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Eco-magic - Rituals:
Living Waters Ritual

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Created by T. Sivia Rabinovitch


On Friday night, 16 November, a group of the magickal activists in Ottawa for the G-20 meetings, sponsored a "Living Waters" ritual at the Parsival Waldorf School. Approximately 100 people attended, from all walks of life, spanning ages from babes in arms (nursing and gurgling contentedly) to spry community members in their 70s.

The Ritual:
The ritual was not heavily advertised in advance which was a sort of good thing; the crowd which might have otherwise attended would have profoundly overflowed the space available. A mix of Reclaiming Collective people, local Midwife organization members, and other activists orchestrated most of the ritual activities. In the centre of the room was a blue pool of water (which, as I recall, was salt-water) surrounded by flowers. Starhawk helped lead the meditations, using various drums (bodhrann and doumbek) to keep the heartbeat-rhythms going.

The focus of the ritual was on a healthy earth and healthy environment, and through this, healthy people. Each participant was given a glass stone. We were asked to think about the things which have caused us tears, and focus this into the stone. Then participants were invited to choose a partner from the room, and discuss what has caused us the sadness. After this, each participant was asked to exchange stones with their partner.

Next we were asked to find new partners, and talk about what we have to offer to each other, and to the world. What do we bring to those around us? Again, we were invited to discuss this with our new partners, after pouring these qualities into our new stone. As before, the stones were again exchanged.

Thirdly (and much magick is done in threes), all participants were invited to meditate on what their hopes and dreams are; hopes and dreams for themselves, for the world around them. What made us happy and fulfilled? What could we strive for? Again, we meditated on this and poured energy into the stones.

All participants were then invited to place our stones into the pool of living waters, and a wordless chant ensued throughout the room. Slowly at first, a snaking spiral dance started in the room, picking up speed and counterpoint musical tones. Starhawk invited each participant to look into the eyes of each other person as they passed during the spiral dance. Eyes brushed eyes, faces were serious, smiling, laughing, and/or crying. The entire world danced by each person's face: dark and light, young and old, male and female, conservative and radical. Some participants winked, others smiled; some even launched quick kisses to other dancers.

As the energies built throughout the room, the pace of the chanting and volume increased. Finally, the energies were sent out into the world, to friends and family; to protesters and homeless; to four-footed and two-footed, to rock and grass and waters. The energies were then grounded, and the crowd was invited to take a stone back out of the pool as a keepsake and reminder of all we had meditated on.

I did arrive a bit late, so I missed the teaching of a couple of chants (which were, as most are, easily picked up after a verse or two were sung) and some of the introduction to the ritual itself.

After the energy was grounded, Starhawk taught the participants a "revised" or "reclaimed" hymn about flowing waters and going down to the river to pray (I was unfamiliar with it, but it certainly sounded like a Gospel piece to my ears). Discussion then ensued about who would be doing what during the Saturday marches, where which group would be marshalling, what they would be wearing, and the non-marching efforts others could help with (e.g., media coverage).

It was a wonderful and uplifting ritual, and I for one am glad to have been given the chance to share it with the diverse community at Parsival School Friday night. To Lisa Fithian [spelling?] and Starhawk, and the rest of the organizers (many of whose names I did not catch) my heartfelt thanks for the evening and the energies given and sent.

The ritual was non-denominational (although most attendees would probably define themselves as neo-Pagan and/or Goddess spirituality participants) and very focussing in nature.

To do magick is to change consciousness. To change our world, we must do magick. To survive, we must change our world. Maybe we need more magick in our world.

Dr. TSivia Rabinovitch, Dept. of Religious Studies and Classics, University of Ottawa.

3:24am Tue Nov 20 '01

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