One of the author’s practices states: “Know that you are constantly being co-created by a number of forces, seen and unseen. You are in an eternal dance with not only who you were and who you will become, but with everything around you; the environment; our culture; and all that was, is, and will be.”
One of the basic tenants of Native First Peoples belief, and one of its most beautiful, is that everything in life has a spirit and is Wakan, or sacred. We often forget to honor (or even recognize) the primal fore of life, the stream of existence in which we all swim. We move along this stream largely unaware of the larger cosmos in which we are involved and the miracles it bring us without our asking, and largely without our thanks.
Whether or not we are conscious of it, each of us is holding important space in the great shape of things. By attuning ourselves to the rhythm of the natural world, we share its consciousness. We become one with the forest, the rain, the blade of grass, the raven, and the earth. We recognize that all things are inspirited. Wakan.
The ancient Celts had a word for this concept, tuirigin (TOOR’ghin), a very precise word for which there is no English equivalent. The nearest we can get to a translation is, “a circuit of births,” according to Caitlin Matthews, a Celtic historian. She says it’s, “not quite the same as reincarnation. In tuirigin, the soul or spirit moves between the otherworld and this world in a series of journeys.”
The Gaelic word for God is Cruithear, which means ‘creator’ or ‘shaper,’ and the ancient people in Scotland, the Picts, were referred to as the Cruithne, “people of the shapes.” Roman accounts, as well as Scottish oral tradition, tell us that the bodies of these ancient ones were covered in elaborate blue tattoos of various animals and other shapes. According to Matthews, it was their way of honoring the sacred world that had shaped them.
How many of us live our lives as ambassadors of the Wakan in all things be it human, plant or animal? When we forget our own sacred standing, we are more likely to behave in ways that are not in line with ambassadorship. Rather than fostering harmony and living an inspirited, co-created life, we may instead create or tolerate discord and destruction.
Look at all the different people and whisper or think to yourself: “Every man, my brother. Every woman, my sister. Every crying child, my child. Every old person, my grandmother or grandfather. Every wounded soul, my soul.”
The witch’s path, the shaman’s path, the tribal path, the ancestral path. Your path. All are rooted in allowing our spirit to be shaped by the larger universe. Today, be infused with the eternal dance of Wakan.