Sacred Thread Update: Autumnal Equinox 2023

Hello Fellow Humans  –

Grief seems to be a constant companion in these days of burning and confusion. We are living with new and unfamiliar ways of moving through the world…much of my summer and fall is given to tracking AQI numbers and wind direction and then feeling the sadness of not being able to go outside on warm and sunny days due to smoke. This is just one example. Oh and I just learned that a new word has been coined for the absence of seeing the night sky and the Milky Way…”noctalgia”…sky grief (see the article HERE)! Much of my grief these days is eco-grief around the changes to the land and waters that I am a part of.

I imagine each of you have several ways your life has shifted to accommodate our new realities and then feeling the resulting losses. And yet our over-culture has no guidelines or acceptance of grief and its necessary place in life. So what do we do when we are stalked by loss and have no tools for it? We have to look out of the box, beyond what is familiar and socially sanctioned and learn some fresh ways of being.

We need to learn how to gather community around us and be witnessed, to keen and scream and let the snot fly, and to honor the ache in our bodies and hearts with tenderness and rest. We need ritual and sacred time set aside and we need everyday ways of acknowledging loss as well as beauty. We need practices of connection with nature and those who came before, our ancestors. We need to weave the ancient technology of traditional cultures into our modern lives. We need to remember what we once knew and still recognize in our bones…that everything we love we will loose and this is key to the terrible beauty of life.  

I have been keenly aware of this need in my life and have been finding ways to do this for myself and my immediate circle for awhile. And now I am thrilled to be a part of a 5 month training for Grief Ritual Leadership with Francis Weller and an amazing circle of wise beings (Holly Truhlar, Erin Geesaman-Rabke and Carl Rabke and Alexandre Jodun). Here I will be deepening my understanding and capacity to hold space and share understanding about Grief and its sister, Joy. These ways of turning to nature, community and ritual are ancient and familiar. I have been slowly dipping myself more fully in this way of being over the past few years and it has changed me and gifted me so much. We have to have a larger container for our loss…we need community and witness, we need space to fully embody and express all that arises and we need our connections to landscape and ancestors. 

My dear friend Beth has been one of my teachers on this journey of life and grief. Eleven years ago her partner (also my dear friend, Michael) had a biking accident and was left with quadriplegia. Her process of meeting this harrowing upending of their life has been an apprenticeship with grief. I have been honored to be a part of this journey as her friend (and Michael’s) and have learned so much in watching and sharing with her. Her first book has just been published and it is a raw, brave and powerful look at loss and grief and how to meet it with an open and aching heart. Check out “Life Upside Down: The Fall That Transformed Our Lives, Lifting Me Through Grief, Love and Quadriplegia” by Beth Erlander HERE.

We are invited to become apprentices to grief…to move and dance and be with the very fact that everything will end AND it is beautiful. We need to be able to rage and scream and cry and be still with the pain in order to welcome the delight and sweetness and joy of this life. What is your relationship with grief and how might you deepen into it to find more connection to love?


May we be find the support we need to tend the grief and losses of life

May we honor the deep relationship of grief and joy by allowing both the space they deserve

May we look for beauty in the world around us and within

May we bring wild blessings and fierce love to all we encounter

Practice Prompts:

  • Practice allowing yourself space and time to be sad and weep. See if you can resist putting a time frame on it or labeling it self-indulgent or wrong in some way. Is there someone you can weep with?
  • Throw a Sorrow Party! Gather a few friends together and ask everyone to bring something of beauty for a simple altar. Create the altar together and then give everyone some time to simply share what is heavy in their heart right now. There is no cross talk or fixing, just space for being with the grief. Go around the circle as many times as you wish. End with a round of naming and honoring the item of beauty you’re brought. Then share a light nourishing meal.
  • Even when you are feeling the despair of the world and your own losses see if you can find glimmers of sweetness and beauty around you…not to erase the grief but to hold along with it…they can be complimentary.
  • I offer one to one sessions, in person in Bend, Oregon, and virtually all over the world. If you would like to learn more about my offerings please email me or schedule a free 20 minute Exploratory Session.

Live Streaming Practice Opportunities:

Inspirational Wisdom:
(I’ve shared this before but it’s worth repeating!)

For When People Ask

I want a word that means
okay and not okay,
a word that means
devastated and stunned with joy.
I want the word that says

I feel it all, all at once.
The heart is not like a songbird
singing only one note at a time,
more like a Tuvan throat singer
able to sing both a drone
and simultaneously
two or three harmonics high above it—
a sound, the Tuvans say,
that gives the impression
of wind swirling among rocks.
The heart understands the swirl,
how the churning of opposite feelings
weaves through us like an insistent breeze,
leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,
blesses us with paradox
so we might walk more openly
into this world so rife with devastation,
this world so ripe with joy.

~ Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer


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