Initiation. Yes, By Fire. Episode I

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I have been meaning to write this post for ever, but now I understand why it wasn’t forthcoming. They say some significant things happen in threes, and I’ve just had my third this Saturday, at an ancestral healing workshop led by my gifted psychic healer friend, Claire.

Almost a month ago I had decided to put myself through a Women are Medicine retreat, against all instincts. Stuff like that just isn’t my thing, and the people who’d organised it, and had invited me to participate, couldn’t provide a clear enough description of what exactly this thing was. But events prior to the retreat  had been crazy enough to persuade me to agree to attend.

My attendance though was threatened by my dire financial situation. I just couldn’t financially justify leaving my (read bank’s) comfortable home to spend money on an event which had been publicised with such sketchy detail.

But still, I felt compelled to attend, and saw that the cheapest option would be for me to camp on site, and save money on expensive farmhouse accommodation. I love camping after all, and thought my tent would offer me that wrap around comfort I might need at a shared space of the retreat.

As it turned out, one of the women attendees, or callers, I don’t know really, offered to sponsor my entire retreat attendance, which included the farm house accommodation, for which, given the super cold weather at the time, I was most grateful. In fact when one of the callers took me to my room inside the farm house shared by 5 of us, I cried at its comfort and spaciousness, and at the generosity of a stranger who had made it possible for me to enjoy this. I felt like a gentle, warm hand was going to hold mine throughout this unknown retreat experience.

Suffice it to say, every single moment of the retreat was profound for me. I willingly let go and invited myself to embrace everything, and I’m glad that my wise self had pushed me to it

Interestingly enough, my check-in at the start of the retreat was “I’m here to forgive that which I do not understand”. I needed to. My life had been one big mess all along, with significant opportunities for good health, work and prosperity ducking and diving out of grasp. I was actually quite pissed off at life, but was ready to forgive it all, so I could live.

Later in the day, or perhaps it was the following afternoon of the retreat, we were given some alone time, out in nature. The point of the activity was to open up, and allow nature to reveal its truth to one.

It was lovely and sunny out, so I took a cushion to sit on, and found a flat rock for my bottom, under a tree. I willed myself to be open, and asked Mother Nature to “please tell me”.

The sun was so warm and comforting, my rock just right under my bottom, and lunch lazily lounging in my stomach, all creating the perfect inner environment for a deep sleep, that I surrendered to it completely.

I woke up with a start, looking around me to judge how long I could have been asleep for, but some other participant nearby was quietly resting in her place, so I was fine. As I looked around, something shone in my eye. I looked down to find a beautiful crystal right there on the ground. I picked it up to study it, and as I did, another revealed itself. I laughed out loud with joy! As I did, another one revealed itself, then another and another. Soon I had two handfuls of beautiful crystals. I’d perched myself on a gem mine! This was Her revelation- Her beauty and bounty, right under my ass!

Another meaningful event I wanted to share emerged closer to end of the  retreat- a session dedicated to womb healing, facilitated by a womb priestess. I know. I’m simply not one of those women who attends such sessions. They hold zero appeal for me. Fortunately though, when the facilitator introduced the session, she gave us the option to do whatever one’s body needed. I was exhausted from having danced my check-in just before this session, and wanted to get warm, lie down and perhaps even take a nap through the whole thing.

I had made myself comfortable on a few cushions, covered my body with a thick blanket I had brought, and closed my eyes. The facilitator/ priestess started beating her shaman drum. A simple one beat rhythm that was totally insignificant. I thought good, this will certainly help put me to a really deep sleep. I put my hands on my belly to show others that I was still in the room (I’m a team player like that), even if it’s in a sleeping state.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a sound come from someone across the room. My brow furrowed into a deep questioning frown. Another perplexing sound! By the third, I realised that the last two had come out of me. My entire being had travelled to the core of ancient Mother Earth, and was wailing this eerie mournful sound through my wide-open mouth. This was very unsettling.

I listened as the sounds continued, with tears and snot mixing with each other down my neck. Hm. I realised that I was crying. I remained in a reclined position, even as the space of my womb started writhing and initiating all these sounds, out of the depths of the earth. I wasn’t certain whether the weeping came out of Mother Earth, of if it was my body mourning my lost womb.

I surrendered to this cry, and accompanied myself to Mother Earth’s depths again, each time bearing more stark, guttural, base sounds as they continued to be birthed through me. But how can I birth such heart-wrenching sadness?

My body suddenly shot up to sitting, and I panicked when I realised that I couldn’t breathe! My eyes flew open as I grabbed tissues from a box near me, and blew and blew, clearing my nasal passage for life to come through.

I threw the dirty mess to my space, and remained standing, uneasily swaying that frightening episode off my body. That’s when a different sound started coming out of me- long, high pitched notes that only the likes of soprano singers and Mariah Carey manage to hit convincingly. I have very poor breath control, and can’t claim to be a singer, so I knew that this wasn’t me. The notes, thrilling, melodic, and beautiful continued to paint the ceiling, then went out the room all the way to the sky to create mesmerising palettes of sounds with Father Sky.

My body danced these notes and colours for a long period, until someone tapped me on the shoulder asking for snuff.

‘I didn’t bring snuff’ I respond mentallyy to this unseen being, shrugging my shoulder. (Bad, bad girl)!

‘We want it’.


I opened my eyes and started looking for snuff on the altar in the space. No snuff.

I walked around, frantically, and found myself standing next to a woman beating a shamanic drum, and with my eyes, urged her to loan me her drum. She looked away, clearly a no for her.

So I moved away, knelt down to the floor, and started beating a sort of sangoma rhythm on the wooden floor of the room. Next thing the same woman comes and places a different drum next to me. I nod my thank you to  her, and started playing. And playing and ululating and smiling and laughing! We all joined the same light rhythm, eventually bringing the session to a close.

Later that night, when the day’s activities are over and only a few of us are still hanging around, a boom box comes out and we start playing music off our cell phones, and dancing on the lawn, under the partially cloudy sky. But the moon is there to witness.

I find my iPod and start deejaying. When Sade comes on, all my clothes fly off my body, leaving my dignity maintained by a small line of bindi beads, carefully adorning the space of my third eye. As we continue dancing, few of the women take off an item of clothing here and there, remaining partially clothed. More women join in the dance, and the sky suddenly opens up with rain that cleanses us. One or two more women strip completely, shrieking us all with joy. We are hooping with jubilation in the rain, reveling in the rightness of this moment here.

After an hour or so of this, we call it a night, each feeling on high.Something big has happened, and I’m glad I had said yes to the invitation.

At the end of the retreat, this poem came through:

                                                 I am Infinity rising,

                            the Great Priestess of the Dark Goddess,

        The alive, still point of the joining of the sacred Feminine and Masculine.

                                   My womb is full with the sacred seed

                                                of this sacred Union,

                                                Birthing All There Is.


will be writing about the next two events of this triad, and will send that out soon.

Ka Lerato🙏🏾

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