Becoming a metis teacher is a lost art,
and deeply embedded in the invisible.
Seeing through the ethers and understanding how this dimension
intersects with others is a fascinating and deep study.
Several years ago, when I was part of a three year apprenticeship with Path Weaver of the Buffalo Trace Society, my understanding of how everything connects was visceral. Although I had read books (over 200) involving the ‘Science’ of energy work, such as Barbara Brennan, quantum physics, the meridians of Chinese medicine, and studied programs such as the holistic nurses Healing Touch program, Reiki, color therapy, essential oils, crystal healing, etc., I always naturally ‘felt’ or ‘saw’ energy in the people and things around me.
Most of my learning has been experiential, in that I get picture messages, or symbols, and can feel what is occurring in someone’s energy. It has always been very hard to put into words, and skeptics love to tear apart who I am, and how I can do what I do. I just ‘am’, an antennae to the etheric radio, I suppose. I’ve always had a ‘knowing’ about things – animals, people, weather changes, the future, who I was in past lives, how to put my hands over the body, how to ‘sing’ out pain, I never needed to know ‘why’.
Therefore, I always felt a disconnect with exactly how Creator resides in the intangible part of things, such as Air, Water, Earth and Fire, because I didn’t realize the true power of the invisible forces that we encounter every day.
In a modern society, everything is compartmentalized, separate, isolated. It can be quite difficult to relate to All That Is, because the white man has done all he can to eradicate natural ceremonies of all aboriginal peoples’, no matter the color of their skin. I have since learned that ceremony is a way to re-connect to the Divine, and each other, and as we desire to find meaning in our lives, the creation of our own personal ceremony is paramount to this connection.
Hunched over the charred remains of the last sacred fire, facing west, I place the first split cedar chunk, long and wide as a man’s forearm. The tree’s flesh bleeds its precious sap, leaving fragrant, sticky stripes across the knees of my threadbare jeans as I pull the wood from its pile to the pit. Little beads dot the pale red fibers, releasing a sharp, yet sweet, almost cinnamon-y perfume. The second piece is laid parallel to the first, eight inches apart, evenly spaced between an egg shaped tumbled river rock that is always left in the pit. I turn again to pull four – 7 inch long pieces of kindling that will rest perpendicular and evenly spaced atop the cedar. I reach again, fumbling in the ever increasing dark of the dissipating sun, through the tumble of dead, dried branches, until I have counted 29 sticks, scratching my palms from the roughness of the pithy bark.
I cannot say that this is a traditional Miami way; I only know that this is my family way. Great-grandmother Turtle Woman talks to me while I am preparing for the first of many take-home assignments given to me and my Red Fox Sisters. As we were leaving the monthly gathering, our group was told to start “making friends” with the four elements by creating a ceremony to help us understand earth, air, fire and water. I chose “Air” as I was driving home, because I have been a native of North Carolina for over twenty five years, and being transplanted to Pennsylvania for my husband’s job has been quite unsettling, as the weather is so different. We now live on the north end of a 1,000 acre estate, in a two hundred year old farmhouse, in the middle of a five acre soybean field. The wind whips, tearing at your clothes, for a good six months of the year, with cold, biting breath that makes your knees knock, and your bones feel like ice.
“This’ll be good,” I thought to myself, and smirked. “I’m going to talk to the Wind.”
“Pay attention, child”, Great-Grandma scolds in a wispy voice, like I imagine Air might sound. She allows me to ball up a few pieces of newspaper and stuff them around the Creator Stone, even though I should really use strips of dried bark. I sprinkle some old hay, dried field grasses, and wood shavings from my husband’s woodworking projects over the four pieces of kindling that signify the four directions.
The Creator Stone stands for Great Mystery, the foundation of Everything, and ‘holds’ the place of Creator/God when the fire is not lit. The 29 branches are then placed tip to tip, bottoms on the ground, making a tee pee of sorts over the structure. The two pieces of cedar are symbols of above and below, and must be green, as they hold the fire up above it in the air, which gives it life, and helps it to build as the sap burns, adding to the heat, until all above catches, and then they too will burn. We are calling in All that Is to our ceremony. 36 is the number in the medicine wheel, a sacred tool of those who follow the Red Road.
I say my secret prayer and coax the birth of fire, blowing the breath of life, asking Air to feed fire as I light the first match. Nothing happens.
“You must ask Fire’s permission to use Him for the ceremony, and then ask Air to enter the circle, as well. Your fear of the cold wind is keeping the fire away.” So, I do as Turtle Woman asks, and this time the match catches to the paper, and the kindling gives in. This is how Grandma works – “Do this, do that,” and I obey. I have learned better than to argue. She has me ‘talk’ to Air, putting my hands here, there, asking Air to move the smoke from my face, away from where I sit each time it begins to curl around my chair. She has me thank Fire for His heat and light, as it is now pitch dark, and a January night.
We talk about the respect of the elements, of honoring the essence of Creator that is in all we use, and do. I sit quietly in my mind, and tell Air how I remember being killed in winter in a past life, and ask Him to be gentle with me, and kind. I thank Air for feeding my fire, and for the rains He brings, and the summer breeze to cool us when it’s hot, and for the sounds and smells He sends us as warnings. The air around the fire pit becomes still, yet I can see the trees in the back shimmy and gently wave from the night wind. Air’s breath is warm and comforting, He shows His loving side to me, for through ceremony we are now connected, One.
I feel led to focus my eyes softly on the perimeter of an old dairy barn beyond the perimeter of Fire’s light. This is a peripheral exercise that is a good practice when one is beginning to learn about seeing the aura. We look to the side or above the object in question, instead of directly, which allows the ethers to come into view.
I hear a strange calling or sorts, like an animal, perhaps a turkey?, and waves of energy show to one side near the barn, like heat from a hot desert road in summer. The hairs on my neck are standing, and I get a light-headed sensation as when my soul leaves my body to heal and to find lost souls. I am frightened, but understand that a portal is opening.
An energy emerges, that has no name, but is everything, a tall man in regal headdress and a cloak of gorgeous plummage, a wing span of iridescence like a fancy dancer from the heavens. He stands within the fire, like a angelic bellows, and calls to me to put my left hand in the fire.
We receive with our left hand, and I am also left-handed, so it is a risky decision, but one based on Trust. In my abilities as a psychic, intuitive, and in a loving Universe in which all is connected.
On bended knees I kneel in front of a now tremendous fire, with hungry tongues of blue, orange, red, but with very little smoke. Sweat is pouring down my brow, and my head is pulsing from the heat as my hair absorbs this surreal intensity. I do not ask anyone of you to try this, as it is like a Fire Walk, one must trust as one is able, or if. I know that it is part of my metis path, and slowly, like in a dream, I place my left hand to the edge, and through the tops of the flame so that I may touch the heat of Air.
It is amazing, the coolness, yet vibrant energy of the two male energies combining with mine. Almost sexual, but more ecstatic. I slide my hand back, and put it on my lap. Air looks down at me, smiles, and turns to waves of heat. Gone.
I sit another moment and reflect, as my Great Grandma talks of nurturing my wounded Ego, keeping aware in the coming times of when and where to do such things. Discernment, she called it.
She talked to me in simple terms about things which are anything but, of how there are sacred protectors of our world and universe, and are beyond our physical ways of understanding or seeing them. However, so that we might relate and develop a kinship with Divine, associations were made by the Ancient Ones and passed down as ways to relate to them. I found this site to be useful in introducing you to the four elements as symbols, http://www.thefourelements.org/elements/.
I took my fire tending stick, and scattered the Fire, so it could cool and dissipate, thanking all of the seven elements, as well as any from the ethers who took part in my highest good, and released them back to the Universe.
And so it is. Aho.
(here is a link to 2014 fire ceremony. It is not mine, but looks interesting…fyi..http://sacredfirecircle.hawkdancing.com/photos/)