Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The warm afternoon sun pulled her westward over the rough terrain as she searched for the crystal flower. She felt tired and heavy in her movements but still, Walking Wolf Woman was determined to reach the outcropping of rocks she saw in the distance before resting. She had felt pulled since first seeing their outline on the horizon. It was a pull low in her belly and she felt it as strongly as the heat in the centre of her being when Woman of the Desert laid her hands there. By the time she reached the rocks, the sun hung low in the western sky and the red earth seemed to catch fire from it. The young woman stopped gratefully and began to rub the ache of the pace from her legs. It was then she saw the blood on her thighs and realised that she was beginning her moontime.
This was a sacred time and the centre of Walking Wolf Woman's being glowed warm. This was the time to connect with the Mother and give back to her the very blood of life. This was the time to pray and give honour to the Woman Spirit. Quickly the maiden's eyes scanned the ground for a tool. She picked up a small, flat rock, weighing it in her palm. Now she looked for a spot and chose the top of a pebbly slope to scoop out the hollow, just large enough to sit cross-legged in. Next, she gathered some grasses which she used to line her den, in preparation for her vigil.
When she was satisfied that all was ready, she hiked up her shift and sat within the cushioned and savoury cup. She faced into the late sun, looking down the slope and across the layered vista spread before her. Gold, grey, tan, and red eras piled politely on one another, in sculptures that sat atop the ochre earth. Here and there, patches of green gave moisture to her eyes. The high wisps of clouds shone golden against an aqua sky. Behind her, more layers of rocks caught the warmth of the sun and reflected onto her back. Basking in the light, she gave honour for the day, thanking the Creator for the gift of life, her eyes tearing with the beauty before her.
A low rumble from below and behind caused her to turn...and her mouth dropped open with surprise and awe! What had, moments before, been a tumble of rocks...was now in the shape of a seated, heavy-breasted woman! The slope was her skirt and Walking Wolf Woman realised that she was sitting securely in the Earth Mother's lap. She gazed up at the smiling square face, which looked back with so much love that Walking Wolf Woman felt no fear.
"Greetings Little Mother," rumbled Earth Woman, her chunky red braids vibrating on her chest, "I am here to witness your passing and to speak to you of Earth and the cycle of life. Let the blood flow freely from your womb, back to the earth that gave you life and be one with the Woman Medicine of Giving. As the Circle moves, so do you move within the giving and receiving. Woman is reminded to reflect regularly on this with her moontime, and to cleanse in preparation for life."
Earth Woman bent her pitted face down closer to the young woman and blinked her eyes slowly.
"This Medicine I bring to you...and this medicine you bring to me," she said, drawing her red and grey blanket around her, becoming once again a tumble of rocks.
Walking Wolf Woman exhaled slowly and turned again to the west. Only a tiny part of the sun's liquid gold remained atop the horizon. It flashed the promise of another day before disappearing beneath the blood-red sky. Soon she became wrapped in night's starry blanket, shivering just a little at the touch of the air and the magic it held within. The stars seemed to dance around her head, looking like a million crystal flowers, vibrant and alive. It was a million messages of hope for her. She would find this wondrous flower...and life would forever flow through her. She would be living proof of the Creator's love, and never would she have to bid goodbye to the beauty of Creation. She dedicated herself again, here in the lap of the Earth Mother, and gave her promise to use her moontime to reflect on the Circle of giving and receiving.
The crescent moon began to rise, over her left shoulder. She watched its slow, graceful arc...the Celestial Smile. As she stared, the moon came before her, growing larger as it drew closer. She was able to see a woman within. She was waxing, slender and young, like the maiden in the hollow. Moon Woman glowed from within her transparent skin. Walking Wolf Woman squinted in the light, to try and see her more clearly. Her braids were long, thin, and yellow. Her eyes matched the quicksilver that threaded through the blanket draped loosely around her shoulders. Her stare made a pulling feeling begin within the young, human woman's belly.
"Greetings Little Mother," said Moon Woman, her voice bubbling like a spring, "I am here to witness your passing and to speak to you of Water and movement. It is I who call the water's movement, both on the earth and within your body. In your reflections, after you have honoured the life given to you by Earth Woman, I pull you to look up, feel, and dream. So we begin the rising spiral of movement, each sharing the tidal ebb and flow. This Medicine I bring to you."
Moon Woman's light became so bright that Walking Wolf Woman had to close her eyes for a moment, and when she again opened them, the moon hung small and low in the southwestern sky. Tears began to fall from her eyes, as she was carried within a tidal wave of feelings, allowing herself to go with the movement. It was as if she watched safely from a still centre within...and yet, outside of herself. Day began to break and she gave thanks for the powerful lessons of Earth and Water before rising to gather fresh grasses to line her den. When it was done she again sat to watch, listen, and wait.
It was a long day but a peaceful one. The girl allowed her thoughts and heart to lead her many places. In the late afternoon she felt the electricity of a storm coming. She watched the towering, powerful clouds approach with flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder. The hairs on her body rose to the charge in the air. A white finger of lightning shot to the earth close by, striking a tall, upturned cactus. It exploded into flames and changed before Walking Wolf Woman's eyes, into a woman of fire. She was masculine-looking woman, tall and muscular, with loose, charred-black hair. A blanket of fire hung from her outstretched arms, and her robe within danced with threads of gold.
"Greetings Little Mother," Fire Woman's voice was low and resonant, "I am here to witness your passing and to speak to you of Fire and purpose. When you have ridden Moon Woman's oceans of emotions and dreams, the spiral must continue to move. The flame within must be lighted with purpose. It must burn outward with the action, before its warmth can be gathered. Within movement must be balance, inner to outer, female to male, receiving and giving. This Medicine I bring to you," and she was gone, as the cactus fell apart in a final burst of flame.
The storm passed and, in its wake, winds began to howl a furious song. The young woman's long hair began to whip around her face and stung her eyes. She gathered as much of it as she could in one hand and shielded her eyes with the other. When she was able to look up again, there was a mighty funnel of wind and debris to the northwest. Within the funnel appeared a woman. Her grey cloud-blanket wrapped tight around her, she rose before Walking Wolf Woman. Her long white braids danced all around her, decorated with rocks, sage and feathers. Her body undulated beneath rolled blanket, as her gaze fixed on the young woman.
"Greetings Little Mother," said a voice like a whisper in the centre of the girl's head. She knew the Air Woman spoke, though her white lips never moved, "I am here to witness your passing, to speak to you of Air and your song. A soul wants to cry out that it is here, so the Great Spirit will know us. The Creator hears through all our ears, so we must listen to the songs of others, as well as offer our own. Listen to what is carried on the wind, for it is the song of Spirit and the truth of Creation. After movement has been started, gathered, given purpose, and balanced, it must be shared on the Medicine Wheel, so that it may also move and grow. Listen, find your song. This Medicine I bring to you."
The wind kicked-up again and Walking Wolf Woman heard within it song after song, through the dusk and into the night. When finally it quieted, she lifted her head from behind her knees and sat cross-legged once again. The night was still and crystal clear. She began to sing her own song and her high, sweet voice lifted on the air, carrying forever into the jeweled night. Four baskets appeared above her head and began to dance around her in a circle. Each one contained one of the four elements...Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. On and on the young woman sang, until it became the third day, and she bled no more. The rising sun warmed her back as she headed west, once more on her quest, walking now with Woman Spirit.