There is no alarm clock in the world like the inner nudge of the Ancestors inviting me to wake up and come outside. This morning the nudge came at 4:20, while the stars were still shining and the full moon was about to set. There was not time for my usual rituals, I just pulled on my jeans, rugby shirt and jacket, and headed out to see what awaited me under the sky.
We passed summer solstice a month ago, so the days are beginning to get shorting in this northern region of the Earth. At first, it is not noticeable, but this morning I realized that I did not want to head out across the field in the dim predawn glow. So, I sat on the bench at the top of the meadow to do the chant that The Women of the Open Sky had taught me.
It was just the one tone, “AAH.” But that tone carried the memory of my last experience with them up on the hilltop. I had listened to the clarity and purpose of their voices as they sent the vibration of this one syllable out over the landscape. It felt as if the sound would effortlessly flow around the world and far out into the broad open space beyond.
As I sang it now, I could feel the spaciousness of everything that was above me. The blanket of the sky, not yet ready to turn from its dark blue night side to its light blue day side, stretched overhead filling the arch between distant horizons.
I sang it again, and felt the spaciousness in all that was below me. I was suddenly reminded that for all its appearance as solid matter, the Earth is more space than substance. I envisioned the molecules of the planet below me gently drifting apart to relax into their more liminal form of communities of elements floating in patterns. Designs appeared as some compounds reflected closer ties than others as they flowed through open space.
Having crossed through the veil into the mystery as I sang, I was not concerned about falling through this porous bench and hillside. I knew that when I sang the tone again, all around me would take on this same less substantial nature. “AAH,” I chanted in my strong alto voice. And the trees and grasses, rocks and rabbits of the field in front of me relaxed into an expression of their true nature. The needles of the pine trees drifted gently from their trees, and both tree and needle drifted into their individual atoms, filled and surrounded by open space. It felt both magical and deeply familiar, like seeing an old friend in an unguarded moment of total relaxation.
“How far are you willing to go into this reality,” a familiar voice asked. I suddenly realized that I was standing on the hilltop, among The Women of the Open Sky. Next to me was Una, an ancient woman who reminded me of the Hopi people of northern Arizona.
You continue to think of yourself as human cells that make up a person with a specific identity and solid form. The gift of spaciousness releases you into the unity of all of Earth’s being. There is nothing uniquely human about you. Your physical expression is made of minerals, air, water, fire, energy, and spirit like everything else in the tangible world.
Letting go of the cohesion among the elements of your body is a place to begin. Feel the breeze touch your skin and then move on in among the molecules and cells of your body. Let its cool touch nudge open the space within and among all of the atoms of your being. Breathe into this spaciousness as you sing the tone again.
With a feeling of excitement, I inhaled and chanted, “AAH.” All my constituent substances let go of one another, much as I imagine they do at the return of form to formlessness at the end of this existence. It was a delicious feeling of releasing all of the effort of a lifetime of holding myself together. This is my natural state, compounds with special affinity spiraling around one another without touching.
“Now, sense the minerals which float and flow within the water,” Una suggested.
The sensation shifted and I was floating buoyantly on the surface of a mountain lake. But I was no longer feeling this in one body, but in trillions of them. All were feeling the compassionate support of the water that invited all to yield entirely to the experience of being held.
I was startled as a pulse ran through our network of being.
This is the Dance of Life. Old bonds are letting go and new ones are forming among the most basic molecules of matter. You are feeling the beat of energy released and energy received as old bonds split and new ones form among the diverse and complex compounds of Earth’s elements. This is the movement of life changing, renewing, and shifting form throughout the evolution of all beings of the world.
Breathe and feel this living dance. Sense the energy flow among all living beings.
I continued breathing slowly and deeply, welcoming the new and releasing the old. I could feel myself mingling with the trees, plants, rocks, mists, sunlight rays and breezes of the hillside. This was not a swapping back and forth of elements and compounds. It was more the Salsa rhythm of pops and splashes, leaps and swirls of energy. Exuberant in receiving and lavish in giving, the exchange was occurring in every direction and among all our forms at once.
Compounds, molecules, vibrations and vapors would pulse into me for a fraction of a second. There was no time to “become part of me,” just a glancing spark given to my being. It is hard to describe this interaction because it was all gift, without any specific giver and receiver. Every substance and vibration naturally moved to the place that invited its presence, the place where it could best nourish the well-being of all.
Laughter bubbled up within me. I felt it echoed in the sights and sounds of branches waving and birds singing, stones shifting on the path and water droplets evaporating in the sunshine. At any moment, I felt like I might fly apart in all directions, nothing left but a sparkling swirl of energy. Instead, the sensations and images faded, and I coalesced back into my separate, ordinary form, tears streaming down my checks. I had never felt so alive.
Una was smiling her approval as she told me,
This is the feeling of Earth’s vibration, Her energetic Dance of Life. You are always sharing molecules and energies, substance and spirit with all the other expressions within the web of life. Her energy and current are vibrant and whole. Everything in this creation knows the joy of union in Her.
This relationship is always available to you. You only need to open your perception and you will remember that you are forever part of the Dance of Life.
As Una’s words faded, I was drawn back in my daily surroundings. But even they were different now. As I sat on the bench, watching the light grow stronger in the sky, I understood in a new way the interwoven patterns of energy and element, vibration and substance dancing together in this wondrous life.