Last night I attended a Full Moon circle organized by Joyelle Petersen and Danielle Heenehan, two amazing women in my town who are bringing back the art of ceremony. The weather was beautiful, so they could hold it outside in a friend’s big backyard. They had rugs, mats and pillows of every color arranged on the grass for the circle. The altar was set up on one side with rattles, drums, sacred herbs. A good crowd of about 15 of us was there at the start time, and we shared tea and snacks we brought. I knew a couple women from other groups, but what struck me was that I felt so easy about talking to the people that I didn’t know, despite my feeling shy in big groups. More women kept trickling in and as I talked to them, I found many times we have some other friend or organization or modality in common.
As the ceremony started and a shamana sang a sacred welcoming song, I looked at the gathering of about 30 women and felt the strong invisible web that we created. We were weavers of our community, teachers, students, moms, grandmothers. Then I could see us in a birds-eye perspective woven together with all the other people coming together in ceremony all over the planet for the full moon, creating our web of light. Visions like that give me great optimism that humanity just might pull through these chaotic times.
Creating ceremony can be hard work. It’s not only just the planning, it takes a devoted energy to hold the sacred space for everyone to come together. I am so grateful that I know people who value ceremony, and have the skills, the heart and respect for the joyful work they take on to feed the spirit of our community.
One of the first things we learned how to do in energy work classes was to ground. And it was the way we started off all the other workshops I’ve taken in Reiki and shamanic studies. I always thought I had that down. But I’ve come to find out recently that there is always room to deepen the practice, add new facets and finesse to it and take it to the next level.
I’m taking a class right now in Energy Body Mastery with Christina Pratt, a brilliant shamanic practitioner in Portland. This is an online class, and honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after reading her introductory email about the class, I was hooked. So far we are only in week 3 of the 7 week class, but her perspective on the energy body, grounding and boundaries has been very refreshing. Even though I have been studying energy medicine for the past 12 years, I am definitely benefiting going deep into her aspects on the subject. So this version of grounding she takes us to is augmented with Chi Gong practice which really integrates the body and energy awarenesses. I have practiced Chi Gong and Tai Chi in the past but it’s been at least 20 years ago. Practicing it again after all this time and combining it with the energy tools from Christina and my own deep toolbox has been a lot of fun.
And it made me realize that sometimes when I thought I was grounded I wasn’t, and that it is possible to be over-grounded. So if you have the basic tool of grounding in your toolbox, take it out and give it a good lookover and a polish. Discern if you are really feeling that solid energy connection to the earth, or if you are just going through the motions.
Some things to ponder…
When you think of being grounded, where do you feel it in your body? Do you feel a solidness in your belly, or do your legs feel heavy, or do you feel it somewhere else?
Are there images that come to mind, and if so are they ones that you have learned from someone else or from a spirit-teacher?
Do you feel balanced?
Is there a reciprocity going on with you and with Mother Earth and Father Sky?
Is there anything that you could add to it to take it to the next level?
In these intense times, being grounded is more important than ever, and it is essential to do on a daily basis to take care of yourself. So make like a tree and root.
Photo credit: Linda Guinter (dear friend and fellow redwood explorer)
The forest and rivers have been calling with their energies of renewal and abundance. The rivers are rushing high and fast from late winter rains, urging us to shake off the winter hibernation and get moving. The leaflets and blossoms are popping on trees, and wildflowers are starting to bloom in rotation. I’ve been feeling the call to be outside, getting in a hike every weekend. Last weekend I was called to McDonald forest. It is managed for recreation with plenty of hiking trails, and also for logging by Oregon State University’s school of Forestry. I came across a patch of forest that had been marked for logging. The ones to be cut were marked with pink paint and flagging tape. I stood awhile in their midst, just being with them, acknowledging their lives, their gift and their Spirits. I was called to leave packets of MariEL energy for whatever was needed in the area. They gifted me poetry. I translated the best I could.
Ode to those who will be lumber
Heartfelt gratitude for you, noble trees and your dryad kin
For all the oxygen you’ve birthed and carbon dioxide transmuted
And the hillsides you’ve stabilized, anchored and rooted
with dirt made from the organic bones of your ancestors
For birds you’ve nurtured, squirrels you’ve fed
The shade you’ve given and dancing shadows cast
Your root-cabled forest internet of messages passed
Through the underground cities of microbes beneath you
For the rain drops you’ve caught and the mist you’ve hugged
For releasing pollens and seeds on the breezes well flown
Now surrounded by children you birthed, the Elementals you’ve known
For all the stars you witnessed born and dying in the night sky
For the Sacred prayers you heard and poems you inspired
For all the homes you’ve been and the homes that you will become
stacked at sawmills and stores when the harvest is done
Already I miss your wildness
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
Energy Intuitive and Nature Communicator - Cheri Melton's work with Devas and Nature Spirits is profound. So happy to have her as a friend and mentor -