The symbol 6 represents the Spirits of all Humans; Our Spiritual Ancestor; our Grandparents Who Love us Since Always. This month has been pretty much all about that for me. They have been whispering in my ear that I need to hold fast to the philosophy that everyone’s Sacred Point of View be valued.
Many relations have been visiting and sharing intimate stories with me this past month. I hope that I was a good listener and tried not to interrupt. I hope that the Medicine Chiefs from the Circle of Law are looking down upon me and letting me know that I have been authentic in listening without judgment, comparison or expectation to the communication of these most important individuals as well as others who have crossed my path.
Storyteller, the sixth full moon, begins tonight. She is the seer of speaking the truth. The natural world is alive with song. All we have to do is be open to listen. We may even become a discerning enough listener and seer to ask questions and be confident that the answers will come. This, however, is a disciplined practice of routinely going into the silence.
This moon also reminds me of the six. I was taught that the number six represents all of our ancestors beginning with the Grandparents. When we call out to them in personal ceremony we may say, “All of Our Ancestors Who Have Loved Us Since Always”. I love this shout out. It’s beautiful.
When we honor the spiritual aspect of our human ancestry (the individuals who trekked and endured and brought change, so that we may have an enriched life experience because of their wisdom), I feel heartened. This is what the Medicine Chiefs, our philosophical/spiritual leaders, try to teach us. They want us to learn about our own symbolic language–how we interacted with what is real and tangible on the Good Red Road of Life.
I had a deadline I wanted to meet for a show about the islands of the Pacific. Located in the Southwest Pacific is the island of New Zealand. I was fortunate enough to travel there when my daughter turned 15. We went to visit her second grade teacher who had moved there with her family. Walking around, I was frequently mistaken for Maori which was equally surprising and pleasurable. I admired the beautiful women delineating their familial lineage through their facial tattoos.
I wondered what my facial tattoo might look like and made this painting. I knew I needed to offer something about my ancestral ties and heritage. I chose to replicate a Mesoamerican butterfly design that was found and predates the Spanish colonial invasion of the Americas. I love this work. It connects me to the symbols, customs and practices of indigenous people across the world from me and with whom I feel a special connection.
Further, and probably because of this work, I refined my touchstone word for the year. Instead of PEACE, it is now TRANQUILITY. Tranquility is exactly how I feel when I think about my time spent in the sacred land of the Maori people; the spiritual place in the world they call home. I have titled my piece “Spirit of Rotorua”. Rotorua being the heart center of the Maori located on the North Island.
I think that I am off to a good start this year with this word. It has already put me in a good frame of mind looking toward the future.
This month’s painting is the 5th in my Steppingstones series of the migratory journey of my feminine line. It depicts a stone circle known as a “tent ring” that was discovered by Prehistorian and geologist Waldemar Chmielewski (1929-2004) of Poland. It is perhaps one of the oldest buildings in the world at a paleolithic site near the Nile Valley.
The structures are oval depressions where a dome shelter of skins or brush was held down by heavy rocks. It provided a permanent place to live, but could be easily taken down and moved. This was a fitting dwelling for the ancestors who were transitioning from nomadic hunter-gatherers to semi-permanent settlements (perhaps 60 thousand years ago). While my ancestors were already in what is now known as Iran and Iraq, this is still very close in distance. It was a rather long period of incubation in and around this area for most of our forebears.
Since we are studying how to become discerning listeners on our Paths With Heart this month, I have chosen to call this painting, “We Were Here”. It is a song that I hear from our ancestors, letting us know that they called this place home. As a people, our homeland gives us a sense of identity, community and purpose. I hear the ceremonies and songs from these ancient ones and I thank them.