I had high aspirations of waking up on time for M. Macha Nightmare's class on "Meeting Death, Grieving Loss" but alas, I needed the additional sleep, due to really vivid dreams the night before.
Instead, I reviewed my notes from yesterday's classes, ate a leisurely brunch, socialized with dear friends, and purchased some goodies in the Vendor's Area (lots of stones, crystals, artwork, etc.). As my teaching duties were over, I was able to really sink into the energy of the conference, and catch up with those I only see once per year (I missed out on that last year).
After lunch, I attended Byron Ballard's presentation, "The Long Black Veil" a workshop within the "Death & Dying" track at Sacred Space. I was drawn to this workshop, after all of the Psychopomp work that I did for my recently-deceased client. I knew that it was going to be healing for me, because of the tone that Byron used-- practical, up-front, and filled with love (and a bit of laughter). Many parts of this workshop were private, because of the nature of Death and people's response to it (and everyone's personal stories), but it was exactly what I needed. Byron sent around lots of literature, but I loved this joke the best:
|Isn't this the truth?!|
I attended a ritual next: Katrina Messenger's "Awakening the Desire & Will." I originally thought this ritual was going to be a healing of the lower three chakras (root, sacral, and solar plexus), which are the chakras that are most out-of-alignment in the American public (we all have so many issues around sex & power). But I was blown away with the discussion of the Ancestral Chakra-- the chakra that is a good 2-3 feet below the Root Chakra, and something that I had never heard of before!
As Katrina took us on a Journey to that Chakra, my mind exploded with information about the Ancestral Chakra. I learned that it is the chakra that "feeds" all other charkas, and is a deep black/red (sort of looks like magma from a volcano in my brain). The eight chakras that I usually work with (root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, crown, and transpersonal) all have a tone that corresponds with the eight tones of a musical scale. But the Ancestral Chakra does not have a musical tone-- it is Rhythm!!! A light-bulb went off-- this is why drumming and rattling work to induce trance states (it directly links one to the Ancestors)!
Katrina and other ritualists led us in song, dance, and movement, to wake up our connection to the Ancestral Chakra, and I perceived it as the blood of my relations moving out of the chakra, up through the earth, and as it reached the Root Chakra, it changed to the deep red light of that area (and so forth, up the Chakra tube). It was amazingly healing, and the imagery was very powerful.
|Healing the Lower Three Chakras|
The Conjure Dance:
The Conjure Dance is the ritual celebration of the entire Sacred Space Conference. Patterned after the dances in New Orleans by Marie Laveau, this ritual is huge. Each pantheon (Orisha, Egyptian, Celtic, Norse, Greek & Roman, Nature Spirits, Ancestors, Hindu, Tibetan, etc.) has a full table of statues, plates, offerings, name cards, and decorations. The purpose is for each participant to invite his/her own personal Kindred with whom s/he he works, in order to honor them and celebrate them with food, drink, song, and dancing (and the ballroom gets quite full)!
I brought Coyote (his pelt makes for a good tactile reference to Him), and Odin (a recent purchase from a dear friend of Cedar Light Grove, ADF).
|(c) by Lindowyn Ashely Bryner|
Because of the bad manners of Coyote in past years, he is always invited Last to the Conjure Dance party. As we looked around, we saw that just about everyone was getting tired, winding down, and Not Dancing for Us. We grabbed the microphone from the gorgeous singer, and yelled at everyone to Get Moving and Shake Their Butts/Tails! And that did it-- it was one of the more silly, energetic, and playful possessions of the entire night (ha!).
The dance ended around 1am, and although I had helped to set up the altars to all the Gods, I was too far gone to be able to help take them down. So I headed back up to my room, changed into PJs, and tried to collapse into bed.
Coyote still wanted to party, so it took quite a good long while to calm down enough to be able to sleep. And I still had wild & wacky dreams!
Stay tuned for the next day(s) at Sacred Space!