Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you...
Every seed destroys its container
or else there would be no fruition.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell
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We are living in what the Goddess calls the Great Turning: an evolutionary/revolutionary transition where the future of humanity and our Earth home will be decided. The Great Turning is here, now. We’re in the midst of the muck and mess of world-shattering change.
My dreams and ritual work have been preparing me for the Great Turning for many years. As the pressures build, and the outer world gets noisier and more chaotic, I find myself digging through these magical experiences, seeking the deep vision and guidance of the Mysteries.
Imbolc has arrived — a between time when light and shadow dance together, and the darkness and death of Winter give way to the light and life of Spring — and a memory of a previous Imbolc ritual comes to me.
In this ritual, the priestesses guided the participants to return to their moment of conception to reclaim the passion and purpose that drew each of them from the realm of spirit into this world of matter. My priestess task was tending the Sacred Witness, a veiled, silent observer, to keep her grounded and protected while she opened herself to the deepest roots of our magic.
The Sacred Witness found herself in a place where the spirits of the dead and the souls yet to be born gather between the worlds. In sharing this ritual experience with the Sacred Witness, the ancestors came to me and spoke through me, and this is what they said:
“We have cut the cord. It is time for you to travel on your own. You are fully grown now, and we set you free in this world. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The world needs you. We believe in you. Shine bright. Make us proud.”
After the ritual was complete, a friend took me in her arms as waves of grief flooded through me, my whole body shaking as the ancestors cried through me and with me: for the pain of their stories; for the pain that they’ve passed on generation after generation; for the desperate need of this ending; for the sweet beauty of this world that they’re leaving behind; and for their forever love for us, their children, and this world’s greatest hope.
The ancestors are personal and archetypal; they’re the ones that have gone before us, both as part of our personal family and ethnic/cultural heritage, and our collective humanity. Their lived experiences and stories are woven into the fabric of our shared human reality, and the particulars of our family mythology and everyday lives. This world we live in, right now in 2017, is constructed of their stories where fear and the worst of our human instincts overrule love and our best qualities.
These stories of our ancestors are done. They’ve served their purpose of bringing us to this evolutionary/ revolutionary moment. Our ancestors have cut the cord, and seek an end to their pain and grief. And it’s each of us, their children, the waking ones, that must do the hard, messy, transformative work of putting our ancestors to rest.
This is happening right now, all around us, in the noise and chaos unfolding on the world stage. Our ancestors’ stories are unraveling before our eyes, and we’re being called to join in this work of disassembling the stories that trap us in a reality of fear and the worst of our humanity: stories on how to live and dream; stories that tell us who and what matter in our human society; stories that have passed on patterns of wounding and coping; stories that dim our light and hide our beauty; stories that hold the secrets and lessons that will ripen us into our true selves; stories that are the ancestors’ final gifts to us.
Imagine yourself as Sacred Witness in these Great Turning times. Let yourself sink deep between the worlds, and see the tumult on the world stage as the death process of our ancestors’ stories. Some of these stories will call to you; they’ll speak to your ancestral lineage, personal life experiences, and the very passion and purpose that drew your soul to this world of matter.
Claim these stories as your own. Let them guide your healing and action taking, and transform you into your full maturity and power. Always, choose love over fear, and your best instincts over your worst. Make this your soul work and contribution to the great task of mending our human society. Do these momentous, world-shattering things and our ancestors’ stories will have served their sacred purpose. Endings will come, rest will come, and we, their grownup children, will dream and story the world afresh.
Though this work may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible, remember the ancestors love you, believe in you, and know you’re the world’s greatest hope. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The ancestors have passed this precious world onto you, onto each of us. Let’s make them proud.
This is a small part of my story, a small part of my experience of being female. This small piece of my story is a minuscule piece of all the different stories of billions of transgender and cisgender humans who self identify as women, or gender fluid folk who have their own rich and diverse experiences and stories around flowing through and holding woman as part of their identity, or some gender neutral folk (or trans men) who deal with being mis-identified and treated as girls and women despite their self identity. No, this part of my story is most certainly not the whole story, and in fact is even a small part of my story, and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why I’m sharing it now.
It's the little shadows that linger out of view, the waking me up at 3am, the subtle touches in the middle of the night to let me know that you are there, but invisible.
I know you are contacting me to let me know you are there. I know you are bringing me information about someone that I do not want to hear. But you don't tell me. I see you as you wear a hat, sometimes you even look like Odin and I hear the call of his ravens, sometimes like Jesus, sometimes just a white feathery being, and sometimes as a small dark spot or shadow lurking outside of my field of vision. But you are always the same. I don't understand why you take all these shapes, but I know it's you down deep within....
Entering the archaeological site of Kato Zakros, which includes a Sacred Center and part of a town on a small hill above it, I felt too tired to continue with the others. As we passed a stone bench to the north and west of the open court, I lay down and closed my eyes. I don’t know if I actually slept, but when I opened my eyes, I was in a trance.
I could see the air vibrating, and as I looked up the hill, I could almost see women walking up and down the stepped paths. My eyes were fixed on the path where women I could not quite see with my eyes went about their daily tasks. After a while Cathleen joined me. “I don’t want to talk,” I said, “but if you sit quietly beside me, you will see women walking in the village. She sat down and said nothing, but smiled broadly and nodded when I asked her if she could see what I saw.
After a while, I moved and sat facing the Central Court. I could still see the vibrations of the air, and as I looked across the court, I felt a sense of anticipation. “The dance is about to begin,” I told Cathleen when she joined me a few minutes later. She nodded. It was an hour before sunset, and the ancient stones were bathed in the last light of day. Jana and Patricia were talking in the central shrine room, while the others leaned over the ancient cistern watching turtles and turtle babies dive into the water and emerge again. “The dance is about to begin,” I said again.
Whatever difficulties occur in my life, tragic or minor, I can get too caught up in them, so I need a haven.
Mind you, I'm not suggesting anyone bury their head in the sand about awful facts, forsake people whom those terrible facts impact, refrain from action to keep one's situation from worsening, or ignore difficult feelings. I am saying I can dwell on awful situations to the degree it hurts my mental, physical, psychic, and spiritual health really seriously. I need an inner haven to maintain well-being.
So I try to focus on the moment, which is where I find the Goddess, Her power, and Her care for me. The present moment is where I can find peace, beauty, magic, and laughter—laughter even amidst tragedy.
A fundamental ethic of Eastern Woodlands Indigenous nations since their origins in the time before time unto today is to establish, practice, and maintain Communal Ethics. The intent of an ethic that centralizes the community is to bring the whole of life into the kinship networks of this world. These kinship networks include human beings, animals, Mother Earth, the plants, waters, stars, mosses...every one. We do not say every "thing" because the members of the biosphere are not "things". The entire biosphere contains a multiplicity of beings, not objects. These beings are sacred. They have purpose, destiny, intelligence, consciousness, and are spirit-filled, just like the human beings.
To Native American/First Nations people, the Community traditionally means everyone--human beings with all various skin tones, any gender identity, any sexual orientation, any physical and intellectual ability level and the whole non-human world. Personal responsibility that supported the nation was key in the Eastern Woodlands nations, not personal aggrandizement, personal specialness, or setting oneself apart from the nation. Personal responsibility and developing one's mind, spiritual awareness, and talents and skills to strengthen the nation were and still are a strong ethic. In the northeastern nations, opinions were given an open hearing without censure in the councils. Indeed, Consensus Decision-Making originated with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) League....