Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I write this early Christmas morning post. I am tired, but in that good way. Between the rush of making last minute gifts, this week's two ceremonies, and the arrival of a new puppy it's been quite the dash.
I got to hold my annual winter solstice drumming ceremony in the Louisville Salt Cave (thanks ladies for hosting me)! I knew this was going to be an especially powerful ceremony months ago I dreamed of drumming in a cave and the phoenix came down to listen. In the dream there were 4 drummers who would battle the dark. The dream took shape at the last minute with the lead drummers in each of the 4 directions. My teacher held the North, two more friends held West and East, but I was flustered when I couldn't find my South. Everyone I looked at the choice seemed forced and I finally surrendered and became South myself. This in retrospect was just as it should have been in my dream I was one of the 4 warriors battling the dark. More things fell into place that I could not have planned. A man came who sang us a Hopi song at the opening and he had a personal story to share about the phoenix. As we drummed we all became quite hot in the normally cool cave environment. The dim warm earthlight of salt lamps was very womblike and above sparkling lights hinted of stars. We had the best of both the upper and lower worlds. We had three rounds of drumming and all of us were quite spent by the end of the ceremony.
I had been seeking power to create the changes for myself, my loved ones, my community, my country, and my clients. The ceremony just about blew all our socks off, but I cannot take credit for that. It was the group and spirit. My contribution was to listen to my dreams and to just follow along without trying to control it. As I was setting up I could hear people meeting and introducing themselves, coming together in fellowship. They were truly enjoying the get together and that made me very happy to be part of bringing that good will together. It went beyond the scope of the dream, and I know the changes are still working through me and others. I felt quite raw physically and emotionally in the aftermath. At the winter solstice we honor the North, the place of ancestors, teachers, and death. The phoenix lent us its cleansing fire that both destroys and renews.
So why am I telling you this? Well whether or not you celebrate the solstice or not we all come to a place of death in our lives. According to the Wandering Oracle, "Poor is the man who dies only once in his life." All of us die many times in life. When we leave school (hopefully due to graduation) the formal student identity dies. When we leave a job that employment identity dies. When we leave a relationship our identity as a couple dies. From the ashes of those past identities we have the opportunity to rise anew, bright and shining. Sometimes it is joyous and sometimes sorrowful, but we rise transformed out of the darkness of our the death of our former selves.
So as past memories arise this holiday season to either trouble or delight you ask yourself what needs to die within your life so that new life can rise up. What relationships should be on the pyre? What activities or habits should be your kindling? What action will light the spark to burn away all that is no longer who you are? Be well in this between time of Christmas and New Years. We stand in a doorway ready to cross into uncharted realms. You carry within you the fuel to light the way.
Peace and Blessings,