Today is the New Moon. Every Wiccan 101 book or website will state it is an ideal time to remove blockages, start new projects, or “get back on the horse”. I was told such a thing by none other than Bear.
This afternoon I attended an open-to-the-public shamanic ritual dedicated to Bear. It was organized and performed by Lupa: author, shamanic practitioner, and the creator of Therioshamanism. You may check out her website here.
There were many firsts. It was my first time attending a shamanic ritual and it was Lupa’s first time conducting one for a group. I must say, it was a very moving experience. Other than a little bit of first-time jitters in the beginning, Lupa was inspiring and powerful as she journeyed to honor Bear.
At certain points in the ceremony, we were allowed to rattle, clap, or drum along with Lupa as she journeyed under and when she was ready to returned. I had forgotten how much I love the feel of my hands beating out a rhythm against the drum skin. How my heart bursts whenever I feel the presence of any animal guides or spirits. And how shameful I felt that I have allowed my shamanic practice to slide.
Lupa donned a bearskin (an old bear rug she rescued) and had begun dancing for Bear. Her gait was strong and pounded the ground. I could hear a low rumble of a growl. Bear appeared. When Bear’s eyes met mine, I hung my head down in tears. I knew Bear could see right through me and I did not have the energy to be scrutinized by such a powerful spirit.
After the dance, there was a moment of quiet. Those who attended opted to commune with Bear quietly and privately. That is when I got the message from Bear.
Do not be so hard on yourself. You are going into hibernation too. But it is time to put your spirituality back to being First. Before you read a book, do a meditation. Before you exercise, commune with your gods or the energies of nature around you. Before you knit, write in your journal. Before you waste hours on your computer, step back and light a candle and honor the moment you are in. Spirituality used to be your foundation and you built everything else from it. Now it is a reverse pyramid, it is at the bottom, so small and tiny and being neglected, while it struggles under the weight of everything else. You can make it First without losing any of the other activities or obligations you love to do.
I admit, that is not verbatim. Trust me, Bear is not that talkative. She has more of a direct, smack her paw upside your head approach, at least with me. The message is my personal translation and I have figured out how to incorporate it into my present moment (another lesson of mine is to live in the Now Now, not the Past Now or the Future Now, but NOW).
When the other attendees had departed, it was just us three Therioshamanism practitioners/students. We discussed where our paths are taking us and how we are incorporating what Lupa has taught us.
Today is the New Moon and today I was reminded to get back on that darn horse.