Time for a bit of grounding after the latest round of shifts, and what better way to do that than to reflect on my experience of being buried in the earth. I think it was 2004 and I was at the annual gathering of shamanic apprentices, known as Convocation, at a centre where I did a lot of my shamanic studies over a few years.
We began with the men and women in separate spaces for the first couple of days doing our own business, and then on the third day we came together in ceremony and gathered in the tipi. Our teacher spoke and we listened, eventually he began to talk about a process we were being offered, something the men had already experienced. They had dug shallow graves and been buried in them for 12 hours and now we had an opportunity to do the same thing.
It was a bit scary but how could I refuse! We began to prepare ourselves which included becoming part of a tribal structure of four tribes, we were painted with the symbols of our tribe and got to choose the man who would put us into the ground, stand watch, and then bring us out in the morning. We sat and listened as the men told us of what it was like for them being in the earth and the different ways that they coped with the feelings and sensations that came up for them.
You can imagine that being buried would tend to bring up a lot of your stuff! I had a rather practical concern that had nothing to do with my fears and everything to do with my bladder, actually they say if you have to pee a lot that it’s all about being pissed off, and therefore it’s often associated with anger. Anyway, I wanted to last the distance and stay buried for the whole 12 hours so as soon as I realised what we were going to be doing I stopped drinking any liquids.
And so at 7pm as the sun was westering we came to our graves, lined with sheets and doonas, comfortable, yet forbidding. I was in a strange space of unreality, like being caught between the worlds, betwixt the veils that keep our so-called reality in the shape that we are able to recognise. I was about to take a step into the unknown, I knew not what I would find there, but my trepidation was infused with excitement at the prospect of diving into the depths of the mother, into the dark womb of the void.
Tune into my next post to find out what happened next, you have 24 hours of antici…………….pation to move through! Of course I realise that you all have a life and many other fascinating things to occupy your time with, but allow me just this once, to be a bit of a drama queen. After all this is a pretty dramatic story.