At the end of the ceremony, we took some time for sharing and integration of the experience. As I had hoped, it was not only an experience of profound collaboration with each other and with the spirits, but people received much needed healing as well. “I arrived at our workshop with a very heavy heart,” one person said, “and left feeling nurtured, held and seen after our ceremony was complete. Trusting the creative process of asking our helping spirits for assistance in creating a healing ceremony showed me how beautiful and powerful this work is.” Another person felt similarly: “I found the process of creating the ceremony fascinating, in the sense that we all journeyed for parts of the process. And when it all came together as a ceremony it became powerful, fun, and I got some healing to boot.” A third person added, “When it was my turn as the client and recipient of the healing, I experienced waves of power and tenderness, and I was was moved in ways beyond words.”


People began to wonder as our discussion continued, what we might do with the ceremony in the future. Would we share it with others? Would we use it as a healing method for other people asking for help? I mentioned that, while some ceremonies are handed down for generations in indigenous cultures, others are understood to be transitory, like the sand paintings of the Navajo. I suggested that during our next evening drumming circle, we might journey again, and ask the spirits what to do. Once again, I wondered what would happen if people received conflicting information. The ceremony had taken place only three days before. Had I already forgotten what I’d learned? Once again, I needn’t have worried. The advice from the spirits was unanimous. The ceremony was not to be published or performed outside the circle, but it belonged to us, and we could use it again for each other if the need arose.

The experience of this ceremony was a testament to the open-hearted willingness of everyone in the group to work together harmoniously, to trust the spirits, to take a leap and see what would happen. No one insisted on anything. People easily saw how information they had received would work together with what others had received. And the spirits seemed to delight in giving bits and pieces of the ceremony to different people, in such a way that there was no mistaking that they were engaged in the creative process with us.

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