How We Tended the World at Oracle

Creating a World SandPainting and Healing Ceremony

A group of people journeyed for several months on how to create a world map at Oracle around which the Whole Village could continually bring prayers. It was also our final healing ceremony at Oracle on our last night together.

In our jouneys, we learned it was important to continually hold the whole world in our hearts as we also engaged in the other activities of our village. The creation of the map itself was an act of daily prayer. We made the map on a large sandy volleyball court, using the net over the court to create the celestial sky above. We did this by stringing yarn with stars and planets. Carefully we mounded sand to created rivers, mountains, continents, and the countries of the world. We mixed washable paints with washable glue so the paint would adhere to the sand. We used flour to cover the mountains with snow. This took us a full day. The very center of the map, the Artic or the North Pole, was the place in which we put a sphere to indicate the spherical nature of EarthHome and wthin this sphere we placed special crystals. With prayerfulness,we then place crystals in other places to create crystal "lines of healing."

In a letter sent to village participants, we had asked people to bring objects from their homelands or other places in the world which would be placed in the map to signify the special nature of that country or land. On the second morning, people began bringing these and we would put them in the appropriate places.

Slowly this world began taking shape and the colors spoke of the beauty of this Planet. Our third activity was asking every villager to make a prayer stick which was a way of manifesting their intention to help heal the world. More will be written about prayer sticks and how they were used. In one of the slide shows (EarthPrayers) you can see these sticks before they were placed in the four directions, holding and casting prayers across the world.

On our last evening, hundreds of novitiate candles were arranged around this world. We gathered in front of the dining room and began migrating towards the world and our healing ceremony. As we walked, we sang the Oracle song (given to Carol from the Ancestors):

I've been sent to Earth, to be a Walking Star,
I feel the love sent with me and I will share it all;
I've been sent to Earth, to be a Walking Star,
I hear the prayers made for me and I will pray for all;
I've been sent to Earth, to be a Walking Star,
I'll walk my Light across the world, with other Walking Stars"

The healing ceremony around the world involved songs, prayers, and silence.One of the clan groups, the BearClan, began the ceremony by calling forth, from Ursa Major, the nurturing and turning-of-the world powers. When the cubs emerged from UrsaMajor, it was the signal that blessings from the celestial beings had descended to the world and along with them, did we begin giving our blessings and thanksgiving to the world. Many of us lingered for hours late into the night praying for the world, holding within ourselves awareness of this fragile planet, all beings around the world, and keeping covenant to tend this Earth. This is a brief description of how we created and tended the World.

One of the slide shows (Offerings) displays images of this SandPainting World.

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar 

Reflections on Passover Ritual
By Lori Levine

Ziva Garbi from Israel wished to have a Cross Cultural Passover Ritual at Oracle, as this holiday was soon after the gathering and is a Spring celebration. She asked 6 others to join in forming this offering. The majority of us were not Jewish, and Ziva sent out an explanation of the holiday and a synopsis of some of her dreams about what could be expressed or experienced in a cross cultural ritual based on themes from Passover. As each of us joined in the planning we journeyed to see what Spirit wished to express through us or if a ritual or ceremony presented itself. We than emailed our journeys to each other and set a date when we felt we should begin to weave together what might occur at Oracle.

Although the loom was invisible, a fabric did appear. 3 of us were able to get together prior to Oracle to fine tune the offering. And all of us present at Oracle (2 of the original 7 were unable to attend at the last minute), did the final planning. People often wonder how it is possible to come up with a ritual, ceremony, offering when there are so many journeys and often, at first, they may not even seem to be connected. Here in Tucson, my circle of ten does collaborative art work which stems from journeys or visions. We are often asked about the process. My experience, so far, is that it is almost seamless when you trust each others hearts and visions. Journeys present themselves and you just begin painting, or putting all together. Sometimes something that seemed so important in the beginning easily falls away as the collective vision emerges. Or, all at once everyone sees a missing piece to tie it all together. The head and the heart and the hands do the tasks where their abilities are strongest, and often you never could have imagined in the beginning what would be the result.

So it was with the Passover Ritual. Passover recounts the historical account of the Jewish people who are enslaved by a cruel Pharaoh. They are oppressed and treated unfairly. Through a series of events they are set free to wander in the desert for 40 years until they are able to find the Land of Israel. The book that tell this story, is called the Haggadah. Traditional books present the story as history and it is quite personal to the Jewish people. But is it? All traditions have stories that may have a personal meaning, but allegorically tell a tale for all. Which one of us has not experienced oppression, cruelty, injustice. Certainly from within if not from without. This story, as with many, is a reflection of the inner state of the human condition. The story of Passover also emphasizes the Bodisatvia principle. Now that we are free we pray and work for all to be free. Thus, throughout the Passover story there was much we could discover for us all.

Our ritual at Oracle included a cleansing with salt water (Ziva brought salt from the Dead Sea), using rocks from the Desert and praying at each chakra that all within me which prevented me from being free be released, and honoring all our ancestors who suffered before us so we could be free. We found or created 3 objects; one representing slavery, one representing wandering in the desert, and one representing freedom. We than wandered in the desert with our wandering stick in the time between the 1st and 2nd meeting of our group. When we rejoined one another for our second meeting, we shared a bit of what had happened for us and painted ourselves with mud from Israel as we now emerged with a new face. Finally we adorned our selves with scarves and danced and sang in joy.

As a child, I sat through many a Passover sedar. It was not one of my favorite holidays. It was long, did not seem relevant (my family used a very traditional, historical Haggadah), and I was starving (you do not eat until the service has ended). As an adult, I have rewritten the service with some friends with a spiritual bent. So I was not unfamiliar with a wider view of the Passover themes. But to enact a ritual with a group of people and for some of this to go through my body was extremely powerful for me. I am grateful to Spirit and to all who were present, for an ever deepening understanding of this ancient story passed down from generation to generation.

Letter from Ziva Garbi
To the Passover Offering Circle at Oracle
Tel Aviv, Israel

April ,20,2000
Dear Passover Friends !
We have returned from Jerusalem where we had yesterday the Passover Seder. In this special meal we have a song ‘The Four Questions’ which was sung by the
youngest child who was sitting around the table. This song begins with the first question : "How is this night different from any other nights ?" In my heart I sang a fifth question: "How is this Seder different from any other Seder in my life???"

And the answer was so clear to me: this Seder was different because all of you were with me around the table—.and I was with you again in the big tent in Sonoran Desert ...washing ourselves with the salt water, painting our faces with the black mud from the Dead Sea...having tears and laughter's on our faces...singing and dancing...walking with the stick of wandering in the Desert ...and finding the object of miracle which I brought to Israel and put in my room.

While we sang the song "We were slaves now we are free" I heard your voices...I had tears in my eyes and nobody understood the reason...these tears were thankful tears for all of you.

Yesterday in the special newspaper for Passover I read an article written by a Kabbalist Rabbi. I shivered while I read it, he wrote about what we had done in our offering :
"The Passover has to be a spiritual ritual which has meaning to everyone of us .As it is written in the Haggadah of Passover ‘In every generation it is a person’s duty to consider himself as if he personally had come forth from Egypt’.

Every one has his/her own salvation ,his/her Pharaoh who oppressed us, and everyone of us wants to set free...Everyone has a story of Exodus from slavery". The Kabbalist Rabbi stressed in his article that "in Passover everyone has to clean his/her inner house :the body and the soul..."He also spoke about "the bread and the matzah .The bread is blown up full of ego ,while the matzah is flat and thin, humble without ego..."
Yes miracle has happened in Oracle, and what happened is above words...While calling the four directions I felt that ancient spirits came to help us and to be with us...and we were/are so blessed.
I want to thank you for being together before ,during and after Passover Offering, I have learnt so much walking with you ...I feel this offering is a milestone in my path.
Blessings and much love

From Plant Spirit Group:
Nancy Abildgaard

"The spirits of that place seemed to be guiding us, our voices, our hearts, our hands, our eyes. It was as if They had been waiting for us. We, of the Plant Spirit Medicine group seemed to somehow possess the wisdom to just surrender to them, and they responded by filling our hearts and guiding us through every treatment. The energy and ecstasy was beyond anything we had imagined. We all loved it, and it had a profound effect on us. We would love to do it again.