Sunday, August 19, 2007

The circle of Bears

Thursday august 16,2007 ((Broadoak,Dorset)

It had stopped raining but the mud-matted grass was waterlogged. I stood in the middle of the circle, the bear mask upon my face, feet hip width apart, hands held by navel, head thrown slightly up and back.

The rattles rasped their insistent beat, their voices loud and strong, urging me to dance, to dance and never to stop.

The fire licked my paws as I stumped around it, at first clumsily, for I was trying to catch the rhythm and the mood of the dancers, and then, with more confidence as I began to bounce. Oh but it was so hot!

Round and round we dance, the other bears and I. Courteously nodding as we passed, we brushed fur on fur as we wove between each other. And as I moved, I knew that she, the great mother bear was watching.

She watched to see we were safe. She watched to see we did it right. She watched to receive our homage to her, our acknowledgement of her sovereignty and her primal power.

A fierce mother, she protects her young, as the fierce bears in the forests defended the trees from those who would lay waist to the lungs of the earth.

I danced to honour and preserve the fruits of the forests, to honour the trees themselves and all the other creatures who lived there. I danced to honour the land and those who dedicated their lives to its protection. I danced for myself, that I may continue to do this work for the greater good of our community and I danced for the love of life which I had thought I had lost but had discovered was still with me.

And the rattles stopped and we came into stillness. The others gathered close to me and heavy paws rested on my shoulders as we connected in a close circle, growling our appreciation of each other, of ourselves and of the great mother.

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