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Sacred Ground Journal. Thoughts on life.

Responding in Prayer

Phyllis Bala


Here is our little Medicine Wheel group, with two of us unable to attend.  However, we held space for Kathy & Linda.  This is a beautiful little forest tended by the community, just up the hill from Sacred Ground.

On Saturday, December 3, we took some of the Stone People from our Medicine Wheel at Sacred Ground to build one in the redwood forest.  All of us have been following closely the historic events happening at Standing Rock, in North Dakota.  Unfortunately, our mainstream media hasn't been covering too much of what's been happening, but some of the best interviews of Native American leaders, activists and Water Protectors can be seen on Democracy Now! news with Amy Goodman, if you aren't yet familiar with what's going on at Standing Rock.

Standing Rock has set a precedent in our country for the protection of water, sacred sites and indigenous treaty lands  It is so powerful a message, that indigenous leaders and elders are hoping this will spark a movement of public responsiveness all around our country and the world. At last count, there were more than 10 thousand people who answered the call to show up as support to protect the Missouri River from the Dakota Access PipeLine (DAPL) and much more.

There was a world-wide request for prayer to be sent to Standing Rock on Sunday, December 4th.  Both Medicine Wheel Programs participated by responding in prayer throughout the weekend of the 3rd & 4th in "our neck of the woods".  The guest you see standing beside the Water Is Life sign in our photo is my friend & colleague, Molly Arthur who brought an official poster like those used at the NO DAPL (No Dakota Access PipeLine) water protector camp.

After making our individual offerings at the opening of the forest, we asked permission of the Standing People (trees) to enter.  Walking along the beautiful pathway, I was wondering about the spot where we would build our Medicine Wheel. We stopped briefly to quietly listen to nature.  There were two ravens calling insistently, "Over here.  Over here!"  "Walk this way!  Over here."  "OK, ok," I answered them back.  "We're coming!"  "Thank you!" I said to them both.  We were led to a circle with a table that is probably a favorite vantage point for a fox, judging by the scat. We felt grateful for this beautiful afternoon in the dappled sun.  Others who ventured into our area while sharing the forest, quietly and respectfully changed their course to honor our space. The ravens remained fairly quiet through most of our stay.

I discovered the next day that the food offerings on the "spirit plate" we offered to the ancestors were greatly appreciated by our animal relatives.  They feasted on everything except the little arugula leaves, which they also licked clean.  

After about two hours of speaking to Spirit, the elements, our ancestors, all our relations--we finished laying down our prayers at the Medicine Wheel & walked into the Sacred Directions, offering deep gratitude, appreciation and spirit food to the Stone People.  We closed the Wheel, acknowledging with enormous love and respect, the heart of the One each woman trusts will answer when she calls from the truth of her own heart.

On Sunday, upon our return, we learned DAPL had been temporarily shut down.  The peoples around the world continue praying for the protection of water and lands from the recklessness of the gas and oil corporations.

Mahalo for sharing this with us.  Water Is Life.