Sister Stick Dance

I used my grip, grabbing with my pinky first, then wrapping my other fingers around the stick to hold on tight. This gives me my tightest grip. I held with both hands and felt my feet sink into the earth with my soles. As I grabbed, she, on the other end of the stick, pulled back. I pulled harder; she matched me. Our dance grew in intensity. Her pull allowed me to feel my pull, to feel my muscles ignite and become alive!

Standing in the mossy forest of California’s green-bearded oak trees, the soil moist and fragrant from the rains the night before and the flowing clear-watered creek humming over stones and past glowing tufts of verdant grasses…This is where we engaged…yet another Earthgym alchemy training.

This was an afternoon of sharing in the wooded forests of Mt. Tam in Northern California with 2 of my dear Earthgym sisters, Rachel and Carolyn. Using our staffs the 3 of us walked, moved with the land, footing our paths in the trees and stones, swinging, circling with our sticks as we shared of our Earth tool practices…sharing what is alive for us, what we’re understanding, uncovering, discovering through our own Earth bodies. Such a rich time of sister share and care.

This stick pull I began describing above is one of the practices Rachel shared in our traveling through the Cataract Canyon of Mt. Tam. She smiled and said some coin it as the Rachel Wrestle :). She demonstrated the practice with her and Carolyn, and then invited me to try. Wow!

As we engage, I am in my body, pulling, gripping with my body, my soles --- Rachel holds one end of the stick, I the other end. The stick is our dancing point….it is neutral and allows me to pull up through my tissues and bones. Rachel is there to mirror and match me; the stick is my medium, my focus for my effort and grip into the Earth. And in this focus, an intensity rises within and I feel my growing strength. As we tug and move in this dance of sorts, Rachel stays right with me, meeting me as I become stronger. First we share intense eyes. Our eyes locked as we move. Then sounds begin to rise from my core, and then….come my words. I begin speaking, decreeing…”I know. I know what I want!” “No you don’t,” matches Rachel in the same intensity. “No you don’t and I will take it from you!” “No, I am strong and I know. I know what I want. I am strong!” In just a few short minutes of pulling in this stick dance, my fire, my desire is ignited…my body is alive and my musing muscle speaks through and I see, feel and digest my own medicine. Rachel and I release the stick. I am transformed. I am my strength and I am my knowing. It is pulled into every muscle fiber of my being…my core, our Earth’s core as one. My sisters gather around me witnessing and reflect back my own mantra… "Sister, You are strong and You know.”

“Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.” I have sung this song so many times…yet I begin to feel the words in a new way. I am the elements. In this play, alchemy training, I am understanding how my engagement is the fire of transformation and understanding.


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