The following is a transcript from the journey circle that Gaia Shamanism held at the end of July.
We entered the sacred garden, raised our hands for a journey, and day turned to night. No guide came for us, so we walked down the path to the heart of this land, and as we descended the hill, saw that the winter creeks, now dry, were alight with the dancing flames of thousands of tea light candles.
People from all of our journey circles, past and present, were lighting the votive candles. Each moment of conscious gratitude and thanks given for gifts received, instead of overlooked, lit a candle. With time, practice, and intention, the band of light grew to fill the scene; a Milky Way of human love and gratitude on the ground, our gift in return for the ever-present ancestral love in the sky above us.
We sat on the moss-covered rocks at the base of the hill and while we did not see our guide, we heard the call of the Great Horned Owl. After some time sitting silently in meditation, amidst our Milky Way of candles, we realized that we were to follow the river of fiery light in the direction of the ocean, signifying a journey back to Source. So our gratitude becomes the light by which we see in the dark and the path we follow on our way “home.”
As we walk downstream (a path of relaxation and ease rather than struggle) we find ourselves in a clearing—a circle of light—in a forest. We step into this circle of light, illumined by the moon, and we stand there, still, hands linked, faces turned upward, bathed in reflected light. It is magnificent. Still. Peaceful. Restorative.
True to form, I want something to “happen,” but with time I realize that this moment of gathered stillness in the reflected light of Spirit is the main event. This is why we circle up together to undertake a shamanic journey: to soak in the light and the unspoken Love of the Unseen.
Eventually, we sit, then lie down upon the moonlit earth with our feet at the center of our circle. Like a 5-pointed star on the ground, we begin to dream.
Dawn comes and we awaken to a campfire in the round clearing. My guide, Chief, is making us coffee. We are awakening to the Spirit world, it seems, with the dawn of this “new day.” Sipping coffee, I ask about the intensity of life for us all in our circle today, as well for those who could not attend.
Chief looks at me, offering no words, but directing me nonetheless to feel into the circle. I silently catalogue the longings in myself and of each member of the circle and I realize that it is a hole—a lack—that I feel most acutely in my heart. But in this setting, in this circular hole in the body of the forest, the painful feeling in my heart takes on a new meaning.
Here, in this sacred circle, I understand that these challenges and feelings of loss are the way the love and the reflected light of Spirit can enter our world. Our difficulties are meant to be held with reverence. These are the clearings of healing and silent ceremony in the sacred forest of the soul.
The soul sees things very differently from the personality. The soul is willing to endure pain for a larger purpose, and that purpose is one of growing in connection, trust, and appreciation for Spirit’s presence and role in our lives. The purpose, simply put, is one of awakening to a new day.
To experience journeys and to receive guidance like this, consider enrolling in Dreaming a New Dream: A 6 week Shamanic Intensive in Daily Life starting in September.