June 23, 2018
Hello All,
What a summer so far!  I just returned from a two week trip (first time I've been gone that long in years!) and it feels like longer.  So much to attend to on my return. As a result I am extending the deadline for making a drum by a few days. I will order supplies on Monday so you can still sign up this weekend if you were on the fence. 
We are having a Fire Ceremony here tomorrow afternoon, Sunday the 24th to honor the Solstice and there is plenty of space.  See below for details.
My journeys took me to New Mexico for a beautiful wedding and then spending time on the land and pueblos of the original people of the land, learning more about their treks from Chaco Canyon to Taos Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo, the sacred temple of Chimayo with its annual pilgrimages seeking healing from the sacred earth there. 
we followed the Rio Grande River up to an amazing overlook and then back down to where we could get in the river. . The mesas go on for miles and miles with their red hills, choya cactus, pinon, desert wildflowers, amazing skies, dry heat that evaporates moisture so quickly. We ended with a trip to La Cienguilla ancient petroglyphs outside Santa Fe where we encountered a rattle snake under a big rock seeking shade and it let us know with its rattle that we were getting to close for both of our comfort. Another beautiful snake slithered by, brown with yellowish stripes down it's sleek body. Knowing the first peoples walked in these very rocks (some dating back as far as 8000 to 2000 BCE, but most dating to the Pueblo Indians between the 13th and 17th centuries) drawing pictures of their lives for us to ponder, evokes such a deep sense of connection and mystery.  If only one had the time to study everything that holds such mystery and reminders of our long history and strength as people.  That they/we continue to survive the never ending assaults from one arrogant group of invaders to the next, be they of the church, the pioneers, the self aggrandizing seekers of fortune, the roots of the original people are in the stone, the earth, the water and the sky beings oversee it all with such grandeur.  The truth is evident in the corn, beans and squash painted around the altar at the Taos Pueblo and the ceremonies still alive today most of which are kept from our view to protect and cherish them. We arrived at Taos Pueblo on a feast day so were in the sacred presence of ceremonial calling from the rooftops. I am not sure if they were calling in the directions or to some other purpose, but it echoed between the rooftops of two clusters of pueblo buildings reached by the ladders to spirit.  There calls into the wind were the sounds of sacred practice of the ages rushing over us and I felt such privilege to be a silent witness, they continue to echo in the caverns of my body. At the Acoma pueblo we were taught that the original people when having to move from one skytop mesa to another after either a lightning strike or an attack by the Spanish (or both), would call to the directions and the direction that answered back the loudest in echoes or resonance would be the direction they would seek; thereby landing them at the site that is the Sky City of Acoma Pueblo today, where people still live. Our guide's grandmother still owns and resides in one of the houses there.  Property is passed to the youngest daughter, or female relative, in this Matrilineal society.  Such strong and beautiful people with faces bronzed by the sun and skin weathered with by the dry heat.  We descended the original stairs (with some renovation of course) through a crevice in the rock face. To imagine that the women carried huge vessels of water on their heads, up these stairs in the rock wall to the Sky City for their people after carrying them for 5-6 miles is unfathomable to me. Their are three cisterns (large dips in the rock surface) atop the mountain that fill when their is rain and are still used today. They were bone dry. Today there is a road so water can be driven up but that is fairly recent as well as some composting toilets.  For the most part they still live in the old ways. My favorite photo is one of a face in the rocks watching us as we made the descent down the mountain back to the visitors center. 
 We saw amazing art, of course, Georgia O'keefe, again and again. Thousands of sculptures. The Contemporary Native American Art Museum was phenomenal, with an exhibition that featured art with an activist message. Strong, beautiful and deeply moving. One very intersting installation with lantern type objects made from salmon skin. The colors, shapes and consistency in the architechture creates an ease for the eye and the nervous system.  So much to behold in such grand scale. The photos do not do it justice. 
From New Mexico I journeyed to Vancouver, BC to visit a friend in critical care in the hospital. Talk about culture shock from the arrid vastness of NM to this huge city with intense lush green, people everywhere, and water surrounding this land of kindness and compassion. The plants bursting out of rich, amazing, dark soil that abounds with flowers, bushes, trees in what was their late Spring.  Such a feast of color for the eyes after the dry arrid mesas.  I enjoyed my walks through communtiy gardens, parks, and by the water at English Bay between long hours by my friend's side in the hospital. The kindness to strangers and the inclusivity of the Canadian people (there anyway) was evident in so many ways.  I wish I could have seen more, perhaps another time. And now home, to the overwhelming amount of catching up and peparing for the work week, home maintenance, etc. So, off I go to tend to the long list....
With deep abiding love, gratitude, and faith in the power of humanity to persist, as our long histories precede and teach us, to thrive and to become better, even under the duress imposed on us from so many fronts....
Peace, Miriam
This Summer we will have a Drummaking Ceremony here at Drumsong. If you have been waiting to make a hoop drum and want to  create one in ceremony come join us on Sunday July 15 from 10-4ish.  DEADLINE TO SIGN UP IS NOW (JUNE 24), SO NO DAWDLING IF INTERESTED, GET OFF THE FENCE..........See below for details.
In January, I started a new Shamanic Teaching Circle largely based on the teachings of my longtime teacher, Cherokee Elder Will Rockingbear, who is now back in the realm of spirit. 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 a space for a new person.  Or, if it feels right, we will grow bigger in the near future.  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 ... 
May there be Peace, Love, Respect, Truth and Wisdom a plenty to guide us through these times....
With heart, 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 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 Drummaking Ceremony: If you missed the last one here is another opportunity.......               
July 15, 2018 from 10am - 5ish
RSVP and Deposit of $70.00 is due by June 24, 2018 to order the supplies for your drum specifications.
Please send checks made out to: Miriam Lieberman  1920 Western Trail   Chapel Hill, NC  27516
10 " Drum  $ 130.00     includes supplies and lunch
12"  Drum  $ 140.00          "              "                 "
14"  Drum  $ 150.00          "              "                 "
Let me know what size drum you would like to make.  I have deer or cow hide and frames in the sizes listed above.
I will provide a light vegetarian and gluten free lunch. It will be available as people find a good time to break during their drum creation period, rather than eating as a group.  If you have food restrictions feel free to bring your own. 
Please Bring:
Heavy duty scissors or shears
Exacto knife or sharp pocket knife
Clothes pins (for holding the hide in place while drying)
Plastic bag to take your drum home in as it may be wet still.
Water Bottle
Low chair or cushion
Patience and open heart
Dress for indoors or outdoors (weather permitting)
Fire Ceremonies 2018
Sunday June  24        Summer Solstice Fire     6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony
Sunday Sept 23         Autumn Equinox Fire     6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony
Friday Nov 2             Day of the Dead Fire      6:00 pm potluck and ceremony
Friday Dec 21           Winter Solstice Fire        6:00 pm  potluck and ceremony  
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.
Spirit has been whispering in my ear for a bit now to start another circle that 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. 
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 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
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