When I arrived at the center where our ceremony was to take place, I was told there’d been a scheduling snafu. The center had overbooked the afternoon, so we’d have to start late and end early to squeeze the ceremony in between other events. I felt discombobulated by the change, unable to inform people already on their way to our gathering. I wondered if it would be possible to hold the ceremony given the rush against the clock.
Two friends arrived, enlivening everything with their loving presence, happiness, and help. We decided to hold the gathering outside in a grassy area beneath some trees beside the parking lot. The day was warming up into a beautiful spring afternoon. Tiny purple flowers and dandelions were blossoming among the blades of emerald green grass. The colors of life seemed to be coming alive. And perhaps more accurately, I was seeing again with the eyes of my heart, exploring what existed beyond what seemed problematic, finding my footing in the flow of change. Curious about new possibilities and grateful for connection with friends, I wondered what magic the spirits were conjuring up. I could feel their doctoring.
We were being called to settle ourselves and our ceremony in the earth. Creating sacred space for our Throwing the Bones Ceremony became an inspired, creative collaboration. We gathered blankets from our cars and spread them out on the ground. When I’d left home, Spirits had nudged me to bring the Osprey Wing to the gathering. Along with the jar of Osha Root I had in my car, a smudging ceremony now could take place since we were meeting outside. I had some candles and matches, yet it was a friend’s lighter that really saved the day given the gentle breeze that kept blowing out the flames.
The world around us began living and breathing the Bone Throw Ceremony. Ants walked across the elk hides and through the symbol, touching the bone piece for the Ant Spirits. The physical presence of the Ants emphasized the spirits’ teachings about the importance of building life from the inside out, beginning in the heart, so all that you do, say, choose and build in the outer world is an expression of the Song in your heart.
Butterflies fluttered around our circle, highlighting what Butterfly Spirit was showing us about standing on a threshold, readying to take flight into a new cycle. When Butterflies first take flight, they have never flown before. The blue-winged butterflies dancing on the air, and Butterfly Spirit, were showing what it is like to feel and follow the momentum carrying you toward new ways of living and being, into new forms of relationships, and in not-yet-experienced directions in your journeys in life. Butterfly teaches about the beauty of embodying change.
Dandelion’s brilliant yellow blossoms surrounded us. The longer we sat in our ceremonial circle, the more Dandelions I began to see. Dandelion Spirit had a prominent place in the Bone Throw, speaking about the need to allow space for grieving. The Spirits were saying grief opens doorways for moving through change, honoring losses and what has been, so the dreams being dreamed for your life, the steps being taken, are genuine to you now. Grieving, like the blossoms, leaves and roots of Dandelion, is nourishing, healing medicine.
As we were moving toward closing our ceremony, a Prairie Dog poked her head up from the hole in the ground. She was right beside the Bone Throw and inside our circle. Essentially, we were sitting on the roof of Prairie Dog’s home. Prairie Dogs are architectural geniuses, building extensive tunnel systems and dens with many passages and openings linking to the surface of the earth. Prairie Dogs live in community and have a complex language as intelligent and intricate as that of dolphins.
So delighted by Prairie Dog’s magical appearance, we spent time exploring what Prairie Dog Spirit in the Bone Throw was saying ~ about using communication as a gift, a precious and complex tool, for building relationships, for sharing, honoring, and learning about diverse points of view. Prairie Dogs speak with sounds, with their body movement and positioning, from inside their tunnels and from various places around the meadow. They are not debating. They’re not fighting about who is Right or Wrong. They don’t spew harsh words to judge, desecrate and condemn. Prairie Dogs teach us how communication can be purposefully used to build relationships, weave collaboration, and care for community.
Our Prairie Dog friend peaked out from her burrow, plucked a dandelion blossom, and sunk back into the fertile soils of our earth to enjoy her springtime feast.