by Paul Robear
CI added two new events in 2016 — Volunteer Week and a Mayday Celebration!
Thanks to Carol Gallentine and Cece Stanford for the inspiration to return to CI for a week at the beginning of the workshop season to help get the facilities ready. Carol brought along her husband Dave, and the four of us gave the facilities a deep clean, with an incredible amount of hard work getting done. Thanks also to Dori Smith who helped with some bookkeeping and archiving of historical documents.
I had long wanted to celebrate May Day, and last year, when I learned that Carol had also been researching May Day and various traditional rituals, we decided then that Volunteer Week had to be scheduled to culminate on May 1st. The first day of May has additional significance for CI, as this was the date last year when we completed the purchase of the additional 192 acres of land to CI. A fitting date on a number of levels!
The first order of our May Day preparation was to replace the existing pole in the dance court circle with a taller, larger pole. I added an old bicycle wheel at the crest, the better to turn with. Cece and Carol festooned the wheel with a wreath of flowers and multi-colored ribbon streamers, and made wreaths for all to wear, as we were joined by Lilith, Ann, and Jan, who live nearby. It was cold, wet and raining the morning of our celebration. So we adjusted our schedule, and sure enough the weather soon improved as the ground dried and the rains subsided, to let the show go on, truly signifying the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
After our dance, our gathering grew further when Geert Mayer, a member of our advisory committee, arrived from Germany with his siblings Thomas and Monika, just in time to join our celebratory feast, and happy to see traditions from their part of the world take root here. CI truly is an international community, reviving the old ways of our collective indigenous traditions.
As always, we began our celebration with a Ritual Posture. We chose the Cernunnos Posture, for it’s transformative experience and deep connection to nature. Cece and Lilith wore the helmets, and held the torque and snake, that Cece had fashioned after the Cernunnos artifact. I rattled for the group. Here are their experiences, first from Jan, who put hers into a poem.
A fresh scent of transition, warm and strong,
A cloak of warmth spreading from the sky above,
Roots curling below meeting in my heart
Offering power in my hands passing through,
Surging quietly as a blue prayer.
Wind blowing north to south.
note: the wind blowing north to south was the direction the energy was moving as I sat opposite the kiva entrance; the serpent’s energy in my left hand flowing toward the torque in the right hand, emphasizing the sensuality of the posture.
and a ‘collective’ poem, from the group’s descriptions:
a life force from a darkened cave,
looking out she became the universe;
the rich smell of moss and a dual abstract landscape of snow and valleys.
Eagle flying, strong wing flap, extremely strong life force, black like a crow but HUGE.
Seeing from above to the horizon, then getting lower, seeing the side of a steep wooded
hill, like the Gila Wilderness. Wings strong like the pulse of life but stronger than I’ve
ever felt. Swooping down and landing in a dark cave, looking out to the view that it
just flew over. The main feeling was of an extremely strong pulse of life. More strength than I’ve
ever felt. Very positive!!
Eagle flew into my mind’s eye. Thunderbird…..then doorways opened, pathways………saw sweat lodge……pathways into sweatlodge and Kiva. The ants took m e into their hole, communion with them….they showed me all over their land….a man with a sacred pipe at the very bottom of their lodge, he was smoking it…..he had an erection and we had communion. then another doorway in the sky, flew into the sky where my real (passed) Grandmother and Grandfather Moyer were hanging down grabbing for me, helping me out of the ant hole into their world, they miss me……yet it NOT time for me to be in their world yet…..work to do here still, they will wait.
BACK to earth, back to path going to Chimayo on path and I am lifted up to see Cuyumungue over laid on top of Chimayo, hearing Cuyumungue has same healing energies. Spirits took me over landscapes—other worlds……….saw snake dance, May Pole Dance….lots of landscapes.
GIANT diaphanous white spirits took me home………they told me they did not eat people. They are helpers here. They told me to tell Paul to, “Look for us”…..they like your tallness and are here to help.
Brought me back to earth–became dirt. I was all of dirt. Reborn….this place Cuyamungue…..reborn with a new foundation laid on the old mysteries that are not mysteries anymore. Back up in the air again and the drum called me back.
I was wearing the wooden helmet for the first time, and my hands were empty. Here are my notes from the Cernunnous Posture we did on May Day, 2016:
Quite quickly, the snake (imagined) in my right hand wraps my arm, then penetrates the blackness within the torque that would have been in my left hand. The torque is a dark void of space, immense. I sense a lush, mossy ground around me, and an elk or large hind. A smaller, more graceful deer or elk (a female?) is trying to crawl and paw her way out of a hole in the ground. I feel the scraping of the hooves.
Then I am aware of traveling between two very different places – one blackish, flatter and full of smooth, large river rocks, and opposite this are whitish cliffs. In between these two places moves a swift current. I seem to experience several variations on this theme, then near the end of this swift current is a soaring tree shape. I have a bird’s eye view of magnificent snowy mountains and valleys. I love to fly over all of this.
As it started I heard “I don’t want to die” and watched/was a strong male elk being hunted and killed, run down on a snowy plain by wolves. Lots of vibrant red blood shed. I was wearing the beautiful antler cap that Cecelia made and I felt a great deal of energy flowing into the horns and my head like they were antenna. I felt I needed a tail embedded in the earth to ground the energy. My tail bone became that ground and my root chakra area was filled with sensuous, fertile, energy. Lots of spiraling energy, lots of cycling in, through and out. By then I had no personality, no personal self. I had became a vessel with the energy flowing in and through. It was a very sensuous, physical trance posture. Afterwards I was energized and mildly tingly for quite a while. Lots of energy, spirals and new beginnings.