Wednesday, May 27, 2009
for Ronda and Dani, mostly ... and anyone else who is curious.
Pythagorean perfections: the east facade of the National Gallery, the cool dome over the center of the National Gallery, and the huge, elongated pyramid of the Washington Monument in the distance.
I was never that interested in American history until I landed in Washington DC. But once I was here, I became fascinated with it. The history of the Civil War is particularly alive in DC, surrounded as the city is by battlefields. If I'd moved to Massachusetts or even Philadelphia, I might have become entranced by the Revolutionary War. Who knows?
As is my habit once I become interested in something, I dove head-first into a study of the war, reading as much as I could and visiting the photo archives at the Library of Congress. Believe me, there are a LOT of books about the American Civil War. And Matthew Brady took a LOT of pictures. Wow. I even read Shelby Footes' three volume history, literally thousands of pages long. If I had to recommend just one great book for those not as inspired to read As Much As Humanly Possible, it would be Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson.
In the meantime I began visiting battlefields and that's where my shamanic work with dead soldiers began in earnest. I'm not the only person who believes that the battlefields are haunted. In fact, it's hard to find anyone, even the most rational person, who will say they aren't. It felt to me like the battles were ongoing in a never-ending loop. I tried so many different tactics to unwind those ghostly battle loops, including interpretive dance, chanting while wearing gigantic raven wings (seriously - I did that on the battlefield at Antietam), blasting music from a handheld boombox, forming shapes with postures and poses, crying like a baby and letting my tears fall on the ground and doing "automatic writing."
Back then, I was interested in finding areas of disturbed energy to work with shamanically. It was not good for me, and had absolutely no impact on the landscapes I visited. Also I was frustrated because most of my shaman pals had no desire to place themselves in the middle of Civil War battlefields. At the time I didn't understand, but now I do, I really do!
Flash forward to the 21st century. These days my shamanica is almost always about finding areas in which I feel a healing or harmonizing energy, then dancing in support of that healing. You see, I have gotten smarter, and more humble, as I've aged. Thank God.
My recent work with the Vietnam Memorial is all about the change in the energy there. I used to avoid that place like the plague, it felt so heavy and wounded. But something has happened and it doesn't feel creepy to me anymore. It feels potent in a healing way, as if the stuck souls are now able to move on, right through the wall to locations of healing and renewal. It feels happy down there these days. Wow.
You can't imagine how wonderful it is to know I had nothing to do with the change. Ahhhh. Free at last from my grandiose delusions. That's why I told those dead soldiers in my dream to get their astral asses down to the memorials, because I finally understand that it's not up to me to be the big healer of the damage of war. That's God's job, or something that can only unwind over time, or who knows? But I CAN dance in solidarity with the healing. I can go down to the Vietnam Memorial and smile in happiness and wonder that something has changed.
I do, and likely always will, have such a soft spot in my heart for those ghosts. I don't regret my follies on the battlefields, I don't regret my earnest desire to be of help. Embarrassing to think of my hubris, but oh well. That was then. It's all over now.
OK this is more than enough on this topic. Onwards & upwards to other subjects tomorrow. Enough is enough. Apologies if this was boring or completely impossible to understand. I'm like that sometimes.