Sacred Journeys: Healing Wisdom of Mother EarthKim Elkington September 1, 2004
Everyday Rituals & Celebrations
Since February I have been wearing a vial of water from the Glastonbury Well around my neck at all times, representing both the nourishing blood of Mother Earth and the nectar of a vast Spirit of Creation. Not surprisingly, water, in her guise as a guardian and teacher, lead me to the four-day Circle of All Nations gathering, hosted by William Commanda, Elder and Spiritual leader of the Algonquin People, at his home on Bitobi Lake, Kitigan Zibi Reserve, Maniwaki Quebec.
At sunrise each day we rose from our tents and moved silently down to the sacred fire at the water’s edge to gather around the elders and pipe carriers attending from around the world, for a traditional sunrise ceremony. Prayers rose in the tobacco, giving thanks for all our relations: water, mineral, fire, and air; our animal and plant relations; the stars and the planets; the moon and sun; and everything visible and invisible that is part of creation, and therefore part of each of us. We were reminded, and remained so, that each of us and the grounds we walked on were sacred.
To walk the Red Road means to walk a path rooted in Mother Earth and connected always to Great Spirit. Whether we were from Japan (as many were), or from Haiti or Cameroon as others were, native, or white like me, all of us shared an indivisible love and respect for walking the Red Road. It was a joy to be together without judgment and in full acceptance and celebration for our efforts to live with integrity.
William Commanda is now in his 90s, and since the early 1960s has been focused on peace building, racial harmony, social justice and sharing indigenous healing wisdom of Mother Earth.
He carries The Seven Fires Prophecy Belt, which now offers humanity an urgent choice to move into forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation with all our relations, so that we can then come together in peace and light the eighth fire where we become “a Circle of All Nations: a Culture of Peace.”
This year we came together around water. The water table is drying up because the governments are selling the spring water at the mouth of the watersheds to huge companies as bottled water. This affects everything in the watershed. The trees and plants are being torn up by developers so the water is not being held longer by the plants, or given shade on the rivers. It is evaporating and or rushing faster to the lakes and oceans without staying to do its job in the watershed. We talked about things we can do and are being done around the world: in villages, by groups of ten people or more, and by governments.
Shiroh Tenge, author, walker of the Red Road, and Sony executive who co-created the compact disc technology, shared a great Japanese success story. The stench in Tokyo was so bad you had to pinch your nose for five hours sailing out of the harbour before you could breathe. Only 10% of the city council cared but it was enough to get regulations for the industries. Then at the national level only 1% of the government cared but it was enough to implement those rules throughout the watershed around Tokyo, and now 40 years later people swim and fish right in the harbour where 40 million people live.
Watersheds affect everyone and everything within them; they connect us as a community and a family. The health of our water reflects our own health. There was a presentation on Masaru Emoto’s work: sending words, feelings, and music into water for a period of time (two hours) and then freezing the water and photographing the crystalline structures. In a past column we spoke of this in detail, but briefly, when “I hate you” was said into the water the structures broke down and looked like industrial waste. When “I love you” or “thank you” were focused onto the water the crystalline structures were complex and beautiful. Read his Messages From Water (Volumes 1 and 2) if you have not already, as they are very inspiring.
Our bodies, like the Earth’s body, are 70% water, and since water is a reflection of its environment, imagine what the water in our bodies looks like when we are angry all the time. Imagine how much it would help the water table if you thanked your water before and after you bathe. Simple, powerful solutions that require the humility to acknowledge that we are all connected to each other, and part of a vast Spirit of Creation that responds to a pure and open heart’s intention.
After our talks each day, around 4 p.m. the fires began for the evening sweat lodges. Between seven and 14 sweats were run each evening on the sacred ground. Imagine if meetings in Ottawa and Washington began with a Sunrise Ceremony and ended with a multilingual sweat-lodge each night. If you can attend the Circle of All Nations next year please do. All are welcome and you will be recharged by the generosity of our indigenous elders, the hopefulness of fellow participants, and the integrity of life on the Red Road.
Kim Elkington is the co-founder of The Algonquin Tea Co, a line of quality teas made from organic wildcrafted Canadian herbs. These days, Kim works with Local Sustainably Wild-picked Canadian herbs to make organic herbal, black, green and chai tea blends. Find these products online: www.wildcanadiantea.com, or www.algonquintea.com Email Kim at: firstname.lastname@example.org