Takaji My Relatives
It had been raining steadily Sunday evening October 28, when my spiritual brother Sol Shanti arrived at my home, the CANEY INDIGENOUS SPIRITUAL CIRCLE Verona, Pennsylvania teaching and healing lodge near Pittsburgh. He came to help start the fire for the kansi sweatlodge ceremony at the guanara that stands in our yard pretty far above the creek which runs alongside Verona Road. An eastward moving storm front was moving into our area from Ohio on its way to join the menacing Hurricane Sandy that was moving west from the Atlantic at that moment so the rainy evening was cold and dank. I had considered cancelling the sweatlodge portion of our ceremony but he called and convinced me that he could make the fire happen if I let him so I agreed.
I had just returned from my trip to New York city where I had participated in a Taino Round Table Conference and had left behind a region brooding under the menace of a monster hurricane. One of the important intentions that I planned to dedicate the ceremony to was our friends and relatives on the east coast on the eve of this huge storm.
Ceremony began at about 6:30 PM and included a small group of very dear friends and relatives mostly from the Pittsburgh area. I was honored to host our artist sister Kelle Maize who has not been able to participate in one of our ceremonies for some time. She brought her friend Holly who is working with her on current artistic and spiritual projects of her own.
We gathered in our living room and held the main Full Moon Ceremony circle ritual. Serving as our honorary Ata Bey representative was Emily, the wife of my good friend Harold "Dog" Roman Nose of the Cheyenne nation. Emily was guided by my wife Leni MaisGuariche and our spiritual sisterTenanche SemiAta through the main sacred words of the ceremony "The Women Have Within Them The Rythm Of The Universe" and the ceremonial lighting of the double light (in this case we lit two candles instead of two torches). We performed the sacred tobacco ceremony with a cigar, chanted the sacred songs to Yoka Hu the Lord of the Life Force and Ata Bey the Cosmic Matriarch.
After the circle ceremony we went out into the yard and participated in the kansi sweat purification ceremony, entering into the guanara lodge in single file and accomodating ourselves within as is our tradition. In the meantime Sol had established a wonderful guatu fire that heated the sibas (stone grandfathers) for the ceremony.
I want to thank my brothers and sisters who joined us on the weekend before the big storm to prepare us for that trial-filled week.