For one ceremony I did, the task was to sit outside in your medicine wheel at night, under a starry sky, and ask a question facing each direction. To seek final assurance that the answer received was true, the last step was to ask Spirit for a “sign” from nature– as is often the case during ceremony. A suggestion of the kind of sign to look for was a shooting star, but we were encouraged to be open to anything else that might speak to us.
After completing my go around the wheel, I felt confident that I had received the answer I was seeking. It had come to me easily from every direction and I finally settled my mind to be open, looked skyward, and prayed for a sign.
Almost immediately, there was a flash, the dark woods filled with dancing light, and the silence gave way to heavenly peals of laughter! It took me a heartbeat to realize the dazzling cacophony was the coming from two other ceremonialists who, having finished their ceremony, were returning to camp, with a flashlight to guide them, merrily sharing a moment with each other.
Now, generally, when you finish your ceremony while there are others nearby still engaged, one would move through the space quietly, with reverence, holding the space. These two women, good friends of mine, were well versed in this – and were appalled and profusely apologetic when I told them how their momentary lapse in awareness had reverberated through the dark, quiet wood.
But I assured them – it was perfect. It was my sign! Timed as it was, as out of character as it was, that moment of astonishment and awakening – I had no doubt. And it made me laugh. Besides confirming for me that I had found the answer I was looking for, it reminded me of two things – ceremony is not meant to exclude humour and humanity is not excluded from the world of nature!
In fact, I believe that many of our most important signs are brought to us by other human beings and it is important to stay open to the gifts that other people, strangers and familiars alike, bring to us every day.
-written by Kat Inksetter