||[Feb. 1st, 2017|01:48 pm]
With Tea, I addressed the quarters:|
Toasting to the South, I burnt my tongue;
To the East, felt the air around me and exhaled deeply;
To the North, pressed my feet into the ground and lengthened my spine;
To the West, wept.
We gather in community service, to center and reconnect our disparate parts. To be less alone in our experience of our bodies, our emotions, and our place in the wide world, accepting the personal as universal, and the universal as existing within ourselves.
In Ireland, on Imbolc - later turned "Candlemas" as Catholicism digested the people's traditions and Gods, villages would extinguish all of their flames, save a central bonfire, from which all of their lamps and hearths would be relit, and every flame in the community would stem from the same fire, would be the same fire. In celebration of winter easing its grip, and the slow but steady approach of light and spring, we clean together, make new brooms, banish the darkness that's crept into every corner of our minds, banish the ache of cold from our bodies, the slumber that's wrapped its arms around our ambition, and watch the earth attentively for the first signs of green growth struggling in the sun.
Today, we recreate the tradition of contributing parts of ourselves, honest offerings, to a central point from which we will all draw up again a sense of interconnectedness and community support, holding one another through winter's end. Rather than the casting off of light and reunion around a central bonfire, we bring with us the waters of the world, and gather around a well.
The waters we bring carry with them a part of ourselves and the spaces we inhabit:
* Physical spaces within our bodies, which reflect our health, our age, every sensation within the network of cells that holds our life, the water of our being, past present and future. The embodiment of the sum of all of our experiences. Our heartbeat.
* Emotional spaces within our psyche, the feelings, dreams, thoughts and ideas that compose who we are and how we relate to one another. The water which moves us to weep or to rage. The psychological response to all of our experiences. Our love.
* Physical and emotional spaces within the world, the wider context for everything we experience about our bodies and feelings as living beings in a living world. The places we have visited, the communities we have known, the mountains, oceans, and rivers we have seen, touched, and been moved by. The habitat within which we have all of our experiences. Our world.
The waters we contribute to the well in the center of our circle reflect one another's unique experiences, bodies, emotions, and place in the world. Bear witness without judgement. From the waters of our well, where we are both our own and universally connected, we will draw water up to replace that which we'd brought, released, and cleansed. As with a bonfire, with our well we rekindle our community, and ready ourselves for spring.