World Water Day

water

Today is world water day.  The International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers gather in Arizona today in ceremony with thousands of people to pray for the waters.  They have called for an honoring of the waters and asked us to gather in ritual to give thanks for the waters.  Below are their words:

Statement from the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers for World Water Day March 22nd 2014
As a means of sisterhood, motherhood, and womanhood, please join the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers with strong beautiful prayers being held all around the world by many for the healing of our waters, our Mother Earth and humanity.
We thank all those who join us as we pray for the life of water for our future generations.

  • Prepare a bowl of clean water or stand beside a body of water.
  • Please pray for the water in apology (for polluting and disrespect. Then offer prayers of love, gratitude and respect.
  • Hold both of your hands toward the water, from your heart your energy will be projected into the water through your hands. (you can close your eyes during this process)
  • Please intend that the vibrations, which now fill the water will spread to the waters all over our Mother Earth.
  • You may also add your own prayer to the water, meditation, chanting, music, songs, dancing, and so on intending the same purpose.
  • Each person can bring a bottle of their drinking water, and when the ceremony is complete – each one will pour a little bit of the drinking water on their hand, with a loving thought, sprinkle the water away from you (as in spreading Seeds), then drink the water, with a feeling of gratitude.

For more information visit www.inthenameofthemother.net
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Thank you for the Rains

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On Feb 2, California residents rejoiced at the sight of rain falling upon the parched earth.  Many curled up in bed and slept late on the Pagan holiday of Imbolc or Brigid to honor the beautiful dampness that had blessed the land.  Some sprung out of bed to walk, hike, bike ride or even dance in the rain.  At higher elevations residents delighted in the long awaited snow of the winter of 2014.

This rain is such a beautiful gift.  May we remain connected with gratitude for the waters.  May we also remember that this rain is not enough to begin to fill the water tables and much much more is needed.  The good news is the forecast looks like there’s a good chance that more rain is coming. 

Keep those prayers and rain magic coming!

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California Bishops call for Prayers for Rains

“Water is essential to who we are as human beings.  Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of creation and creation is a part of us.”

“Water is essential to who we are as human beings. Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of creation and creation is a part of us.” ~Bishop Jamie Soto

The California Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement calling for prayers for the waters and prayers for the rains earlier this month. In a recent statement Bishop Jamie Soto of Sacramento focused on the impact that the drought is having upon farmworkers through unemployement and fire risk. Bishop Soto was quoted as saying, “As we work toward the common good of the state in this situation, we are reminded of our dependence on the Creator and of the relationship we have with Him to be good stewards,” Soto wrote. “As stewards of creation we can turn to the Divine Master asking that He see our plight and give ear to our plea for rain.”

The California Conference of Catholic Bishops has put together a page with liturgical resources for Catholic Clergy and lay people. This page includes prayers, social doctrine around water and links to resources around the drought. According to social doctrine, “By its very nature water cannot be treated as just another commodity among many, and it must be used rationally and in solidarity with others. The distribution of water is traditionally among the responsibilities that fall to public agencies, since water is considered a public good. If water distribution is entrusted to the private sector it should still be considered a public good.”

Regardless of your faith tradition, this teaching offers interesting reflection around the question of who owns the water.  As a person who practices Earth Based Spirituality, I believe that water is a sacred being and that no one can own the water.  What do you believe about water?  Must water be a commodity in our modern society?  How does your faith and understanding of the universe call you to be with the waters?

 

Honoring the Waters, Calling the Rains

Just 10 days into the new year, hundreds of thousands of residents of West Virginia learned that they could not drink or even shower in the waters coming out of their tap because of a Chemical spill in the Elk river. Freedom Industries, a company that manufactures and stores chemicals used in the coal industry is responsible for the spill. One of their tanks ruptured and dumped thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals into the Elk river poisoning the land and the waterways for miles surrounding their tanks.

 

West Virginia residents have been hit hard by this spill. They have been lining up collect drinking water that has been brought in by the National Guard in the wake of this disaster. The effects that this spill has had on the land, the non-human beings of the land, are not yet known but undoubtedly there will be long lasting effects on all life around the Elk River. You can donate to efforts to support West Virginia residents hit hard by this spill here.

 

On the other side of the land that is known by many as Turtle Island or the United States, the state of California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recorded history. There has been a weather pattern present in the state since December 2012 that weather experts are calling “the ridge” that has prevented any substantial rainfall over the last year. This year’s rainy season is being hailed as the driest in recorded history and just this past Friday California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought asking cities and counties to voluntarily reduce water consumption.

 

We humans are not in right relationship with the waters.  Oil Spills in the Oceans, Chemicals in the Rivers, and not enough water to feed the human and non-human beings in the west are just a few examples of the urgent need for us to move towards right relationship with the waters.  Ceremony is one of the ways that we can offer thanks and come into balance with the waters in our bodies and the waters of the land. 

 

This simple ceremony is a way to begin to move towards right relationship.  This is a ritual to be shared and shaped and shifted to whatever feels right for you and your beloveds. What is important is that we share the water that is life together and give thanks.

 

Water Communion

A Liturgy for reconnection with the waters

 This communion can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like it to be. This liturgy is intentionally kept simple so as to increase accessibility.

 

For this ritual you will need:

1 Cup or Vessle for Water

Potable Water

Optional:

A plant or bowl of earth

Waters collected from a sacred site, holy well, or polluted rivers

Candles, Altar, Other Ritual Items from your tradition

 

  1. Begin by gathering in a circle and taking some breaths in silence together. You could add opening words, a poem, and/or a song here if you want to create a more elaborate ritual.
  2. Pour the potable water into the cup. One person will lift up the water towards the sky or ceiling. Imagine the rains falling down onto the earth as you do this.
  3. Offer a prayer or blessing into the water. This person will then lower the glass and speak their prayer or blessing into the water in the cup. This can be offered with words, song, or in silence. Connect with gratitude for the waters of the earth and the waters inside your body as you do this.
  4. Pass the Cup to the person to your left. The next person will lift the water to the sky and then offer a prayer or blessing into the water as described in the previous steps. Pass the cup around the circle until all participants have offered a blessing.
  5. Drink or Anoint with the Water. Each person should take a small sip of the water or anoint their body with a drop of water. As you drink or anoint your body with the water, I invite you to feel your human connection with water through the water that is inside your body and your human dependence upon water for survival.
  6. Offer the water to the Earth. Take the remainder of the water and pour it onto the earth. You might have a potted plant or a small bowl of dirt that is inside the circle with you that you pour the remaining water into symbolically representing a return of the waters to the earth. You may want to perform the ritual outside where you can directly pour the remaining water onto the earth. Or you may want to as a group walk outside together, gather again in a circle and pour the water on the earth together. Here would be another good place to add closing words, a song, or a prayer or blessing from your tradition.  If you have non-potable water that you would like to add to the ceremony, you can add this water to the glass before you return the waters to the earth.

I invite you to consider changing this ritual adding elements that may make it feel more resonate for people in your circle. Perhaps adding prayers or songs from your religious or cultural tradition would make it feel more powerful for people in your circle. Perhaps passing around the cup and only a silent breath of gratitude would make this ritual feel accessible for your community. The ritual actions can all be completed by one person or they can be shared by many. Please don’t be afraid to modify and share this ritual widely.  Please Share your Visions, Experiences, and Prayers in the comments below!

Blessed Be the Rivers

Blessed Be the Rains

Blessed Be the Oceans

Blessed Be the Waters.