September 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
Hello Dear Friends,
 
We are here while Hurricane Florence pounds the coast and moves inland. We have been spared the strongest winds and rain that were initially forecast to come straight here.  The winds gusts outside and the rain falls steadily but not in torrents and we have all our precious entitled amenities.  Other parts of North and South Carolina are not so lucky, but it seems the storm did ratchet down a bit once on land.  I find myself feeling much gratitude as I ponder the power of water and wind. Water is life and without it we are all doomed. In preparation we ritualistically washed jugs (I save glass cider jugs) and filled them with our luscious well water, this precious liquid light since we rely on a well for our water, which relies on electricity to pump, which relies on power lines strung across the land, so vulnerable to storms.  I think of the healing power of water but also the power she has to flood, inundate, wash away, and destroy when propelled by the force of nature.  One survivor in New Bern tweeted that her whole downstairs filled with water in a matter of minutes as she climbed to her attic seeking refuge.  We are simply no match for the power of the water when propelled by the combined forces of nature. I wonder how the sea creatures take refuge in the middle of the swirling seas.
 
The weekend before Florence made landfall I was in a workshop with energy healer and "medium" Cyndi Dale which began with us all participating in the beautiful Fire Ceremony as per the vision of "Beautiful Painted Arrow" or Joseph Rael; facilitated by my dear friend RJ Dobs at Watersong Peace Chamber.  There Cyndi shared her energetic impressions  and direct communication with the water spirits during the ceremony being the channel that she is.  We all engaged with them throughout the remainder of the weekend and I can only hope that our prayerful petitions helped to lessen the storm's impact somewhat as Florence changed course just before landfall.
 
And the fierce wind... also such a life giving force when cooling us on a hot day, when spreading seeds and helping plants to be pollinated, when they move the storm offshore or when birds ride the windwaves.  Again, when unleashed by the force of nature to blow apart what we once thought were sturdy structures, to topple might oaks, and cause massive destruction, we are humbled by our smallness, our human frailty in the face of nature's dominance.  I sit here, safe in my home, reflecting on all the ways we harm this planet, the waters of the earth, the soils of many colors, the air we breathe, the animals of all stripes and of course our fellow humans.  Our destruction is a daily drip compared to the way mother nature rises up and shows us who is in control.  I pray for us, all of us, the two leggeds to wake up to the ways we contribute to the changing conditions of the earth balance while we have a breath of a chance left to make a difference for our heirs. I pray for the deep renewal and rejuvenation for the earth, the waters, the air that is needed to bring balance back.  My hopefulness is tempered by the poor track record we have for caring for all that is indigenous, lands, people, traditions...   All the ingenuity of our brightest minds cannot replace all that is being lost.  
 
Last night Jay and I watched a movie, "Woman Walks Ahead" about the last days of Sitting Bull and a White Woman named Catherine (Caroline in some accounts) Weldon who broke with all norms for women in the Victorian era to make a difference to the lives and future survival of the Sioux Nation by travelling alone to meet Sitting Bull, to paint him and to advocate for him and his people. I had never heard that story, like so many other stories about women and people of color, stories buried with the bones of our ancestors and the original people of these lands.  Yes, we can, and should, question the "white savior" motif of the movie and in our activism especially towards our beloved brothers and sisters of many colors. On the other hand,  I admire a person who does something she or he believes in, who pushes through the fear, the stagnation, the hopelessness to take a bold step, to break out of our self imposed cages and take action as did this woman who Sitting Bull named "Woman Walks Ahead" for her bold (even if inappropriate in his culture) stepping out in front of him and for what she believed.  I now want to read the bidography about her and a new one about him.  I awoke wondering what action I could take today?  I picked a place to volunteer. What action can each of us take today?  What gifts or resources do you have to share?  What lies are you no longer willing to repeat?  The world, the very earth we stand on, our institutions, our bodies are all changing, adapting, or dying.  During the workshop we worked with beings in the imaginal realms, the little people and others who need to be remembered to stay with us.  This is true for humans too, we need to be remembered as the movie "Coco" so beautifully illustrates through the Day of the Dead remembrance celebrations. One way to do this is through ceremony. If you feel called to join us here in ceremony we would love to see you, to know you, to help each of us to re-member what and who is precious in our lives.
 
People have been asking about the lodge and when we will hold that sweet purification ceremony here again. I went to the lodge yesterday to check on the area before the strom and found the summer rains have caused the Turtle Lodge to shed her shell, the bones of her back, she is returning to the earth. On the ground inside the lodge was a beautiful box turtle in the northwest looking to the west, wear the water pourer sits.  It is time to rebuild the lodge to be able to honor this earth medicine.  Then we can let the healing waters flow over the stone beings again and sweat our prayers. Let me know if you wish to help in this sacred work of lodge building.  turtle in lodge  Ok, for comic relief you should know that it took me many tries and a long time to achieve this teeny picture with horrible formatting but I promise there is a lttle boxturtle in there.....laughing at myself right now.
                                                                                    
With deep abiding love, gratitude, and faith in the power of humanity to persist. Our long histories teach us to thrive and to become better, even under the duress imposed on us from so many fronts....if we remain teachable.
 
 
Below you will find information about upcoming offerings: Rattlemaking Ceremony, Lodge rebuilding, Frie Cermonies 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. For now, if interested, there is a wait list in the event someone steps away from circle making space for a new person.   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 ... beyond that we welcome interested sojourners for one visit to see in person how it feels for all.  
 
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 
 
 
Shamanic Rattlemaking Ceremony 
Sunday November 10, 2018 from 10am - 3ish   Cost for this offering is $65.00 which includes most supplies and lunch.  RSVP and Deposit of $40.00 is due by Nov 1, 2018 to secure your place.
Please send checks 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.  
 
I will provide a light vegetarian and gluten free lunch. It will be available as people find a good time to break during their rattle creation period.  If you have food restrictions feel free to let me know bring your own. 
 
Please Bring any of these if you have them:
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
Awls
Exacto knife or sharp pocket knife
Towel
Water Bottle
Low chair or cushion (optional)
Patience and open heart
Dress for indoors or outdoors (weather permitting)
 
  
Fire Ceremonies 2018
Sunday Sept 23         Autumn Equinox Fire     6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony     rsvp by 9/20
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 melieber@mebtel.net 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.
 
 
 SHAMANIC TEACHING AND HEALING CIRCLE
 
 
 
CIRCLE MEETS THE 2ND AND 4TH  MONDAYS 7-9 PM,  CALL TO EXPRESS INTEREST AND/OR TO GET MORE INFORMATION.  I WILL NEED TO MEET WITH YOU IN PERSON PRIOR TO COMING FOR A VISIT. 
 
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.)
Proposed Workday to rebuild the Lodge Saturday October 6 
Sweat Lodge Sunday October 7
 
  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 melieber@mebtel.net  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 melieber@mebtel.net
1920 Western Trail
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
www.drumsongsanctuary.com 
 
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