|Hollow Horn Bear - 1907 (by Edward S. Curtis)|
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is in the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself at sunset."
Thanksgiving seems to have become more of a sad and worrisome time than the celebration it was originally meant to be. As a therapist I hear so many stories of trauma and dread about having to to figure out how to go spend time with troublesome family groups—as if it's a done deal of damnation—and then again when everyone returns, confused, battle-worn and beaten up, in need of solace, healing and peace.
I recently watched a documentary about new and startling findings about Stonehenge. Seven years' worth of digging by archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson
and his team revealed clear evidence that there were two
monolithic sites: one being the well-known stone installation, and the other, a timber replica, situated a few miles away. It is now strongly believed that many thousands of people gathered for the winter solstice, and not the summer solstice as previously believed, to first ritually celebrate the "dead" at the stone circle (or as we would say, the Risen) and then walk en masses to the timber circle to celebrate life and the living at the wooden one. Apparently the life celebrations were exceedingly non-stop food fests and sensually rambunctious, resulting in many new births nine months later. The findings have been published in a new book, Stonehenge—A New Understanding
We of the 21st century are in desperate need of such rituals—any rituals, really at this point. Rituals provide so much, including a sense of belonging, of meaning, of structure—things that are almost gone for many on this planet. Native Americans lived daily with the conscious awareness of gratitude, and were able to communicate through their rituals with their Risen loved ones on a continual basis for guidance and an enlarged sense of self and community. I'm reading the biography of Edward S. Curtis
, Short Nights of the Shadowcatcher
. He was the photographer who made it his life's mission to record in image and sound all the last remaining Native American tribes. It is beautifully written, but a hard read, because the greed and ignorant depravity of the so-called "civilized" white man (and I do mean "men," the partriarchs of US government and untaxed multi-millionaire industrialists) is overwhelming. And let the record show that non-white cultures also invaded and decimated many tribes across the country as well. "Indian experts" of the Smithsonian actively denied that Native Americans had any religious sensibilities at all, and yet the Government simultaneously punished them for partaking in any of their religious ceremonies, and even language, in such severe and unconscionable ways that give me nightmares. Nonetheless, Curtis relentlessly strove to win the trust of many, but not all, tribal leaders and medicine men, to participat in their ceremonial dances, while recording their lives even as they faded to shadows before finally winking out. The real grief I feel while reading this book leaves me bereft and sad beyond words. Some of the feelings are softened by the knowledge that many Native Americans, now Risen, still choose to offer their support and wisdom as spirit guides to those of us open to them. As I write this, I can hear Canadian geese talking and calling to each other as they do some last-minute grazing in the park's fields just outside my window. Like the tribes of ancient Stonehenge and of North America, they have a deeply innate understanding of the journey of life, for they live it.
Those who have read The Risen will be aware that it was the Risen Collective—an association of more than 1,500 various entities—who managed the orchestration of the book, at the request of an even higher-vibrating congress, The Risen Assembly. There were also several other "gatherings" or groups of spiritual beings who contributed in various ways, notably one that called itself "Cloud," offering solace and words of healing through conscious gratitude. There is a curious feel to Cloud's words that suggest a Native American influence.
“As for those left behind on the earth—you are never responsible in any way for their state of vibration—only for your own. In your freedom you may know their grief as keenly as if it were your own. You will no longer have the body with which to embrace theirs in comfort, and this may be a mental agony that requires much healing, both for those in spirit bodies and those in earthly bodies. Medium, you are aware that we have influenced much of what you have shared about grief. We re-echo your words here as a gift for your own benefit. Be aware of opportunities to begin the healing while together on the earth. Ask. Always, simply, ask for help, for giving is what the universe builds upon. You will always receive this forgiving, and it will arrive in some form, regardless of your expectations. Most often help has arrived long before you ask for it, and it is gentle and subtle, intent on not interfering and only with assisting. If you do not want it you will not receive it, but you will still be watched and guided, even in the darkest of moments. You are always loved, even if you have withdrawn love from yourself. As you would give the flowers the space and elements in which to thrive, strive to see yourself and others as flowers. Know that you are a flower with self-awareness. It is this self-awareness that enables you to live in conscious awareness of grace, which is the gift of self-awareness, as well as the ability to live in a continual expression of natural gratitude.” (The Risen, p. 107)