Yes, we’re back from the DrumDance. And what a dance it was!
A small group had come to this beautiful place on a hill in Scotland. A fire was started with stones placed in it for the Sweatlodge. We all entered on our hands and knees, into the dark, low bender made from willow branches and covered with blankets and a plastic sheet to keep the heat in and the light out. It’s a metaphor for the womb from which we are all born. Glowing red rocks were brought in and put in a small pit in the centre. Some sage was put on top of each of them as they arrived, the sweet smoke rising and filling our lungs. Then the doorway was closed and water was poured over the hot rocks, creating a wave of steam and heat. Prayers were said and chanted… the sweat was dripping off us. I felt awed by the presence of these people, these ordinary people who are actually really extraordinary! We can all be like that, humble yet noble at the same time.
After the Sweatlodge the Dancers all went to their tents to dry off and put their dance clothes on. The Drumming began, and we started dancing towards the line with the feathers tied to them. These feathers provide a focal point for each Dancer. The dancing continues (with rest periods) for the rest of the day until the sun goes down. Then we sleep.
In the night I suddenly wake up to the sound of the Drum, I wonder if it is morning already and so I get up. Around me I hear the other Dancers stirring. We all gather by the tent where the Drum is. The Chief speaks to us, she tells us we are given a seed that we must nourish and bring to fruition. This seed can be an idea, or a wish, anything new that we can bring into our lives. We stand and meditate on this for a short while and then return to bed.
The next morning we are up at sunrise and greet the Sun with a song. Then we dance again, all through the day. Without distractions of any kind. Without food or water… Dance, rest, dance, rest, dance, rest….
As the ceremony progresses, each one of us becomes more tuned in to the beauty of the land surrounding us. We dance in silence, towards the feather line and then back. Gradually, our feet create a visible path. The lack of food and water helps me to focus on my spirit, there are no distractions.
Sunday morning comes and we do our last Dance. The feather line is removed and we dance freely, anywhere we choose. Water is brought and we sing a special song to honour it. Then we drink. It tastes wonderful! It makes us realise just how important and sacred Water is.
Then we leave the field and go to the feast. Lovely food is laid out, we give thanks and then we fill our empty stomachs. Food is also sacred.
And then… we all go home, carrying the experience we’ve had with us.
I feel connected to everything. Nourished and whole. All is well.