This year, I went to the event as a volunteer and got to contribute in a much different way, helping to create the space the event was held in.
Ghost Ranch in the morning light
Spider Woman Mountain in the near distance
Working on transforming a pretty bland space into beauty (w/Sonia)
This place is magical
Walking to dinner - the Ranch sits in a valley surrounded by orange, yellow and red mesas
On Wednesday, I had my "school day" where I first was shocked and elated I was awarded a $1000 scholarship for this year's tuition through the Councils of the Whistling Elk scholarship fund, along with my classmates, Jane and Dreanna, and Leota, who had won a scholarship through the LACSAT scholarship fund earlier in the month. I didn't expect a scholarship this year and am so deeply grateful. Then I got to spend the day with these incredible women I've been journeying through school with for 3 1/2 years and our rockstar mentors, Cheryl Downey and Dianne Riesen.
We held the chakra veils for the ordination of last year's class that evening and it was WONDERFUL! As I didn't bring my camera like a dolt, I'm waiting for pics from others which I will plug in here.
So, instead, more Ghost Ranch!
Moon rise!! The Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse was the following Monday and it is arising!
Lynn's speaking platform transformed
The ceiling is now a galaxy of Mayan gliphs, lights and sparkly fabrics
I felt great Wednesday night when I went to bed. However, I woke up an hour or two later and was violently vomiting the rest of the night. On Thursday, I was taken to a walk-in clinic about 30 miles away to get a shot of anti-nausea medication in my tookus and spent the rest of Thursday and Thursday night in the Dreamtime. I am very grateful to our LACSAT nurses Fiona and Judy and the nurse from Ghost Ranch who took such good care of me!
So I missed not only the first day of the event, but also two very special tasks assigned to the 4th Year - setting up Sacred Space for meditation and holding the energy of the event and the Elk Pole ceremony, which opens the event. My classmates did an AMAZING job with creating the Sacred Space and I was told that the Elk Pole ceremony was fabulous. I was there in the Dreamtime. When I would briefly wake up at times, I could feel the love and support around me like a cocoon.
Beautiful Sacred Space! We all took shifts throughout each night of the event, along with graduates, to hold the energy of the teachings. Thanks to Bevy for covering for me on Thursday night - I was able to take her spot on Saturday.
The Elk Pole, photo courtesy of Dreanna Bane. At the start of each JT, each participant enters the medicine wheel created around the Elk Pole by the 4th Year apprentices, goes around to each direction and then ties a ribbon symbolizing her/his intent for the event. There are 20 years of ribbons on the pole!
This year's event is about "riding the light waves of 2012" which is all about not getting drawn into the chaos of the great changes going on all around us, but instead taking personal responsibility for who I am, what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. The meditations and talks were about how to let go of what I don't need or want in my life anymore and finding my personal power in a responsible and clear way. Every participant drew a card from Lynn's Power Deck that symbolized our focus for the event. I picked a card on Friday morning - Release - and about laughed my ass off. Yup. Already doing that!!
This message of Release followed me throughout the rest of the event and is still active right now at home. It's time to let go of all the things that no longer serve me. And they're putting up a fight!
A close up of Lynn's speaking platform with incredible crystals brought by Ramona from Arkansas and a luminary, which was our task this year to create using symbols we received in the various meditations and at the fire ceremony on Friday evening.
Suzanne and Chloe dancing at the Friday Fire Ceremony - it's an ORB STORM! I have never seen a photograph like this in my life! Photo taken by Anthony Pauly with Suzanne Hindson's camera. AMAZING!
4th years also led our small groups, which was wonderful, aided by a graduate. I had the lovely Radka to help me out. We spent Saturday afternoon creating our luminarias. Every one was so unique and beautiful! After our group, I made my yearly pilgrimage to the labyrinth, stopping here at the Japanese garden to take a shot of the beautiful purple flowers there.
Preparing to walk the Labyrinth! If you make it out to Ghost Ranch, make sure you take the time to experience the Labyrinth. Magical!
The Crystal Fire being prepared for the evening's ceremony at the Agape Center chapel courtyard
2nd Year Drummers welcoming us to the evening session on Saturday night - I remember doing that!
The Elk Pole on our final night
Walking to ceremony, moon a-rising!
Procession to the Crystal Fire ceremony, carrying our luminarias. I'm not sure who took this photo (probably Vicki Dobbs) but since I'm bringing up the rear of the group, I'm not in there.
The Fire Team holding the circle of the Crystal Fire
Lynn at Crystal Fire Ceremony (photo courtesy of Vicki Dobbs)
Crystal Fire under the (almost) full moon
The following are a series of photos of the Crystal Fire and close ups of the crystals - enjoy!!
My finished luminary with colored lights inside
Two wonderful people I love madly - Suzanne and Anthony
The World Altar. Every year, participants bring prayer sticks for world and personal healing and place them into the World Altar along with prayer sticks from previous Joshua Tree events. This year, the design was a spiral galaxy.
My favorite blue ladder is now a pretty shade of aqua
Gorgeous clouds above. No rain though. It smelled like rain for about 30 seconds, which was heavenly.
Rain in the sky, not on the ground
Lovely Suzanne at our staff party Sunday night
Full Moon rising over the mesa through the clouds
On Monday, I headed back to NYC, only to have an electrical fire on my plane about 10 minutes out of Albuquerque. So it was back to Albuquerque to make an emergency landing, complete with fire trucks and emergency vehicles with light flashing to meet us on the runway. But all was well. I ended up spending the night at the Sheraton courtesy of American Airlines and made it home safely on Tuesday. Kitties are happy!
I count myself blessed to be a part of this amazing group of people and to have the ability to go to such a beautiful place to experience power and love. And empowerment. Ho!