We survived because we kept dancing
We have held the center
We have maintained connection
We have danced into the center of the Earth
And made a hole in the Sky
We survive because we dance and sing
Through the long night
And awakened the Sun to a new Dawn
In both May and November, 2001, the council members of Shamanic Circles journeyed to see what themes the Spirits were asking us to 'tend' during this international gathering. From the very first journeys emerged the significance of the Tree of Life...and that the Tree of Life needed tending. The Eternal Tree of Life and each of us as a Tree of Life. In those early May journeys we were informed that the time had come for us to give help to the Spirits just as they have blessed all of us on this path. It was as though the spirits were saying you have come of age and now it is time to focus on giving, sacrificing, and working on our behalf, on behalf of the World. As we continued to listen to these journeys during the summer months, it seemed that the Spirits were needing our Help. Often we consider ourselves going to the Spirits, seeking their help, their guidance and wisdom. Yet there was this insistent whispering we need your Help and a wondering among ourselves as to 'what help was needed?
Then came the events of September 11 and suddenly these journeys took on stunning clarity. Shortly after September 11, some of us were in Montana, doing work on behalf of souls that needed assistance in crossing over; doing more practicing of walking mindfully and giving blessing to all we encountered both in our world of 'time' and our world out of time. We became aware that with all our learning, practice, and shamanic relationships that we have real treasures stored in our hearts, our souls, our collective memories that allowed us to move sure-footedly in working with the Spirits.
We found ourselves singing and calling the Ancestors from the Cave to the Sunlight.....bringing the seeming invisibles into the visible world. It became quite clear how spirits -- whether in the form of animals, teachers, elements (e.g., water, wind, air, fire, minerals) or other spirit forms, desired help from us in order to bring healing to the Earth and all her beings. In essence, we had all the help we needed; yet the spirits needed Our help. For me, there was something about a real shift in the evolution of contemporary shamanism --- a rite involving the 'coming of age,' manifesting maturity in our practice, selflessness, and not in the role of dependents but rather the role of dependable walkers of the way....whether we have been walking this path for a short or a long while....we have been blessed enough to help the Spirits.
Then in November council members coordinating Oracle met again and on our last morning, we met with the Tucson Drum Circle whose help is invaluable in coordinating the many logistics that facilitate the village called Oracle. By the end of our planning days, journeys for Oracle had come to focus on the Hoop, the Tree, and the Web of the Whole. And the issue of how do we as villagers be within our own 'medicine' of blessing that we can transform seemingly chaotic and negative energies, through our own beings, and walk with harmony in a world out of balance. How could we at Oracle help to mend the web, make from fragmented energies a Circle or Hoop of beauty once again; and how to nourish the Tree of Life so the roots are blessed and the branches honored in all their diversity---indicating the rootedness of all life from the same Tree, the same Source.......and the branches indicating how rich does the Tree give forth many shapes and forms that we call living beings.
Our ceremonies, of the whole village gathered, will focus around these 'calls,' these visions and these themes. The specific content and form of each ceremony will develop as different ones or groups of us journey for these moments when, in ceremony, the temporal and eternal intersect -- giving powerful experiences through our Village Circle, to the Whole. We shall continue listening to both Spirits and the World, to the visions from our collective souls and dreams and to what powers and visions develop within our Village itself.
Already, however, we have received clear communications that deeper renewing, sacrifice, and returning of our energies to Earth is required; these are some ways of rounding the Hoop nourishing the Tree, and mending the Web.
Ceremony themes and tentative plans developed thus far include:
- Our first night (Wednesday evening), a time of making music, dance, and awakening the joyful rhythms of a village forming and shaking the dust of travel from our bodies.
- Thursday morning is our opening ceremony on the themes of transmutation, making of our very beings, medicine for the Earth. This ceremony is focused around the teaching in the words of Chief Joseph
The Earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same.
- Friday night's ceremony is the ancient Earth Renewing Dance This takes place all-night from sunset of Friday night to Sunrise of Saturday morning - to be followed by a period when we each and all hold Silence in the Desert - until we meet together at 3pm.Saturday afternoon.
- Saturday night's ceremony will be one of tending together the Hoop, the Tree, the Web and doing this around the World Map creation which will be constructed throughout the days together. Thus we come to Sunday morning's closing ceremony - leaving the Desert more deeply connected with each other and all relations - the fragmented Hoop shaped into Roundness; in our midst a dry Tree now Greening; and a Web of Luminous Spirits threaded in harmony just as the Stars so fill the Night Sky.
These are our themes and intentions. We remain attentive to the Spirits who work with us, and to our world during this time of great shifting. Staying attuned, we are confident that we all shall be guided so that our village reflects and manifests the service now needed in our World. Confident we shall know the joy of joining together --- creating and becoming a BlessingWay Village. Confident we shall know how to leave trails of Beauty in Oracle and, migrating back to our homelands -- be a Walking Web of Beauty holding together our relatedness to each other and to this path.
As the groups form to journey and work on the ceremonies, there will be more sharing on these pages -- whether through journeys described, songs to be sung, particular dances to do, images evoking intention, and asking for help in logistics.
We anticipate that our ceremony 'groups' will be formed and ready to begin the next stages of planning by the middle of February.
We are developing pages: Reflections on the Themes of Oracle. If you have any thing you wish to contribute, on the Tree of Life, the Hoop, and the Web. These will be a mixture of photos, descriptions of each of these metaphors, songs, and poetry.
If you have anything to contribute to the ceremony planning, please contact
Carol Proudfoot-Edgar att firstname.lastname@example.org
In the desert sky the constellations move
I am dreaming of removing a thorn from a Bear's paw
and the thorn turns gold.
In the sky the constellations shift a bit more
I dream of a buffalo pawing my body to death
and where his hooves touch my body are gold hoof prints
The sky pictures move
I dream of an Eagle eating our jerky
we were using for fuel for the long night
and Eagle leaving gold droppings on the ground
I dream of our fruit, savored for moisture, turning to gold
and that we are a Circle of gold lying within the Desert Mountains
When morning comes
our movements are heavy
as if our bodies were covered with gold-dust
and the mountains glint in the Sun and the Dawning of a New Way comes...
---written by Carol Proudfoot on behalf of ShamanicCircles and the Oracle Village 2002