The Path – January 2020

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

Whatever you become, my child, may it be rooted in grace.

Whatever your path through life,

may it offer you steepness and rough places, so that you do not become

complacent. Nothing is owed to you, but everything is available to you,

 

Even the decision to do nothing and to travel nowhere.

It’s up to you to decide

whether to follow the wisdom of our ancestors, or to pursue

the cheap solutions of the world. Your courage will arise

 

If you call it by name, just as love will find its way into your heart, in time.

My child, I cannot shoulder your mistakes

in order to keep you free from pain,

but I can open your eyes to beauty, if you will only take the time.

Joined – December 2019

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

Our connection to nature is nothing more

than a deep conversation,

like that between two related stones or trees,

an expanding bond of kinship

that sharpens perceptions and catches

sunlight devouring ice on streams,

a refrain of winter’s resistance

To the unconditional surrender of spring.

 

Who knows the meaning behind a conversation

between two partners of the soul,

so perfectly joined that they seem as natural

as veins on leaves? Our connection

to nature is a magical cord that offers solace,

granting us witness to the birth of stars.

Birth Ritual – March 2019

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.

What have I learned during this life – December 2018

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

What have I learned during this life of falling often on a path that

offered me direction I did not take? The language of snails.

Why did I ignore the advice of those who had lived a long time?

So that I could embrace my own mistakes.

Who was willing to accompany me on my painful journey?

Myself alone, dragging along the shadows of experience.

What shall I give to those ready to embark upon an even steeper
path?

An open heart. Resistance to despair. Laughter. Most of all,

The love of birds, animals, and spirits who watched my progress and said,

Though you have arrived, you are nowhere at all.

Children of the Sun – December 2017

FromĀ Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

May you have life, my children of the sun. May you rise as smoke rises,

and spread yourselves on the wind. In our house, you are always welcome.

In our prayers, you will always hear your name spoken with reverence.

 

In you is the continuation of the world, both made and unmade. Soon you

must go, for your roots are growing, and your branches are reaching out. Soon

your wings must unfold, so you can stand at the edge of the cliff, learning

 

How to fly by yourself. You are free, my children of the sun, released from

your familiar place. Our thoughts go with you. Our songs are sung for you.

Our dances are intended to purify your heart. Please, now go.