Ceremony

by Gary Sackett

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Photo courtesy of Dale Lyles

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A writing after the super moon, the infamous blood moon and before this weekend’s Alchemy: The Georgia Burn.

Being human, I question, not to obsession, but a slight wonder of why did I come across the Georgia Burn website, their Facebook page and why was the happenstance of seeing the open invite to the 3OM (Three Old Men Troupe)?

3OM was looking to expand their troupe and posted 45 minutes prior to my arrival to FB. I read, intrigued, more digging and within a short time messaged the poster, which led to a face to face meeting. Is this what I want to be involved in? Do ‘they’ want me? Do ‘I’ want them? Inclusion of holding space, ritual, labyrinth, like-minded people.

It wasn’t too long before I stepped out of my own way and the realization came that this whole road I’ve been on has been mine for the asking. The conscious steps that I’ve taken since I’ve crossed the 1/2 century mark, with the aid of my sub-conscious has led and fed my yearning to be ‘home’.

My definition of home: a place where you are completely safe, more of a feeling than physical place. That space when you out of your head and in touch with your heart. The tiny, yet infinite spectrum you want to envelop yourself and others in. Maybe bliss describes it or Wayne Dyer wrote about it in “Getting in the Gap”. The space in between thoughts, that when stepped into you’re catapulted into the flicker of the beginning and the end at the same time. My feeling was of one and completeness.

And after the burn…

The rain was constant even when it stopped the mist of moisture hung in the air, beads of water rolling on canvas, falling, was nature’s drum beat. Earth’s soil turned into cake batter to shape, to gather, to mold, to bake, whatever you chose to. In some areas it was a broth awaiting the ingredients for a soup or stew. A ‘chef’s’ delight of experience.

Inclemencies of anything bring out parts of you for you to look at, the droplets of water being tiny mirrors to the soul. Being uncomfortable let’s you find comfort in other ways.

The muslin walls of the labyrinth bore the weight of the moisture, the stakes holding entry to all who entered and many did. Standing in the distance, the sound of the ceremonial center bell brought them closer to the entry. At night, the glow of the fire staff’s brought moth’s to the flame, the sound of the gong took them to the center of their choosing.

I had the honor of officiating in three ceremonies, the rain with breezes intensified the moments. Standing naked, I applied the kaolin to my body, the mixture was cold, goosebumps rose to the occasion. Asking for the universe to reveal what was needed in that brief blip of time, step by step reaching the center. The wooden mallet struck the bell, the sound struck me. The kaolin was drying as my path to the west was completed, donning my robe, raising my staff and facing east. My breath was deepened and slowed, watching my exhales dance in the firelight. I held space as the space held me.

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Photo courtesy of Cathy Sackett

Though we didn’t stay for the effigy burn we did stand on that hill on two different occasions from being a guest at a same-sex wedding to watching the ‘Minotaur’ art burn. Both filled with fire.

Fire-pits and interaction, words and meanings, open hearts and laughter, thank you 3OM. Thank you to all who shared with me, from my first kilt to steak on the griddle, from guided tours to hugs.

As the short haired, aged hippie’s fingers found position, the wooden flute danced his musical breath, slowly he made it to middle, the sound of the bell struck again…again and again. Clear, clearing and clarified.

Clarification. As we listen to the whispers of life and act on them.

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