Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.
-- Miller Williams, Poet
|Santa Fe On My Mind by Charlie Spear|
|The Ancestral Fire Ceremony|
Some of my old, dead relationships had been less than happy, others completely unknown (I had no real knowledge of the person), while others were joyful and inspiring memories. The intention was a creative and strengthening process to nudge us into conscious awareness of how to hold a space for our own well being. The completion of the ceremony promised to prove that connecting past with present is quite possibly the most powerful element there is to achieve integration in body, mind, spirit.
|Ceremonio by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Nayarit|
We concluded the ceremony by symbolically serving each ancestor his or her favorite food or drink, something I either knew for sure or just imagined they would enjoy. I visualized them taking the offering, consuming it and smiling. I drew pictures of the food, smiley faces and interesting abstract patterns I felt they would understand and embrace on a symbolic level. Then I looked directly into their eyes and asked each of them to bestow a blessing. I wrote down these blessings...a wish for my success in life, an anointing as I found my path, release from further obligation, guilt, or grief associated with them, and encouragement to pursue
my own present passion and purpose. It may sound mundane, but in a ceremonial setting like this, such things take on great import. I can tell you that as the ceremony concluded I felt connected, not alone, shut out or removed from the good tidings emanating from even the most shadowy of half-remembered ancestors, those long forgotten pieces of my own self.
As the fire grew dim, casting long shadows, it didn't seem strange that people appeared to take on a glow from inside as they left to return home. Outside I thought I could dimly make out the ancestors walking away slowly, homeward bound as well. I whispered a little farewell to each of them, pulling my scarf and coat closer as I embraced the starry night. Clean, fresh blankets of pure white snow spread out across the ground announced a new day was at hand. I knew I'd share this experience with other seekers someday.
|Gogo and The Ancestors by Marietjie Henning|