The following are some of the experiences I had at the Sacred Space Conference this past weekend. Each of them was lead by a Woman who identifies as a Crone. Each of these women are respected, admired and esteemed by their Community and each has had a part in teaching me how to walk into my future and how to connect with others. I give thanks for them and for the lessons and visions they bestowed upon me.
Diving into the earth, into the depths beneath me, I find the place the Mystic Woman is speaking of, the Ancestral chakra, the place where we all connect to all that is and has ever been. I know this place, I have touched it before. It is the source of the golden, glowing honey that feeds my soul, my cauldron of warming. It rises at my bidding, into my root, into my womb, into my center to warm me, to open me, to give me strength and power to seek the visions I need. It continues to rise into my heart, my voice, my eye, my crown. It fills my being until I am fully open, fully engaged, fully alive.
The Witch is child-like in her joy and enthusiasm. She reminds me of a pre-school teacher encouraging us to play, to seek adventure, and praising us for our beauty as we dance together. Her silver curls bounce about her shoulders as she in turn bounces on the balls of her feet, so full of her joy at sharing this dance that she loves. She leads us to the Cauldron and to the woman stirring and we look and see what the brew with reveal, then to another and yet another vision. Visions of what we were, and who we are, and where we are going. Visions of our place in our own lives, and of our place in our community.
I step through the dark veil and into the Temple. It is dark inside like the night sky and the smoke of incense greets me. I touch the blessed water and the shift begins. The candles all around remind me of stars and I breathe deeply to make myself ready. The Priestess is robed in night and crowned with stars. She casts the circle, opening the gates and connecting them to the Chrystal at the center. She calls to the Consort and then to the Goddess and opens the Star-gate. She leads us and carries us with her singing of spells, with her magick and her songs she carries us upward and into the stellar realm, up among the stars we dance and sing along with her. We each approach the gate in turn and are granted a vision of our place in the cosmos. The visions are captured in the small crystals we take into our hands and then again we approach for there is more to know. Then the Priestess comes to stand before each of us and one by one she grants us a gift, or names it, I am not sure which. And then we are again dancing and singing to the Goddess of the cosmos, dancing and singing among the stars that made us, until it is time to return. The Priestess returns us gently back to our places within the Temple. We thank the Goddess and her Consort and the Priestess closes the gates and the circle. It is done.
The Conjure Dance
We are dressed in white, waiting to enter the place where the Dance will happen. When we do, the first thing I notice is the tables around the room that are set with images of Deities from every place that humans live upon the planet. There are tables also of food and drink and trinkets. And at one end of the room rows of chairs sit empty and waiting. Everyone files past the tables as we enter and I make note in my mind of the places set for the Gods with whom I have relationships. Announcements are made and finally the chairs are filled with drummers and the Shaman begins to sing.
Her rattle sets a rhythm that settles into my mind and relaxes my body and her voice calls to the spirits and draws them to this space. I know when she is done that I am as open as I will get this night and it is not enough to allow anyone in. But I am relaxed and aware of the magick and I am here to honor my Gods and to experience the Dance and that will be enough. When the Shaman is finished the Drums begin and the younger woman begins to sing with a cadence that is unfamiliar but intriguing. I dance within the limits of a relaxed body but fully present mind and take up offerings and place them with prayers at the places set for my Gods.
The drumming and the chanting of the younger woman are engaging and I enjoy watching those who are more able to be open move with the freedom provided by the trance. My High-Priestess and sister is one of those dancing and when I make eye contact with her I can see that she is not completely present. This is when I understand why I am here. I am here to watch over her while she dances with the spirits.
Our Elder and another High-Priestess whom we both trust and admire respond to my need for reassurance that she is safe. I need not interfere. She needs to do this work and she is strong enough to do it without danger to herself and so, I simply watch over her. Our Elder and the High-Priestess as well as one of the Guardians from our Tradition remain close by and within my clear line of sight should I panic and need them to step in but they understand that She is precious to me they know that I need to stay close to her and to care for her.
I am present should she need me and they are close should I need them. And for both of those things, I give thanks. After, the High-Priestess sits with my sister to be sure she is well and so that I can relax enough to leave her side and get a breath of air before I escort her to our room and she is safely in her bed for the night.
Each of these experiences has taught me something of who I am and of the work that I am here to do. The Dance in particular reminded me that while my High-Priestess takes care of me in many ways, I need to care for her at times (regardless of whether she needs me to or not).Caring for others is a role that I take joy in but that I also need to fulfill in order to fulfill my purpose.