In the shamanic way, we are in partnership with compassionate spirits. We donate our bodies—our arms, legs, voice, breath, mind to orchestrate and bring into form and action the spirits’ loving intentions for healing. In our practice and ceremony, We move around with our rattles, drums, bowls, bells. We use our vocal chords and attuning sensing to carry the sounds the spirits are guiding us to make. We are the flute to their wind. In the Lakota way, we are the “hollow bone”.
So much time, experience, work goes into becoming the hollow bone. There is much to it that cannot be taught, but must be experienced. Ceremony and initiations over a course of years have helped me become a more pure vessel or conduit for Spirit.
The power dance is such an initiation. I recently attended a power dance at the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies was just last weekend (1/8/11), facilitated by Jan Engels-Smith. This ceremony or initiation has as its core the invitation for compassionate spirits to come into the room, and move into one of us, one at a time, to come forth and deliver a message.
This dance, the spirit of blood came into me. The first essence of experience of being the spirit of blood was the beating of the heart, as the force behind my movement around the body. After the physical experience of moving around the body, I began to have the knowingness about moving around and being at the center of continuity for humanity and all animals. Omnipresence in humanity. A shared spirit by all humanity. An animating essence. The vastness of this was almost overwhelming, and beautifully moving, as I was part of all life everywhere all at once. Animals too. The energy of this was huge for the human in me to contain. And then, the experience of being the thread connecting all humanity and wildlife through the ages, generations. From a seed of sperm and egg, the spirit of blood emerges and grows, and is passed through this way generation to generation. Then, I had the experience of spurting out of bodies. Bloodshed as a natural inevitability of the human condition, a natural part of Earth—the blood on the Earth contributing to the natural cycle of life and death, contributing to her fertility. And then, flowing out of the vaginas of all women. “Do not curse me” the spirit of blood emplored. It is a beautiful flow in the humanity of women.
Feeling the vastness and omnipresence of the spirit of blood is one experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was pressed deeply into me as a beautiful gift of this ceremony. The love the spirit of blood had for us was also almost overwhelming. It was a full body experience of ecstasy that made me giggle as I giggle at climax. This is the way of the shaman. A beautiful experience of becoming the hollow bone.