This weekend, under the bright full moon my sister and I held our annual, ancestor honoring event ‘The Betwixt & Between’. We have done it for many years and always look forward to it. It has always been focused on honoring our Beloved Dead (family, friends, ancestors and guides), and includes direction for setting up an Ancestor altar, techniques for expanding your awareness; for personal experience with Spirit, and messages from the dead, passed on by me. In the past the Dead we were reaching out to were coming forward to bring love and healing to their living, and it was in many ways like my Gallery Spirit communication. This year we changed it up a bit.
Upon looking at the guest list, I was aware that the majority of people who were attending this year were people with a more advanced skill level in the area of spirit. I saw this as an opportunity to do something extraordinary. So instead of this being a time for people to hear from their dead grandmother; about how much she loved them and things they enjoyed doing together, it became a place of learning. I wanted to model the traditional reasons why tribal society chose to communicate with their dead. In most cases this was done for advice, particularly in times of great need. People would gather in solemn respect for their Ancestors and humbly ask for direction.
21 of us gathered at Blissful Dragon Farm, in Waterford, VT. When people arrived they were asked to walk the labyrinth to center themselves for the work at hand, and invited to tie a ribbon to the cloutie tree (prayer tree). When the fire was ready, everyone walked through burning incense into Dragon’s Teeth Circle; the last stone circle created by Ivan McBeth this autumn, before his passing. As each person was anointed with sacred oils, they were asked to find the stone that called to them, the place they were to set up their personal altars.
With the altars set, chairs were brought into the center of the circle close to the fire. The stones and the family altars created a strong boundary around the participants. By this time, people were starting to feel the energy of the space, and that of their ancestors gathering close. We did spiritual journey work, so that everyone could reach out to their loved ones, and then showed them how the spirits were moving in on the mist. The area inside the circle became thick with the closest ancestors and beloved dead, and the area outside the circle was filled with the many, many spirits that had shown up to hold space and be acknowledged.
The messages past were powerful. I always feel honored, when I have the opportunity to speak for the Wisdom Keepers, who are in spirit. Even though the messages were delivered to individuals, the wisdom was beneficial for all. One of the first Spirits to speak was a recently departed mother. She had made many mistakes in her life, and had a lot of struggle. Her message was of forgiveness. She spoke of the need for forgiveness in our world, and how often the best teachers are the ones that need the most forgiveness. The ones who are unable to change. I found this to be quite profound, as I have been a bit obsessed with the idea of Radical Forgiveness, lately.
Radical Forgiveness is the act of forgiving without expectation. When it comes to forgiveness most people find themselves using the word but, a lot. They say “I forgive you, but…”. This is not true forgiveness. True fo