Owaje

A sampling of a book I have underway – The Eagle and the Inchworm: Face-to-Face with Trauma and Shamanic Healing.

IMG_9074The power of a journey circle, where several people who practice shamanism come together to journey as a group, is that the more people who compassionately give of themselves, the more strongly the spirits become engaged. A journey circle is a powerful place to take a request for healing or wisdom.

Once in a while, a group comes together but no one has a healing request. This happened in one of my groups along the way, and when no one else had a request, I piped up and said, “I’ll always take a healing!”

The group members all journeyed for me, and the end result was that no one, in fact, saw any pain or imbalance in me. They saw no need for healing. They saw light, radiance, dancing, gifts, and me being carried in some kind of procession!

For my part, I saw myself being drawn by two sleek horses, one white and one black. They were both powerful and full of beauty, yet they were very slightly out of balance. As I rode with them, they gently shifted this way and that to find the perfect form where they weren’t opposites and they weren’t the same, but they were in perfect harmony with one another. Finally, the black horse stepped aside and was replaced by its offspring, a younger copy of itself. I felt a bit sad for the change, but the balance then became perfect and I saw that sometimes we need to let go of the old in order to make room for a better new.

When I got home that night, I journeyed again, just to learn more of what my evening’s surprise experiences meant. Was it time to let go of all thought of my own healing? Was it time to own my own light more fully? Had the spirits given me the more perfect balance I was looking for in my life?

All I remember from the journey that night was a “song of the horses.” I heard it immediately and clearly, sung over and over and over again to me. I was told to remember the words; they were very important. Fortunately, there were only two words: Hey and Owaje. I thought perhaps Owaje would be the name of the horse spirit pair.

After the journey, I naturally went straight to the computer and looked up Owaje. There was only one meaning. It was the beating of drums in the camp and in the marketplace of a territory in ancient Ethiopia to announce a procession and proclamation from the king. The purpose was to give a new chief supreme authority over the territory or a particular piece of land.

I had been given Owaje! Permission to be my own authority in the territory of my life and to own my own light and strength in the world.

Each of us has this right and this responsibility to care for the precious life we have each and all been given. When we can let go of our ancient fears and anchor ourselves in the land we inhabit now, we can greet each day with curiosity and each moment with openness to whatever it may bring us. Then we can address our shared responsibility to the challenges that are before us all in the world. The spirits beat their drums for us, and when we can hear them, it is a miraculous thing, Owaje!

*photo (c) Art Held