Following a passionate discussion on the wisdom of fire and its significance to humans as a society and spiritually, my path family and I now stood around an open campfire singing, drumming and raising energy towards the open flames. Fire it turns out is a very reflective element, there is no hiding from it and it taught me quite a formidable lesson about myself.
Over the past few days in Elements of Magic, we had we been sculpting a lump of clay into a chalice. This chalice was to be created using all four elements and made with a magical intention. The chalice had been moulded from earth, cured by air and was now ready to be kilned in fire, but not before a little spell work of course.
As we stood in a circle, chanting and dancing in the early afternoon sun sending our energy into the chalices warming in the fire, a friend I’d made at camp, Julie was playing a drum beat that kept us all dancing and the energy rising. We’d reached a peek in our ritual. I was lost to the beat and the energy swirling within me when Julie caught my eye and yelled across the circle, “Come here and drum! Keep it going!” without hesitation, I ran to the drum, excited to throw myself into this new experience. My only drumming experience was one lesson Julie gave me at the start of camp – but that was all I needed. With Julie’s beat still carrying in my mind, I told my hands to start.
“Right, left – right … no, that’s not it, start again.
Right, right-left – right, shit!
Ok…wasn’t it just, like, no, DAMN IT!
You’re taking too long & now everyone’s out of sync. Why did you even attempt this? You can’t drum…you’re shit at music – just get off and give it back to someone who knows what they’re doing.”
Without a further thought, I jumped off, handed it back to Julie and went back to my place in the circle. I looked around, and everyone was still singing and clapping to the beat even though the drum beat had faltered. No one seemed to notice. But I kicked myself for even thinking I could do it in the first place. I stepped up and fell…think before you act Charlie. I tried to forget it, and I put my mind back into the ritual. Luckily I was able to get my headspace back where it needed to be, and I was happy with how the ritual turned out.
Still embarrassed about what happened I unfairly cast blame on Julie. She knew I wasn’t a drummer, why did she even ask!?
CloudCatcher Rule 1 – Think well of each other, the parts we dislike in others are the parts we dislike in ourselves.
Julie apologised for putting me on the spot like that. It wasn’t her fault. Based on one 5-minute lesson Julie thought I could do it, that’s a compliment! I was the issue.
While sitting in Julie’s room later that day I inspected each one of her incredible jewellery pieces she had for sale. Julie is a Druid from the Blue Mountains. She has a beautiful and nurturing, creative soul. I have always admired highly creative people. We spoke further about what happened, and I started to open up. “I don’t know what happened. I was so confident that I could nail it and I just flopped. That’s classic me though. Whenever I’m in that kind of situation, I choke, and then my mind disconnects from my body, which disconnects from my energy flow…then I end up so angry at myself.” Julie put a comforting hand on my shoulder looked at me in the eyes and said, “Stop putting your fire out, let it burn”.
I don’t know what it was about those words specifically that resonated on such a deep level. Seven words that struck the core of what was in my heart – self-doubt is my worst enemy. I had learned this lesson before, in the past once I conquered my self-doubt and believed in my power my life progressed in the most incredible ways. Here was the same lesson – slapping me in the face and wrapped in fire.
Beautiful finishing note
I know we are meant to be writing these blogs in chronological order, but hey, at CloudCatcher we found out that time can be bent.
When Julie put her chalices in the fire, she put in a beautiful red stone, a Carnelian. Carnelian has strong alignments with the fire element. We all speculated what would happen to the stone in the intense heat. After our chalices had been in the kiln all night, we unwrapped them the next day like excited children. The chalices turned from earthy-white to a scorched black colour, and we all stared in wonder. Julie showed us that the Carnelian had lightened in colour slightly and it had cracked, like a beautiful stone mosaic. This firestone had been shaped anew by the element itself and had been adorned with love, community and creation. Julie handed the stone to me “Let your fire burn”.