~°~ The Spirit of Place ~°~

The morning was crisp and I could feel the winter slipping into my bones. On Saturday, I got up while the stars were still twinkling. All night long I had various dreams about the special gathering I knew I was going to attend that morning. After making breakfast, I poured up the last cup of flavored coffee and headed out the door into the darkness.

The drive to the valley seemed different. The Pojoaque Valley looked peaceful early in the morning and I really couldn’t remember the last time I had that thought. During my descent I wondered what the Gathering for Mother Earth would be like? My cousin Jessica had invited me to the gathering last year, but I never made it. She insisted it was something I would love. I was happy to be on my way down to my home town. At one time, I said this was the place where I grew up, but I actually grew up several years later. I still continue to grow.

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Upon approaching the gathering site there were several invitational signs. The signs carried depictions of the sun and moon. There were also handmade signs which featured the symbolic turtle totem, one of Creator’s creatures who burrows into Mother Earth. The gathering is held not far from my childhood home. I would say maybe five miles away. There was a long, bumpy dirt road leading to the sacred space amongst the moon, trees, and the spirit of place. 
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~° Photograph of the moon in the Pojoaque sky by Felicia Lujan °~

When I got out of the vehicle, the first thing I noticed was a painted sky. The sky was alive with shades of pink, purple and blue and had two beautiful teepees in the distance. People were shuffling and beginning to gather. I was hoping I hadn’t missed the ceremony to usher in the sunrise. My cousin had told me that “the grandmothers would sing the sun up in Tewa.” I made it just in time. The moon was still high west in the Pojoaque sky.

I walked up a small embankment into a large circle of rocks. The grandmothers called to us and invited us into the circle. Within that circle there were two centered small circles of rocks. One of the small circles contained a pile of dirt which was likely symbolic of Mother Earth. The other had a fire burning. There were offerings of wood, corn meal and water near the fire. During the course of the gathering handfuls of these offerings were tossed into the fire in prayer and to ask for blessings.

There were about 40 people gathered into the circle. The ceremony started with the thoughts and prayers of the grandmothers. All of those in attendance were spiritually cleansed with a smudge stick. The smoke smelled like a combination of sage and lavender. One woman went around and ran smoke up and down each person’s body. Some people gave thanks. Some people stayed silent. Some people pushed the smoke into their lungs with their hands. A few different people spoke thereafter. They spoke about respect for Mother Earth and fostering an appreciation of her gifts.

When the rays of the sun started shooting over the mountains to the east we were asked to face that direction. While I waited for the sunrise, my heart heard the most beautiful prayers, songs and instruments. The drum, a rattle and a flute complimented each voice. The song of one particular woman brought tears to my eyes. I was moved and touched in ways which seem indescribable. I experienced overwhelming warmth once the sun was in full view. It seemed as though I was seeing the sun for the very first time. In a way, I was.

When I turned back to face the fire, I looked right past the flames. I was overcome by the enchanting beauty of the Black Mesa. The natural light cast a surreal glow from one end of the mesa to the other. Again it felt like the first time I had seen the mesa that I have seen a million times. It is hard to explain how all of this lifted my heart. I felt connected to the strangers experiencing this beauty with me. Lastly we participated in “a short version” of the cinnamon roll hug and then we were released from the circle with blessings.
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~° Photograph of the sunrise and the spirit of place in the Pojoaque sky by Felicia Lujan °~

This may be one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It made me feel good. It made me feel connected to people and place. It made me feel complete. The experience was nothing like my dreams. It was so much better and more beautiful than the mind of the creative could imagine. When the sun came up, I took a picture. In my photo, unexplainable red markings appeared around the sun. There is also a glowing red orb directly below the sun. I don’t know about you, but I believe I captured the spirit of place that day. I believe. The Gathering for Mother Earth was so amazing.

~° Natural products made by my cousin Jessica °~
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Explore posts in the same categories: Body and Mind, Connection, Culture, Darkness, Digital Photography, Environment, Fire Symbol, Healing, Inspirational, Light, Moon Signs, Natural Healing, New Mexico, Personal Glimpses, Pojoaque, Positive Energies, Reflection, Short Stories, Spiritual, Sun Signs, Symbols and Imagery, Traditions, Water Symbol, Worthy Reads, Writers, Writing

10 Comments on “~°~ The Spirit of Place ~°~”

  1. Mom Says:

    This is beautiful.


  2. Hi Felicia,

    I have never asked any blogger for help on anything, but I was wondering if you could do me a favor that would save some small little lives, and I thought in light of the topic of your post, it would be appropriate for respecting nature. I recently discovered that spiders are being sold online and killed for profit (http://spiderrescuecenter.wordpress.com/ here’s my post on it), and I was wondering if you could help spread the word. Thank you so much.
    ~ Corky (ps – that’s not my real name 🙂 )

  3. rommel Says:

    Very cool event. Everyone must be nice and truly concerned individuals granted they came t that event.
    And that sky! Urgh it’s been a while since I’ve seen pink painted sky.


  4. […] in the gathering was an extremely spiritual and touching experience for me. I wrote about it in The Spirit of Place. In this piece I explained how I felt that day. I was definitely moved in so many ways. It really […]


  5. You descriptor things so beautifully that I felt as if I was standing in the circle with you. Beautiful. Thank you.


  6. Let me redo that:) You described things so beautifully that I felt as if I were standing right next to you. Forgive the first one…Thank you.:)


  7. […] You can also read about the day Jess invited me to The Gathering for Mother Earth in 2013, which was so amazing. Read: **The Spirit of Place. […]


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