Grace lay on her back under the star-filled sky. Up here on the slope of the mountain, far from the light of the village, she felt like the stars were brushing against her skin. The familiar planets and constellations were the touch of a child’s finger. The Milky Way felt like silk being drawn across her check. Everything was still around her; the wind, the animal life and the trees. Grace kept her breathing light, sensing that a big inhale would draw the heavens into her body. A big exhale would scatter the stars back through the cosmos. Enjoying this deep connection, Grace allowed her focus to shift. Solid reality gave way to the Unseen mystery. Her separate individual self faded and she moved into the timeless reality that shines beyond the tangible world.
She found herself in an open field in the valley, near the river. There was a large gathering of the ancestors of the people. She did not recognize these people and she was not familiar with the older man who now stood beside her. As he began to speak, she realized this was not a particular time or a specific people, but represented one of the ceremonies which have been held by many peoples throughout the world, throughout the ages.
Her older man explained:
Each spring, the people gather for many nights under the stars to hold this ceremony of reclaiming harmful thought forms that have created disharmony. It is a time to remember that our critical thoughts and judgements travel out like energy arrows that find their target in other people. The projections and assumptions we hold of others confine them in a narrow set of images that they cannot easily break. We each become prisoners of the assumptions and critical thoughts of others. When we recognize and recall all of these dis-empowering energies, we rebuild our trust in our own life force and regain clarity about who we are as individuals and as a people.
As he spoke, Grace watched as the older members of the tribe stood and walked out into the open meadow. There they stood in formation, like a flock of geese in flight. An Elder stood alone at the very head of the group, with others creating an expanding v-shape behind him. Behind them came those in their middle years. Finally, behind them were young adults of the tribe. Small children nestled against their parents, enfolded in their field of energy. Children of learning age formed two long columns at either edge of the formation, standing at a distance and watching without participating.
She asked if the Elder at the front of the formation was the Shaman?
“No,” the guide responded. “The Elder at the front is chosen for his willingness to see the truth and hold it clearly for others to see. Each year it is a different person, selected by the people.”
A hush fell over the gathering as the Elder turned to face them. He spoke in a clear, resonant voice:
I invite back every judging thought, projection, and dis-empowering energy that I have released into the world. I accept responsibility for all that my mind and my fear have created. I ask that it release itself from all that have taken it in. I ask that it return now, so it will no longer burden the life force or harm the well being of any form of life.”
Turning, he faced away from the people and opened his arms wide to the sky.
Grace watched as an orb of dancing light formed around him. It was luminescent with the subtle beauty of mother of pearl. “This is the transforming love of the Source made visible,” her guide explained. “It is visible now so we can witness this ceremony.”
Tiny sparks of light appeared along the horizon and began moving toward the Elder. As they approached, Grace could see that some were like fire-flies, while others were in the form of flaming darts and arrows. As each one touched the orb over his head, it dissolved and added vibrant color to the swirling energy that surrounded him. Their dance was brief before they moved into the crown of his head or into his chest bone over his heart. He stood there motionless within this dance of energy, and seemed to smile with deep contentment. Over time, the size and shape of the sparks grew bigger until a few were the size of shooting stars. Even these were drawn into the energy around him and sparkled and shone bringing all of the luster of the original mother of pearl tones to life.
When all had been received, the Elder turned to the people and said, “Joy fills my heart, because I have returned to harmony with all living beings. The Earth rejoices because all that has returned will feed the springtime life of this place, in all its forms.”
Grace’s guide explained:
From now until the next full moon, the people of the tribe will repeat this ceremony for themselves, one group at a time. Each group will support all those within it. They will share their experiences afterward with the whole people. All understand that this is not about guilt or shame, self-punishment or bringing harm upon oneself. It is about the way the human mind projects outward the disharmony that causes inner suffering. It is about understanding how to reclaim what we have created with our thoughts.
Within each one’s orb, all energy is transmuted and refined back to its highest form, so that as it moves through them and into the Earth, it feeds personal evolution and renews the life of the world.
Over the weeks, each person will begin feeling lighter and more at home in his or her being and in the community. The images they have carried about others are lifted from them. They will reconnect in new ways with people they have not understood because judgments and apprehensions no longer surround them.
Stepping forward, Grace asked, “May I try?”
“Of course,” came the reply. “That is why you are here. All are welcome to participate in the ceremony any time, anywhere.”
“Do I have to do something to create the transforming orb?” she asked.
“No, it is always around you. You will see it as you open your heart to call back all of the energies of harm your confused mind has formed.”
As she stood there, surrounded by the people, Grace felt waves of love flowing to her from the human family around her. These coalesced within the core of her being, and she found the courage to be responsible for all that her thoughts and feelings had created.
She breathed slowly and felt great waves of calm as she saw the sparks begin to form at the horizon. She had thought that the larger the darts and arrows became the more afraid she would be, but it was just the opposite. The more intense the energy she had sent out in the original projection or judgment, the more exciting it was to have it return. She watched the colors swirl around her, each touching her with a split second of recognition and memory before it faded and merged back into her being.
When it was over, she watched as the mother of pearl orb shimmered around her. As the energy swirled, her heart danced within her. She was happy, free and lighter than air. Closing her eyes, she sighed with gratitude.
When she opened her eyes, she was back on the mountainside, looking up at the star-filled sky. Her ceremony was complete. The stars glistened and sparkled, kissing her skin, sharing in her celebration of renewed harmony.