Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Solstice 00:03 22 December 2014 : Ceremony Zero

Morning Fire ©2014 Turtle Heart





A ceremony we called Zero.

Up in the little Alps, in the Piemonte Region, a group of us, we people of Italy, started a 3 days ceremonial cycle with the little Morning Tobacco Fire. This simple ceremony is very ancient. It was almost certainly among the very first ways in which human beings used tobacco. Long before it was smoked, , tobacco was offered to the smoke of small fires, made in ceremony, and the mysts of the lakes and rivers when trying to find home. Tobacco started its life as food for god. Something of a mirror image to a ceremony like “communion”.

The old Indians believe each one of these  little fires has the same status as a temple in Japan, a Church in Texas, or a Pope in Rome. They are legally defined, protected, accepted and long established as one step in the order and method of tribal ceremony in North America. We start our ceremonies with this morning tobacco fire: we end the ceremony when the last person puts tobacco in that fire before going home, and the ceremony is finished. First and Last. A measure of the start, a mark of the finish.In this matter, the “we” I refer to is a reference to my own person and those teachers who have guided me to this point. We have all experienced, constructed, and studied the mystery life through these fires.

In my own thinking, I visualize a solstice as a specific moment in time, a quantifiable moment. A door that opens and can be passed through…so I have always worked as best I can to brin these ceremonies at the real time moment of a solstice or equinox. This year the winter  solstice as just after midnight. Some minutes before that we were as a group inside one sweat lodge, (25 people, more or less with several outside). We rode that sweat lodge right on through the solstice and came out the other side.

I brought forward my arguments for the value of these ceremonies; I call them as a matter of formality “correction ceremonies”. To a rather formidable wall of Intellectual Milanese, with, thank you so much, a few old friends buffered around this circle of masters of the wind. 

Dear Masters of the wind that brought you
Songs made with smoke may have carried you home
Standing Still, you are carried by a Great Wind ………lifted forward perhaps
… never motionless

questions were answered with smoke
a little talking fire offered
an opportunity with the silent mystery of 
receiving Medicine straight up from the earth
right in front of you
and all your relations
right where you were standing

a chance to step up in a visible manner
a single heartbeat of clarity
so maybe you passed on through
or maybe you missed it
you were, they would say, one of those 
who was right there
at that time
if that was really you…

The goal of the ceremony, in any event, was not to present an argument to convince anyone of anything. In the eyes of the old Indians it was behavior, not ideas, that was up for consideration.

We had good food from a fine kitchen, great beds, the great forest and mountains of that region and all the exceptional ambient of this region of Italy. It is easy to see and feel why so many fine wines come from this great ecological system. Our host, Adolfo, has established a very fine infrastructure and ambient of beauty for working in groups. Being close to a population center like Milan, with so many well-made facilities, it was really a perfect place to make this group ceremony. The land we used has been in the family of our host for 900 years. Like the old Indians, his land has deep and solid roots in his heart. 


If you want to see more about this year’s Winter Solstice, please reference this link.

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