Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: ceremony

Rejection Turns Into Recognition

Purple-leaf European Beech, Asheville, NC. copyright Diane Ludeking 2011

I am Talking Stick.

A trusted mentor with impressive insights gave me this spirit name during a ceremony last fall.  Standing in a circle as others in the group received their names, my body tilted forward on my toes with anticipation of hearing mine.  I reveled at how fitting all the names were and felt certain mine would be just as beautiful and perfect.

When my name was bestowed upon me, my body set back on its heels as if an invisible force had pushed me.  My own ghostly arms then reached out, heels of imperceptible hands leading the way in a martial arts defensive move, to reject the name.  In reality, I stood stock still, arms at my side like a soldier at attention, as my physical body did not want to expose my disappointment in my spirit name.

“What the heck is a Talking Stick?  I’m not much of a talker so this name must clearly be wrong!”  I knew I could reject the name and give myself something like “Silent Stone” or “Mysterious Madame” but I also knew I wanted to research the name before giving it the official boot.

So I googled it and learned about the role it plays in American Indian tribes.  But what sold me on accepting this spirit name was this:

Whoever holds the talking stick has within his hands the sacred power of words.


I couldn’t rejoice enough over my findings about the talking stick.  Whatever form the stick takes, it also:

Carries respect for free speech and assures the speaker he has the freedom and power to say what is in her heart without fear of reprisal or humiliation.

It turns out that I have never felt so understood in all my life.  The Talking Stick is who I’ve always been and plan to remain.  I hold sacred space for the words that create the stories of our lives and strive to mirror the beauty within all.

I am Talking Stick.


Easing In

My Feet in La Duna - The Danube River - in Budapest

This Friday marks the end of a year long course I took for spiritual initiation.  Each student has designed her own ceremony to celebrate this momentous year and all that she has learned.  I look forward to feeling this ritual in every fiber of my being in order to carry it with me forever – along with the rituals of my beloved sisters.  I wrote this poem a while ago but feel that it sums up this last year for me very well.

My Feet in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston, TX

Easing In

by Diane Ludeking

Easing in until last hair joins first toe
Wholly embraced in wet solitude
A muted underwater world


Become her.
The soul you think is separate
Ghosts towards you


Your first love returned
 Together at birth, divided in life
Easing in to a baptism of belonging