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Published By Martha Lucier on February 24th, 2017 in Circle Stories From The Heart
By Martha Lucier, CCSS Founder
(CCSS Wings of Light Truth Shield) Revealing the shield of our Truth as a circle community, we re-claim the value of the way of the circle and the Edge in these times of great shifts. Coming into our hearts we remember our connection, committing more deeply, as we journey deeper to unwrap the gifts most needed at this time for evolving human consciousness. Reflecting our light potential and wealth of inner sanctuary, we invest in our collective value.
Surrendering the Old Dream
In 1994, I awoke to a dream of a car with high beams on, speeding towards me with 6-9-95 DEATH written on the licence plate. The car stopped just before hitting me, when I awoke. A year later, on September 6, 1995 my husband Todd handed in his resignation letter to the principal of the high school in which he was teaching. Moments after he arrived home, my father unexpectedly pulled into the driveway. We shared the news of our decision to begin a new life, fulfilling our dream of creating an outdoor education retreat centre, on the edge of Algonquin Park. Until that moment, my father had expressed doubt in ‘my’ ability to succeed at fulfilling the dream. Now with Todd’s involvement, he opened the door of possibility, offering his support.
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality.”~ John Lennon
Years later, when I committed to teaching the 2 Year Advanced Shamanism Training in 2005, I put out a call through the inner net for support in facilitating the experience. My friend and circle member, Chris Sheridan, in Europe at the time, heard my call through the ethers. He contacted me and accepted the invitation to join me in delivering the first training.
When I began teaching the 2 Year Advanced Shamanism program, Northern Edge Algonquin was operating with very few team members to tend to the facility and guest needs. There was one assistant in the first 2 year trainings, fulfilling many roles to ensure we were well prepared for each group. Equipped with wilderness first aid and outdoor experience, they also helped to co-guide outdoor adventures.
With the growing number of trainings and attendants, there was a greater need for support. I invited graduates of the 2 year training to assist me, as I felt they would best understand the needs of the circle and hold necessary space. In exchange for helping to meet guest needs, facility care and delivering some program elements, assistants received meals, accommodation and participation in the program.
Even with growing support in delivering the trainings, each year felt heavier than the last. I began to get regular bladder infections, gain weight and lose my enthusiasm. I was burning the candle at both ends, leaving little space for me to grow and heal. The imbalance I was feeling, was a reflection of the need for change and balance of exchange. I was facilitating 2 circles within each program, mentoring assistants, offering them opportunities to expand their gifts, while also facilitating the circle of participants. My spirit yearned to stretch my wings, beyond the limitations of the structure I found myself in.
“We stand in a circle which has no beginning, no ending, in which we all belong. The beauty of the circle is that we cannot see each other´s backs. And the strength of the circle is that we can only see each other´s beauty.” ~ Angaangaq
In the spring of 2012, the Way of the Circle Year long training was birthed fulfilling the need to mentor those called to be facilitators of CCSS Shamanic Circles. Spirit is the teacher, leader, and guide, in the Way of the Circle, moving through the participants who are empowered and encouraged to contribute to the collective wisdom, while sharing responsibility for holding space for the greatest potential of the circle to be realized. The circle community we had been growing together, would be strengthened by this new structure.
What is written below came to me in a journey in 2012 while reflecting on the CCSS and the Way of the Circle:
Imagine 7 generations from now, a circle of our descendants gathering together. They sing an ancient song from the ancestors, connecting them through their hearts, coming into harmony and balance, as they share their gifts and work together as ONE.
Our survival as a human species depends upon remembering ancient wisdom, and our connection to the Spirit that lives in all things. How do we ensure as a circle that seven generations from now, our descendants have the keys for survival?
The time is now that we come together in the form of the circle, to dream, create, heal, rediscover and share the ancient wisdom that has been long forgotten and use our wisdom to create a vessel that can carry this wisdom forward.
We have all that we need and the necessary tools to bring this wisdom forward. We know how to become the hollow bone and journey to the Spirits for healing and information. We have tools of mirroring to help each other listen deeply to our questions, while taking ownership of our shadows, fears, projections and gifts. It is time to sharpen our tools now, and use them to their fullest potential to ensure our collective dream comes alive with beauty.
As we come together standing for a common purpose of healing we join together with Shamans’, Dreamers, and Medicine People of the world, working in harmony to create a brighter future for our descendants.
“A tree is only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.” ~ The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Planting our Collective Dream Tree
When we first became stewards’ of the land at the Edge, we connected deeply with the Spirit of Grandfather Pine, near the entrance of Point’s North. Struck by lightning several times, the old tree acted like an antenna for the Spirits, providing us with much guidance in our decision making. The tree gradually lost it’s needles and bark, releasing it’s beauty to nourish the life around it. In the winter of 2012, the Earth Eagle Phoenix Rising Circle honoured Grandfather White Pine, with a beautiful ceremony, symbolic of the transition we were going through as a shamanic community. Appreciating and receiving the gift of life this tree offered, we opened to receiving the full value our ancestors had invested in our lives. What has been invested in you by the ancestors, the circle community and the life around you? Have you fully received the value of this precious gift?
In 2013, a young White Pine Tree of Giving and Receiving, was gifted forward from this circle, and planted in the centre of our collective medicine wheel during the graduation of the Rock Star Seed Circle, the 7th and last 2 Year Advanced Shamanism Training circle at the Edge. The planting of this tree coincided with the 20th anniversary of stewardship at the Edge. We planted the new tree, honouring the ascendants guiding our world with the light of new life, fertilizing it’s roots with prayers of our community, anchoring the foundation of the way of the circle and a new dream of humanity.
It takes time for a newly transplanted tree or dream to take root. Like tending to an infant, a transplanted tree requires special nourishment from the surrounding soil and sunlight, and support in standing on it’s own. It requires balanced watering so it’s root ball can be established. As a circle, we have been collectively tending the roots of our way of the circle foundation and new dream of humanity. We have been gardener’s, taking great care to ensure the survival of our collective dream of unity, love and peace, with Spirit guiding us at the centre. The tree, like a child, requires continued support. Guided gently to grow towards the light, it’s roots deepen, creating the stable foundation it requires for flexibility in the changing winds that swirl around it. We, as stewards’ of the dream tree, have a responsibility to ensure it’s survival.
What nourishment have you offered our dream tree so it can root and grow even deeper?
In any forest a singular tree is connected with and supported by the wood wide webof all rooting systems. It’s root system moves out through the earth, spreading that heart foundation throughout the rest of the world. Like the tree system, our Dream of Unity, Love and Peace is deeply and strongly rooted now. No matter where we are, we are connected and supported as we grow deeper through our hearts. How have you been connecting with and nourished by our dream tree and supporting root system?
“Alone we travel fast, together we travel far.” ~ African proverb
In the fall of 2013, at the completion of the Way of the Circle year long training, members of this circle formed the Eagle Wings of Many Colours council to help guide and evolve the new CCSS Shamanic Training, the Edge, and the collective dream of humanity. This voluntary circle has committed to journeying for guidance for our greater circle, attending regular gatherings and conference calls, while growing deeper commitments to Spirit. Our collective dream tree has been nourished and supported through their continuous service, investment of time, dreaming and financial support.
In 2014, when the Heart Foundation of Shamanism trainings began, we naturally invited EWMC, who had been initiated through the Way of the Circle, to be co-facilitators of the newly evolved training. The foundation of the new dream took root, gradually replacing the previous Shamanic Training structure. More and more participants answered the call to join the Heart Foundation of Shamanism trainings, co-creating our experiences, manifesting the dream of unity, as the circle way blurred the lines between teacher, student and co-facilitator.
The Heart Foundation of Shamanism Training is a vehicle for changing ourselves. Within the supportive structure of the Way of the Circle we realize our inter-connectedness, travelling deep within to retrieve the gifts we came into this world to share. Being seen, feeling heard and honouring one another’s value we heal the root cause of isolation and scarcity, coming into the prosperity of connection. Together we undergo an alchemical process, transmuting the dream of fear, divisiveness and disharmony, into the dream of unity, love, and peace.
“Imbue your money with soul, your soul, and let it stand for who you are, your love, your heart, your work and your humanity.” ~ Lynne Twist
Exchange of Investment
An important part of any commitment to our personal growth is an offer of exchange. Once we make a commitment to our personal growth, we must be willing to offer a gift of exchange for the nourishment we receive through an experience. It is essential to reflect regularly about how we want to grow, what we desire to invest in, and what relationships will feed us in reciprocity. What we appreciate, appreciates. What do you desire to grow in your life?
When I answered the call 24 years ago, to commit to creating the Edge, and offer Shamanic training, I knew deep within me that my own growth, healing, fulfillment and sense of purpose would be nourished by this commitment. My visions showed me how far reaching this centre could be in changing the dream of humanity, and most importantly, taking the greatest action I could by making this change from within. My commitment ran so deep, that year after year, even though we did not achieve financial sustainability and our investment did not make economic sense, I chose to trust my heart’s calling and guidance, continuing to invest in the dream gifted to us from the ancestors, fostering heart centred community, supporting local food, alternative renewable resources, and programmes that inspire us to be the change we desire to see in the world. The investment for me has been immense and rich, filling the deep well within me. I am grateful for having answered the call, especially now, as so many are awakening to the need for change, for I know together we carry a key to a different way of living that supports life.
At the Heart Wisdom of Shamanism gathering in October, 2016, I received a powerful teaching in preparation for my Mother’s death. In my vision, I witnessed what happens when a person steps through the doorway of death. I saw a paper doll chain, like an accordion. The next person in line to make their transition into death, rather than stepping through a door and ‘going away’ moves backwards into the paper doll chain, becoming apart of all that is living. When preparing to ‘lose’ a dear loved one, it can be a challenge to embrace and believe this concept. As my mother took her last breath, she asked me to promise I would always remember that she lives in my heart and in the life all around me. In that moment as I committed to fulfilling my promise, I healed an ancestral wound of abandonment and separation, rooted in the mindset of scarcity.
Each day, as I open and expand my heart with gratitude for the life of my mother, my own life essence grows, like the lotus blossom. I value more deeply the preciousness of my life and am more discerning about where I choose to invest my time and resources, for this life energy carries great potential. I fully believe our circle and the CCSS training has an important role to play in the co-creation of a new dream for humanity and the earth, changing the dream from a mindset of separation and scarcity to connection and abundance.
As within, so without, as above, so below
At the conclusion of the Soul Pathways program in the autumn of 2015, standing at the Ancestor Staircase we re-claimed our personal and collective soul ‘value’, returning home to the fullest expression of who we are, activating our gifts, purpose and power. Each time we gather in ceremony, we heal the collective as well as ourselves. Since then, I have been presented with opportunities to appreciate my self worth and value in every aspect of my life. I dug deep to dislodge and illuminate seeds of doubt I incurred over my lifetime, trusting my intuition that guided me to co-create and invest in the Edge. As I transformed and freed the light of my value I have made room for new relationships, partnerships, and community that nourishes my body, mind and spirit in reciprocity.
Since first anchoring the Way of the Circle foundation through planting the White Pine Tree of Giving and Receiving, the Edge, our collective circle, and I have gone through significant transformation, returning to the roots of our original calling and vision.
Words cannot convey the depth of my appreciation for what we have created together. I offer deep gratitude for the investments each of you have made through your dreaming, time, actions and resources towards changing the dream of humanity. I give thanks to the Wings of Light collective circle, and all of those who have invested in our collective dream of Love, Unity, and Peace. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to listening, weaving, and sharing, transforming yourself, supporting the transformation in myself, our circle, the Edge and the greater circle. I celebrate our growing connections, and the opportunity to meet many new members of our Soul Family in the circle community we have co-created! Thank you to those who have answered the call to travel deeper and those who are gathering and connecting their threads weaving and strengthening the web of creation and life. Thank you for the inner work you are each doing, that is rippling out from within to affect the greater circle, enabling us each to embody and live the circular way.
“When we are frightened it can feel like we are trapped underwater, under ice. The mythic directive in such a moment is unusual. It says this: GO DEEPER. Don’t smash your knuckles raw on the ice, but dive down further — seemingly the opposite of what everyone on the surface wants you to do. But of course, the diver swims down not just with their terror, but with their stories, their artfulness, their skill, and most importantly, most wonderfully, their love. We are living in a time when every one of us is going to have to make that descent. All of us. When you swim down to Sedna (Sea Goddess-Mother of the Sea) you are in the business of alchemy: the tributary of your own fears meets the ocean of your artfulness and suddenly you are giving a gift, not seduced by your own wound. Only by diving deeper can the ice melt.” ~ Dr. Martin Shaw
To stay rooted and balanced with the changes we are all undergoing, it is essential to commit more fully and deeply to our spiritual work. As we journey deeper, we nourish our life force unlocking our imagination so we may realize our greatest potential. I am deepening my own commitment to evolving, and growing, investing more of myself to the dream of unity, love and peace to ensure our children and grandchildren, and 7 generations beyond have the opportunity to experience a brighter future. How are you called to deepen your soul’s commitment investing in a dream of Love, Unity and Peace?
“It is time to call in the Mother in us all. We must consciously call her in. She comes to inspire us through every form of artistic and creative expression to harmonize life, free the spirit and unite with it’s source. Call with a commitment to be Her spirit in action.” ~James O’Dea from The Conscious Activist
This spring 2017 we are beginning a new program, called Algonquin Journey: Reconnecting with the Songlines of Nature. This program was birthed from our collective desire to respond the greatest needs we see in the world at this time. Those called to participate in this year long journey, are responding to the call of the Mother in us all, embodying the songlines of Nature, questing deep into the birthing waters and fires of creation, opening to the magic of infinite possibilities, living in our highest vibration of Truth.
This program is a rite of passage to honour this transitional time in our lives; an opportunity to navigate through the deep darkness of the unknown with confidence and faith, transforming the changes in our lives into sacred celebrations. Together we journey deep reflecting our light and inner sanctuary, joyfully keeping each other’s company.
We are just beginning to understand how deeply we are all connected. When even some of us commit to journeying deeper, we are all affected. Some of us may experience circle dreams, feeling as though something is missing, and yearnings to reconnect and come together with the circle. To maintain our vitality and flow as individuals and as a community, we must honour our commitments . As we prepare to journey deep as a collective, how does your soul desire to deepen your commitment to our Wings of Light circle, nourishing the garden we have been tending together?
As the roots of our Dream Tree deepen, may the roots of our community be deeply nourished. I dream of each one in our circle community, standing tall and vibrant like the Pine Tree of Giving and Receiving, connected, deeply rooted and supported in love, unity and peace.