I have been considering the story of the black sheep of the family as an opening to this mineral year in the Dagara tradition, and also the breaking of patterns that these stories we carry old and new from our ancestors and even further back to the old old ones. Looking deeper into mineral, rocks, bones and stones of the earth, I want to remember that my connection to mineral wether its a boulder, (a grandmother or grandfather) a shell or a small stone, is hundreds and thousands of years old, ancient.
“The ‘Black Sheep’, those who do not adapt, those who scream, rebel, repair, detoxify and create a new and blooming branch… countless unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled dreams, frustrated talents of our ancestors manifest themselves in their rebellion looking to take place .
The family tree, by inertia, will want to continue to maintain the castrating and toxic course of its trunk, which makes its task difficult and conflicting… that no one makes you doubt, take care of your ‘rarity’ as the most precious flower of Your Tree.
You are the dream of all your ancestors”
Or on another note the treasure of who you are, the rarity of the diamond you are, the beautiful worn down polished gem that you are.
It is in the depths of difficult times that hurls us into an abyss of darkness, chaos and self evaluation. We are raw crystal, jagged edges, rough stone, black coal until we have been eroded by rushing waters or, cleansed by earth and cracked open to reveal incredible facets of the alchemical gold we have always had inside. We have though been chipped away at, unmasked, and in that raw state we have forever changed, another part of us has been opened, freed and we feel closer to something real, greater than ourselves, larger than life. After all that if we are still here then we must really want to be here, strong and resilient.
When we come through, everything is still the same but we are different, like a rough stone that has been hurled and thrown and moved thousands of times and ends up a perfectly smooth oval at our feet on a random beach.
I know that a few of my friends ended the nature year sewing seeds for dreams and visions to take root and I am drawn by the vision of a tiny tree growing through a crack in the rock surviving looking for light and life understanding that to be here is big, but not to just survive. In some ways we are being called to re -imagine the lost dreams that our ancestors did not manifest or bring to reality and create a new story from that.
Breaking patterns whilst still honoring those who set them in place is a labour of love indeed but at the end of it all, it appears we are here to re-remember, re imagine, re-vision and re dream. The patterns are collective, individual, personal and global, and we carry a responsibility to ourselves and the greater whole to be bold enough to step into that abyss to retrieve some sense of alignment in all this. But it doesn’t always make sense, does it? Years and years later we think we can kick back put our feet up, until something happens to disrupt or crack open that solidity we thought we had inorder for us to peer into the crack to again find the seed so a tree can eventually grow out of the once armoured secrets, wounds and hurts. Michael Meade calls it the blessing in the wound. But its not only about the usual suspects is it? We like to hold on to those old wounds, for what or who would be without them?
But we are bigger than that, we are diamonds in the rough.
It’s about mineral carrying the deep stories, the deeper stories of the development of earth, deep and dark, recovering a story of the ancient ones, snakes, dragons, re remembering the old ways. So it is time to move beyond, to move back to the old old ones whose names you don’t know, never knew, the myths, legends and the fairy stories, so that we can live into a new story, new questions in order to re imagine our relationship to our world, because the old way isn’t working is it?
That’s the work of these ancient grandmothers and fathers we see around us in the mountains, sacred sites, the boulders, the caves. Go to them, call upon them, sing to them, make offerings to them and lie upon them and be quiet, and listen. Celebrate your aging body and bones by getting better and wiser.
So memory, and expression, wisdom and the old mind, your art, divine, sing, make music, dance your prayers, worship the rhythm of your soul, your unspoken words your images, your stories, honor your mineral cosmology by reaching deep deep into your bones to pull up all of who you have been and are becoming.
“I felt that my blood could only truly flow if it coursed into red, red earth. I was homesick for wildness, & when I found it, I knew how intimately – how resonantly – I belonged there. We are charged with this. All of us. For the human spirit has a primal allegiance to wildness, to really live, to snack the fruit, to suck it, to spill the juice. We may think we are domesticated but we are not. Feral in pheromone & intuition, feral in our sweat & fear, feral in tongue & language.
We are – every one of us – a force of nature though sometimes it is necessary to relearn consciously what we have never forgotten, the truant art, the nomad heart. Choose your instrument asking only: can you play it while walking?”
– Jay Griffiths
And the caves, made by the crumbling of rocks, hollowed by nature – don’t forget the caves, the womb, the darkness, “at the deepest levels of our being we are still archaic and connected to the past” Seneca, writing in the 1st century AD . There is dark earth knowledge, a mystery to be discovered by each who enter and different for each soul who willingly makes the descent into a remoteness where doors and thresheolds open into an inner journey, traveling back in time to visions that do not reveal themselves in the light of day. Come out from the darkness renewed, where your heart is healed and the treasure has been retrieved from the underworld.
DO quests on mountains, sleep in caves, journey with rocks, or simply speak your heart to the ancient grandmothers and grandfathers and ask them to help you tell your earth story.
A ritual should you be inclined aka my dear friend Genvieve Frances ( thank you). Find your old broken pottery, take an axe and break the patterns, the old stories held behind prison walls, the old “stuff” cracking open and re vision, re dream and make a new collage, a new story- adding mirrors or glass and reflective minerals precious stones to remind you of the beauty of life, the mosaic of life and remember “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”: The story of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”
But more than that, go to a precipice on top of a mountain make an offering and get the eagle or owl’s bird’s eye view of what is really there and re imagine your relationship to your world.
May all worlds bless and protect you always. New Year blessings.