It was our Drumming Circle on Monday evening; I was in two minds whether to go or not, as I’d had a nagging headache all day, which isn’t always conducive to workings, but in the end I made the effort, and I was so glad I did.
We’ve been meeting every month for six months now and I’ve managed to get to five of them. This year we’ve had an introduction to sigils, an exploration of Spring Energy in Nature, an exercise to discover our own ‘power stack’ for psychic protection and on this last Monday, a ‘virtual’ visit to Castlerigg stone circle to investigate the spirit of place. All of these topics have been fascinating in themselves and have provoked some lively discussions. Most of the ideas and concepts are familiar to me and are often things that I practice in my own druid/pagan way, but I really enjoy how Nicola and Jason’s shamanic approach has given me an opportunity to question what I do and why. It’s not often we get the chance to step outside our usual spiritual routines, look at them with fresh eyes and assess whether they are still serving us or not.
On Monday we walked in to the room to find that as well as the usual ‘altar’ and circle, Jason had also set up a projector and screen. He’s a professional Nature photographer and his shots are used in a lot of famous books and magazines – actually I’ve nicked one of his photos of Castlerigg for the blog from here. I’ve just noticed that if you go over on to his blog he’s posted a journeying to meet the Spirit of Spring. I’ll have to go and check that out a bit later!
Part of the evenings work was to use a slideshow of Jason’s images and an accompanying soundscape of bird song, wind song and music to see if we could establish a connection with the Spirit of Castlerigg, which we would explore in more depth in the following Journeys. I’ve never really felt it was absolutely necessary to be physically present in a place in order to communicate with it, but I do think that you get a different response than if you’d actually made the effort/sacrifice to travel there. We all had some very strong experiences, and there were quite a few similar themes cropping up. The more time I have to ponder my journey, the more I’m struck by it’s significance. One particular part of it, which I didn’t share with the group because it was more about myself than the Spirit of Place, is certainly gaining more significance every time I think about it.
After the Journeying we had an opportunity to help one of the circle members awaken his drum, which was a pretty magical experience. This involved lots of drumming and rattling whilst we each spent a little time with his drum, imbuing it with our energy in whichever method we deemed right – Awens anyone? He spent a little time beforehand explaining how he’d made it and what symbols and stones had been used and why. I love it when someone is willing to share something like this, it’s true story telling; connecting, intimate and spell binding. Maybe it’s just because I find people endlessly fascinating!
We had our largest circle yet last week, there were nine of us altogether, from all sorts of different spiritual backgrounds. I must say that there is a lovely gentle energy to the group which is helped by the fact the the Friend’s Meeting Place we use has such a wonderful welcoming, almost serene atmosphere. This time Tracey fetched us all a beautiful ‘emergency’ sage pouch, apparently we’re to burn the sage whenever someone or something really gets our goat!
Unfortunately I’m going to miss the next meeting as Mr Stoatie and I are making a second attempt to get to Whitby. Now the weather’s getting better there are going to be physical visits to Sacred Sites with the Circle so hopefully I will be able to get along to some of these.
Painting Of Castlerigg and Blencathra by Geoffrey Sutcliffe (1929-2005)