Tasting the Great River of Grief and Praise

 

Much of that anguish is passed down from ancestral injuries and laid on the current generation. Grief work is a safe way to release both grief and rage.

That's a difficult carry.

Do you feel deep sorrow or anger?

WATER ELEMENT

Themes

Grief

Blessings

Reconciliation

Personal Benefits

Clearing improperly accumulated grief redeems the suffering and transforms it into praise.

Improving Skills for Facilitators & Healers

The modern backlog of grief calls leaders to understand how to hear it deeply, then bless and carry it.

Hosting an Event?

Is  it time to call community to speak and weep the too-long hidden grief? I'm here as a facilitator.

Indigenous wisdom says that we are meant  to grieve together, and that grieving properly is a skill of culture. When grief is held back, nothing can be properly praised, and life withers as if in a drought.

 

Programs for the Healing Power of Reconciliation from the Element of Water

Turbulence Whispered by the Morning Dew

Likely, the trouble you are feeling is more than your own fair share in this day and age. A pair of listening ears and some tools for carrying the proper weight and letting go the toxic.

Honeyed Tears and Warning Growls

[Residential Weekend — Friday 19h00 — Sunday 15h00 local time]

A rare opportunity to gather together, guided by the Dagara understandings of grief in a shamanic Grief ritual. We open on the Friday night for orientation, sharing, and building the possibility of truth telling and honesty in expression. The goal is to do the human steps before we call on the assistance of the Water Element for the Saturday night healing ritual. Sunday is a wrapping up and consolidation.

A Language of Movement—Kinetic Connection for Leaders

[Initiation Intensive — Thursday 19h00 — Sunday 15h00 local time]

This work will augment your present practice with discernments not usually discussed or recognized and enable you to clarify the references that your work currently relies upon. Introduction to the physical skill underpinnings of working with experience, perception, and skills of the inner observer, the "ringmaster."

 

Admission by interview and limited to 16.

Living in a time of Grief and Rage

[Non-Residential Saturday 09h30 — 21h30 local time]

  • Grief as an initiatory necessity

  • How the injury travels down through generations

  • Practical and spiritual tools for working with grief

  • The danger of grief killing in spiritual bypassing

  • Speaking, listening to and caring for grief and rage​​

Essential Preparation

Explore Further

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Medicine Without an Expiry Date: Indigenous Remedy for Modern Trouble

Episode 8

Confusion Presses In:

Emotional Work

"I've opened up into areas of myself that I had closed off, and have been able to lift some huge and painful blocks in my life. I have gained new practical tools for expressing and moving through any feeling or reaction in a way that is not only useful, but also fun and enjoyable! The sessions have reminded me of my wild expressive ability, which is core to who I am. That in turn is transforming my relationships, and making more clear my heart's calling for my purpose and work in the world."

Draegon Loretta Laurin

Yoga / Dance Instructor

"My sense is that there is great need today for more personal and interpersonal transmythic avenues for present event perception and communication among ourselves; for increased ways for people to more directly experience themselves and each other across boundaries of age, race, sex, and culture etc."

David MacMurray Smith
Fantastic Space

 
 
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The Intelligence of Grief and Praise — Water Element

Stephen Jenkinson

"“Grief is not a feeling it is a capacity. It is not something that disables you, we are not on the receiving end of grief we are on the practising end of grief.”

Our time is a time of ongoing obliteration against anything wild, and almost every cultural practice that dares to defy the supremacy of this project of repression and domestication. We also carry the toxicity of inherited grief from the injuries and violence of the past. In turn, this toxicity gets acted out again in the current generation.

A world that hungers from the lack of knowledge and understanding about grief will seek to erase anything old—cultures, traditional knowledge, even Eldership itself. In the place of Eldership we are left with simply "olders," unvalued, uninitiated, unfit to lead culture, concentrated on the modern fantasy of the "forever young." It is an understandable damage, because there has been no visible way to deal with the grief of our times. We have lost initiation processes that could make olders into Elders, just as there has been a loss of initiations for young people.

An almost unrelenting grief. And it is dealt with, by and large, through distractions, or by ignoring it, or suppressing it. We don't have the old ritual ways of dealing with it, so it can end up being carried in people's bodies as a toxic monster. Positive thinking and spiritual bypassing are understandable in a place that has lost the traditions of dealing with grief. Yet many old cultures see grief as an essential guide for community. 

Dealing with grief is to both release toxicity and to join with a sense of purpose to reform injustice. There is a toxic part of grief which needs to get out and be expressed. There is another aspect of grief that gets picked up and carried as a wisdom of experience. The real knowledge about how to deal with grief is not to be found in psychology, but rather in the indigenous understanding of the cyclic nature of life and the reciprocity that necessitates that grief and praise are two sides of the same coin. Martín Prechtel's talk on the subject [above on this page] is the best introduction I've found on the topic. I highly recommend it, and in fact, request that you invest the time to listen to it if you are attending one of my events.

"Everybody has to die. I will die, and you will die. The important thing is how to live until you die."

Nawal El Saadawi

Often people wonder if anger is part of a Grief Ritual work. And yes, it must be. The setting of a ritual context is to point the energy of the grief and anger away from people, where it can do damage, and instead let the powerful composting energies of the Elemental Forces take it and transform it. Some people even wonder if they are "too sad" or weeping, or angry to come to a grief ritual. This is the time to let your ancestors carry you in the old way back toward the caring heart of the village. Don't listen to the old hungry ghosts who might be inside saying that protection is found in isolation.

Deep Scholarship

"The Smell of Rain on Dust"​

Martín Prechtel

Written with Martín's unique poetic voice, his musings and instructions on this most keystone need for healing of the modern dystopia.

Buy direct from author:

The grief work always depends upon some creating of the conditions  that allow for the truth to be told. Grief comes in many guises, and many forms. People wonder if personal grief can be shared, if ecological grief, or grief about the state of the world can be shared, if old grief can be shared, if new grief can be shared, if the grief of empathy can be shared and on and on. In the Dagara tribe, once a grief ritual is called, it is understood that all the various kinds of grief are welcome to be expressed, and seen as a blessing for the village. This is the old way of understanding that grief is properly meant to be a navigation guidance system for the human community.

RainONDust.jpg

In the act of proper grieving, both communities and people reconnect more strongly with what is still alive, and know the difference between a thing that should be let go and a thing that should be fought for. Grief is a community situation for that reason. There is a lot of work to be done.