fire pit burned brightly as Abaka entered the
sacred circle and greeted us. Her physical strength
showed as she held the djembe drum in front of
her, rather than standing it upon the ground,
and began a slow rhythm for the gathering of souls.
Drums answered from the forest as women walked
in single file down the paths that led from the
surrounding woods to the community fire. Most
of the women were skyclad or in robes draped freely
about their shoulders; each carried her medicine
tools and filed in silently, encircling the fire.
slowed the beat of her call to a whispered thump
of a heartbeat as somewhere deep in the darkness
a low tone split the air and each womon raised
her eyes to the sky and lifted her voice to join
the harmonious tremor that sheltered them in chant.
the firelight stepped seven veiled women, each
limber dancer glistening in her glorious skyclad
beauty. Veils lifted to enchant the drummers who
now filed in to stand behind the novices and elders.
A steady heartbeat thickened by the numbers surrounding
the fire and the vespers began, the low moans
raised to the challenge of the drums and the dancers
spinning to the energies of the rhythms. The swaying
of the women about the circle became an undulating
mass of flesh and frenzied energy.
the sound of a shell horn pierced the darkness
and all fell silent. It was as if the veins of
the Mother had been severed, the woods stood quiet,
eerie in the silence as White Shadow Womon made
her way to the fire.
she said, as she extended her wrists in blessing,
"welcome and blessings upon you for the joining
of your spirit to the web this moon. Many among
you have found new sight and new sources. It is
good that you follow your heartstrands to the
fields and bless the land and ask mother to source
us into tomorrow. Blessed be sisters! In the sacred
joining find your way home to the mother, and
look not beyond the flame, it too stirs as the
illusion of the heart's desire and will fade as
all does, back to the mother. Care well for your
people, your path and your journey ...you are
unison the gathered women answered, "Ho!"
Shadow Womon took up the smudge pot and
began the opening of the circle to call
forth the spirit totems that would cast
forth the webstrands to each warrioress
and vessel womon.
began to dismount their drums as Abaka gave
them the signal that she would carry the
heartbeat alone, and did so. Each touch
of her fingers to the skins was a caress
inviting those in the firelight to find
source in each other ...and they did. Each
warrioress took the hand of another womon,
a vessel, and made their way into the fields
to lie in one anther's abandoned self, seeking
to source and heal and lay aside wounds
from the lifestrands they walked. They sought
to be nurtured in Goddess love, each needing
to be sourced by the one that led her to
lie skyclad beneath the stars and a full
womon's camp sang with the pleasures of the Amazons,
and as she laid hand to her drum Abaka's spirit
soared toward the circle of complete contentment.
Her webstrands vibrated with each stroke taken
by warrioress upon vessel. She claimed her own
euphoria, and moaned her acquiesce to the Goddess.
"Yes, mother, we hear you! Under our feet
...mother we hear your heart beat ...mother we
know ...we as sisters and elders do not walk alone.
We come to cast circle and ask that you share
your healing wisdom and ways.... ho!"
back her head, Abaka let forth the banshee scream
that greeted the dawn, and set down her djembe.
She stepped silently across the now dead embers
and walked to her place in the woods. She knew
she would again return in mid of night to this,
the community fire, and next time she would lead
a sourcing vessel womon to the fields. For now,
she would rest, and bask in the residue of the
lingering scent of the fire behind her.
Melody Adams ~Splitfeathers