May 12, 2017
Dear Friends,
What a cool rainy May evening, just before sunset. The drizzle is gently watering all the Spring plantings in the garden. My beloved peonies are on their last blooms. Daisies delight with their cheery countenances, Columbine, Roses, Sweet Williams, Lilies and Foxglove light up the beds with pinks, whites, golds, reds.  The Lavender spears are gearing up to bring their fabulous aroma to the front beds.  How I love this season.  We are still harvesting our lettuces, radicchio, escarole, mesclun mix, kale and chard while the summer vegies gather steam.  Four perfect purple kolhrabi's are plumping up.  While the garden is the joy of our life here, the kitties Jay and I are still creating our home with deck repair, yard maintenace and dreams of an addition (room, not person).  
This month brought the waters out of the banks of the mighty Haw, always a sight to behold when the woods transform to a swamp overnight.  The water line was 11-14 feet up in the trees along the creek bed. I am so grateful for the sweetness of our life here at Drumsong as juxtaposed to the intensity of the political sphere locally, nationally and globally.  I revel in the good news of friends getting married, having babies and healing while simultaneously grieving the recent losses of a dear elder friend, and others in our community this week.  Life is a mixed bag for sure and I remained awed by the flurry of feelings that being a two legged engenders.  With the bleak, stark contrast of the inner life and the world of the news I can only return to the heart of kindness as a practice while I stare down the part of me that wants to hate the amount of hate happening around us. While that is hard to admit, it is true, maintaining a steady loving presence in the face of such devastation is the challenge I/We face.  I am doing my best, as I am sure you all are, to maintain equilibrium and to grow peace wherever I/we can. 
We had to cancel the Drummaking Ceremony again as we did not have enough people, but hope to offer it again in the Fall. Stay tuned for dates later.  I have invited my dear friend Lea Clayton to take us on a medicinal plant journey and she is coming at the end of this month. Please read the details below and join us if you can. 
Shalom, Peace, Love, Respect, Truth and Wisdom for these times be with us,
Miriam /Firebird
Spring Herb Ramble and Plant Meditation at Drumsong Sanctuary
           Sunday May 28  from 10-12:30 (arrive by 9:45 to start promptly at 10)               
Rain or Shine! ..... so dress accordingly or bring change of clothes.
Vegetarian GF Lunch is being provided by Miriam 
Minimum class size of 4 and maximum of 12 people.
Cost $20 for class and $5 for lunch  (rsvp by Wednesday may 24 please!)
 RSVP: to Miriam Lieberman  919 618-4919 or to Lea Clayton 919 923-3991.
Come for a delightful herbal ramble round the culitvated and wild areas of Drumsong Sanctuary! Join community herbalist Lea Clayton for a fun, informative and experiential exploration of some medicinal herbal allies that can be found in the garden, fields and forests here in the NC Piedmont. We will cover plant identification, edible and medicinal uses and energetics of a few of our most beloved herbal allies. Then we will head inside for an experiential plant meditation with one of the plants that we find. 
A word from Lea about how she approaches herbal learning and healing:
"The plants themeselves are our elders and teachers in their own right. They speak to us in their own unique language that we are born knowing how to understand. If we have forgotten, then it is possible to regain that ability.  It is wonderful to spend time with a plant in this way: to savor its taste and feel its action in the body to know how it is working; to let a plant touch our heart; and to let it show us how to heal."
Lea Clayton is a Community Herbalist and a NC Licensed Bodywork and Massage therapist in private practice in Saxapahaw, NC since 2004.  As a Community Herbalist she both consults individually with folks and offers group classes in botanical medicine. She grows and wildcrafts herbs, makes medicine and maintains a small (but awesome!) apothecary at RiverSong Farm, her home in Saxapahaw.  
She also owns and operates GreenHeart Community Supported Apothecary (CSA) for Children and Families. GreenHeart herbal remedies are on sale now at the Saxapahaw General Store.  Find GreenHeart Healing Arts on Facebook and Instagram. It is her joy and honor to connect others with the healing plants, our green allies.  To schedule an herbal clinical consultation or a massage/bodywork session, or for a schedule of herb classes, call Lea at 919 923-3991 or email her at   
Lea's Education:
Graduate of Tree of Life Center's Polarity Therapy Practitioner training program-800+ hours 2004 - ongoing Efland , NC.
Graduate of the Yoga Teacher Training Program with Lisa Clark and David Beadle, 2006. 250 hours. Chapel Hill, NC
Graduate of  Body Therapy Institute, Massage Therapy degree 2004. 500 hours. Siler City, NC
Apprentice to Herbalist Suki Roth, 2002-2010. Saxapahaw, NC.
Fire Ceremonies 2016
Sunday June 25, 2017                  5:30 pm   Light Potluck refreshments shared before the fire.
Sunday September 24, 2017        4:30 pm    Light Potluck refreshments shared before the fire.
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 or 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 always 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.
This circle is currently full but there is a wait list for anyone interested should shifting occur.
Do let me know of your interest. If enough people are interested perhaps a second group could form.
Spirit has been whispering in my ear for a bit now to start another circle that meets on a regular basis (bi-weekly for starters) 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 am proposing some dates (alternate Monday evenings beginning on All Souls Day). Once a group is formed we can decide together if these dates and times will work or need to be changed. 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. 
Little Boys and Girls Sweat Lodge
  ( Available by request unless specific dates are listed herein and/or in addtion to dates listed.)
  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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