On Meeting the Spirit of Global Economy
New Caring Economy Advocate: Polly Lazaron, Elephants Cohort 2017
Excited and inspired by key common threads between The Real Wealth of Nations: Caring Economy and shamanism, I chose to present my Program Project at the Richmond, VA Shamanic Drum Circle Summer Solstice meeting on June 16, 2017.
The Circle is an open community, monthly gathering that recognizes shamanism as an over 30,000 year old universal spiritual practice/way of life grounded in respectful awareness the world is sacred and interdependent. Our oldest know physical, visual depictions of images identified as shamanic, by archeologists and anthropologists ,were made during a dramatic, global environmental change that occurred that long ago.
With drums, rattles, shamanic journeying- into an other than ordinary, purposeful awareness- and joyous celebratory ceremonies rooted in ancient traditions- the Circle honors everyone's place in the sacred hoop of life, our essential nature and relationship with all life.
Prior to the industrial revolution, solstices, equinoxes and all major, astronomical and planetary cycles were cross-culturally times of community celebratory ceremony and communion with the environment and spiritual forces of creation. The seasonal and global timing was right to introduce this community to Caring Economy. So was the stormy night!
Each meeting of this Circle is unique in that there are seasoned participants as well as newcomers, all genders, diverse ages and cultures. A simple opening ceremony creates a welcoming, safe space and sacred container for the group. This includes drumming to come together in alignment as community, introductions using a candle passed from person to person as the group repeats their name, invoking the seven directions, use of a talking stick for group sharing, drumming, dancing, moving in time and space together around a central mesa/altar, etc. and returning to sitting in a circle. Twelve people participated in this gathering.
Weaving a simple introduction to shamanism, the Caring Economy material and the evening's format, I also initiated questions and brief sharing to give breathing space/integration time as well as for participants to consider their personal, work and collective experiences. What is real wealth? What is reciprocity? How are you a care provider at home? In your neighborhood? They began to open up, to light up as they engaged with the Caring Economy information and each other. As if they were seedlings sprouting.
Shamanic journey work- a phrase used in contemporary, global neo-shamanic circles- is rooted in an ancient, purposeful way of entering into an other than ordinary awareness with focused intention to be of service to the world, community or an individual. The rapid sound of a drum or a rattle similar to the sound of a human heart beat is often used to facilitate journey work. This kind of awareness has been and is achieved in many other non-shamanic practices.
As I played a drum, each person journeyed to meet the Spirit of Global Economy. They entered the experience prepared, hearts open, to offer respect, three imaginational gifts and this question: How can I embody and cultivate Global Caring Economy in my life, community and world.
Their experiences were unique to the individual- ranging from conscientious interdependent relationship in a multi-species planetary wide community, launching a support and discussion group, how life is a dance and new ways to integrate dance as an energetic exchange in a holistic, partnership economy, to creating a small, backyard garden in which to invite neighbors, family and friends as community engaging in true wealth.
Touched and excited by the group's responsiveness and willingness to quickly dive deep into the Caring Economy presentation, I celebrate their focused attention, beginning to think in new ways, openly engage in conversation with each other and to an experience that was completely new to them.
My next steps include aligning opportunities to introduce the Caring Economy to other organizations and communities including the planning committee of an annual Interfaith Peace Festival, local and regional activist groups, a local progressive arts initiative, as well as local and regional environmental and activist groups. As local coordinator of a 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global 2017 Event on September 30, I'll provide CE print information at the event. As a visual artist, the drawing below has been posted on my Facebook page and is the first in a series of CE related energy drawings. This one is titled Cultivating a Caring Economy.