Spirals of potential
One of the very first ceremonies I held here in South Africa was a private ceremony with Tobacco in a beautiful circle of trees that I call the ‘Sacred Grove’. Tobacco assists in communication with Spirit so I always carry a little rolling tobacco, some papers and a lighter so that I may call in the assistance of the tobacco spirit for my prayers. Once lit I offer my sacred breath to the three worlds, cleanse myself with smoke then let my heart speak.
As always I offered gratitude for the beautiful place I am in and the opportunities gifted to me, and as I sat in silent contemplation I was shown a vision of the land and the space. I was shown the power and the protective space offered by the circle because on this farm there are many: Fire Circles, a circular Gaia Kiva, even the traditional Bush houses – Rondavels – are circular. For the last few years I have held many groups and always applaud the opportunity to sit in circle: where all are equal, all see and can be seen, where there is no hierarchy between us as we create the sacred vessel that holds our transformation as a group. I love sitting in circle!
But this vision went on, and showed me the limitations: by sitting in circle we divide ourselves from others, we are exclusive, we protect what we have at the expense of those who do not. And it’s possible for energy within a circle to go around and around but not go anywhere – it can be an eternal circle with no movement out.
My vision then showed me how spirals retain all the wonderful properties of circles AND have space for movement and flow. In a spiral we may enjoy the process of sitting in circle then take it to another level within a further spiral: spirals add Dimension to our transformation, the possibility of exploring new worlds and possibilities by directing the vibrant energy of the circle into the next dimension. Spirals are even MORE magical than circles! This was a revelation to me: even though I have the Celtic Triple Spiral inked on my body I had never before understood the transformational key they hold.
As soon as I had seen this I knew that spinning circles into spirals was part of my task on this land, so I spent half a day creating a spiral within and around an existing tree circle which has transformed a powerful flow of linear land energy into an open space of possibility rather than just ‘passing through’. I have shared this vision with anyone who will listen and its sharing has opened some extraordinary doorways – truly access points into other dimensions.
On a personal level if this resonates with you I encourage you to do the same: find a way to create a physical spiral and then walk it. Mine is made with odd lengths of wood on the ground because they were there, but I also thought of tracing lines with a cheap biodegradable like flour. On a beach you can trace it with a stick or your toe then place yourself inside, move with the energy of the spiral and let it speak with you. Treat it as you would a labyrinth: pause at the entrance to gather yourself and your intentions, clarify your intention, then step mindfully in. Be aware of what presents itself to you at each turn, notice how your perspective keeps shifting and how that sheds light on your intention. At the centre take time to pause in stillness: how does your intention look from here? How has your perspective shifted? How is it to look from the inside, compared with the outside? Allow yourself to receive, and give gratitude and/or an offering for what you receive. Then retrace your steps to the entrance again with awareness, noticing your process and letting your state embrace your return to the starting point, but with changed understanding. So simple, so powerful.
For those trained in the Inka tradition there is a whole further understanding about the Chunpis (belts) and their relationship with the Elements (Teqse Apus) but that is too technical to go into here. If you come on my next workshop we will explore it in depth, otherwise investigate for yourself and let me know how it changes your understanding and presence. I also saw how Initiation opens the doorway from one circle and propels us into the next spiral of possibility, but that is a further piece of writing. This also relates to movement practice like the Mevlevi whirling, and I invite you to explore those avenues too.
None of this of course decries work in circles: there are times and occasions when we need to feel very securely held, when there is real benefit in holding the edges of our cauldron close in order to bring the pot to the boil and transform its contents into something digestible. But I ask you to consider whether you might have outgrown some of your circles, whether they might have become a comfortable space, not a transformative one? If so, extend your spirals and open to the unknown.
Kaya Elangeni; NW Province; 23rd Feb 2018