I have just returned from spending three weeks in Europe (Sweden and Germany) with the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. I was blessed and honored to be asked to serve as a personal assistant to one of them, Grandmother Rita Long Visitor Holy Dancer. It was an amazing experience to be part of the support team that travels with these remarkable women. I will be sharing here as I continue to process and integrate all that I witnessed and participated in during this sacred journey.
- The themes that are percolating in my being as I think about and feel the energy of my experience at this point, are:
- The importance of the sacred fire, the hearth, the center of the gathering, as the place where we go to connect with the sacred guidance that is availalbe to us. The fire was ignited and blessed by the Grandmothers on the first day of each Council gathering and burned continuously during the four days of the meeting. This was a place of ceremony, prayer, and contemplation for all at any time. It was the heart beat of the gathering, and had a palpable energy that soothed and energized.
- The importance of reconnecting with our indigenous souls. We all have indigenous ancestors some where in our history. We all have a cellular connection with those people who knew how to tap into the wisdom of the Earth. Witnessing and participating in ceremony and rituals that help us reconnect to the Earth and the elements move us and touch us at a deep, physical, cellular and spiritual level.
- The Earth and nature are our mirror of our relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with our creator. How we treat the Earth, her plants, creatures, water, soil, and air mirrors how we treat our bodies, our friends, our families. When we respect and love our natural envirnoment, we are lovng and respecting our families, our grandchildren, our neighbors, friends, and our selves.
- We all have the potential to be wise elders. We each have the capacity to connect with the plants, animals, and spiritual world through ceremonies and prayers that are moving and meaningful to ourselves. We can develop these practices as we allow ourselves to interact with the natural world around us. Listening to the plants and animals around me, trusting my instincts and my inner guidance, and allowing my self to feel and experience the love of the Mother through these connections to the earth are ways that I can develop my own way of honoring, celebrating, and asking for help and guidance.
- The Grandmothers are models of elders who have accepted their roles as teachers and healers. They are models of women who are not afraid to speak about their lives, and are happy to share what they know and have experienced so that we can all participate in the healing of the world for the next seven generations. They are showing us how 13 women from very different traditions and cultures can come together, enjoy each others’ presence, and inspire people from all over the world to show up and participate in the new “old” way to walk on the Earth.
- One of my personal projects as a result of this adventure, will be to assemble my own internal Council of Thirteen Wise Women, to advise me as I make choices and decisions in my life. I will use my SoulCollage(R) cards to identify these 13…I may already have created them and may find them in my deck, but if not, I will have fun creating cards for the new, as yet unidentified, inner Grandmas waiting for me to ask for guidance.