Wow! What an incredible and powerful year. This is our 11th year of questing, and without a doubt this is one of the richest years we have shared. Being the first year we offered so many initiation ceremonies at one time, we didn’t know what to expect, and I believe our lives were all deeply blessed in a special way this year with the gifts of the sacred fire, the Grandmothers, the Cherokee spirits, and the hearts of each person in the community.
Several of you have shared some beautiful reflections with me. I hope you will share them with the entire community, here on this blog site.
When Jeffrey and I arrived home, a young buck and doe took up part time residence under our deck. Maybe they were the same buck and doe that blessed our Solstice Ceremony??!! And new birth in the form of baby bunnies have also been venturing forth from beneath our deck. We have not yet seen our backyard bears, but I’m sure they’ll be over for a visit before the summer is over. All in all, SpiritQuest has once again deepened our bond with Mother Earth and all her creatures.
We LOVED having many of you over to our home before and after ceremony. Maybe next year, more of you will come by and even spend a little more time with us. Thank you for bringing your peace and blessings to our home.
QUESTING FOR NEXT YEAR – If you think you might be interested in doing a Song Quest, Elderhood initiation, or any other type of initiation (currently offered or something we create especially for you), please let me know by the first week of August. These initiations take time to prepare, and I want you to have plenty of time.
REMEMBER THE CANDLES — Spreading peace as you travel by lighting a candle in the home of whoever you visit with your personal prayer for peace is a great way to spread the love of the sacred fire we still hold in our hearts.
I look forward to reading your thoughts, feelings and questions since Quest. As always you remain in my grateful heart and songs,
John’s notes on Spirit Quest ‘07
Many times I find myself discovering or widening a crack in immutable tradition. I don’t think I hunt for them, or maybe I do. The intention is to expand horizons when it seems we are going to pay dearly for tradition for the sake of tradition. And this one is “carved in stone”.
Grandmothers, in the sacred circle I saw the uncovered bowl containing water.
And after that, Jeffery seduced me into fire tending with promises of bird symphonies and sunrises. I was an easy sell. The birds didn’t quite live up to the advertising, and the sky was cloudy at dawn. However, there were other things afoot for which I have such gratitude. Thank you Spirit Quest community and Grandmothers. Here is what did happen while tending the fire from 4-6 and stretching to 7 am on Friday morning.
How settling it is for me to attend a fire just for the warmth and light for my body. Tending the fire at Spirit Quest brings a spiritual warmth and light that is way less familiar and so welcome.
I eventually decided to use that time to intentionally engage with that space and not just wait for something to happen. It started as this intention awoke — sweet and gentle and familiar enough to wonder if it wasn’t just my own imagination. But words just opened. I let them be from the Grandmothers of this circle and bowl.
I realized for the first time in so long, it seemed like forever, that I never knew my grandmothers. They died before I was born, Being grandmotherless was so familiar that, until then and there by that fire, I didn’t recognize something was missing.
(Spirit Quest Grandmothers, I ask you to assist me as I recall these moments.)
I told them I had no grandmothers in my life and felt child-like and presumptuous and silly. And I asked anyway: “Would you adopt me as your grandson?” Then I closed down some, afraid they would say no – or not say anything at all.
The fire kept me present enough to sense a very warm and supportive: “Yes, of course. And since this time and place is so associated with ceremony, you might suggest to Misa and Ariann that they consider asking us about a grandmother adoption ceremony. Others might feel the same as you.”
Of course, I dropped into: “Oh no, they have enough to do. They won’t want to hear about one more job to do. But I will tell them anyway. And at a talking circle – not before.” And so I did.
After adding more wood to the fire, I settled in with a blanket over my shoulders to find them in my awareness. “Grandmothers, at least the kind we are, and that you might be looking for and recognizing in us, have been around long enough to recognize some of what is real and what is illusion.
“Through our struggles and joys, we have come to understand that our struggles and pain are all the results of attachments to illusion. Sometimes we interchange ‘Illusion’ with ‘transitory’.”
I asked for clarification. “This pain and suffering comes because we have seen a particular phenomenon – sensation – observation – experience as evidence of living in a hostile universe. This is the illusion out of which pain and suffering emerge and it is not necessary that it endure.
“We had and still have grandmothers who have been around long enough to be there for us in our pain and suffering (when we remember to seek them out) to hold us and rock us in their arms until we remember that we live in a friendly universe after all.
“This is the kind of grandmother we are available to be for you.”
On the flight from Denver back to Portland writing this down, I pause and feel a little of my heart opening letting this verbal and nonverbal information tickle me 30,000 feet above the surface of this amazing planet.
They continue: “And we have stories we tell when this painful amnesia is dominant. These stories may remind you of that which endures. We love to tell these stories and all that is for you to do is ask: “Grandmothers, I am lost. Hold me a while and tell me a story so that I might find my way in this friendly home . And some times it is nice to be told a story when in delight, joy and peace. We can tell stories then too just because we get such joy holding you”
Were these the dawn bird songs you were talking about, Jeffery?
Thank you all, and may you be held by the grandmothers as they tell a story just for you.
So true! One of the greatest challenges of SpiritQuest is coming back into our every day world and continuing to live in the depth of heart and spirit we experienced during our week of ceremonies.
Perhaps that is why we are here with each other. I know personally, I find great strength in you—knowing you are a part of my life and I am a part of yours, as together we step deeper into the unknown—the mystery within us all.
Spirit Quest 2007 from HeartSong ~ Morgine
What provides meaning in my life? What are the foundations upon which I create and where I plant my roots? Where can I stand tall and be authentically me? What nourishes my soul and provides the fuel for my existence here?
LOVE for me, is the answer. The essence of which I inhale and exhale through my body, deep into my bones, down into the roots which connect me to All That Is. It is the place in which I can truly shine and sparkle my own Being-ness, thereby feeding myself and others with the gifts of LOVE. It is what I encountered here.
What a miraculous week I experienced embraced by Mother Earth, serenaded awake by choirs of birds, talking with the Sacred Fire, communing with spirits, sharing deeply with new friends becoming family, each devoted to the transformation of some courageous women’s lives, which will adorn the planet soon in amazing new and soulful ways. Women willing to release what they knew in exchange for the unknown, a world in dire need of more self trust, love, compassion, wisdom, joy and spirit. I watched the transformation and rebirth of new role models into a world thirsty for such inspiration!
Yet we each were reborn every moment into a never before experienced place in our lives, as fresh as the dew glowing with the sun’s first kiss. Inside that Oneness we were all walking the same path, holding hands, crying, dying inside, letting go, knowing, forgetting, remembering, struggling, through that birth canal of the Mother and the Grandmothers calling us all Home once again. We each climbed our own mountain and the view we left with, was drastically different than the one with which we came.
The challenge comes when we step back into the illusions we left behind. Are we strong enough, new born babes which we are, to carry this love and wisdom we gathered and keep the fire always fresh and alive inside our hearts? Can we allow the blood our Mother and these Grandmothers to flow through our veins and stain the soil upon which we now stand, nourishing it with the LOVE we know is infinite and so needed, and which we can continue to share endlessly with all those with all we come in contact, be they animal, Nature, human or spirit?
One person at a time we grow a new world by planting the seed of our authenticity and love and allowing it to grow, no matter what. We can honor our family and friendship by remaining strong, still holding hands and creating that web which will continue to nourish us all, long into the days to come? Like the Grandmothers who guarded the bowl with their spirits, we can guard this new world with our own lives, providing new LOVE and new Visions for a world of infinite wonder and unlimited magic in which we all can play, serenading awake a new generation of people who will also connect deeply with the sea of LOVE in which they live and allow it to nourish each of them back into wholeness again.
Remember the Love, tending the Sacred Fire, tending others, tending yourself. Like the fire we kept alive for this week, tend to your own fire and always keep it alive deep inside your own heart. Allow its’ amazing warmth and mysterious magic to guide you daily, to fuel your desire and inspire your courage to live a new way, each and every new day. Begin the day holding hands in a circle, looking at all those faces and the grace each holds inside. Smile at your own birth and the birth of your new family of friends. Keep the web strong and sing the morning awake with your LOVE. Be a Keeper of the Light in a new world being born one person at a time.
Until we meet again, may Mother Earth grace the places you walk with Love. May the Grandmothers beat in your hearts a vision of hope and new strength. May Great Spirit’s LOVE fill you to overflowing with a knowing you are always Home in this Oneness we all share.
Namasté, HeartSong of the Mother
Communications with Love ~ the bridge which connects you more deeply with all of Creation.