The Cherokee always teach their young to listen. We hear not the crash of cymbals or the noise that rides the airwaves — but the sweet song of the meadow, the even rhythmic sounds of nature. It is here where the dikanowadidohi angel sings.
— A Cherokee Feast of Days, Vol. 1 by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
While we are in between Chapter Eight and Chapter Nine, it so happens, we are also between the worlds of Samhain-tide (and Beltane, for my friends in the lands “down under”).
It also happens that I am between worlds in another way. This week I am in the process of combining and moving this blog and my website to a new, fresh, user-friendly location for you.
So while we all journey in the lands between, I have decided to pause from The Artist’s Way. Please do continue working with your morning pages, your Artist’s Dates, and catching up on the rich lessons of our recent exercises.
But for this week, I invite you to gather round the hearth fires, and with me, honor this most deep and magical season. Let us journey together during this little time out of time into the realms of memory and magic, including some of the lore that I posted on my website four or five years ago. That was long before my “little bit of magic every day” was also being archived here on Blogger...
According to a post some years ago by the Keetoowah Society of the Cherokee nation, today would have been the Cementation and Propitiation Festival. That’s because this is the tenth day after the October New Moon. The Cementation and Propitiation Festival is a friendship ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes the unity between people, as well as between the Creator and mankind.
Traditionally, two fully clothed and armed men would stand facing each other in the large public gathering. Piece by piece, they would remove and exchange their clothes and weapons until each was fully clothed in the others’ attire. They were then considered blood brothers and were expected to fully support one another for life.
This also symbolized for the people the relationship between the Creator Beings and humans. Author Thomas E. Mails writes, “By blessing the people so abundantly with crops and in other ways .. nothing stood between themselves and the Cherokee. They too had exchanged garments – prayer and faith for produce and protection — and they too were inseparable brothers.”
Afterward, the Cementation Ceremony was a purification ritual by immersing in running water seven times. This would remove any barriers or hindrances humans might have placed between themselves and the Divine Ones.