The time period of the 13th Lunar Month Ceremony called the Four Rivers Exercise begins this year on December 2nd and extends into January 3rd. A unique stellar experience where the whole month of December is available this predictatory thirteenth lunar month, a time that is open to us to work closely with our spiritual community (visible and invisible) during this “Crack Between the Worlds” period.
As a review of this long time observed practice by many an Indigenous groups and originally taught to me by Dr. Angeles Arriene, this time of the Crack between the Worlds can offer hints to what the next season of growth or life has to offer. It’s a possible preview our next season/cycle/year of growth, if we can commit to daily review the activities we experience in the four rivers listed below. Cross culturally, all healing begins with our “waters.”
The four rivers of life are:
the river of challenge West authenticity
the river of love South relationships
the river of inspiration North integrity
the river of magic and wonder East right will/right action
One is petitioned to stay in the placement of the witness/observer with a neutral mind and start interpreting their various river’s activity– one’s emotions, one’s health, one’s relations with self and others. Keeping a journal, literally entering the events of our days and nights under the representative river helps keep us honest at the end of the 13th month when we review our lists.
It has been said that since humankind was evicted from the Garden for consuming from the Tree of Knowledge, they were given an assignment to follow, learn, become one with each of the four rivers. Truly learning, mending, enhancing awareness…if a being truly engaged in the “learning of the rivers” in time they will be able to return to the origins of the waters, the Garden, the source.
Once in the center they will stand true, compassionate but detached. In the center one uses their life’s journey through the rivers – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual to serve as a wisdom keeper, a peacemaker, a bridge, one with the Great Spirit…. The center is often referred to as the Spirit column, the great Tree of Life, and oneness with the creator and the mystery.
So, back to the contemplating of this 2017’s, 13th lunar month; from all I have heard and read we have crossed the bridge, climbed the ladder, stepped across the threshold to a new eon. There is a sense of newness as well as ancient knowing now available. This year’s thirteenth lunar month may offer up dreams, relations, creativity like never before. if your chart of activities is out of balance, imbalanced, immediately one contemplates, do I truly want to continue participating in this form of exchange with self, with others, with wealth, with money, with dysfunctions, with confusion, with nagging health issues, with separation, with fear, with anger, with addiction, with communications, with self esteem, with creativity; etc.
This is one’s opportunity to exert free will, to choose that which best aligns with walking your heart path, your sacred contract this physical lifetime.
On the full moon in January, it is the best time to write “windhorses” letters to our ancestors or significant influences who during their lifetime set in motion familial, social, spiritual, emotional patterns that one no longer want to perpetuate.
Since this is the time on the Great Wheel of Life, that our “spiritual community”, ancestor spirits, guardians, angels, star messengers, celestial messengers, are the easiest to access, they want to be helpful, they want us to be in the Garden of love and light so we write to them announcing the desire for help to dismiss/retire/removed those unhealthy, imbalanced, harmful traits, behaviors and wish assistance to step firmly, anchored on our heart path, a path of good relations with all the family of life, light and nature.
Once written, we them perform a Burning Bowl ceremony, right at the full moon time (at the end of the 13th month). As we burn the letters, the smoke rises, lifted upward and will be delivered to those in the invisible. Petitioning for help through the ancient practice, called Windhorses in some cultures, is a time honored, simple but honorable ceremony.
Then one might use the tarot as a tool to petition a “read” for our next season of growth.
With that in hand we can create an altar cloth/collage/creative expression using symbols to represent where we intend to put our time and attention this upcoming season of living.
When one becomes adept with the four rivers, they are becoming skilled at being an Earth steward, Earth physician, a global peacemaker; a true being.
Ah, the true medicine tool of sustainable storytelling is now required. I stand like an ancient tree on the banks of a gentle, murmuring river capable of being carried by the winds of change singing a song of good relations with all the family of light, life and nature