When I first received the email from Bobbie Snyder that there was going to be a women’s gathering outside of Seattle, and that she was bringing the Grandmother Moon Bundle, I knew I had to be there. I had assisted Bobbie with opening the bundle at the Tennessee Naraya, Dance for All People, and I knew the honor of being in its presence.
So that was what drew me to the gathering. But there was more. The idea of igniting the spark of Source within me to follow my purpose was powerful for me. I wanted to hear the teachings being offered by the elders who were to be there. There was a paragraph in the material I received from Chalice Bailey about Listening and Speaking in Circle, that said it all to me. “Collaborative creation. Willingness to lean in and engage. Plunge deep. Step into the fullness of who we are.”
And so, I made arrangements. Coming from Alabama to Tacoma to get on a ferry was like something out of a dream.
I was greeted at Pilgrim Firs Retreat with warm smiles and a “Dark Moon” stone pendant that symbolized our connection.
After taking my bags to my cabin, I went straight to the Lodge. As I approached, I heard singing and the grandmother drum. Uncle Debbie Geurrero and Mary Shackelford and a few other women were welcoming me to join them on the drum. I was home.
As more women gathered, I could feel anticipation rising in my heart. MattieDavis and Chalice called us together and I was stricken by their clarity, wit and desire to make all of us feel safe and welcomed. I was intrigued by Mattie’s talk about gathering power through the phases of a woman’s life. It brought back so many memories and stirred thoughts in me as I stand in my elder years.
Thursday afternoon and evening we introduced ourselves, and opened the Grandmother Moon Bundle, for which I was an honored assistant. Then we went outside and created the beautiful moon circle of our crystals and sacred items we each brought.
Then Lynette Edge introduced us to the sunrise ritual of many of the tribes of the Northwest – Spirit Bathing – where the women of the tribe go into the lake (or river), greet the four directions and cleanse themselves inside and out through a scream. As we stepped out of the chilly lake water, we each were gathered into the arms of an elder, and received a shawl they had for each of us. Mine hangs in a place of honor next to my Sundance shawl.
At Saturday night’s lamenting circle, a ritual to help us understand that our soul’s gifts can be found next to our wounds, I circled the room with cedar to help balance and cleanse us, I felt how deeply we were moved to express our sorrows, anger, and losses. And I was equally moved by the transitions we made to forgiveness and joy.
I didn’t want to leave on Sunday and was glad that I’d made arrangements to stay in the Seattle area a few days. The mix of women’s spirituality and Native American Spirituality was nurturing and beautiful. I invite you to experience this transformational weekend in October.
deJoly LaBrier, Mentone, Alabama, USA