Ceremony. . .

Grandfather comes.  The short tailed one.  Devours  the dried berries and salmon I’ve placed on the altar for him with loud, hungry, appreciative grunts.  Drains the glass of honey water in one shameless gulp. Afterwards he settles back onto his haunches, breathing heavily.   Then, like a child he presses his head lovingly against his Mother’s breast and sighs.

We’ve danced together for some time now under the careful tutelage of one whose eyes, silvery white and fierce as arctic snow, see many things.  He teaches me to sing the healing song.  The song without words. The song that comes like Autumn wind, rattling limbs and shaking loose dead leaves.

We prostrate ourselves before the Elder.    In the dim and sultry firelight, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers stand.  In unison they begin to chant.  Moccasined feet press gently against green grass.  The sharp smell of sage smoke accompanies their movement.  Two approach; an ancient man and equally ancient woman.  They smile knowingly as the bearskin drapes across my shoulders.

I rise, embrace the woman and then the man, and the crowd gives way to Brother Wolf who studies me with calm and piercing eyes.  He shuffles away, following the crowd, and I am left alone with the Teacher.

We’re sitting now beside the fire in the circular glade near the door of his lodge.  A presence stirs within my chest.  Manifests in powerful claws and fur like moonlit snow; Spirit Bear, the Bear of the First Creation.

“Your power is increasing,” the Teacher says without any trace of emotion.

I open myself to this ancient power, and sense a familiar pattern.  Grandfather smiles as our spirits touch.  He and all his kind are gathered together in this sacred, singular, white robed space.

And we dance…

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