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Festival Eye '98 Writings - Pages 4/5


Mending The Sacred Hoop On This Land

If you are reading this article, then you are most probably on a quest in this life, seeking something meaningful, awakening to the fact that something needs to be done in a very real way, to restore the balance on this earth that we all share.

Change

Many of us in the Civilised West are awakening to the culture that is devoid of meaningful ceremony and ritual. As indigenous peoples of these blessed Isles, our lives, and healthy connection to the spirit, were once maintained by regularly coming together in ceremony. Where have these ceremonies gone? This land has witnessed the mass extermination of her shamans, witches, healers and see-ers, and with these relatives of ours went much of the old Knowledge. They called it the Dark Ages, and here we are on the brink of a New Millennium. How do we move forward from here? For many thousands of years our ancestors all over the Earth lived in harmony with the world we live on now. The answer is right under our nose. Many of us have heard an Ancient Calling, we search far and near- where are the answers? Are they to be found in the teachings of Buddha? Of Jesus? At the feet of an Indian Guru, or in the smile of the lama? In a crystal shop or a medicine wheel workshop? Yes! These are bits and pieces of a bigger puzzle. Yet another piece can be found closer to home. In a time before the rise of the world's religions, before the fall of the tower of Babel, when we spoke a common language, the Old People of this Earth had a way

Quest

"Go and sit up on the mountain for four days, my child, without food or water. Ask for a vision; when you return you will no longer be a child".

"Come sit here around these hot Stone People, our oldest relatives here on Earth. Pay attention- they may have something to tell you here in this sweatlodge/ sauna/ temescal/ hammam"

Universal

The Vision Quest and the Sweatlodge are most often considered to be Native American ways of life. It is true that our Red brothers and sisters have held on to these ways, through much persecution. Did you know that the people of the British Isles used to enjoy a good sweatlodge? In Ireland they built sweathouses from stone, leaving us evidence of this ancient ceremony. In Britain one need only look at the many 'benders' (Wigwams/wickie-ups) that people still live in, in this country. Bring in some hot rocks, close the flap, and hey bingo, you're in a sweatlodge! It doesn't take much imagination does it? The vision quest, too, is a universal way. The threshold rituals marking the transition from childhood to adulthood world-wide share the same elements; leaving the fold of the community, enduring and (usually) going without the lifelines of food and/or water. This ceremony marks the first step of Awakening the Spirit within a being. The world's great prophets (Jesus & Buddha for example) used this way forward. These ceremonies nurture the qualities of quickening, of healing, inner strength, integrity, wisdom & love. Those seeking to find a direction have used these throughout the ages.

Old Ways

These are some of the ways that our ancestors, here and all over the planet, used to align themselves with the wisdom of creation. On the brink of this new millennium we still have knowledge of these simple ways. And they still work!!

New Ways

The image of Stonehenge is known throughout the world as a sacred site of major significance. It was built, some say, about four thousand years ago, and the dance circles next to the site are even older. This land is abundant with such stone circles with their attendant dance circles. Often, as we wander around such sites we wonder- what took place here? A clue to the nature of the Dances can be found, once again, Across the water with our Red sisters and brothers who, every summer, still dance their dances of Renewal. This is known as the Sundance. This dance involves a circle and a Tree of Life in the centre, laden with the prayers of the people. This dance involves Dancers and Supporters (family). The dancers dance for four days without food or water to the sound of the heartbeat, a drum, carrying the prayers of the people. This is a simple and powerful ceremony that yields incredible results on the personal, tribal and global level. It has been a long time since our people have come together in this way.

Strength

Back in 1978 in the USA, a gathering of Grandmothers, Grandfathers and tribal leaders came together to discuss what could be done about the crisis that the Earth and its people are facing. They came to the conclusion that we must strengthen our ceremonies, and thereby our communities and our connection to the Earth, in order to understand, and honour once again, that 'All life is Sacred'. In the Oldest Way, Runners were the sent out to communicate this to the people. There have been runners running from village to village, carrying this message since 1978. They have run across the USA more than five times with their message, they have run across Japan, Scandinavia and Australia, taking the message to the indigenous peoples of the world.

Arrival

Last year, in September '97, these runners arrived in the British Isles. They ran through Ireland and then they ran through Scotland delivering this message:

"Strengthen your Ceremonies - All Life is Sacred"

The indigenous peoples of the world are waiting for the Lost White Brother & Sister to return to the Sacred Hoop, to make it whole again.

Gathering

The Renewal dances, Sundances, are traditionally a time for gathering of the Tribes. That's what we need to do. Gather in ceremony together and rekindle a dance of this land, to dream our way forward, together. This article is an Open Invitation. If you are Awakening to your self and feel that it is time to do something in a very real way to restore the harmony within and without, we invite you ~ Buddhists, Christians, Witches, Anarchists, Rastas, Rainbow Warriors, Greenpeace supporters, Musicians, Artists, Teachers, Students, Healers, Road Protesters, Muslims, Jews, Farmers, Travellers, Mothers, Fathers, Dongas, Ordinary Folk and anyone not mentioned above ~ We invite you to come together in Love, Honour, Tolerance and Full Respect for one another as people of these Blessed Islands, to bring back these ways, to come together and dance.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, contributions, locations or queries about any of the above please contact Tom at Trackways ~ (0117) 955 5312.

See you there, Relatives

Wolfwind & Sarah-Jane
'We carry a prayer for unity'

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Towards a True Balance

Be Mindful!
Husband and earth.
Protect her from greed and violence.
Build humbly, plant trees, grow flowers and clothe her with dignity.
Respect all her creatures. Honour her natural laws and the Universe which cradles her.
Above all, heartily worship the source of all that is.

The world needs secret heroes. Be brave, speak the truth, heal the sick, make peace.
Be strong, serve patiently, love generously, live simply. Enjoy fellowship, eat and drink modestly,
celebrate the festivals. Breath deeply, sing and make music, walk often, cycle and re-cycle.
Be thrifty, prefer cash flow to possessions, give good measure.
Let your work be your prayer.

Put on the whole armour of light!
Unearth the beauty in everything. Inhale the spirit of goodness.
Kindle kindness, especially towards yourself, embrace the sweet silence of your own soul.
Fear nothing. Accept what you are and
~ while you have breath ~
Give Thanks

JPR

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