|New Animist Bellwether. Summer Solstice 2014 incarnation.|
"Unlike the common use of bells to mark commencement of a rite to group members, the Bellwether is used for extra-group communication... what I feel is a natural desire to draw attention to our entrance, arrival, availability, affability & interest in communicating with, celebrating, honouring, etc., the other-than-human world... the Bellwether's principal function in this formula is not to announce the arrival of the herd, but rather to express our awareness & availability. It indicates that we are initiating & entering a unique occasion. It says, 'Please pardon us. We know You know we're here. But today, we're not just passing through, absentmindedly doing our people-things. Today, we are here for You. Care to join us?'" -- Moma Fauna, Doodling in Class: "The Animist's Bellwether"
Here I begin the epic chronicling of our first public "Animas Ceremony." (An Invitation to Passion) I gave it that name after a slight error of words in an email enquiry I received (a substitution of animas for animist) -- a fortuitous & lovely error. "Animas" or "soul" a "Soul Ceremony." Yes.
This was a gift to our community, driven & inspired by influences unseen. And so, after more than six months of practice, preparation & participation, the ceremony erupted from the forests of Alaska with echoes of joy & passion & the yearnings for the possibilities thereof...
|A New Animist & her Bellwether.|
(Moma Fauna herding cats.)
On this inaugural occasion, the Bellwether taught me something -- an irony of sorts. The irony of the Bellwether, or perhaps it is not so ironic but rather predictable in a human world, is that it's function may be more truly as a tool for "the leading of sheep of a flock" or, in our case, the herding of cats than as a communication device for the other-than-human world. But that is just fine really. Perhaps its function is as fluid as it's appearance, changing to suit the needs of the moment.
So it is with these things. We cannot know until we take the leap to know them.