Thursday, May 5, 2011

Upon the Occasion of My Ordination

I have not blogged in more than a month, mostly because I have been immersed in some intense learning.  I served as a staff apprentice for three weeks of training in the Shamanic Initiatory Process at Venus Rising in Whittier, NC.  Then I worked the 4-day Wise Wolf Men’s Council and offered a heart centered and moving ceremony with an amazing group of conscious men. 

I have been in the center of the tornado that is my own transformation while Star Raven and I plan for the upcoming Breathe America – Breathe Asheville event on May 14th. There is so much up for me, that it is difficult to know what to share or where to begin.  I also know that we are all in tumultuous times; the planets are kicking our collective butt, and we are being fully confronted about how we choose to show up on the planet as we move either enthusiastically or kicking and screaming into the next phase of our Earthly existence.

In light of that fact, I will share that I was given the opportunity to complete the training and initiations required for me to receive my ordination this month as a Shamanic Minister.  I want to present here my “statement of intention” which I offered when I received my license to marry, bury, and breathe:

My father was a Baptist minister to a small country church in rural southern Indiana.  When he died young, I stepped up to receive the mantle of sacred service to others.  I told everyone I was going to be a minister when I grew up.

But by the time I was ready to go to college, I was already having second thoughts.   When I decided to study literature and composition instead of theology, I reasoned that we are all called to minister to each other whatever profession we might choose.  I had also become skeptical about the role and function of organized religion, and wondered if I might have an even greater impact on the planet as a writer or a teacher.

When I morphed into an addictions counselor in my twenties, I thought I had landed in my life’s purpose.  To me, this was ministry:  giving myself to the service of the poor and the broken; all the while being largely unaware of my own brokenness.  It is not clear to me whether I willingly walked away from that path or whether I was tossed out on my ear.  In retrospect, I see that my contributions to that endeavor were summarily rejected because of my nonconventional ideas and methods.  I was too sensitive and hindered by a wild imagination.  So I got to my feet, dusted myself off, and quietly walked away.

So it is interesting how, on this trip around the spiral, I reclaim the wounded counselor.  I welcome back that lost part of myself, and I remember why I took that path in the first place.  I realize that I am finally ready to serve, because I am taking the necessary steps to allow myself to be served.  It really is all about me; because I might truly be able to reflect something vital and important to you if I have first attended to the yearning of my soul.

My intention is to continue down my own path of soul recovery; my own path of self love and self healing; my own path of discovery and re-membering.  It is my intention to continue reclaiming all my integral missing parts, and through my own process and my own struggle to possibly be a light to others.  It is my intention to allow the Divine to build a temple, something holy, at the site of each of these re-memberings; to build something surprising and currently unimagined.

When we say the Lakota benediction – Mitakuye Oyasin, we bring in all our relations, and we acknowledge that we are related to the trees and the rocks, to the river and the sky, to the red soil of Sedona and the muddy stream of North Carolina.  We are related to the Earth and everything that crawls here, or runs or gallops or flies over its green and blue crust.
We face all of existence, past present and future, and we know, when we look at the stars, we are looking at our source and our destiny, and sometimes we cry for home.  I long to be reunited with my divine mother and with my divine father.  And I am grateful to all my relations who are my teachers; all my relations who radiate out from this place in concentric circles, because you have given me a taste of Heaven.