Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cycles, Ceremony and Personal Healing


Hey Folks,

I'll get right to the point and tell you 2011 was a hell of a year. My summer, instead of being rejuvenating and refreshing,  was exhausting, confusing, overwhelming...I've been a bit of wreck, since, I'm afraid. See, my father in law suffered a stroke on July 1st and was unable to return to his home. Suddenly Brian and I were immersed into the world of retirement lodges, community care, power of attorney and all the debt that comes with it (i.e. a second mortgage), not to mention the emotional experience of watching Brian mourn the father he knew and the man he's now re-acquainting himself with. We also became the adoptive parents of a second beautiful dog who had, until then, lived his life on the end of a rope and has (slowly turning to HAD) behavioural issues. Then, as you well know from my most recent posts, Brian and I went our separate ways; I moved out in the late Fall.

Yes, turbulent. But I am able to find gratitude in all this; huge lessons of love come with these types of experiences and I completely understand and trust that I'm learning about a dimension of myself  as of yet unexplored.  It's what I hold on to when reconsidering who I am, what my potential is, and how to bring it to fruition. It's also what I hold to when I think about being way behind on my thesis proposal and feeling out of sync with the research process.  How to pull it all together, come back to alignment with my true self, and re-evaluate where I'm going with my life and my studies?

Cycles, Ceremonies and Personal Healing

Thank Great Spirit/Goddess for ceremony. Truly.

I am the co-founder and primary facilitator of a consciousness raising Full Moon Women's Circle here in Guelph. My Circle partner, Heather, and I had previously belonged to the Orangeville Full Moon Women's Circle...but circumstances found us moving from the area for different reasons and without the means to attend the ceremonies except very sporadically. Then, a couple of years later, lo and behold, we found each other again in Guelph. Hungry for the connection, creativity, drumming, singing, sharing, honouring of the cycles of nature, and celebrating our personal journey's through reflection on our growth and transitions with other women as we had in Orangeville, we initiated a Guelph Full Moon Women's Circle last March. I can't express in words how much I welcome the gift of monthly ceremony back into my life.

What is the Guelph Full Moon Circle?

The Guelph Full Moon Circle is a travelling circle and is hosted by women all over the Guelph/Wellington area. To host a Circle is to reap the energetic benefits of having such a high vibration activity in ones home. Hosting, as well as the act of simply 'showing up', are highly spiritual acts. Besides making connections with like minded others, both demonstrate commitment to the purpose of the Circle which is, at its foundation, to honour the Divine Feminine. The Full Moon Circle provides safe space for women to express their dreams, their needs, their desires, their teachings, their wisdom, and their creativity. We read from Jamie Sams "13 Original Clanmothers" , we sing, we drum, we pray, we listen, we find mirrors all around us and reap the wisdom of the experiences of those in attendance.

What is the experience of ceremony for me?
From the moment we call in the Grandmothers, to when we raise the energy we've generated to be shared with all beings and the planet, the Full Moon Circle is a fully sensorial, subjective, psychosocial, and existential experience. For me, there is a physical dropping in...feeling the earth under my feet and becoming totally present; I'm completely in the moment. Drumming, rocking, swaying, body humming...I feel full of light.  I had a very good friend once tell me that when I sing it is like watching me commune with God. This is how I know my voice is a sacred instrument, and so  I sing and soul speak soars out of me!  I consciously strive to listen and to be respectful of my sisters' stories.  I often bring these kinds of images forward in my mind, of singing with the women, bearing witness to their truths, pulsing and worshiping and feeling full with love when I am faced with challenges in my day to day life. I liken it to having an army of Light standing behind me that I can always draw strength from. They are an extraordinarily important source of support for me. I know that ceremony affects everything energetically for miles, the sky absorbs it, the earth drinks it. It's like being under a spell. And like all spells, it must eventually be broken, but it is always mine to recollect and reflect upon.

Why do I do ceremony?
I derive much personal pleasure from ceremony, it's true. But I do it for so many reasons. When participating in ceremony I take responsibility for my personal healing, and give others permission to do the same.  I can mentor others and connect with new mentors for myself.  I learn from the other women's stories in poignant ways and am consistently reminded that others have been where I am at and I am never alone. Always I find that the stories of the others offers me a map on my own personal journey. I participate in ceremony because I find it empowering, all of we women co-creating an atmosphere of love, compassion, acceptance, and supreme beauty together. I do it because it's fun! I love to sing, drum, rattle and sway! It's an energetic release and fill-up simultaneously. I can let go of that which no longer serves me and claim all that I desire for myself; and having the others there to act as witnesses generally insures that I'll follow through. It's like making sacred contracts with myself/Self.

My sisters of the Full Moon Circle have been a lifeline for me. Life is beautiful, but it can be tough. Being part of something as meaningful and fulfilling to me as the Circle helps me keep life in perspective. I'm given the opportunity, with each passing moon, to reflect on where I've come from to get where I'm at. We women honour each other on our personal journeys, give credit where it's due, and cheer one another on as we maneuver through this complex labyrinth called life.

If you have any questions, or you identify as female and are interested in attending the Guelph Full Moon Circle, drop me a line. Let's connect.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Liminal Gift

My dream:

It is a dark, winter night and I am driving a car along a back country road and there is a child in the passenger seat and an adult man and woman in the backseat. Directly ahead and to the right of us an immense, black, and boiling storm is roaring towards the West. We are headed right for it. I realize I have a choice, I can drive into it or I can stop. I choose to stop. The storm passes right before our eyes. It's coal black, wreathing and alive. Simultaneously, out of the house we've parked beside comes a family of four and they go about their business as though nothing is happening. Those of us in the car are astounded, don't they see the chaos that swirls directly in front of them?

I won't go into the actual analysis, but here's my interpretation:

I am finally in the drivers seat, capable and ready of leading an independent life, responsible and confident of it's direction. My passengers are synthesis and creativity and they are coming along for the ride, bearing witness to my unconscious fears and doubts. And they are my precious tools, too, in expressing the components of my true nature. My true nature consisting of: sensation, feeling, thought and intuition, which have presented themselves to me and, despite the storm of my unconscious, are calm and stable, ready to support me on my journey. The combination of all these gifts, I believe, is what will carry me through the exploration of my unconscious (huge and looming, for now, but on the move, rolling, never static) throughout my MA study and my continuous healing journey. There's no doubt that I'll have to morph into the role of storm-chaser, but in order to do so, I must start by stopping. 

I give great thanks to the liminal realm and it's power to speak to me through powerful symbols that guide me through that which is hidden within. In this dream I find that I'm ready to start moving forward. There's no doubt I've been on a tumultuous emotional journey, and I've accumulated a myriad of emotions and fears that are in no hurry to dissipate, but I don't have to go charging into my unconscious in order to reveal them. And I'm not one to ignore what's so poignantly revealed itself to me.  I'm allowed to collect myself, acknowledge that those fears and emotions are there, and then enter my unconscious slowly, with awareness, with support, in a gentle and loving way.