I’m wrapping up a year-long traverse deep down into the medicine spiral. Like a medicine wheel but with Celtic leanings, the spiral takes us into ourselves and back out again, shiny and new.
So much has come out of these retreat weekends, five in all. At the dawn of each season and corresponding direction, and one more for the heart-centre, we meet, we meditate, we cook food together, we immerse in the teachings.
This past weekend was the West, the Fall and Samhain. No matter the lineage, the theme of the West is always the same: death, dying, letting go, receding, resting and digesting. Just think of what’s happening in nature to steer your course (after all we humans are actually a part of it all, even though we vehemently deny it). The trees are bedding down, losing leaves, the plants in the garden receding, dropping into that heavy slumber that protects them through the winter – or perhaps they have been harvested for their gold and then composted, to be digested by the soil. Everything around us is dying, returning to the earth or moving onto the next energetic state, eventual rebirth, but for now the in-between. Samhain is the Celtic fire festival, the last of three harvest festivals and beginning of the coldest part of the year, the feminine half. Also celebrated as the Witches new year and Halloween, this is a liminal time, perhaps the most powerful, when the veil between the world of the living and the dead becomes thin.
Our group is quite big, about 25 of us, so my sharing hasn’t been really up to snuff. I must admit even though I’ve been the DJ countless times, in front of hundreds of people until dawn, and even though I’ve known these people in my group for close to a year now, I still have stage fright.
I want to share with you about one shamanic journey we did, to meet with Whale. Whale is the ancient and timeless record-keeper, recording migration routes and ancestral histories. Here’s what they had to tell me: