One of the benefits of teaching is that you learn so much from your students. One of my students and I are engaged in a more in-depth study and I asked her to begin with Lynn V. Andrews books. Once she started to read them, she began to ask me questions whose references were imbedded in the context of the book. That meant that I had to reread the books so that I could adequately answer her questions. The last time I read any of Lynn’s books was usually just after they were published. It had been a few years. In fact, the first one was published in the early 80’s.
The first book, Medicine Woman, has the most amazing initiation ceremony and the incantation has become my mantra over this past week. It is, “You Are The Centering Fire. You Are The Flowering Tree.” I have merely changed the “You” to “I”. It is so beautiful to me that every one of my girlfriends I have encountered, I have passed it on to them. Of course, the entire ceremony is exquisite, but I feel OK to adapt this little part so that it gives me a sense of balance and wonder everytime I hear the words. It also makes me feel powerful because it is an initiation ceremony for woman alone. The visual artist inside of me wants to paint those words now.
2012 wasn’t a full 13 moon year. That won’t occur again until 2014. Nevertheless, to complete a 13 moon cycle, I asked the 13 Feminine Truths class participants if we could have a “January” celebration to honor the completion of their work throughout the previous year. We held our celebration last week and it was grand: full of love, song, ceremony, and terrific food.
Our completed “White Bear” Medicine Shields, an innovation over the previous 2010 class, was due. Over the span of a few months, everyone of us fretted to imagine and visualize a Medicine Shield that depicted all that we had learned over the course of the year as well as who we had become. The Shields were magnificent. And as we went around explaining the personal symbols that we had chosen, we learned more about each other and became further bound together as a Sisterhood. I haven’t decided if I want to “Show” the shields. They are so personal.
I do know that this first truth of 2013, “Everything Is Born of Woman”, means that from the void of the Universe, which is symbolized by the womb space of creation, goodness is born.
Having completed our personal “Cry For A Vision” ceremony, we are prepared to embark on our adventure and walk our “Path With Heart”. We admire the waxing of our beloved Clan Mother, Grandmother Wisdom Keeper. We are ready to honor the indigenous wisdom of the second feminine truth: “The Sacred Fire of Love Exists Within All Living Things”. The radiance of that fire is our gift to each other and all of our relations.
Deciding to embark on your “Path With Heart” is a decision to embrace your personal power. Sometimes we are resistant because we feel that there may be an insurmountable obstacle in our way. This perceived obstacle is usually based on a fear-driven assumption that we have about ourselves. Indigenous wisdom teaches us to make fear our friend and ally. Fear protects us from danger. However, it may also be crippling and prevent us from moving forward.
There is a beautiful personal ceremony called “Cry For A Vision”. It teaches us about the “Give-Away”. In this instance, we “Give-Away” all of the things that may stand in our way–our doubt, insecurities, fear. The foundation of the ceremony is to journey into a natural setting, dig a hole with your bare hands, and then cry into it. You cry away all of the things that you no longer desire in your world view. In this way you are inviting new perceptions and a new “vision” to enter your life. When you are finished, you bury all that is now gone from you and let Grandmother Earth take care of it.