Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice Activism

I call on everyone today to celebrate this Summer Solstice with some spiritual or direct activism. From the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, to the pending meeting of the International Whaling Commission (who propose lifting the ban on commercial whaling), to the heat waves, monsoons, floods, hurricanes, tornados and storms that are taking over summer worldwide, we have plenty of work to do as Pagans or Christians or just as humans who share the planet.

Some activism ideas, all gleaned from various groups of mine locally and on line:

First of all, a petition to keep the ban on commercial whaling, please sign! Or write the President, urging his administration to oppose lifting the commercial whaling ban. And hurry, this vote is coming this week.

Here is a call to turn off your electricity on June 21st, and to pray for mother earth. Juliane Poirier interviewed Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate Chief Arvol Looking Horse, who agrees with my great grandmother:

""A man or a woman without spirit is very dangerous," Looking Horse explained in a recent phone interview. According to this Sioux chief, the absence of spirit is causing suffering everywhere. "We are in a time of survival," he said. "But we don't want to believe it because we have forgotten our spirits. We have forgotten that Grandmother Earth has a spirit." Disconnected souls, according to Looking Horse, are "hurting others without even knowing they are hurting others." Those being hurt include animals, trees and waterways."

Poirier's interview goes on:

"Looking Horse seems surprised to be a global spokesperson for the environment. "It seems like it was just yesterday when a woman had no voice in this country, when our people were fighting for their rights," he said. "Just a hundred years ago, our people were in concentration camps called reservations. Our ceremonies were outlawed, and we were put in boarding schools. I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to the White House. Now today, people all over the world are listening to us."

And here's the message. "On June 21," said Looking Horse, "shut off the electricity and let's pray.""

Here is a prayer from Looking Horse for you to use today:

****** A Great Urgency ******
To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,
Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their
Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together
From the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the
World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing
Their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the
Sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many
Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that
Crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be
Affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The
Catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the
Bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes
That we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in
Prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these
Serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our
Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united
Prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I
Believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our
Thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that
Have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let
Us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother
Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

We ask for ! prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding , will stop. That
The winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be
Guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live
In harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we
Are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And
That what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.
Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June
21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether
It is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your
Own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good
Decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and
Well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

And here, from Druid Ellen Evert Hopman, a re-invisioning of the Carmina Gadelica, to pray for the healing of the Gulf:

I plan to use this on Solstice. I will apologize to the waters, thank the
waters and then make offerings to a stream as I intone this
blessing. My hope is that Druids and Celtic folk all over will do this too.
Go to the ocean if you can, if not then make your offerings to a stream. All
streams flow into the sea, eventually;

"O Gods of the sea,
put health in the drawing waves,
to enrich the vast ocean,
to liven the dying waters"

"I come here in prayer on this day,
Day to send healing on the vast waters,
Day to send health to fish and fowl,
Day to put right the web in the warp.
Day to put life in the briny waters,
Day to place health back in the ocean,
Day to cleanse, day to bless,
Day to put right a great wrong.

Day to put life back in the tide,
Day to send health to the life in the sea,
Day to make a most effective prayer,
Day of power, Gods bless the vast ocean,
Day of power, may the ocean be blessed."

(adapted from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of traditional Scottish
prayers and invocations)

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
Ellen Evert Hopman, author of "Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey",
"The Druid Isle", "A Druids Herbal - Of Sacred Tree Medicine", "Walking the
World in Wonder - A Children's Herbal" and other volumes
http://www.elleneve rthopman. com
Visit the Virtual Shrine of Brighid ~ http://shrineofbrig
'The Order of the White Oak' - World Druid Council Ord na Darach Gile -
Comhairle Domhanda na nDraoí
www.whiteoakdruids. org
Is maith cech dál dia ticc síd. Any meeting that produces peace is good.

Turning off electricity for part of a day and saying a prayer for our planet seems a good way to celebrate this midsummer. (Ok, jump a few bonfires, too!)

If you want to be more active, here are ideas:

(ok, half my friends are going to be jumping with joy at a pagan group with dragon in the name, and the other half will be moaning. . . bite me again!) is a UK environmental pagan network, with a yahoo group and a ritual directory! Worth checking out for environmentally activist pagans! (Yup, I'm a member.) (Nope, I will not argue about dragons.)

Another, and this time Christian web presence, is the Fund for Christian Ecology, with lots of links for getting active in your church community.

And if you want some kick-ass Christian theology on environmentalism and the sacred, check out Daniel T. Spencer's fabulous book, Gay and Gaia: Ethics, Ecology and the Erotic. A little mix of LGBT theology, eco-feminist theology, and no-apologies Christian ethics. Why not do some heavy duty reading for the solstice?

At the least people, please sign the Avaaz petition. Say a prayer. Send some energy. This longest day of the year, our planet needs us doing something.

June 23rd Update:

BP is now burning sea turtles alive in the gulf. Ok, petition to stop this here. And while there sign up for Credo environmental alerts. . .

And my apologies: readers in Australia and now the UK tell me the Credo link won't work for them. Here is the link to BP's own comment form! Use it!

And another update: June 27th

The International Whaling Commission upheld the ban on commercial whaling.

Huzzah everyone!

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