Blessing Way

by Katheryn Trenshaw first published in Connect Magazine

copyright K TrenshawHave you noticed that things are quickening recently? I don’t mean just the speeding-up of things, which is obvious enough. I’m also talking about “quickening,” the time in a pregnancy when new life can be felt moving within the mother. Have you noticed this kind of quickening, too, the subtle movements of something new, something spiritually different coming into being? And have you noticed within yourself the desire to share this mysterious movement? If so, you are not alone – many of us are looking for confirmation of the quickening we feel, and many of us are looking for ways to be held accountable for our spiritual lives among others who are searching too. In my searching I have made an exciting discovery that helps me to know whether I am on the right path.

Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien reports that among the indigenous cultures of the world there are four “signposts” that evidence a connection with one’s (higher) power: singing; dancing; telling stories (especially one’s own); and sitting in silence to listen for guidance. If the new spirituality that is quickening within us is to be born, we must do these things: sing, dance, tell stories, be silent. And if we are to become a spiritual people, if we are to “retrieve our souls” as indigenous peoples say, we must do these things together.

The Blessing Way is a gathering of like minds patterned after indigenous traditions, by which one’s voice and movement and ability to listen may be “re-membered.” In this contemporary version of Blessing Way, we begin playing with the voice, and soon discover that it sounds like song; we begin playing with movement, and are surprised to see that it looks like dance; we begin remembering, and find that others in the circle are enchanted with our story; we begin breathing quietly, and after a while the silence deepens mysteriously into a place where we can listen to Divinity. On the Blessing Way we can reclaim our human heritage as spiritual people.

I remember seeing a woman playing with a long silken scarf, allowing it to move in the wind, moving her body as a partner to the scarf and the wind; and her totally unselfconscious movement was one of the most beautiful dances I have ever seen. I remember hearing a man singing in the underground “metro” in Paris, spontaneous sounds that reverberated off the white-tiled walls, the echoes harmonising with the notes he sang next. Passers-by thought he was mad – I thought he was very close to the holy; my body still remembers his amazing song. I have seen a woman looking at a sunset, letting go to her childlike wonder, reaching inward in the silence of her awe to where Divinity dwells. These people all were walking the Blessing Way.

May we all learn to walk the Blessing Way together!

Katheryn Trenshaw is a fine artist of international reputation, and a therapist specialising in healing through art, ritual, body awareness and creativity. Her contageous passion for life and personal growth, and her ability to enncourage celebration and making the everyday sacred are hallmarks of her workshops throughout the US and Europe. Katheryn unabashedly believes in magic and creativity as medicine.