Our wonderful Elder Women of the Water Ceremonies have written a book about their experiences you might want to read. Just five short stories, but do they give some awesome insights about the journey of elderhood and the process of becoming initiated as an Elder.
Check it out at:
Read stories from elders who have completed their initiations.
Couldn’t have said it any better! Now, I realize for some the concept of wild animals near camp is not too comforting, but I assure you, there is a different rhythm that occurs in ceremonial space. Humans, animals, plants, stones…..all of us are creating sacred space together.
When we recognize and fall into that rhythm, we experience an unveiling of early mystery and awareness our ancestors knew intimately well. We are completely safe in the world.
It is our fear that attracts danger. Without the fear, and immersed in the natural rhythms that ceremony inspires in us, we are at one with all that is created.
In over 15 years of ceremonial practice with Spirit and Mother Earth, I have witnessed this mystical relationship over and over again. Together we join in the great dance of life, as it was always intended to be.
This is Ariann. I am the 1st Elder of the Water Bowl Ceremony. I know it has taken a while for me to get to the blog site but sometimes Spirit Quest takes times to ‘settle into your bones’ so to speak.
2007 was a powerful year for Spirit Quest. We opened up the questing tradition for additional ceremonies which added so much more dimension to the week. The questers of course continued to do their deep soul processing work with Spirit. Meanwhile everyone at camp held space and supported them. Additionally the community was looking forward to our Naming ceremony, the Full Moon Water Bowl Ceremony, the Initiation of the new Water Bowl Keepers, the Men’s Honoring Ceremony, the Menses Ceremony and Adulthood Ceremony, and the Elderhood Ceremony with the initiation of 5 new potential elders of the community to be held at the end of the week.
We knew the spirits were blessing us because the animals were keeping us company and sharing our camp site. We had bears visiting us for 3 nights in a row (we were in bear country). They just rumbled around in the camp searching for food in the bear-proof kitchen lockers. They didn’t disrupt anyone other than making a few camper nervous in the night.
We saw several deer including a mother with a newborn fawn. It couldn’t have been more than a day or two old with spindly, shaky legs in the nearby meadow, not more than a 100 yards away from the kitchen area.
I was on my way to the bathroom when I was startled by, and startled, a deer grazing right in camp. She couldn’t have been more than 5 feet away. I politely said, “I’m sorry for disturbing you.” in a soft voice, looked her directly in the eyes, stood still for a moment, then quietly moved on. She seemed to know she was safe since I heard her begin to graze again. It was a truly magical encounter. The animals knew this was a sacred space and they were welcome and protected here.
While tending the sacred fire others also heard wolves (but didn’t see any) as well as more bears. And the birds woke us every morning and kept us company all day except of course when it was raining.
The sun, wind, fire, rain earth all contributed to our experience of who we truly are as children of the Mother. With no technology (I should say limited, we did have matches, flash lights, sleeping bags, tents etc. but no computers or cell phones worked in camp) it really gave us a chance to be with Spirit for a week in a way we don’t normally have the opportunity to do.
After almost a week with the Mother, meditating and praying to Spirit, the power of the ceremonies was deeply moving on all levels. True Ceremony moves our hearts, minds, emotions and spirits in ways we cannot intellectually understand. It is a primal, physiological response built in to our bodies to respond to the calling of Spirit. We bond with each other and our spirits reach out to the Universe, the Divine, Great Spirit, Source, God or whatever you may call the All That Is.
The ceremonies of Spirit Quest 2007 were deeply moving, touching, powerful and connecting. I touched my own spirit, the spirits of my brothers and sisters who were their and Great Spirit. I was Blessed.
No words can express how I felt and I continue to feel except to say I loved and was loved. I continue to feel that love to this day for each and every one there and for every person, animal and living thing on this earth and Mother Earth herself.
Spirit Quest is a profound experience. I urge everyone to experience it for yourself.
I am Ariann and I have spoken.