the Beauty of Rituals

their functions too

Here my 3rd post about the things I’ve learned at Spirit Horse, and this year we stayed for the closing ritual of the festival “Caldron for All”. as Shivam explained, Spirit Horse feeds on rituals.

so, let me tell you.

men and women were separated (*). All the women had arrange their hair and decorated themselves with leaves, flowers, magnificent colors and embroideries. each group had to learn the same song, some parts to be sung together and others separately while responding to each other.

It was a bit difficult to stay focused because we could hear the men, in their own lodge, repeating with their drums. we laughed and felt feverish. Alex arrived with some large dried leaves which looked like long wings. she, and a young girl just behind her, wore a pair along their arms.

Then, the men came out of their lodge, they were singing high and loudly, accompanied by some incredible percussions. Men were all wearing make-up, adorned with feathers, scarves and beautiful clothes. Men crossed the central path of the village, then the river. while they’re singing. Men were sublime.

then, Fiona said: « Have them wait!” this made us laugh.

So, at some point, Alex and her wings left, followed by Aïana. I thought we were supposed to join directly the men, but of course it didn’t happen this way. from meander to convolution, the women traversed ALL the village. crossing every bridge, tipi, little mound of the meadow, even our starting point, women’s lodge; until we reached the river, in front of a magnificent ephemeral mandala made of flowers and fruits.

then we formed a long line along the river. just in front of the men.

the men were looking at us, while still singing. while we were still silent. but feverish. then Erika moved a step forward, turned and looked at us, and said: “you know the song, you must now believe we are one same body. we are one same body. one same breath.”

and we add our voices to theirs and we sing together.

so this river united us as well as it separated us. men and women. singing the same song. pffff.

and to face each other, eye-to-eye, one’s more handsome than the next. all singing, it was just crazily beautiful.

After that we had some tremendously emotional times such as an incredible Shivam’s speech, with his fabulous ancestral eloquence, we invited the children to put little boats on the river, asked grandmothers to keep us in their thoughts, we blessed two young people who wished to fall in love during this year .. etc., etc.

Then I was remind of my friend Mathilde’s wedding this summer, her speech for her husband, Thomas, in front of all the assembly, I was remind of a reading about the power of ritualization in families. their poetics, madness, gratuitousness, intensity, I understood the power of the ritual: to get in tunes, to unite in a symbolic way, codified, but real and hyper-powerful, a scattered assembly. to tell, say each other, to recognize, to recognize each other, to play, to play up in a long symphonic and colorful procession, what could be said in 2 only words:

“we belong”.

and it may take as much to show how much we care, how much this is sacred and  this will feed me now and for ever.

(*): I mention that because there’s always a lot of questions about it when they’re homosexuals or transgender people in the 2 groups. and a man, a woman is not determined by his, her sexual orientation but by who he, she believes he, she belongs too. that is as simple as that.

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