I went out to the mesas to gather stones to revive a ceremony I created years ago. Beginning on New Moon, the first stone is set in place for the making of a spiral. Day by day, stone by stone, shift by shift in the moon’s dance with the earth, the spiral comes into form. When the lunar cycle completes, the spiral is dismantled. We begin again with New Moon.

Harmony and balance are ready and waiting to be found in the natural markers of time and the currents that exist beyond the bounds of calendars and clocks.

Walking through Sagebrush and Piñon Pines on my quest for the ceremonial stones, my attention was captured by the image of an animal. I knelt down in the desert soil and leaned in to have a closer look. I could hardly believe my eyes. There was a bear in the center of a stone.

How had the stone come into form in this magical way? How and why did our paths cross at this particular moment in this particular place? Asking permission for the gathering, I gave an offering of tobacco to share my gratitude and warmly welcome the gifts.

Cradling the stone in the palm of my hand, I felt the warmth from the sun and the sandy, weathered texture. The shape began to find it’s way into my awareness. The stone itself was a bear. There was a bear within a bear, each facing a different direction.

The story living in the stone came alive. The bear held in the center is gestating, readying for the birthing. The bear embodying the whole of the stone offers an inner sanctuary, a sacred space, which holds, protects, and nourishes the one to be birthed. The stone’s medicine, the naming, became clear.

We’ve been together now ~ Birthing Stone, Moon Spiral, and me ~ through the passages of a couple lunar cycles. Lily often joins me by my altar where the birthing stone is sitting and the moon spiral is being made. After giving the emerging spiral a close-up inspection, Lily curls up on top of the stones. In her distinctive feline ways, Lily (aka Star Girl) has shown me that she is a ceremonial cat. Her connections with the spirits, earth, and cosmos are mysterious and vast.

The spiral-making ceremony in rhythm with the moon offers an invitation to slow down, settle in, and connect. Paying attention and giving reverence to incremental shifts deepens relationship with the momentum of changes taking place, with beginnings and endings and all the in-betweens.

The bears and the birthing stone hold questions for my searchings and guidance for my path. What is gestating and readying to be birthed? What nourishing sacred spaces are essential for the now, for the seasons and cycles and generations to come? What needs to die away, to be released and left behind, so that precious birthings, healing, and growth can occur?

The awakening of our human hearts, our balance and belonging, are ignited by the remembering of the interweaving of birth and death. We have a part in these vital currents of transformation and change, weaving and unweaving and weaving anew. Stone by stone, minute by minute, step by step, we give offerings to the spiral dance with life.