Monday, October 1, 2012

Reaping the Harvest

This time of year often puts me in a state of reflection. The summer is over and winter is around the corner. Its an in-between time. The golden wheat fields and yellow leaves are calming to the eyes compared to the vitality of the green growth of summer. It's time to reap the harvest, prepare the yard for winter as the days become shorter. The geese are flying  back and forth practising their formations, preparing to migrate. Change is in the air. 

 It is odd to have the New Moon of Welcoming in the autumn this year. Birth and death happening simultaneously! 

The Woman's Moonlodge on Saturday was profound and beautiful. We wrote letters to ourselves from the Goddess and did a rebirthing ritual. Tears rolled down my cheeks as the words on paper poured out from somewhere deep inside, words that were tender and loving. After the rebirthing we wrapped the women in shawls of protection. They looked so vulnerable, childlike, peaceful and beautiful.

Then today I attended a sweatlodge ceremony. It's been a long time since I've gone but it seemed right seeing as we are starting a new Moon cycle with the Moon of Welcoming. To go into a sweatlodge is to enter the Womb of Mother Earth and be reborn. Inside they close off all the light. We sit in complete darkness  and pray as the water is poured on the Grandfather stones and the steam washes over us. We smoke the sacred pipe and pray for all our relations. I always feel so good after doing a sweat. 

I was impressed with the devotion of the Sweatlodge keepers. It is a lot of work to gather the right stones, get wood and chop it up, prepare the fire and heat the stones so hot that they are glowing. Then they bring them into the center of the lodge with such respect and sacredness. The lodge itself is a lot of work to build. Then there are the songs, the prayers, the pipe ceremony....

I was upset to see that the Sweatlodge keeper was sick.  There are not enough people on the reserve helping out. The ones that come to sweat don't come to help. It seems to be a theme lately. How much do we take and how much do we give back? How much do we take for granted the leaders that work so hard to keep the sacred ways? His own people are being competitive, jealous and negative towards him. I am sure that has an effect on his health. It is not the first time that the medicine people are persecuted. I heard of another sweatlodge keeper up north who was given a hard time by the community. It's been an ongoing theme throughout history.

At a workshop on the coast last month, I was critisized by some of the Natives there. They judged me because my ways are different than theirs. They say that I am doing the wheel all wrong. Why do people need to be competive and spiteful just because we do things different? Humans have created wars because of different beliefs. There is no one way to do the Medicine Wheel. The Wheel is always changing and evolving according to seasons, location, and cosmology. Why do people get so stuck in their way when change is a natural occurence, a natural law? The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. The Age of Aquarius is about celebrating our differences and loving everyone the same.

This evening we sat around the fire outside by the abundance wheel.... adding more sacred objects to it and praying for all to reap a bountiful harvest. I wish that everyone could get their lessons and know their gifts and be happy with what is given to them instead of comparing themselves to others. We would all be so much happier.

As I reflect upon my summer, I am so grateful for so much, I learned so much.... 

I attended a family reunion and learned that just because we are blood kin, it does not necessarily mean we are meant to be together. It doesn't make sense to visit once every four years then never talk in the meantime and say we are family. The world today has put distance between families because we can travel and move pretty well anywhere. We need to find the people that we can relate to and want to be with as a result. It's not a bad thing. In a way, it is helping us to find our spiritual families. I wouldn't have found my teachers and my wolf pack if I hadn't traveled so far from home.

This summer was loaded with adventures and travel starting with my road trip around Alberta to research dinosaurs. Looking at life from a perspective of millions of years sure changes how you view things. It makes me feel small and insignificant. It also helps me let go of so much knowing that humans are such a small part of the bigger picture. We are not in control as much as we would like to think..

The Blue Moon gathering with our teachers in Quebec was so phenomenal that many of us are having trouble finding words to express what we lived. I am still sitting with it all....

It was great to visit my son in Vancouver and finally meet his partner, who I like very much. It makes me happy to see him happy! I wish the best for them!

The abundance wheel is helping me to see how much abundance I truly have in my life... 

Abundance is not just about money, it is a feeling of fullness and richness that comes from a life lived fully with an attitude of gratitude. a sense of adventure, a willingness to grow and face our lessons and challenges head on. It is the ability to really understand that life truly is a gift and to make the most of it, to do our best and leave the rest.

In the sweatlodge we give thanks for all the elements that came together to make it happen... the poles and the blankets that make up the lodge, the stones, the fire, the firekeeper, the sacred pipe, the ancient songs, the prayers, the sweatlodge leader, the people who come to pray, the eagle feather used for the smudge, the herbs they sprinkle on the hot stones, the bear grease we rub on our skin to heal... every little detail is appreciated and named. It takes time to give thanks.

I have been praying more lately.... just the prayers of gratitude before meals could take a long time if you were to look at all that came together to make it happen... the food on your plate, the plates, silverwear, the animals that gave their lives, the store that bought and sold the meat and vegetables... those who tended to the animals and plants.... those who transported them to the stores,the spices, the vegatable, fruits, herbs, the cook, the kitchen, stove, etc to do the cooking... having the money to buy the food, having the health to be able to work to earn the money.... You could go on and on when it comes to gratitude. 

How much time do we spent worrying, complaining, fearing the unknown or expecting the worst... If we spent all that time and energy just giving thanks, life would be so much better... and it is!!!

This post is all over the place... sometimes I just need to let the thoughts flow....


Rose said...

I have always liked this time of year and never seen it just as a time of death - all the seeds for the following year are grown now and falling to the ground, to dream and grow for next year. I am glad you have had a good year and I look forward to seeing what grows for you next year!

Michelle said...

I really feel the Reaping of the Harvest this year my garden was very abundant and I was able to share it with the ladies at the moonlodge this year it felt so good to be not only nourishing them at the wheel but to have them go away with nourishment in a physical form also...I am in Gratitiude this season I am also pryaing for those ancestors on the other side who are guiding our lives daily I feel very protected and am in awe of them. Thank you for the wonderful Blog MaryRose and Happy Harvest this year!
Love Michelle


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