“…..we are in and are a state of, and a presence of grace.
Grace is the breath of the divine; the spirits; the ancestors present in that breath, that wind, that flapping of wings. It is not a blessing or gift we give another, rather it is a state we invite others into. Grace is the personal relationship between us and the Great One, The Dreamweaver, The Teller of The Story, by whatever name we chose to call that which is more than us.
Everything we do in that state is an outward expression of that state of divine communion. We are that state, that dream, that journey which out of love and surrender, we expand outwards, that others may come and journey in us. This is true ceremony.
The intensity of the intimacy is its power, strength and love. And with such love comes sacrifice and suffering in such profound service; to be the dream and journey of another whatever and however that dream might manifest, such is the gift we receive not give. It is this intimacy of service that gives us life, without this sacramental service for one another, we as the dead……”
Whistling For The Dead
The mystery of the journey of the dead calls the living to walk with them as they journey across the shadowed Land of the Dead. This is a shared journey for both the deceased and the bereaved, both work with the shared emotions of attachment working towards a release in to Life and Ancesterhood. The ancient ritual of Whistling for the Dead was not a summoning of the dead (a taboo in Sagh’ic-Tire Dhream), rather one of a reminding of the gathering of this journey. This was more a calling for Tuiream rather than an expression of Cumha.
Keening – The Song of the Dead
Within Mora-oa-Creon, the Great Song, there are many melodies and rhythms; for birth and death and all the pathways between. Keening or wailing for the dead is an inherent part of the wordless lamentation and releasing of attachments both to the dead and from the dead. Within the traditions rites of the dead is the belief that both the living and the dead take a shared journey across Tìr Na Dìochuimhne, the Land of the Dead for the passing of 13 moons.
During this journey the living and the dead release each other so that each may move on in their appointed journeys.
As a part of this sharing there is a non verbal and public demonstration of the releasing. This is the Keening which follows these three parts: Cumha a lament of the story of the dead more often sung as a story of the one who has died in the knowledge that the dead are singing a similar song about those left behind. Tuiream is mourning for and of the dead as an expression of grief and loss and again in the knowledge that both the dead and the living are singing this song back and forth between them. The keening is the wordless lament; it is a song of sorrow for separation and regret as well as a human expression of loss for both the living and the dead and in the keening the dead wail for their attachments to us.
This hymn of soul pain and expectation is maintained in the presence of the dead until both dead and living in their 13 moon journey reach Talla Tostach na Dìochuimhne – the silent hall of forgetfulness and in that silence of no regret, the dead move to Tìr Na Fi’rinne the Land of Truth; the place of the Ancestral Spirits and the living in that stillness become the descendants of that truth.
Fire Ceremony – 2012
The purpose of the Fire Calling ritual is plain, to re-enact the story when the Lightning Fear Tintreach was called into the darkness of the Ocean and Sky through recitation of lore and statement of intent and the dancing and singing of celebration of Father Fire, the First Ancestor, Aithar-aodh. During the ceremony of gratitude and supplication, offerings to support that purpose are made to Father Fire. These are most often tangible offerings given via the Flames, but individuals also offer prayer or song or other gifts as well. A communal cup is shared first with The Father and then amongst the participants, with the contents sometimes libated as a personal offering or sometimes consumed accompanied by a toast of ale & honey or pledge. This is drawn from the Norse tradition of the sumbel and is an appropriate time for oath taking and thanksgiving, as well as the directing of the blessings received during the rite for magical purpose.
The smoking of a pipe or cigars is used to signify the breath Fire and the smoke of these is blown to each gathered to breathe in the Spirit Breath of Father Fire that dwells within the heart and blood of all the Children of the Forest.
The Fire Calling ceremony is presided over by the Fire Guardians who take oath and branding and have committed themselves to Aithar-aodh and Fear Tintreach (fire & Lightning) and take as their totem Damh the Stag. Their role was calling and tending ceremonial fires, acting as messengers and heralds, and being the intervener between human and Fire.
Opening Ceremony – 2012 – ILG: Lillooet BC
To honor the gathering of the rainbow of the tribes in accordance with Chief Lightfoot’s vision of world harmony, We were invited by Chief Daryl Bob of the St’at’imc Nation to represent the white races and our tradition. We were honoured by the Chiefs to be the first step in the opening ceremony of the indigenous leaders gathering. It is our tradition that Fire, our first ancestor calls us together in a gathering of equals as his children. The representatives of the tradition offered the ceremony of Fire Calling to the community which gathered in Lillooet, as a herald beacon for prayers of peace.