Every spring, Becoming goes on pilgrimage to the source of the Potomac River to give blessings and praise offerings to the beginning of the river that runs through the land on which we live. Some years, we have had lots of snow in the mountains, the land is saturated, and the spring is full and flowing. Even then, the Potomac at this stage is small enough to stand with one foot on either “shore.” Some years, there has been little snow or rain, the land is parched, and the spring is empty. During these years, we pour water over our cold hands into the spring, praying for rain and lending our energy to unblock the flow of the waters.
Every fall, we meet near Hains Point, where the Anacostia flows into the Potomac, and the river becomes tidal and salty with the waters from the far-off ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Here we give thanks for the abundance of our lives and the land on which we live, and we give back some of that abundance in appreciation.
In our monthly circle yesterday, we mixed water from the source with salt to bring together this two annual rites for us. Becoming is about connections and community — connections with the world around us, with each other, and with our gods; and being in community within these relationships of connections. This has been a tough drought year for our region. Many of us in the group belong to community supported agriculture coops and are learning from our local farmers and from the vegetables that do and do not show up on our tables how the lack of rain affects us directly.
In circle, we cannot just pray for rain and expect it to come. A cone of power can do wonders, but learning through doing is more effective for our group. So, gathered in sacred space, we teach ourselves how to nurture and care for the earth by nurturing and caring for each other. We wash each others hands in the salty water, gently showing caring for each other. Care. Compassion. Love. Respect. Our simple actions embody the attitude we wish to carry forth in our lives to others and the world around us.
The water is then lovingly spread on the ground between us. From the earth to us, from us to the earth. May the rains fall. May your harvest be bountiful. May your life have meaning. And may the earth be renewed and loved.
Blessed be. So mote it be. So say we all.
posted as part of Blog Action Day
[tags]Becoming, ritual, Potomac, water, compassion, pantheism[/tags]