There are amazing teachers that pass through our lives leaving a wake of change, enriching us, and fueling us to move forward to the next level on our paths. Shakma Winddrum, who passed into the Shining Land last night, was one of those teachers.
Here is one of my stories about how Shakma touched me and made a huge difference for me personally. In the spring of 2003, I had just joined Guardians of the Windsword when it had dedicated on Samhain 2002. I was excited to be attending a special event that the Assembly was hosting, having Shakma as a guest speaker for a weekend intensive. I had no idea what to expect. The air was still, and yet the excitement of the growing spring and our anticipation zinged through the great room like static electricity. Then Shakma was wheeled through the room to the front, I felt as if we should be standing in her honor. The sheer power of her presence was that of royalty.
She spoke of many things that day. Some I understood, like the value of truly having faith and listening without the need to immediately question or to react. She spoke to each of us who were in attendance, sometimes with difficult words of judgement, a call to action to each. She looked at me, a unsure, young woman of 21 and smiled in joy. The forceful pillars of firey power behind her eased, and I relaxed. She told me, "You are a priestess! Have you told your teachers your intentions?!" I said I had not, that I didn't know I was a priestess. "Well you better let them know! Cause you are a priestess! Mmm hmm. " She looked to the back of the room, shaking her finger at me, and gave Ivo a look. He nodded. After hearing what she had said, challenging some of my friends, I was petrified, glued to my chair in both respect and trepidation that I would set her off and break this spell of encouragement.
The next day we had a ritual in which everyone was to come to the center, the sweet spot of the domed great room, for an experience directly with Shakma and the Assembly's ancor, a huge brass cauldron. Shakma broke shells and barriers within me and I heard this ringing bell echo and spill forth from the cauldron, filling the room, and shaking through my being. That bell, was my own voice singing in joy and connection, heralding the priestess I would grow in be in the years to come.
That ritual was my first experience with cross tradition magick, Shakma, and the ASW's cauldron, open in all its splendor. The memory of the sound of that bell, that moment, the invocation of self, rings out to me often, awakening my magickal self and calling me to action in all of my parts. I would say that moment, is one of the most important tools I have as a magickal practicioner and I use it often.
The following is a glimmer of the hope and inspiration she called forth for us all. Thank you, and hail, Shakma Winddrum for the vital lesson and challenges you gave us all. The world is changed for the better for you having been here.