Updated: Jan 19
I've been gifted the opportunity to learn about the Dagara cosmology. My first teacher was from a community of people on the East Coast and that led me to more learning with Malidoma Somé. He brings this Indigenous wisdom from Burkina Faso in West Africa.
It is a spiritual technology. The cosmology wheel consists of 5 elements: water, fire, earth, mineral and nature.
I am born into the Mineral Clan. Mountains are the bones of the Earth. Stones and bones hold the stories of the Earth. We hold this deep knowing in our bones. Mineral people are often teachers and story tellers. I believe I am both in unique ways. My stories are told in movement and metaphor.
I have noticed across time that I seem to be in deep empathy with the Earth. It may even include weather shifts and changes. I once found myself sprawled across my bed as a hurricane blew through, wailing. I felt all that storm carried with it. I have a witness.
For the past 1 - 2 weeks, I've been feeling off. I won't bore you with the details but it impacted my head and my gut. When I heard about the volcano eruption in Iceland that began March 19th, I was drawn to it. I found a time lapse video and then, a live stream. The visuals: day to night, volcano and snow storm, fog rolling through, the design of the hot, glowing lava flow and THE SOUND. It sounds like the ocean, like waves. Volcano is mineral + fire giving it the qualities of water. Whoa.
This volcano eruption was described as beautiful and gentle. I could see that. No humans or towns were in any immediate danger. It seems regulated and not unpredictable.
Here's my movement story that I'm building up to, told in present tense: Tonight, in Authentic Movement practice, during my first movement, the volcano appears in thought and images, almost immediately. It arrives on what feels like energy waves that sway me and want to push me off balance. I hadn't been thinking about it all afternoon.
As the thought and images arrive, I feel a pang of grief in my heart. My right hand moves to hold my heart. The emotion is quick and intense, shifting quickly to an ocean breath-sound and rising rage that moves through my left arm. The sounds, the movement - I've moved grief-rage before.
This is volcano's turn to rage fully with grief right underneath.
I am aware of wild, passionate creation energy wanting more quick and varied release with arms rising up. What comes next can be described as shudders of release that come with allowing past trauma to be felt and finally let go.
To recover, I have a simple human moment of insight as my hands pass by my belly, chest and throat, "Ohhhhhhh, no wonder I have felt constipated, bloated, extra burpy, extra heart burn for the past week." My body seems to have mirrored the lead up to this Earth release.
By the end of my movement, as I begin to slow, I feel the grief rising again. I feel the exhaustion. I cry. And, I know..... the Earth has been working so hard. This healing process, past and present, has been really hard work.
After sharing my experience, I notice that I am so chilled. What a paradox to move with something so incredibly hot and feel this cold. I know that when my nervous system is activated I can sometimes feel chilled to the bone (fight, flight or freeze response). So, while I wasn't frightened or activated, by body is giving me the opportunity to do some sense making, meaning making. This is an intense experience, the Earth has experienced trauma.
My second movement becomes an entire process of recuperation.
How will we support our Earth in recuperation and restoration? How will we support ourselves and our communities in deep healing. Our bodies and the Earth body are deeply interconnected.
Both in need of deep healing.
Thank you volcano. Thank you for the gift of feeling you.
We have much healing work to do.
Watch a video of the Icelandic volcano here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3okcIdkLjk