September 15, 2018
The sweat lodge rebuilding has been rescheduled  for Saturday November 17 (Sun 11/18 is the rain date). We could use a few more people if you are interested. No prior experience is needed, just an interest, an open heart and the ability to move and be outdoors.   We  use the ancient technology as passed down by word of mouth and example by my elders. It is a day of reverent forest play and communion and a lovely way to connect with the land here and the ceremony little from the ground up.  We will gather at 9:30 am until the lodge is completed. If you are only available for part of that time let me know so we can make needed additions/adjustments to the crew. 
Much love and gratitude,
Hello Dear Friends,
A sparkling Fall day streams through the windows as the leaves take their time changing color.  I sit here today with a warm feeling in my heart after a lovely event yesterday to celebrate my son's engagement to his beloved.  What a feeling of deep satisfaction as a parent to know that your child has made it through the obstacles and challenges, found meaningful employment, and is ready to commit his/her/their life in the pursuit of happiness with another. I am so happy for them and for the union of our families in this ceremony next Spring. Deep breath and the warmth of joy.
I am grateful for this brief reprieve and personal high note as elsewhere more upheaval and violence, some attempted, and other tragically completed is tearing at the fabric of our nation and families. I know that there are families across this country and globe being ripped apart by violence, political warfare and fear on so many levels.  I send my deepest and sincere condolences to those hurting right now, feeling lost, despairing and frightened. Some of you have lost your precious children to school violence an you will never see your child make these milestones. Others murdered because of the color of their skin, their religious affiliation, or their sexual or gender status.  These are the toughest times I have experienced personally in my lifetime as a conscious and conscientious adult. Even though I grew up in the South during de-segregation I was not aware enough to feel all that I am feeling now.   I lament the divisions among us while certainly being guilty at times of perpetuating them due to my own fears, biases, ideals and dreams.  Everyday I make an effort to speak to someone that I do not  know, to share a glance with kind eyes, to let down my guard enough to take the chance of making meaningful contact with someone I do not know.  All the while I feel the pressure inside from the explicit and implicit biases that haunt me despite my efforts to eradicate them. This is the stuff being human is made of.  As the synagogue in Pittsburgh was being terrorized I was in a workshop at a Counseling Conference about the impact of "historical trauma" on couples.  How many people who carry trauma from some past horrific event are now being triggered by this and will bury it in their own DNA and family story to pass on to their loved ones.  
I sat frozen during the Supreme Court hearings as this brave woman despite her terror spoke her truth only to be dismissed by millions as a political puppet or worse.  I have sat for my entire career with victims and suvivors of abuse, assault, rape, incest, battering and I, by the nature of my legal and ethical contracts, have kept these stories private. I quietly release them into the fire regularly so as to not keep them in my thought field and yet I know some portion remains.  I know how people suffer, for year, for lifetimes from these kinds of trauma and how their children and grandchildren pay the price on down the line for the lies, coverups, or apologies that came too late to change one's outlook on life, love and family.  I am glad that women and men who have been mistreated, no matter in what environment, are speaking up. I have told my personal stories long ago and put them too in the fire.  I find comfort in the gray ashes left behind, done, gone, released.  If you or someone you love is suffering under the weight of such stories, told or untold, know that help is just a phone call or email away.  No one should be alone with this kind of pain and sorrow.  No one should be silenced in these ways. It is too much to bear and yet each day seems to bring another unimaginable tragedy. 
I continue to hold hope and inspiration by the many who speak up, stand up, shout out, hit the streets, the polls, the papers, the authors, the poets, the dancers, the sculptors, the people who reach out rather than lash out.  We are many.  
We must continue to stand strong together, to keep believing in the greater good, to lean into and on one another, to ask for help and to give it.  I will never give up on humanity. I ask you to stand with me, to stand by someone who is hurting, to ask someone to stand with you.  If you need to be with friendly faces, to be able to be real and true come join us for the Day of the Dead Fire Ceremony on Friday, to honor those on the other side, to recommit to carrying what we may have promised forward of their dreams.  We each have to find our way, for me, ceremony gives me a vessel, a container within which I can both grieve and celebrate the vasitude of life's experience, the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows.  If called to join us you are invited to bring your whole being. We will brath together, laugh together, cry together and honor our loved ones together.
Below you will find information about upcoming offerings:  Women's Rattlemaking Ceremony and Sweat Lodge Retreat, Fire Ceremonies and circles held here.  The Shamanic Teaching Circle is based on the teachings of my longtime teacher, Cherokee Elder Will Rockingbear, who is now back in the realm of spirit; along with other medicine ways learned along my path and energy medicine teachings. This circle meets 2nd and 4th Monday evenings of the month 7-9 pm and is gender inclusive. We have had a lot of interest in this spiritual development circle.  As we settle in, our "just right" size is coming into shape.    If you feel drawn to be a committed member of this circle please give me a call and we can meet to see if it is a good fit, answer your questions, and let you know what the circle is about. We welcome interested sojourners for one visit to see in person how it feels for all.  
May you feel some peace in your day, may you pass it on to another, may your heart be able to give and receive, may your eyes soften their gaze upon a loved one, may a friend find you or a pet grace your lap, may you be loved,.May there be Peace, Love, Respect, Truth and Wisdom a plenty to guide us through these times....
With heart, love and gratitude for all of creation, Miriam /Firebird
PS:  This list is by voluntary sign up.  If you choose to unsubscribe you may do so at the bottom. Thanks for reading this far. You and your friends are free to join this list and come to Drumsong but I request that you NOT POST events and ceremonies to Facebook or other social media.  I prefer to be a local resource here in our area. I appreciate your honoring this request. 
In gratitude, Miriam/Firebird 
Women's Sweat Lodge and Shamanic Rattlemaking Retreat
Saturday December 29 (Lodge)  and overnight with Sunday December 30th (Rattlemaking).  
We will sweat our prayers of release for 2018 and create medicine rattles to assist us in our dreaming in 2019 and beyond.  There will be floorspace in the house for camp pads (first come first served).  Tent camping is welcome as well. After our purification on Saturday we will have a nightime dreaming to call in our guidance and support for the New Year with the gifts and guidance we will need to enter grounded and ready for the New Year. Due to the request that was made for this weekend it is being offered as a women's only space this time. 
The cost for the weekend will be on a sliding scale $175.00 to $150.00, which includes the two days of ceremony, most materials, breakfast and lunch on Sunday.  I will also provide food for Saturday evening  AND the tradition after a lodge is to share food for the feast as part of the ceremony, so your food offerings will be welcome for that feast as well. Let me know your food requirements and I will do my best to meet them.  Please speak with me if monetary gifting is a challenge for you to see what arrangements we an work out to honor both of our needs. 
To secure your place, please send a deposit of $75.00 made out to: Miriam Lieberman  1920 Western Trail   Chapel Hill, NC  27516   
Rattles are used much like drums in shamanic healing. They can be used to scan and detect congested energy or imbalance as well as to dispel it. They are used in celebratory song and dance and to connect us to our inner knowing, our guides, helpers, teachers and protectors.  Your rattle, created of hide, and charged with your own dreamtime energy will carry the energy of all our relations and that which you (and those who "show up") are called to imbue it with. In this ceremonial creation of medicine pieces we will be in a state of gratitude for all life and the gifts of abundance in our lives.  Feel free to call me if you have any questions.  
For Rattlemaking please bring any of these that you have :
Sweet sound makers from nature: small shells, salt crystals, seeds, beads small stones (no larger than corn kernel)
Stick for handle of your rattle (optional)
Heavy duty scissors or shears
Exacto knife or sharp pocket knife
Water Bottle
Low chair or cushion (optional)
Patience and open heart
Dress for indoors and outdoors 
Our Shamanic Circles invite you to join us in our Annual Tradition of Oracle Card readings for the the New Year: Monday December 31st 6-10pm 
 As it is the 5th Monday and NEW YEARS EVE, we will not be holding circle, if you are looking for a Spiritually nourishing way to spend New Year's Eve come join us and the oracle of your choice.  We will begin with some light refreshments potluck style and share some Sparkling Cider.  We use a variety of decks: Animal Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Sacred Pathwway Cards by Jamie Sams, Path of the Red Road Cards by Joseph Rael, Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins and others to map our year in advance, seeking guidance and trail markers to follow. Bring the decks that you have.  We will have fun and ready ourselves for the ride that we will be embarking on in 2019.  Suggested donation is $20.00 to $25.00
Fire Ceremonies 2018
Friday Nov 2             Day of the Dead Fire      6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony     rsvp by 10/30
Friday Dec 21           Winter Solstice Fire        6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony     rsvp by 12/18  
Come bring your inspiration or find some here for yourself.  The fire is where we lay down our fears and excuses and take responsibility for what we are willing and able to do to make this world a better place right now!   Take strength, courage, love, light, growth, resilience, clarity, innocence, playfulness, and joy away with you.  You will have the opportunity to release beliefs, grief, feelings, thoughts, relationships or anything else that is hampering your ability to be fully and completely who you are by offering them to the fire. We will witness each other as we make new agreements with spirit and dream our lives into being. We will feed the holies and ask their assistance in co-creating ourselves, our thoughts and our lives as we wish them to be.  If your health and circumstance permit you to stay for the entire ceremony we appreciate that greatly and it is always ok to take care of yourself and your children so please plan accordingly. This is not about rules or permission, it is about respecting ourselves and others,witnessing and being witnessed in sacred community.  The choice is yours!
Bring a chair, flashlight, drum, rattle, closed water bottle and dress for outdoors (if super cold or heavy rain we'll be indoors by the woodstove). Feel free to bring some healthy food to share if you are so moved. If you are drawn to be here please call or email Miriam at (919) 304-5754 or so I’ll know how many people to expect and give you directions if needed. Come prepared for both indoor and outdoor conditions weather depending.   I invite all women to wear a skirt or sarong over pants to honor our sacred grandmothers and the circle of life.  There is never a fee for ceremony but Gifting is appropriate and appreciated to support the life and work of the elders who dedicate their lives to keeping the old ways available and for wood and supplies needed for ceremony and the upkeep of the land.
The Shamanic Teaching circle meets on a regular basis (bi-weekly) to deepen our relationship with our guides and helpers, to heal ourselves, to dream to the sacred beat of the drum, to share wisdom teachings and step out of the frenetic pace of life, to be authentic clear channels for spirit. I will be sharing teachings from the elders I have had the privilege to sit with, from my fifteen years of annual pilgrimage to vision quest in sacred community (as quester and supporter) and as one whose life purpose it is to serve and feed the people on this path with heart.  I invite you to bring your wisdom teachings, healing gifts and spirit of love. The drums are calling to be played and for their medicine to be shared in the service of humanity.
If you too feel this call, please let me know your intentions, needs, desires and willingness to commit to holding sacred space together. I can be reached at 919 304-5754 or 919 618-4919. 
A suggested donation for the holding of the space and facilitation of the circle: $20.00-25.00.
As always the amount of your gift is between you and spirit as we do not charge for ceremony itself.  
Little Boys and Girls Sweat Lodge
  ( Available by request unless specific dates are listed herein and/or in addtion to dates listed.)
 Workday to rebuild the Lodge Saturday November 17th  (18th rain date)
Sweat Lodge Saturday December 29 (this lodge will be a women's lodge as part of a retreat)
  The lodge is poured by Miriam / Firebird  in the tradition passed down to me by my beloved Elder Sharon Mitchell.  This is a beautiful teaching lodge that has the strength and heat for those with experience and the gentleness and ease for those who will join us for the first time (which is how it came to be known as the Little Boys and Girls Lodge).  It is not a lodge specifically for children as some have asked, but supervised children are welcome to attend ceremonies here unless otherwise specified.  Please notify me if spirit is calling you to join us, so I can let you know how to prepare and know how many people are coming.  Please know that we need at least 8 people to pour a lodge due to all the preparations involved so let us know if you would like to join us in ceremony.  
People always ask me "how long does a sweat lodge take?" My first thought is how much we need these ceremonies to take us back to soul time where it is the experience, the prayers, the being together in community, the work as worship that really matter and not the construct of time that we are forced to run our lives by.  I have learned for myself to not schedule anything else on lodge days as I step outside of "time" to be present to what is, the stones, the fire, the people and their prayers, the feast and then basking in the richness afterwards.  Please take care of yourselves however you need to with "time". You are welcome to join us for the time you can be with us and if you need to leave due to other commitments that is yours to keep track of.  My wish for you is that you can be timeless with us and sink into the ceremony as it unfolds organically.  If for some reason you need to leave during the lodge please be sure to let me and/or the firekeeper know ahead of time so we can assist you.  
We usually light the fire around 9 am and close the ceremony with a feast in the afternoon after cleaning up the ceremonial grounds.  It is tradition to leave a place better than you found it.   Please bring a dish to share for the feast following the lodge.  
Workdays : I'm looking forward to hearing from those of you who want to build this community, be you newcomers, or those who have been here often to share in the love of lodge from beginning to end.   We can always use help with gathering or purchasing, and splitting and moving wood, raking, moving blankets, etc.  We are in need of  stone people if you can bring some stones that have not been in an active creek bed (cantalope size) If you have a truck and/or chain saw and want to help gather some wood between lodges please let me know so we can find times to work together, it is an ongoing need.  The preparations are part of the ceremony and are a labor of love and communion with the land, the tall standing ones, the stone people, mother earth, the water and help deepen one’s experience of the ceremony as we joyfully prepare the grounds together. 
Contact Miriam/Firebird at 919 304-5754 or  if you are called to attend.  Please RSVP  with contact info if you would like to join us.  I will let you know what to bring, how to find us and how to best prepare once I know you are coming.  Feel free to call with any questions as well.    Checking in the day before lodge to verify last minute information or changes due to weather, illness or attendance is strongly encouraged as we have to have a certain number of people to hold this particular ceremony.
Peace be with you, Miriam
Thanks for reading!  Remember who you are, what you came here to do and have fun sharing your gifts with us all ! Shine your light brightly with love and gratitude.
Drumsong Sanctuary for the Soul
Miriam Lieberman
(919) 304-5754 or
1920 Western Trail
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 
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