A Stone, Our Body, A Tribe. by Louise Waridel
So far, I have not shared my experiences of the circles we hold in Montreal, with Gerard.
I guess it is about time I do…
We’ve built this circle over time with people connected to my work. Some are co-workers, others are people who worked with me many years ago, others are relatives to people I worked with. It was a challenge at first to connect those two worlds together: Shamanic and work. I sure had resistance to it, but now I like how it feeds my interrelationships as much with people at work than with Gerard, or others at the house or shamanic community.
I usually build the wheel before we start. After the last circle, Gerard told me to get ready, I would have the first 30 minutes of the next circle to talk about the wheel. It is what happened last night. I put all the stones down and it was good. There was one new person so i started presenting the wheel, the anchors and what they are about, then the clans, the elements and the moons…
I wanted to explain how every stone is a story living within us, how all the stones in that wheel have a story. So I shared the story around the east anchor. The turtle stone I carved years ago. I have many memories around that stone because I sculpted it, and because it was part of my first real process. I sculpted the stone because I had connected a lot to the turtle while in Mexico. It was the totem of the temazcal and the prehispanic dance people I spent lot of time with. I was very attached to that stone because it represented my experience in Mexico.
Like I explained, after probably a year or two of going to the circle, after Gerard made me hunt for the stones in my Wheel, he asked me to bring my stones and built the Wheel. I was so happy because I just loved the stones and the Wheel. I was able to build a Wheel several times. At one gathering, he told a girl in the group, I can’t remember her name because she came only two or three times, to steal the turtle stone from me. I was not happy, and there was no way I was moving from beside the wheel. Near the end when I started to undo the wheel Gerard asked me to get something from the bathroom. I resisted but tried not to because my teacher was asking me for assistance.
Obviously when I got back the stone was gone. I was so angry, I was looking for who stole the stone. I wanted it back. It took a while, but before the end of the evening the girl felt bad and gave it back to me. I took it back home. It was a first initiation. It took me a while to calm down from it and understand what it was about.
I got an important lesson on attachment that day. I learnt that when you do a collective wheel, what you put in the wheel is no longer yours, it is collective.
It seems all good in writing but When I told the story at the circle I could feel stressed. I tend to stick to the details when I share and I don’t take enough breaths between what I say. It’s like if I want to say it all before I forget, it goes too fast. It is a work in progress. So next time my challenge is to be more fluid, look for a general message I want to get across, and bring some joy into it.
Hmmm joy where have I heard that before!
What was cool about sharing the story of the Turtle Stone is that it triggered one of the girls in wanting to build a wheel at home, and to learn to build the Wheel. SU is a stone sculptor just like me, so i’m not surprise that it is what attracted her. Next time I’ll start teaching her how..
It’s incredible how much can happen at a Circle. Gerard always seems inspired around a Wheel. I can’t possibly share every event of the evening nor would I want to. What occurs at a Wheel is often meant to incubate in the Wheel until it comes full Circle. Still I was impressed with AL’s process.
It was a process on how to care of ourselves. It wasn’t the first time that this lesson was being given. I was the recipient of it once before. It’s always enlightening to watch others react or resist change. There’s as much learning by being the witness than by being in the experience.
It started with Gerard giving AL an Axe deodorant. It was a long discussion on why it was important to do little thing like wearing deodorant, shaving daily, wearing something else than t-shirt…
Gérard said: “A Dreamer is noble, proud and gracious”.
Lisa once explained: “In traditional times we braided our hair, painted our faces, made our clothing by considering each stitch. We adorned our clothes with beads, feathers, and stones. We made sure to connect to the beauty around us by mimicking it somehow. Whether it was bathing in the lake or rivers like the otters or distinguishing ourselves like the Eagle – we showed others we were noble, proud, and gracious.”
How do we accomplish this today in the 21st century?
At the end of the circle AL admitted never wearing deodorant. He agreed to try Irish Spring for the next mouth and share his experience. He also confirmed finding abundance and learning through Gérard’s interventions.
“What do I have to lose to follow you now?” He said with a shrug.
Gerard closed the evening with a small ritual. He asked us to stand in a circle touching the tip of our neighbour’s feet and moving slowly up and down to the rhythm of the drumming. It was a simple experience, where we all got to connect to our body, our heartbeat, and the body and heartbeat of others. After a while we became one movement: ONE – together.
I especially enjoyed how simple it was to feel the essence of a tribe.