Monday, May 13, 2013

Sacred Women !! Women Pray the Water

As Mother's day Twenty Thirteen moves behind us, a small group of Ojibwe American Indian women are settling in back at their homes. They walked around 1,700 miles...from the headwaters to the mouth of the Mississippi River. An extension of a continuing, ancient ceremonial relationship that tribal American Indian women have been having for thousands of generations.

It was just the few of them, a handful. They were joined along the way with other handfuls of people who wanted to participate. Small numbers, yet they walked their way along the road going South. It was an impressive prayer. It was nearly invisible to the attention of the modern world, of the media, of the internet, of strangers passing by.

Several elders, Tribal Grandmothers made this journey. At the end Grandmother offered water from the headwaters to the broken, poisoned, raped, trashed and dying Gulf of Mexico. They carried that water offering in a little bucket, all those miles. Happy Mothers Day, Sacred River.

This same weekend, women Christians in Jerusalem were arrested for their desire to pray at the so-called wailing wall. This was the first I knew that women were not allowed pray at this sacred Christian artifact. Just a handful of women were there, trying to do that. In Ohio, three young women were rescued from ten years of slavery and abuse. In Bangladesh, a young woman was pulled from the ruins of a collapsed factory, where more than one thousand people dies, after 17 days, alive and recovering.

Women all over the world look for power, look for the internal tools they need to persevere and grow in a world society that is largely hostile to all of its women. Every day the path to that sacred power is in plain sight. I was surprised that the River Walker women were not joined and supported by more women. It looks like a long lonely walk. they passed by sleeping women every day, dreaming they could find some way to change things, to be heard, to be safe.

The old Indians always told me that, "my friend, whatever you need is not far away". Many of the old Indians and their children are on the move these days. They are trying to be heard. They are nearby. They know some things, they know some very powerful and interesting things. Patient in a world starving for what they would say, these Grandmothers, yet unable to find them, unable to hear them. So many people, it seems, walk right past what they are looking for, because they never look around. We all expect our salvation is somewhere distant...more often than not, it is nearby, if we could only pay more attention to what is "nearby".

Women like these have enormous healing power. They have the power to make corrections. Another woman at work is Hilary Clinton. The old white men of the GOP are terrified of her. They have already started their campaign of poison and rage against her, four years away from her possible election as the first woman United Staes President. The men who are afraid of her are the same men who measure their cash by the volume of poison pumped in and out of the Mississippi River. She is just One Woman. And the Moral Right is Terrified.
©2013. Mother Mary, Pantelleria

The natural laws of the Mystery Life tell us that if something is done, something will happen. So those tribal Grandmothers walking the river with their old medicines and spirits have done their part. They did something will happen, if only someone is paying attention when it arrives.

In Ojibwe society and culture, in the greater Algonquian civilization, that existed for thousands of years before the modern people arrived, women had many important ceremonial privileges. Among these were the responsibility for all the water. They exercised elegant ceremonies for the rain, for the rivers and lakes. Tobacco, in fact, was one of the most important and powerful ceremonial foods for the manido of the sacred waters. When families traveled, a small container of water from the home water was carried to the new destination. A beautiful ceremony and songs were made as this home water was added to the visiting waters. And those visited waters were carried back home in the same ceremony. these, and many other important ceremonial responsibilities of indigenous women were evidence of the balance and power that comes from equality. Modern society has fueled its ruthless domination of nature and of each other by suppressing and ignoring these powers of balance that women bring to society, to government, and to the normal way of life in a balanced society. This has been and remains true.

In American Indian society women are at least as equally, and often considerably more, oppressed and subjected to violence as all other women of the world. More than one billion acts of violence are perpetuated against women around the world every year. Every year.

The small group of Ojibwe Ladies who walked one thousand and seven hundred miles along the road that runs north to south had a small team of helpers. very few people, notably very few American Indian people, joined them at any point. Their photographer had lousy equipment and only mostly terrible photographs were made. the video of the final ceremony was made in a high win and the sound quality makes the video impossible to understand. And at that final ceremony it seemed like about a dozen people were present. Yet, the elegance of the Grandmother, the tiny, elegant, determined old American Indian woman who made that ceremony is one of the most powerful and beautiful images I have seen in many years. her determination and belief radiate from her posture and her words like sacred water over the dry roots of an old tree. I was very moved. This small group of people stepped outside their daily lives and journeyed with an ancient river in a sacred, ancient, ceremonial journey. They used what was nearby, they used the power within themselves. And even though the world barely noticed this elegant ceremony by tribal American Indian women, those women did Something, and Something will happen. The old Indians tell us if we do our part, if we do something, something will happen. As a ceremony it was an invocation, and it was a seed. If we pay attention, we might see what grows.

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