Drum Journey (Recording): ~15 minutes
When I arrived, I was instantly swept up by a giant water bird (stork? crane?) who carried me to the left of my arrival point on the mesa. With his long legs, he bounded over terrains I had seen before—grasslands, tundra, jungle—until we reached the edge of the world. There, he swooped down and we flew to a lower-level world. IT appeared to be lush with mountains, grasses and a large body of water at its center. We dove into the water and swam downward through another tunnel at the base. From here, I was deposited into blackness. In the dark around me, I saw a few golden orbs that had fine golden hairs on them. They floated around with me.
I heard the question, "Why have you come here?" and I asked how I could better understand the darkness inside of me. "The block," as I call it. I had come asking this question before but asked for clarity about what it is and how I can remove it. I remained in darkness for some time, with the understanding that this was where I was supposed to be for a while.
Then the waterbird came back to retrieved me in reverse—up the tunnel, through the water, out into space, up onto Lower World and backwards over the many terrains. I was deposited at the Sacred Fire Circle.
Fire burned and I sat in front of him. He reached a tongue out and lashed two horizontal burn marks on my cheekbone, with a half-circle at their base.
Then Fire told me, "This is your mark. It symbolizes travel, with a solid and grounded base." I understood that from now on, when I journey, I will wear this mark in some way.
Fire continued, "Your given name will be Nasha'we. It means, 'The one who travels by any means.' You may search for this name in Ordinary Reality. Maybe you will find another definition, but here it means, 'The one who travels by any means.' You may travel physically in Ordinary Reality, by journeying, drumming, playing flute, dancing, singing...
"You will be given this name Nasha'we when you have removed the dark block and let movement flow through you. Until then, you will use this name as a mantra, guiding you through the work. You will work with the drum, here in the spirit realm, and with your therapist in Ordinary Reality. You will work every day. You will complete the fifty days of drumming and work in this way as well. Then you will be given the name, Nasha'we."
When Fire was finished, I stayed by the heat of the flame, meditating in its light and heat.
I thanked Fire and the giant water bird.
Return to Ordinary Reality
Note: On 3/12, I researched the word "nashawe." It is a Hudson River Native American word meaning, "in between." In Wampanoag, the Algonquian language, it is defined this as "between the paths" or "where the brooks (or streams) meet." (Understanding Algonquian Indian Words, Aquidneck Indian Council, 1996). I found this of interest for a number of reasons:
1. I live in a Hudson River village, very close to the water.
2. The name came with the symbol of two "streams" meeting at a base.
3. Fire said that I would receive the name when I "let movement flow through" me.
There is also a sense here of "the middle way" in the Tao and Buddhism that is the path of balance. The shaman also travels between the worlds, traveling through the middle/World Tree.