Note: It’s raining while I write this up. There’s more to come about the past two weeks of ceremony, but I enjoy going backwards and starting at the end. My baba (grandmother) used to read magazines that way and I took on her habit.
Four Elemental Mothers Water Ceremony 08.27.16
As I drove us down the road, I wondered where to stop. I pulled off into one recreation area which had nice river access, but there were too many people. I got back on the road and shortly after a family of wild turkeys crossed the road. I stopped to give them safe crossing and I knew we were getting close.
I spotted a small clearing at the side of the road where the river comes close and it turned out to have a nice sandy area for sitting. We pulled out our supplies: chairs, waters, stones and snacks. I set up the stones that wished to participate in the ceremony to settle into their arrangement, along with my Tibetan singing bowl with the waters from the Kettle River and its headwaters, Keefer Lake. Then we went down to the river to wade and admire the rocks.
I felt the ancient water serpent of the Kettle River, I’d sounded him awake earlier in the week, watching. I could tell he was enjoying us navigate the river and its healing. It felt as though this last water ceremony, of the four over the past week for the river, was more about receiving. It had been a full week of ceremony, a constant process of giving out, and I’d been happy to do it, but I knew I’d been running on a stream of juju, spiritual energy, that was almost done. Thus, when I felt the serpent shift from watching lazily to alert excitement, like a conductor about to signal his orchestra, I knew it was time to begin the ceremony.
I gave my sound bowl to my sister to play, while I changed up the sandy altar to represent the continuous balance of giving and receiving, plus adding in some emotional support.
Then, I asked her to give me the bowl with intent, a passing of water and all its shared contents, whether considered good or bad. I received the bowl and went into the water to sound. Playing the bowl, I sang a women’s healing chant and then released the waters into the river, before letting new water into the bowl. I did this four times, for the four elemental mothers, and my voice changed each repetition. I drew upon my elemental self and joined the fire, earth, water and air, as they sounded with me. I especially felt the presence of sylphs and their support was incredibly visceral. Finally, I sounded once more, spontaneously. This was for ether, spirit, and the water serpent I felt holding the space.
When I was done I could see rain around me, shimmering and sparkling. Cleansing. I smiled and reached out my hand to feel the drops, but there was no rain. It was a dance of sylphs, instead, and my heart squeezed with affection to receive this sweet elemental gift.
Later, while we were wrapping up we sang “May all waters be happy. May all waters be free. May all waters everywhere feel love.”
For more about the Four Elemental Mothers: http://www.yeyeosun.com/.