. When I had first started I had been tired from an early morning and a day out at the fair. I was unsure I could muster the power to drum, but afterwards I felt invigorated and recharged. It is often that way with drumming, it revitalizes us connecting us to the strength of the earth herself.
Some would say it was all in my head. Feeling other people at a distance, hearing the earth sing, and receiving prayers from a spirit are all regarded as fantasy in our western culture. Maybe it was in my head, but I did feel better after ceremony, I did feel more connected, and I did feel more grateful for all the people who made the ceremony possible. So whatever happened it is simply more useful for me to believe in this unseen connection. Now past the longest day of the year I always feel a bit sad as the darkness will be growing again, but that is the way of it. Nothing is static it is always growing or decreasing. There is no stopping only flowing or resisting. The ceremonies I do help me to connect with the currents of life. They help me make sacred my world.
How about you? Do you celebrate or mark the turning points in the seasons? Do you regularly honor the forces of life within and around you? Do you allow yourself to feel the inexplicable? Are the mysteries welcome in your life? Personal ritual no matter how simple can be a powerful tool to bring order and meaning to our lives try some ceremony on for size and see where it takes you. Have a beautiful summer!
Peace and Blessings,