The Year of the Tiger began with rituals of clearings and wonderfully inspired clanging and banging of pan lids with silverware. Saturday night, just before climbing onto the futon Pete and I sat quietly with small sheets of turquoise colored post-it paper. Our tiny vardo home/oasis bedroom newly cleaned, the time just before sleep was our time to commit to our private and collective goals/dreams for the coming Year of the Tiger. A small and precious china bowl painted with violets, a piece of my long ago and treasured history sat empty except for the Citrine crystal that has traveled with us for a decade. Silently we wrote words and images we see happening in our new lunar year. When the sheets of turquoise were filled, we folded them words facing in (like eggs ready for fertilization) and placed them in the violet bowl along with the crystal. "So it is. Mahalo Ke Akua." Our ritual of commitment complete, we ended with that simple prayer ending.
The morning of the new moon was blessed with a night of cleansing rain. The Mill Town was blissfully clean. I opened all the windows, put on my Qi Gong meditations to clear my own dear self through 4-Route Relaxation first, and then followed up with deep breathing to exchange qi (chi) with the universe. What a way to step into the year!
Our friends L and D were invited to join us in a Gung Hee Fat Choy parade of clearing old and stagnant energy from their home and our vardo. Prepared and product/scent-free our friends picked up a pan lid, a piece of silverware of their choosing and I asked them to just "Follow me!" With my mask in place, I started up and out their front door and said, "Well, start by coming back in," the idea of course, to clang and bang the energy of the New Year into the home, chase any lingering old 'ghosts' at the front porch. "Gung Hee Fat Choy!!......" over and over the four-person procession wound in through the house, up the stairs, opening closet doors, bedroom doors (I left the product-housed bathroom to my friends); opened side doors when we clanged through the main floor and then down into the basement where we keep our 'living room' and bathroom space.
Throughout the parade, the two Westies and our kitty JOTS looked as their humans engaged in boisterous and noisy FUN!! The foursome ended the parade by coming to the steps and porch of our vardo. I stepped in with my serving spoon and frying pan lid clanging while my band backed me up from outside. Whew, what a good time. Qi (chi) exchanged and moved. "Thank you, " L said when we had finished.
The activities were not over yet. Pete and I were up earlier to prepare long rice noodles and mochiko (sweet rice flour) and ginger chicken with a sweet and spicy gluten-free spice cake. (This package mix has a no-fail recipe on the bag that works everytime and costs around $6.00 US for a 9x13 sheet cake.) "Something's happening here at 2 o'clock!" D said. It was a secret. With the chicken and spice cake in the oven, I went to the vardo and the futon for a bit of a refresh. Shortly after two, Pete came to the door to get me. I saw men standing on the sidewalk ... hidden behind the port-a-potty for the construction next door. Hmmm... the mystery was quickly unfolding.
Pete asked, "You wanna be inside or on the porch? Your choice." I chose the inside, with mask on rather than beside the press-board tower being built next door. In I went. L was seated facing the windows. She was given specific directions to set and wait there. With the two women in place, D ushered four men dressed in tuxedos of white and black with cumberbuns of red for Valentine's Day. The WindJammers of Everett were hear to sing our love songs. OMG it was awesome, sweet harmony and tears of joy fell as the quartet of mature male voices filled the Mill Town home with song. The noodles and spice cake were a treat for the tiger in us. I was prepared to spend fifteen minutes at a time inside our friends' living, standing at the breakfast bar to join in the festivities. With a reasonable limit like that, I opened myself to receive and give the goodness of friendship and support two essential parts of my affirmations for the Year of the Tiger. And, the noodles and spice cake were bonus bounty.
The moon has already moved through Hoaka and now into the four nights of Ku the Crescent phase of expansion, growth continuing the commitment to those goals written on turquoise paper eggs incubating in a violet painted bowl.
How did your new lunar year begin?