The world journey of a Sacred Pipe || World Journey of the Four Directions Unity Bundle || Turtle Heart, teacher, ceremonial student and artist, educated by elders of many tribes; this is the lifelong work of a keeper of a Sacred Tribal Bundle. The Home of this Sacred Pipe is on Pantelleria, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. The work is done through invitations from communities around the world. A ceremony for the ancient future.
To the old American Indians, an equinox or solstice is considered a gateway, an opening. Alignment to nature, to its forces and quantum's, was a high art of conscious awareness. Being aware of the precise nature of the cycles of creation allowed many of them to attain an elevated consciousness which they expressed as productive, interesting and prosperous life styles. They were saying that one consequence of conscious awareness of nature is a better life.
For decades now, I have created and or participated in focused ceremonies with drums, sacred pipes, eagle feathers, ceremonial fires, and other spiritual instruments of my Ojibwe culture at these moments. After so many of them, it seems as if they have become the stepping stones that line the path of my life. I can measure my adventures, milestones, sorrows and victories by these quarterly spiritual pauses, where I seek alignment to the most fundamental shifts in the cycles of nature. It is a good thing.
I take these ceremonial moments in real time. I do not do them the day before, or the weekend after them. If I am working, I take time off from my work. If a boss was against it, I quit the boss.
I do these ceremonies at the precise moments. These precise moments are easy, in modern times, to calculate. There are many newspapers, almanacs, science, and other sources that will tell you in advance the precise moments of a solstice or equinox.
The spring equinox in twenty thirteen, on Pantelleria Island is pretty much at high noon. There we gather around a small fire, called a morning tobacco fire, and do the simple and ancient ceremony of placing tobacco into the fire. Tobacco was first used by North America Indians as an offering to the sacred forces of nature, in this way. It is a simple and powerful ceremony, the cornerstone of my yearly travel through this life.
I always write a poem just before each solstice or equinox ceremony. This has become my personal tradition.
As a gateway moment, there are no shortcuts. The precise moment of the equinox or solstice is an actual event, measurable and quantifiable. Doing the ceremony at any other moment is a waste of time, a pointless exercise. Yet most of the people in the world, if they honor these moments in any form at all, they do not use the precise moment. They use the paymaster clock on the wall. They do it before or after work.
As an entirely free moment provided by the creation’s natural cycles, it is interesting to me how many millions of people get it wrong and fail to pay attention at all to the point of the exercise.
Alignment is not abstract. It is a physical act, (art) in real time, on the real earth. We are spiritual beings who live in physical forms on the material earth.
The little tobacco fire at the solstice and equinox is open to every person, of every religion, lifestyle, political party, race, or social standing. To the Ojibwe, it was called “the first ceremony”. It is a moment of absolute equality that is not in conflict with any government, religion, state or office. It is compatible with all beliefs. This precious opportunity of purity and reason, this sacred idea, is the product of ancient American Indian culture. It is a very good thing. It is one of the few spiritual ceremonies in the world that is traditionally open to every person.
So, tonight (19 March), we go into the Sweat Lodge, Ohnijewin, and say goodbye to the long winter, goodbye to what might have been or could have been or should have been. We will take responsibility for our lives, for both our right and our obligation to move forward in balance. Tomorrow at the high noon and in a visible manner, we will be ready when the gateway opens and pass from here to there.
Spring Equinox Twenty Thirteen
20 March: 12:01 PM, CET, Pantelleria Island, Italy