The Story of Sacred Song: Return of the Myth Weavers
Let me tell you a story…
We love stories. Ever since our ancestors first conjured up sacred word, leaning in receptively to hear the sweet flicker of tongue and cleverly placed intonation within sound, stories have brought forth magical stirrings of meaning and imagination. We’re engaged in story all the time, whether conscious of the fact, or not. All of life is a story, waiting to be told in one way or another. We tell story about ourselves. We share story of others. We read books and watch movies, allowing our minds to be hijacked into a world of wonder and mystery.
Ever since we first gathered around the dancing flames of our hearth, our gaze shifting between fiery transforming breath and the shimmer of stars above us, story-tellers and myth-weavers have been opening portals, immersing us in the magic of sacred imaginal unfoldings.
Tribes and traditions have been stitching together their own unique threads into the tapestry of myth and legend, weaving story and song to help us remember our purpose and place in amongst all of life on our planet. Ancestral offerings came in the form of oral tradition, where sacred words would help us walk upon the skin of our earth with grace and beauty.
When we huddled around the fire, these stories would impart a feeling of reverence and meaning; a knowing, of the sacred interconnectedness between all life, including all people, and all other-than-human people on our planet. The planet that sustains all. The great earth mother. Our earth mother. Giving rise to all life forms, nourishing and nurturing all, in harmony with our great sun father. The one who was there from the beginning, as dust formed in the sky and coalesced in union to form all of our planets as we know them.
Many of these stories helped us remember how to walk a path in right-relationship to our primordial life-givers and all related life forms, both animate and inanimate. Myth and legend could penetrate our hearts and burrow deep into our minds, allowing us to bypass the rational logical thinking aspect of the human brain, instead, opening up these portals to the sacred, allowing us to carry these feelings of reverence into the smallest of our daily happenings.
Yet, just as our ancestors who shine down from the night sky fade as thick winter smog roll in, so too, our memory is clouded. We forget our old stories, and through forgetting, we listen to new ones. Like a powerplug ripped forcefully from its socket, many of today’s narratives are not here to aid in the story of connection, or reconnection, for that matter. The distant echo of beating drum and illusory flicker of sacred flame on far away shore, calls out on howling wind. Across vast ocean, it is heard by few. These few, are the next generation of story-weaver and myth-makers to come.
And so, from one land to the next, we set sail and look to the horizon for the shores of remembrance and reconnection. The seas are savage, waves as tall as mast, threatening to sink the timber vessel, creatures of the abyss waiting for their opportunity below. The struggles are many, but the courage runs deep.
Daylight breaks. The tides are changing. With compass in hand, we navigate East, toward the great rising sun. There is calm after the storm, and we flow forward, making ripple on silky glass, our hearts lightened in the crisp ocean air. We carry the burden and damage of rough seas, yet despite the cracks and flaws, a spark of strength and courage glimmers in rolling tears.
Our legs wobble like jelly. We take a moment to balance after our first steps on land. Becoming present to the forest and mountains before us, the roar of the ocean behind us, and the dreamtime within us, we awaken to the knowing of what has been, what is now, and what could come. We stand up tall, feeling the electric current of living energy shiver from our cheeks down into our spine, and begin to sing our song.
It begs the question, what song are we singing? What songs are we listening to? As an individual, and as a collective, these melodies matter. It is with great misfortune that the siren songs of modernity drone us out with monotonous tones and soul-less harmonies.
The song of materialism tell us that the perpetual cycle of produce and consume is how we quench our thirst for lasting happiness. The song of industrialism calls all to fall in rank as compliant little worker bees to the draining back beat of a system that pollutes and plunders as it stomps its heavy work boots in force. The song of romanticism as far as monogamous relationships go, lures us into the seductive suggestion that you must sacrifice your own truth to acquire the love of another. And one of the most pervasive songs of our contemporary time, an invasive weed that threatens the sacred meaning and mystery found within many a story and myth; the song of science.
The song of science is useful to sing. It aids us in countless ways, from the lifesaving application of medical science to the technological advancement so many of us benefit from. This is the song of figuring out what things are and how they work, literally and objectively. Or at least, as literal as things can be when trying to describe the moon, using something other than the moon; our words and fingers pointing and exclaiming, offering descriptions of intellect to get as close as possible to understanding, yet often still miles away from direct experiential knowing.
In all its greatness, for science to take the crown, ruling all and taking dominion with it’s reductive and deterministic qualities, this truth serum has become poison. In it’s quest to figure everything out, with it’s straight face and lifeless stare, it marches onward towards the intellectual reduction of life to mechanical processes, determined by logic, rationality, linear equations and the desire to objectively understand the great mystery. Inherent in this mission, whether conscious or not, a beheading of the sacred imaginal portals of myth, legend and story are underway, leaving dry parched mouths of desert and sand.
Like the leaves that wrap our earth mother in a warm blanket, so that she may enter her own dreamtime as Autumn fulfils it’s cycle, we too come full cycle and rest upon the fallen leaves of understanding that through certain story and myth, we are invited to reflect on our own relationship to the great mystery; stoking our soulful imaginations; nesting in sacred knowings and meaning within mystery.
In this time of prophecy, we must seek ways to rise from the ashes of barren landscape that our forefathers carved out before us, finding gratitude toward all ancestors of blood, spirit, and land, acknowledging all their pain, all their beauty, all their accomplishments and all their struggles, knowing that all turns of light and dark on their great cycle paved the path for us to be here.
Instead of squandering ourselves in shame and guilt for mistaken steps along a dreary path, it is with recognition and connection that we must call in the best of each story and song from myth-weaver old and new, helping us remember our purpose and place; helping us reconnect with the land and the wisdom that lay long forgotten.
So as we strengthen our wobbly legs and nuzzle into the cold of Winters edge, we stand tall and gaze to our ancestors, beating our drums and shaking our rattles in ceremony, calling in collective visions for new ways of being, journeying through dreamtime realms and imaginal portals into the sacred, feeling the electric current of spirit pulse through us, as we sing our sacred song.
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