Strong Sun Moon Workshop I

Friday, June 23, 1995

It's raining, I mean its pouring and its not going to stop, at least not tonight for the workshop. Fortunately, the Spoutwood Farm has a barn so if we need to move inside we can....we need to move inside.

This circle is tight, some people are shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors. However, everyone is full of excitement, be it anxiety or peacefulness. Since we are indoors our "fire" becomes a candle but modifications to a ceremony are expected in some traditions. A Peruvian medicine wheel is laid out, with stones that each participant has brought for the ceremony, charged and sealed for our healing ceremony. The energy begins to swell from the positive affirmations of the group. The circle is divided into four clans, to correspond to the four directions. Each clan will move to the center of the circle to receive a healing from the other members of a group.

The opening ceremony begins with a journey to meet/select a power animal. The attributeS of the power animal will help guide each participant on their own personal path of healing through the all night ceremony. As a spiritual community we begin to move around the healing wheel, stopping at each cardinal direction, first the south, then the west, the north and finally the east with the greeting of the dawn. Our community becomes extremely tight spiritually/emotionally to match our physical surroundings. People share their journey's and other experiences openly and freely. We journey, chant, sing but because of our space limitations there is no dancing. The rain is a constant throughout the night, sometimes slowing down, only to pick up with a heavy shower again.

As in previous workshops of this type some people become very tired and want to sleep. However, its part of the ceremony to stay awake and see/feel what happens to you during the night. The spiritual energies that are always present seem to have a more profound affect when we let our defenses down. Giving up sleep tends to open our spiritual senses. When the community became extremely tired, I would get them up and moving. We eat, take walks in the rain to keep ourselves refreshed, but open to the process of receiving energy from the many activities each person takes part in. For the goal is receive messages about ourselves, our lives, and experience the other worlds available to us.

For me, the morning came very quickly this year and I had an intense desire to go outside to greet the dawn and be with nature. There is a break in the rain, and with more thought than intuition, I ask the fire tenders to build a fire for the closing ceremony.

Now we are outside in a circle, we are tired, dirty, but feel renewed from the spiritual work we have done. Each clan presents a skit about the animal associated with their tribe. Then the dance of the power animals, one of my favorite dances of the ceremony. The final blessing is competed and the ceremony has ended. However, the experience will continue for much longer. I am so grateful for being able to do this work.

Thanks Rob and Lucy for providing the space and coordinating the event. A special thanks to Jim for his support and love. Lastly, thanks to the participants for its your desire to learn, grow, and experience life that makes every ceremony in the medicine wheel so incredibly rewarding.

written by Paul Sivert