Now that we have the banners, we await other supplies, primary among them being incense....
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Fire-- the element we celebrated this year at Where Womyn Gather! In my June 13th Full Moon Share I wrote about how this year’s fire energy allowed me to work on my relationship to anger. Yet the fire energy manifested for me in other ways as well-- through love and courage.
I loved the fiery hugs I received from sisters dressed in reds, yellows, oranges and golds! Love for my sisters at festival-- many of whom I only see in person at this time. Love for the sacred space created on that beautiful land as I prayed in the sweat lodge. Love for new found friends as I met sisters for the first time who I had previously only known virtually. So much love for my Goddess Sister tribe!
So much love. Love and courage-- freely given and received for 4 magical days.
I found the courage to speak up for myself and make my needs known! Courage witnessed in sisters sharing their stories-- in the Red Tent Temple, the Sweat Lodge, or while I painted their bodies. Courage to facilitate my Connect to Your Inner Fire workshop. Courage to hold sacred space for sisters who journaled, cried, shared and connected to powerful parts of themselves. Goddess sisters who gifted me the courage to continue on my calling, knowing I am making a difference!
Gratitude-- something we celebrate every year at Where Womyn Gather! Gratitude for the opportunities to experience love and courage in the sacred sister space. Gratitude for continued opportunities to offer my Connect to Your Inner Fire workshop. Gratitude for fire-- fire that feeds the love in my heart. Gratitude for fire-- fire in my belly lighting my path.
Our circle is open but never broken sisters. I let go with love and light. Blessings to you my Goddess sister tribe! ❤
The fog is thick and cold and I can smell the fire before I see it. Flames are lapping up tendrils of wet air. Robed figures stand solemnly around the fire. Then the ritual begins. A procession of the cross, red ribbons, and drums starts down the hill....
It's a crisp night in late October. A friend and I have driven out to the annual “Burning Man Midwest” event that for the past decade or so a local couple has hosted at their place in rural Wisconsin. A stiff breeze is blowing out of the northwest. We process through the woods with jack o' lanterns, and circle up around the Wicker Man.
He's a Cornstalk Man, actually—this is the Midwest, after all—a 25-foot wooden armature covered with bundled cornstalks that we'd harvested earlier that day. As we arrive, we set our pumpkins in a circle around him, at his feet.
The ritual continues, and we all know where it's headed. But Fire has other ideas. From the candles in the jack o' lanterns, the Man lights himself, in several places. The dusty, dry cornstalks kindle with a crackle, and the fires mount alarmingly fast. In a nightmare moment of awe and terror, the separate fires merge into one, and their united voice roars with the terrifying freight-train roar of a tornado.
His-story. It's dark, and the air is chill--Summer is a'comin in--but not quite yet. You're standing in a circle around a tall, dark object. You can just make out its narrow limbs; arms and legs formed by tightly tied bundles of twigs and straw. Suddenly, flames blaze up. In the crackling firelight you can see the figure at the center of the circle--the Wicker Man.
The lighting of the Wicker Man is a very old tradition that we know little about. Of course, there's the obvious: a Wicker Man is a human figure made out of wicker, straw or twigs, but he's built hollow so that things can be put inside him. But how this tradition started is a bit of a mystery. The ancient people who first built them--the Celts--didn't write about their practices. The first person to actually record anything about Wicker Men was Julius Caesar, and the picture he painted wasn't pretty. He wrote that the Celts created huge, human-shaped wicker figures, and inside they would put small animals, grains and slaves (yes, people), to be burned inside as an offering to the gods....
After I wrote about liminality recently, I have been thinking about change and how we create it in our lives. Affirmations are a magical tool that can be very powerful, but only when constructed well. Using the present progressive tense to craft affirmations puts them in a form that draws on the Element of Fire and makes them much more effective tools for transformation.
Desire carries the implicit possibility of change. Relationship requires that possibility to become a reality.
This year was the first time I had the opportunity to leap a (small, thankfully) fire as part of a Beltane ritual. I was surprised by how much it made me feel in my flesh and bones the way that Beltane is about the potential for transformation....