The village gathered to the sound of drumming yesterday in our devonshire village hall. 14 men and women gathered to witness, relate to and release their grief.
Our 16th Grief Composting Circles since 2015 holds a particular sweetness to me as it was dedicated to Sobonfu Some one of my teacher and the inspiration for these regular rituals. Her legacy is now held by many of us who answered the call to learn from this woman whose name mean Keeper of the Rituals. I wonder ow long it takes to cross from being dead to becoming an ancestor for her people the Dagara.
We were full again in the beautiful black yurt which was blessed by beauty and meaning touching each of our soul in a way that activates our deep time memory of how we have always done this...the rituals...the marking of crossing gateways between states, stages and edges . 14 of us closely sat around a living altar where Fire, Water, Plants, Air, Animals and Humans, alive and dead, were part of the creation of a strong and soul-full container. A sacred space to hold and then release our grief. Loss of someone so deeply loved, the feelings of failure, forgiveness of the unforgivable, elder orphan, fears and gagging, confusion and hopelessness and many other offerings were fed to our ancestors as apledge to come back to life and to love.
There was words of the union between gratitude and grief, how they dance with one an other sometimes hard to pull them apart and why would we want to?
Men showed up, 4 of them sat in the four directions. We never had that many in our small circles. They were honoured, witnessed and appreciated by the women for doing their work, for creating a safer world as they also remember a way of ritual of unclogging their heavy and dishonored hearts.
In the circle the lands and waters of England, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain, France, Lebanon and other unknown were all represented in our new Earth villages. We are birthing ourselves as the elders we miss and grieved so deeply. We are birthing what we are longing for, one at the time.
Our next Grief Composting Circles is on the 12th March and it is already full. There might be space for 2 a month soon if the village as it remembers its belonging to the sacredness of sharing, releasing and composting our sorrow and fear, confusion and anger.
A new training to become a Grief Composter will start in Devon, England this April as part of SOULand Programme; to Make the World of our Longing on Maturing Soul at a Time.
Our hearts have cracked open becoming a little deeper and wider, for our selves, for one an other and for our communities of all sentient beings
And this morning I received a beautiful message form a dear sister: my experience yesterday at your Grief Composting Circle was.....one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I felt like I was coming home. I felt like I was returning to my inner world, coming to a place which understands, values my inner world, my inner world which spoke urgent things to me when I was a very little girl, which sent me into a deep depression when I lost touch of it during my heartbroken teenage years, my inner world which wants and needs me to be guided by it now...
With a blessed heart for Grief and Soul to trust me...
Thank you to Emilio for the photos xx
River of Words and Images by Azul Thomé: