Thursday, March 13, 2008

Broken Arrows

A couple of days ago, I volunteered to help out with building an intentional space to hold a fire dance in conjunction with the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm. Along with 12 other people, I participated in several parts of a large ceremony that lasted all day while working on the fenced in circle. The man who led the ceremony, Andrew, appointed each person with jobs to do at the beginning of the work day. We had met before, but only in professional circumstances, so he knew nothing of my personal life at all. He assigned me to the West Gate, where all of the dancers would enter and leave the circle. The intention for the Fire Dance is transition, vision, and dreams. The energy of the west is Dana, the mother Goddess and Lugh, a god of the sun and whose mother's father learned that his grandson would kill him. He kept his daughter hidden alone on an island to keep her from getting pregnant, however she found and eventually gave birth to triplets, one of which was Lugh. How about all of that "baby energy"!!! Mother Goddess, and a woman who was kept from being pregnant but the plot failed. . .hmmm. . .notice any parallels?

Anyway, back to the story at hand. We did little ceremonies at each gate when it was built, and then connected each gate to the other with a grapevine fence. When it came time for the West Gate ceremony, Andrew said that he wished for us all to participate in a physical interpretation of walking away from something that holds us back and walking towards our vision. He had spoken of this before in a meeting we were both in attendance at, so there was no surprise for me when he opened a quiver full of arrows and slid them onto the ground under the gateway.

Here's where it gets good. . .as those arrows slid out onto the ground, I could feel the tip of the arrow pressed against my throat. I knew instantly that I had to be a part of this ceremony.

Several people participated before me, but as the ceremony went on, I became restless, and needed my turn. I stepped forward, and said "I want to do this". Andrew asked me as I picked out an arrow what I was walking away from, and I told the group about how medical efforts to get pregnant are not working at all for my husband and I and that we were ready to leave it all up to Spirit now. He asked what I was walking towards, and I immediately replied "being a mother". The group asked for a power word that they could chant in support and I told them the word was surrender. Andrew's wife helped me to get in position for the trial. . .the point of the arrow was nestled in the notch of my throat where it was soft right above where the chest bones begin, and the other end of the arrow with the feathers was notched in a worn spot on a beautiful carved wooden bas relief of Lugh. I took a strong lunge pose and as I took three deep breaths, the group chanted "surrender" over and over. On the third breath, I stepped forward with that arrow at my throat, and the arrow shattered! It broke into 4 pieces. There was a little girl who was 4 years old who was there with her parents. She didn't help anyone else, but she had picked up my arrow pieces for me by the time I had gotten back to my space in the circle. My face was flushed with the energy raised.

After we all broke arrows in some fashion, we each bound our pieces of arrow together. then we bound the arrows to the gate. Andrew's wife accidentally wrapped her string around my arrows on the gate and it seemed to me that was symbolic of her bearing witness to my surrender and holding me in that energy. All of the others who broke arrows put them on the left side of the gate. I put mine on the right, and Andrew, his wife and his son all put theirs as well. Four arrows- wife, husband, son, and me.

Four pieces of the arrow, Four arrows on the gate, Four times the Hawk was seen above the ceremony, a Four-year-old picking up my arrow pieces, and I have seen the number 11:11 (1+1+1+1=4) several times this week since the ceremony. Magic is afoot!

I find it amazing that I could open up to complete strangers, and allow myself to be so vulnerable with them. But somehow I knew I was in safe space and that we were all connected somehow.


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