25 October 2011

A Spiritual Halloween

Dear Drummers,

This Saturday I want to offer you an opportunity to sink richly into a "spiritual Halloween." The intention is to offer you a way to honor, listen to or heal your ancestors. Drumming will begin at 7, but please feel free to come earlier to hang out and help with some set up. I'll be in the space by 6:15 PM. As always, come with or without a drum, with or without any experience in drumming, with or without the need to dance wildly, but definitely with a desire to open whatever has been closed off in you for too long, to be with similarly exotically cool people and to sail out onto amber-lit, undulating waves of the irrational human soul-scape.

It's going to be a big, messy ceremony - beautiful, and very communal. I'm hoping several people will step forward to help facilitate the ceremony. You don't need special skills or training. I'll let you know what's needed. Just email me. One thing you'll have to do is make prayers each day this week: prayers of protection for the people who come on Saturday, prayers of love to the Unseen, prayers of blessing to this world. And you'll do some other stuff. I'll teach you, don't worry.

Working with the ancestors can be very powerful for all kinds of reasons which I'll talk about a little on Saturday.

Everyone who comes will make an offering to their ancestors. You can either bring the offering with you or you can make it when you arrive (I'll have stuff for you to use). What kind of offering? Flowers with your breath-prayers on them, objects upon which you've placed prayers, memories, or intentions as an act of love or gratitude to your ancestors. So, for example, go on an autumn walk and allow some natural object to call to you - a leaf, a twig, an acorn, a stone. Ask it if it will carry a prayer to the ancestors for you. If it agrees, take it, and place that prayer for thanks, or healing, or just plain love on it with words, with song, with breath. Then bring it on Saturday. Instead of a natural object it can be something you make, or something you own - a photo, a letter, an object that reminds you of the ancestors. You'll put them on the altar, which becomes the threshold between our world and the world of the dead. Most of the time you don't get your object back from our ceremonies, but in this case, you may retrieve it if you wish. That allows you to bring something that you value deeply, have it participate in the ceremony, and be able to take it back into your life with you.

Please consider bringing a little food to share. Nuts, fruit, breads, crackers, veggies, sweets - it's all good. If you forget, or can't get to it, don't worry. Just show up.

We'll be in the social hall at First Universalist Church, which has a huge labyrinth etched on the floor. It provides a beautiful image for the evening, because with Halloween, or the Celtic Samhain (pronounced SOW-wen), we enter the mythic direction of the west, which in the Celtic tradition is associated with big ideas of destiny and mystery, and contemplating the purpose and patterns of our life.

We'll begin with drumming and dancing on the labyrinth. If you want to wear anything that speaks somehow of your ancestors or of the Unseen, please do. This includes any masks that you think of as distinctly spiritual, or any item of clothing that reminds you of your ancestors. After some drumming, we'll move into the ceremony for the ancestors. Part of that will be an opportunity for you to bring healing to your ancestors if you feel that's needed. We'll end with clearing the space and, if you want to, you can walk the labyrinth as a meditation, or you can hang out and commune with your tribes-people and have snacks. So what I'm saying is the last part of the evening is more like a relaxed party.

Feel free to email questions to me. See you soon!

Jaime

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