I had the pleasure of meeting Carlos Gomes yesterday. He is leading us in our Sacred Journey. Teaching us about the secrets of making a Grandmother Moon Drum, a spirit drum. There are six of us in the class.
We learned about the history of the Grandmother Moon Drum, about the Tree Blessing Ceremony, about the rituals involved in working with the wood to make it smooth, cleansing ceremonies, honour ceremonies. And we talked about many philosophical issues. We shared our spiritual journeys to date, and we listened to each of the drum hoops to hear which one was choosing us to be our companion on this journey.
As I sat with my drum hoop on my lap, I could feel my journey begin. By the time I left the room, I was already beginning to bond with her, and felt very protective of her. I knew instinctively what the carrying bag I would make for her would look like. I began the bag as soon as I got home. I spent 5 hours working on the bag and talking to her.
I choose a name for her. One that celebrates my Celtic roots. I put her on the pillow next to me so our energies could co-mingle and imprint on one another.
Today we went to Victoria Park to perform the Tree Blessing Ceremony and start the sanding process. I choose an oak tree in the park to ask for the blessing. I expressed my gratitude to the tree spirits for the wood used in making my drum hoop. I did as Carlos instructed, and felt very connected to the Earth, the Trees, and the Universe. I felt as if I was embarking on a magical, sacred journey and felt very close to my drum hoop.
Next I prepared myself and the drum hoop for the sanding process. Telling her I would remove all the pains that had been inflicted on her so she could be there for me. All the little nicks, and spurs, and rough spots, all the little dings, dents, and splinterings were now going to be removed so she can be transformed from a wooden ring into a drum hoop. Telling her that once her transformation was complete, so would mine be. We would help each other through this difficult process so in the end, we can sing our individual songs for all the Universe to hear.
I started to sand, and not more than 3o seconds into the process a yellow jacket showed up. I froze. I am afraid of them as I was badly bitten in my childhood and have never overcome my fear of them. I tried to pretend it wasn’t there, but it kept flying around me. It landed on my hand as I was sanding. So I took a deep breath and asked it why it was here. The message I got was “to show you what you are afraid of”. So OK, this sanding session was going to be about acknowledging and working through my fears, and off the yellow jacket flew. I got out my journal and started to write. It was hard acknowledging my fears. I finished, put the book away, and started sanding again. Back came the yellow jacket. Apparently I wasn’t finished. There was more fear that I wasn’t acknowledging, so out came the book. And on it went. After the fourth time, I decided I couldn’t take any more honesty and moved to another bench. Started sanding and had my visitor arrive again. Now I was angry, and moved to still another bench, this one closer to the water fountain. I need the sound of the running water to help calm me. I sat for a few moments getting calm and picked up my hoop once again and started to sand.
After a while of sanding, humming and meditating, a young man came running by, went past and came back to apologize for interrupting me, and asked if I was making a hoop for a hand drum. We talked for a while about what I was doing, and the history of the Grandmother Moon Drum, and guess who came back? Right, Mr. Yellow Jacket. As I tensed up and inhaled in fear, the young man said, don’t worry there is noting to be afraid of. I chuckled and told the story of my several recent visits by the yellow jacket, and how it is a symbol of my fear that I need to acknowledge and work through. The young man laughed and said “Or you can just move away from the garbage can”. I looked to notice that each of the spots in which I had been sitting were near garbage cans that I hadn’t noticed before.
So many lessons were learned this morning. This is going to be quite the sacred spiritual journey.