Why am I special?
I am not.
What is real ceremony?
You are in the center
You are the one giving
A place of honour
A place of sacrifice
You always have a payment
There is a cost for being
In the centre of ceremony
To being the main dancer
To be the main story teller
To be the main healer
To be the main singer
To be the main musician
There is alway a payment
There is always a balance
To be maintained
You give as good as you “get”
Getting is the sacrifice
You be honoured by being
In the sidelines
Be in the circle of singers
Be in amongst the drummers
Be in as the village
Be in as an auntie or uncle
The one in the centre
Carries the cost
And the balancing happens
In their circle
To the ones to the things near
Unless all the ones
Around give – gift generously
With word and action and deed
With gifts to other, to land
To Spirit. To the ceremonialist(s). To each other.
That is why consumer starseeder human ceremonies are dead
No one gives
One sits there in envy
Of the one one in the centre
But one doesn’t understand
To be in the centre
Is not about glory
they say in some sacred ceremonies
The one in the centre loses some years off their life
Each time they hold the ceremony
They say in some sacred ceremonies
That the ones in the center
That is all they do all year long
Is getting ready for one ceremony
Which lasts five days or one
Am I ready for that?
Do the folk who gather
For that ceremony
Are they prepared
To give to Spirit
Or to the Spirits
To keep the ceremonialists safe
To dance and sing again
If the ceremonialist is constantly
Giving to Sprit, they know that
It will cost them
Even their life
Keep the balance
Be at peace with
“Sitting in the third row”*
Written while thinking about ceremony and preparing for Awakening and dancing Mother Bear.
The questions: Will the group, the small community make enough beauty, bring enough beauty, sing strong songs, speak in a beautiful way that is born from connection?
Can they make such strong power that all that can happen is for Mother Bear to come out and dance with us? Will we give time and space for this? Or will people tire, not understand, want to get it over with, not pass into that liminal place of world within world within world and so on? Will the ceremonialists be supported by the community? Will they weave in and out within their own responsibilities, their own lineage to carry, their own craft and body of knowledge they carry? Ego dissolve.
And the teachings carried came from teachers, Elders. And then comes along experience – a lot of this. Which means time – and a lot of hard learning over YEARS before going public to serve. And that is IF the ceremony is even public. So difficult for the current climate of humans. There are those who are just doing this, in quiet, in silence, not talking about what they are doing over years in and years out of service.
And not everyone gets initiated. Not everyone gets everything! You started a family (I like this one) means there are some things you don’t have privy to and will not get to “fill in the gaps of initiations you missed” because you decided or were on unable to have certain ceremonies: Life and own choices – now you have a family! Is that not an initiation of sorts? Some other initiation ceremony you shall have…. One that is for your present or when you are older or something else happens.
And having private ceremonies, passed down from others: how does one not just replicate this in a foreign land? How does one not colonise it? How does one sit with this learned or initiated ceremony for some time, sinking into one’s own land and then arriving at perhaps a blossoming, perhaps the first kiss of even coming close to something containing the magic, the depth, the wideness, the mystery, the service to the Holy? To Life? To Earth and all beings?
I think of my friend and her struggles with this for years. I think of my struggle with this since returning from Tuva. I think of some friends who apprenticed for sixteen years, making pilgrimages to the same place before being able to participate in peyote ceremony let alone call upon that specific place to assist them in their healing work! I think of friends who apprenticed (arrange, help, serve, drive, feed, carry, assist, listen….) to Elders, medicine men and women in North America, Central America, South America – and not sharing much or anything nor repeating songs in their own homeland (and waiting or asking or being granted permission to share). I think about a couple who entered my life and were not given permission but did anyway leaving me with the payment part.
This is not an easy discussion. Nor is this the end. All in all, ceremony seems to be against all the “norms” of retail economy. Which brings up another field of wonderment and consternation and follows the ouroboros: what goes around comes around and for another time to write.
But then we come to one centre in the vast web of ceremony, service, teachings, learnings: of passing further out and around: right mind (heart is in there) and necessity. Generosity perhaps even that. Non-indigenous folk are indigenous to Mother Earth. Would that be enough for all humans to reconnect to their memories of why to take care of her, one another, all beings? In ceremony to feed her? Reconnect to bravery of generosity? Do we not have a necessity to change and nurture with right mind and heart? Do we not have a necessity to hold dear, support, be ally to indigenous peoples, peoples with languages and worldviews that are being overcome by states, industry, the 1%, film industry, biohackers, well-being businesses and tourism, etc etc? Read the last sentence again.
Ceremonies are cycle- specific and place specific. Then some dash down wild waterfalls of people specific, gender specific. Then further down the way is a feeding spring of those ceremonies which are for a smaller group of Elders who hold perhaps entire worlds together. All are needed. All feeding into Life, keeping the World (that means all beings, air, water – all!!!) alive and in good relationship through the gifts of service, giving.
Kate Raworth: Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist and visit https://doughnuteconomics.org/about-doughnut-economics
Martín Prechtel – anything. Will return to him later
Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) & Darcia Narvaez, PhD: Restoring the Kinship Worldview. Interesting read still in process.
Dr. Tyson Yunkaporta, Aboriginal scholar: Sand Talk. Also any lectures, podcasts etc.
Gifting – gift “economy” and by the women writers, not Charles and others (who jumped on the bandwagon very late in the season!) https://www.maternalgifteconomymovement.org/
Bear Clan, Professor Barbara Alice Mann – anything. Definitely riles, confuses, clears the head, and goes against much of what has been force-fed to most of the world about North America. Love fractals.
*quite sure this was a line heard from a podcast by Nordic Animism & Tyson Yunkaporta.