Healing the Hearts of the Ancestors in Greenland
The Hollow Bone
In my dream
God asked me to become an empty vessel.
To drain my ship of my remaining content, drop by drop
until I am dry and hollow.
Cleared of substance.
A space framed.
In my dream
the Lovely One asked that I give up everything
to become nothing
“And wait there
until further notice.”
When I woke I felt the truth of your request.
To wait is the only way through
The only way beyond.
And so I stand
wading in the unknown
thigh deep in presence
Living a prayer
(by Karen McMullen)
Just before leaving for Greenland I had a dream that was very powerful. In the dream I was performing an Ancestor Ceremony in an area where rocks marked the graves of the ancestors on a grassy land. I was standing at each rock holding a scepter while saying prayers.
As I began to pray the Earth began moving and shifting beneath my feet, like waves pulling me off balance. The shifting caused large cracks and one of them began to open. I knew the ancestors were not far beneath the surface. I was shown that they were only 1-1/2 feet underground and only air lie between the ancestors and myself.
I began sinking into one of the cracks as the rumbling earth softened like a sponge. I jumped back to stop myself from being swallowed by the earth. I later wondered if the melting permafrost was bringing the ancestors closer to us? A big black spider emerged out of one of the cracks. I killed it by slicing it in half with the scepter without hesitation, as I intuitively knew it carried poison.
A story began to unfold on my journey to Greenland that helped me understand the significance of the dream and why I was called to the top of the world. This is the story that has unfolded for me….
Surrendering to the River of Tears and Fears
The “Call” that used to be a faint sound in the distance became a loud roar since meeting Angaangaq, the Man Who Looks Like His Uncle. I was invited to a sweat lodge that he was conducting in February/09. I journeyed to ask if I was to go and how I needed to prepare myself for this sweat lodge?
I journeyed with my Spirit helpers to a mountain range. They shared with me that it was now time for me to go up over the mountain where there was a gathering of medicine people from all of the tribes. I was to do this on my own. I made my way up the path and over the mountain range and took my place among the Rainbow Tribe. I was instructed to go to the sweat lodge and that this would be the beginning of a very important time for me.
As soon as I approached the fire where the Grandfather rocks lay, I traveled very deep within myself knowing I was going to be changed and asked to commit to something very important. The time was now eminent and the universe put me in this place at this time for a very good reason.
I entered the sweat lodge and as soon as the prayers began I started crying a river of tears. These tears were not only my tears, but tears of humanity, Spirit, and Mother Earth. The tears of grief cleared away my fear and resistance; anything that held me back from stepping fully into the power of who I AM. I promised to walk with Uncle on that evening not knowing the depth of what that promise meant.
Since that time, I have journeyed regularly to ask how I am to answer the “call” I hear deep within me. I felt a sense of urgency I cannot explain, only knowing this calling was coming from the Earth herself.
I had a dream a few weeks after I met Angaangaq.
I am floating naked on my back down a river head first in complete darkness. I can feel myself floating into the unknown as slimy fish, reeds and grasses brush my legs. I hear a voice say to me, “Let go of your fear and allow the river to take you where you must now go.” I take in a deep breath and as I exhale I release my fear and invite the water to support me. I am carried to a rocky shore where the river ends and an elder medicine man greets me with a kiss. I am welcomed into this new Spirit family where I will be shown how to be one with Mother Earth again.
Since that dream I have found myself floating on the river in my journeys. The river is filled with flower petals the colours of the rainbow. The river takes me to distant lands, where I am greeted by other medicine people from various tribes around the world. Each time I enter the river more and more flower petals accumulate, until all the waters of the world are filled with flower petals blessing the Earth and all those who call the Earth their home.
Inviting Spirit to the Centre
A story is told to me about a commitment we all made to come to the planet at this time in history. We need to connect with each other NOW, to awaken each other on the path. I need to be with my peers to be reminded of who I am and what I am here to do. Before coming to Earth, we agreed to carry seeds of wisdom and keep them safe until it was time to share them. I am a carrier of these seeds. I have kept them safe and protected and now it is time for them to be shared.
On another journey I was taken to a Kiva, an underground ceremonial room, where a medicine man drew a circle on the earthen floor and placed a single feather upright in the centre. Keep Spirit in the centre of the circle was the message.
I was told I have been involved in the ‘GREAT EXPERIMENT’! Creation wondered if humankind could find their way back home to the light in the most challenging times. Can humankind remember who they truly are in the most desperate situations?
The tribe to which I belong, the White Tribe volunteered to be the One’s who would carry out the great experiment. The other brothers and sisters would support the White Tribe along on their journey but could not interfere or do it for them! They went as far away as possible from the light. In the darkness they almost forgot who they were as families and communities were nothing like what they had known. Everyone was separate. There was great disconnection and despair, loneliness and emptiness, fear and isolation.
However, there were a few who found the pathway to the light. These few would carve the new pathway for others to follow. The pathway wound around a very large mountain that was exhaustingly long. Around and around and around they walked on the pathway to the very top. There was a flag at the top with a picture of the Earth and the Rainbow Tribe linking hands around their Mother connected as one tribe.
As I reached the top I was welcomed into the large circle with the flame at the centre. “It is time for great celebration”, they say to me!! “Let’s celebrate that you have found your way back home in the most challenging of times!” I was invited to the centre and lit a candle from the enormous flame which very quickly ignited the other flames around the circle, connecting all of the flames as one.
We all got onto a very large anaconda snake which became the ‘PEACE TRAIN’ and flew up high into the universe so that we could all see the Earth below. We were flying around the Earth with gratitude in our hearts seeing the beauty of the earth. We flew up to the stars inviting the ancestors to join us. The Peace Train is very long and continues to expand and grow around the globe igniting sacred fires all over the Earth.
Honouring the Ancestors at the Sacred Fire (Photo by Anne-Marie Charest)
Melting the Ice in our Hearts
I did not realize how significant these dreams and journeys would be in understanding my role at the Sacred Fire Ceremony. On the journey to Aajuitsup Tasersua in Kangerlussuaq Greenland, we drove over the mountain that appeared in my journeys. On the other side of the mountain was the ceremonial area with a flag of rainbow colours, representing the Rainbow Tribe. The river that flowed from the mouth of the melting glacier was the river that carried me on my journeys and the ancestor burial ground also awaited my arrival.
I felt as though each of us who were called to participate in the Sacred Fire Ceremony were invited to perform a role on behalf of humanity. We were re-enacting an event that happened long long ago, that only resided in the memory of our ancestors. Something happened that caused our ancestors to feel abandoned and disconnected from the other tribes. Could it have been the arrival of the ice that put out the sacred flame leaving behind orphans?
My time in Greenland was spent weaving the story together from my journeys and dreams. The thread that was used to weave the story came from the wisdom of the glaciers, rock and melting ice, the circle and the ancestors who whispered to me in the night.
Not long after arriving in Greenland I and others were feeling disconnection, despair, loneliness, emptiness, fear and isolation. The same feelings that our ancestors felt long ago. I was grateful to have had these journeys and dreams to help me understand what I was experiencing and how this was all a part of the prophecy of the melting the ice in the heart of humankind, bringing the sacred fire home once again.
On our way to the Ancestor Burial Ground (photo by Anne-Mari Charest)
Becoming the Hollow Bone
Each day my feelings grew more intense as I felt a sense of abandonment and despair. One day I went for a long walk and found a hollow bone. The bone was a reminder to me of how important it is to empty ourselves, filling our hollow bones with Spirit especially when we are facing something we do not understand.
On the day the Fire and Ice ceremony was being performed at the Big Ice, I was instructed by Spirit to leave the ceremony before it began and walk on my own back to the camp. I could not find the pathway we walked on to get there but carved my own. I came to the top of the mountain and lay upon a rock where I journeyed to ask for direction.
Beside me were 4 quartz rocks the size of my fist that Spirit asked to bring back to camp with me. I found my way back to the quiet camp, while others gathered to witness the melting of the ice ceremony on the other side of the mountain; Angaangaq’s last ceremony. Spirit instructed me to wrap the 4 quartz rocks in the red/yellow/white and black cloths that I had brought with me and place them in the 4 directions at the alter in the centre of our gathering area.
I called in Spirit as I sang and played my rattle for a long time, calling in the elements, nature spirits, ancestors, spirit of the land, power animals and rainbow tribe. I then was instructed to play a heart beat rhythm with my drum until the last person returned from the fire and ice ceremony. I played my drum for over 3 hours, holding sacred space and welcoming the Rainbow Tribe back to the circle with Spirit in the Centre, while also holding sacred space for the new energy and the divine feminine.
The Fire and Ice Ceremony marked the end of the dominating hierarchical ways of the masculine. As the fire and Ice merged, so too had the masculine and feminine creating new pathways to that which is needed most at this time on the planet: The Circle
On that last evening Angaangaq came to me. He asked me to be ‘present’ as we had little time left. I knew there was more for me to do, but was unsure of what that was.
Gathering Wisdom from the Circle
Following the Third Day, many attendees, including Angaangaq departed the ceremonial site. About two dozen people remained behind.
The day before we departed I still carried the feeling that there was something incomplete. That morning those of us who were left at the ceremonial site, gathered by the Sacred Fire to share the wisdom that had come to each of us from the ceremony, ice, sacred fire, rock, trees, ancestors and the spirit of the land. When I listened to the wisdom of my brothers and sisters that morning, I recognized that we were all from the ‘White Tribe’. It was in this circle that I shared the seeds of wisdom from my experience.
My experience in Greenland showed me the importance of becoming the hollow bone, with Spirit at the centre of the circle. This is how we will survive the coming changes, forming circles, emptying ourselves of ego, fear, and judgment and becoming the hollow bone; the empty vessel for Spirit to live and speak through. The Spirits are our elders, our teachers who will lead us through the darkness. We all have the ability to be this hollow bone allowing the wisdom of the earth, glaciers, ice, trees, rocks and ancestors to share through us. Spirit will lead the way and teach us what we need to know, however we must return to the circle once again. We must kill the ego, like I killed the spider, and surrender ourselves to Spirit.
I shared the Ancestor Ceremony dream that morning with the others. I expressed my need to perform this ceremony before departing the next day and invited each one to join me that evening and share any information they had about the ceremony.
One circle member asked me if I had been to the Ancestor burial ground. She led me there and to my surprise it was the exact burial ground from my dream. While there I journeyed to the ancestors. They were holding their bleeding hearts in their hands, pushing them up through the surface of the Earth inviting us to take hold of their hearts, embrace them, feel what they feel, and release their pain. They reminded me of who I had been. Long ago I was with them as we each were. Now, we were called to be there once again to release their pain while connecting with the wisdom of the Earth.
(Inviting the Ancestors to join us on the Peace Train – Photo- Anne-Marie Charest)
Healing the Hearts of the Ancestors
Each of us spent time on the land that afternoon connecting with the Earth and the ancestors. We held the broken hearts of the ancestors in our own hearts. We cried the river of their tears washing away the feelings of isolation, abandonment, fear and desperation. We created bundles that contained that which the Ancestors desired to be released and brought them with us to the Ancestor Ceremony that evening.
We gathered at the top of the hill and walked in a long line to the rhythm of the heart beat drum. We came to the Rainbow flag and carried it with us to the Sacred Fire site. We gathered in the circle around the fire and one by one released the bundles on behalf of the ancestors into the fire, transmuting pain into hope, connection, love and light.
Led by a young Inuit girl holding the Rainbow Peace flag we then walked silently in a long line to the ancestral burial ground. We circled the ground and offered our prayers. We sang a song from Angaangaq’s grandmother, Aanakasaa and invited the ancestors to join us on the peace train to ignite the fires around the world as we returned once again to the Sacred Fire.
Afterwords, I felt complete as I felt the prophecy was complete. We departed the next day.
It is now time for each of us to become the hollow bone, gather in circles with Spirit in the centre and listen to the wisdom from within. With much love and gratitude for this experience. Martha Lucier