From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood
New being, new citizen of the world, new carrier
of cloud wisdom and moonstones, new
flame of the universe, new eyes of animals
too old to see beyond their footprints, new repetition
Of the old ideas that people thought had died long ago,
we stand before you, ready to protect your small
breath of life, ready to teach you songs, ready to
help you plow the fields cluttered with our mistakes. Your
Recent journey affirms our faith in ancient circles. You are
the voice of us who tried to change the world. You are
the continuity of seasons and migrations, the best
or worst of all that has gone before. New being,
The ancestors are depending on you to surprise them. Little one,
our prayers for you come with love and heartbreak.
The world you enter is dangerous and filled with
imbalance. Knowledge comes from experience, not from
Easy answers. Resist those who would have you blindly follow them,
dear child of buffalo and hawks, ladybugs and fireflies. Turn instead
to the rhythm of waves, the pattern of grass, the shape of clouds,
the music of raindrops, and the color of autumn leaves. Strong
Mountains and saplings await you. The tongues of animals are anxious
to speak to you and the river is eager to teach you to dance. Learn
from the vagaries of winds, the honking of geese, the dance
of trembling leaves, and the way that shadows mystify.
New being, this is all you will need to be at home in the world.
New being, this is all you will need to recognize your song.