RITUAL FOR THE HEALING AND PRESERVATION OF RAINFORESTS

May 24th, 1988
8 pm local time

(Individual version):

Cast a circle

Invoke elements by calling upon them in protective aspects (for example, you might invoke Watchfires or Beacons in the South).

Chant the names of the Earth Goddess, beginning with your personal favorites, then naming as many as you can think of.

Take a piece of green string. Begin to tie knots in it, while chanting:

Tying the Cord, Renewing the Earth;
We are Her Children, bringing Rebirth.

(The knots may be simple or elaborate, but leave enough string to tie together at the end.) As you chant, see the world as a network of connected systems. Breathe the air that comes from the jungles of South America. Feel the living fire of an ocelot's power. Taste the rain on the leaves at the tops of the trees. Feel the delicate structure of the soil at the forest floor.)

Tie the cord together in a loop; hold it up, strung around your two hands, and begin chanting:

We are the Flow and we are the Ebb;
We are the Weavers, we are the Web.

As you chant, see yourself standing guard over the borders of the rainforest. See yourself with others, protecting rainforest as you would protect yourself,_because that's what you're doing._

Bury the cord in a container of earth. Earth the power; thank the Deities and elements; open the circle. Later bury the cord in the forest if possible.

(If circumstances make the above impossible):

Sit quietly and see: the network of ecosystems that make up the world; the rainforests thriving; plants and animals breeding; the Earth, green and filled with life; yourself, standing guard. Breathe, and know that the air comes from the sea and the jungles of Brazil. Drink and know that the water has been around the world, and circulates through you as it does through the air, land, and sea. Stand up and stretch; the strength of your body is the Earth's strength.

RITUAL FOR THE HEALING AND PRESERVATION OF RAINFORESTS

(Group version):

Facilitators give each participant a slip of paper containing the name of an Earth Goddess and a Nature God.

Facilitators invoke elements, stressing protective/preservative aspects of each one and ending with "Into this circle I call the Element Air! (Fire, Water, Earth.)" After each such invocation, a dancer or dancers representing the particular element come into the circle from outside and do an elemental dance.

A facilitator says: "We now call upon the Earth Goddess by her many names!" Participants call out the Goddess name on their slip of paper, then any other Goddess names they wish. This ends on a signal from the drums.

A facilitator says: "We now call upon the God of Nature by his many Names!"

The God is invoked in the same fashion as the Goddess, ending with a drum signal.

The elemental dancers go to the quarters and begin passing out pieces of green string, while a facilitator explains that the condition of the rainforests affects us all, that all things are connected, and that the worldwide climate is changed every time another acre of rainforest is lost. S/he explains that these sections of cord represent parts of the Life Circle of Earth, and that they must be joined to protect her.

When the above speech has been made and all the cords have been passed out, a facilitator ties the first knot, saying that tying the cord is renewing the Earth, that we are her children, bringing her rebirth. This is the signal to begin the chant:

Tying the Cord, Renewing the Earth;
We are Her Children, bringing Rebirth.

Clockwise around the circle, one by one, each cord is tied to the next. When the circle is complete, the elemental dancers go to the quarters and hold the cord aloft (participants should not let go yet). The chant continues until the facilitators begin a second chant:

We are the Flow and we are the Ebb;
We are the Weavers, we are the Web.

(Since this is to the same tune, the transition should be easy and seamless.) When this chant begins, the elemental dancers begin to gather in the cord, gently pulling it away from the participants, who gently release it. The elementals bury the cord in a container of earth in the center of the circle, then return to the outside to lead a spiral dance in to the center and back out (once) as the chant continues. When the participants are standing in a circle once more, the chant builds to a cone of power and fires.

The Deities and Elements are thanked, the power is earthed, the circle opened, hugs exchanged. Later bury the cord in the woods.

Last amended June 11, 1989