I woke up this morning after an intense dream. Very intense dream. Not so much fun. I think I need to start carrying a sword to bed with me, if these types of dreams continue. Might just do that. ;~)
There is so much I could write here. And I’m a bit bleary-eyed right now. It feels like Change has singled me out for an accelerated course that someone else has registered me for (Ah, the Great Mother, perhaps? ;~) and I need to make the choice of how to dance with this. Do I hold on to this change as a desperate person holds onto the railing of a flailing roller-coaster. Or can I summon up the energy and courage to place myself squarely and confidently in the front seat – or maybe actually ride shotgun in the front seat?
All I know is that I keep on listening and showing up. This has been my credo since parting ways two and a half years ago with the Cherokee teacher whom I studied with for fourteen amazing years. Great years of teachings and wisdom imparted.
Spirit guides me now, I suppose. I take the directions and follow through. Just about all the time now.
What did this mean recently? It meant getting a plane ticket to Holland and attending a Wisdom Gathering for Gratitude with a group of mostly ‘strangers’ in the middle of June (on a budget that has yet to break even since selling my house and moving farther west in MD).
I only returned four days ago from Holland. Flew back on my birthday actually. Thirty hours of June 23rd. What would have been amazing would have been to have 30 hours of birthday and 30 amazing Belgian chocolate truffles to savor every hour, on the hour. Yum! Alas, returned without the truffles that day. Would have made me sick having that much chocolate anyway.
I only knew one person prior to attending this Wisdom Gathering. But Spirit/Mother told me to go. So I went. And within an hour of arriving, I knew this felt like my tribe. The tribe I’ve been seeking since parting from my Cherokee teacher. The sacred fire in the center all four days, the offering of tobacco each day, the drumming, the Great Mother Love there, the beautiful open hearts and vision of a future that will heal all for the next Seven Generations. So beautiful. So beautiful.
This Wisdom Gathering has healed me and given me marching orders. And the energy and clarity charging through me at lightning speed (so it feels) is rather amazing. I have been saying for a while that I need a seatbelt for this life that I’m leading. This is only getting more true.
Before I left for Holland, I was already feeling very guided to organize some sort of “Great Mother-Sacred Mother” event. But it was nebulous. And I was being told by Spirit/Mother to just sit with it and let it gestate. It will come to more clarity in the right time. After attending this Wisdom Gathering and being asked to be on their International Council, it has become clearer a bit. I will be helping to coordinate a Great Mother Wisdom Gathering here in the US. How this will look exactly, it is not glassy clear yet. But my new tribe-friends from Holland and elsewhere are contacting me with all sorts of names of Native American elders and ideas, and I’m trying to keep up with the enthusiasm and pull the visions together, collaboratively.
So last night, I did ceremony and more clarity is coming in. Along with intense dreams.
The ceremony last night was on the heels of attending the funeral of my beloved Katherine Carter earlier in the day. Katherine was my 101 year buddy whom I visited as often as I could — weekly or more at times. When I moved from Baltimore to the Frederick parts about 40 miles west a year and a half ago, I still came in to visit her as often as I could. I will save writing more about her for another time. Yet, she was my ‘lovebug.’ As I was her ‘lovebug.’ I actually played Joan Armatrading’s song with that title for her several years ago. We canned food together. I took her on adventures to places that were so exotic for her, such as over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and Annapolis, and the Prettyboy Dam. All within barely more than an hour’s drive from Baltimore, but, to my shock, she had never been to any of those places. So I took her.
Now Katherine is off on to her next Adventure on the other side and I can’t go with her this time. Much as I’d like to still see her and visit her. She was Home for me in ways that I’m challenged to put into words. Am trying to find those words. They will come.
The night before Katherine’s funeral, Tuesday night this week, a good friend and I went to gather water from the magical spring in the Catoctin Mountains west of Frederick. From there we drove up the mountain road, parked, and then walked into the forest to a beautiful cliff overlook. I had forgotten my smudge so we sat and talked and communed with the stunning energy there at that sacred spot, without the prayers of the burning herbs accompanying us.
As the sun started to drop and shadows in the forest danced with the lingering sunlight, my friend’s gaze shifted to something behind me.
“There’s a bear behind you, off past those trees. Can you see it?” She whispered.
I turned around and my gaze focused on this black bear foraging on the forest floor about maybe 60 feet off through the trees. I instantly felt this primal energy of quiet fear move up my spine and all the hairs on my neck went up. It sure was a bear.
We quietly gathered up the water bottle and trash bag with litter we had picked up earlier and carefully hiked back to the car. I had not seen a bear in the wild since Alaska days (when I worked for the Park Service in the early ‘80s at Denali).
The next day my friend sent me this message about Bear Medicine from some source she discovered (need to find link):
Bear also reflects Love and the feminine aspect in the way they care for their cubs, so must you take care of yourself. When Bear Medicine grabs your attention it is asking you to reconnect through introspection, intuition and dreams. Bear is a powerful animal with a large body and forceful limbs. Bear is capable of standing on her hind legs to show her power. Bear people are reminded of their own power of self-sufficiency; in that, they have the necessary resources to help themselves and stand on their own two feet. Bear people are considered “dreamers” due to their ability to tap into their intuition during the meditative process, thereby visualizing and manifesting newness. Bear reminds you not to cast your dreams aside, but to pay attention to them.
(That very next morning a black bear was spotted on several outdoor video cameras galloping through downtown Frederick. Rather wild. Poor bear lost his/her way from the mtns. Maybe it was the same one? Maybe all of Frederick was being called to attune to Bear Medicine?)
So, I respond to you, Great Bear. That I’m listening to you too. And taking care. And listening to my dreams. And considering carrying a sword to bed for dreamtime adventures. Yep. And learning to trust my own self-sufficiency too.
I’m paying attention. To you, Bear. To Spirit and Mother. And to all the other messengers guiding me along the way.
Deep Gratitude and Big Love to you. All of you. Especially Katherine Carter. You will always be with me. I know this. You have been the Great Mother for me that gave me all the Love I needed, and more. I send this Love out to Spirit now to find you there, still. Big Love. More than Big Love. I am at a loss for words for this Love.