Step into Life at White Rose Farm!

Welcome to our blog.
Posted 1/22/2017 1:31pm by Sally Voris .

“The energy on the farm is changing:the light seemed clearer, the silence deeper.” I told my friend as she drove us to the Women's March in Baltimore. Trained as a scientist, she questioned me: “How do you know? Is it something you feel?” Yes, I responded.

Last night, I read a passage in The Wind Is My Mother by Bear Heart. On the fourth day of their most sacred celebration, everyone was asked to be quiet. Then the medicine man communicated with the Great Spirit. “It seemed that even the birds knew to be quiet... We were in tune with all of life.”

That is how it has felt for me on the farm recently. The atmosphere in Baltimore seemed more muddied, but those who were congregating seemed impassioned and energetic. I had made prayers ribbons to share. Prayer ribbons, I had learned from Evan Pritchard, are an Algonquin tradition to help us connect with the energies of nature.

He had also referred me to the Seven Fires Prophecy. That prophecy says that America will come to a crossroads: one path will lead to destruction for all humanity; the other to peace and harmony as four races come together on a spiritual path. The ribbons of yellow, red, black, white represent the four races, the green, the Earth, the blue, sky and spirit. When we tie them together we affirm that we will honor all life; when we hang them outside, we affirm that we will work with nature.

I draped prayer ribbons over my neck and slung a poster on my back which read: “Native American prayer ribbons. Four races. One Nation. Under God. Indivisible. With Liberty and Justice For All.” I saw a security guard, a black man, with in open face. “Would you like a prayer ribbon?” I asked. I explained its significance. Yes!” he smiled.

For the next hour, whenever I saw an open face in the crowd, I offered that person a prayer ribbon. Most said yes. I met a black woman whose sign was filled with images of flowers advocating respect for women. Soon we hugged, celebrated our commitment to beauty, and then sang “We Shall Overcome” in strong melodious voices as others looked on.

When I explained the prayer ribbons to another woman, she responded simply, “We are one!” Yes, I acknowledged. Some gave me donations; another woman gave me a pink felt hat. A older gentleman, a tall, graceful man from Wyoming, came towards me, asking for a ribbon.

I had given away my last ribbon, except for the one in my own hat, when a graceful black woman approached me. Her brown eyes were deep and clear. “Tell me about prayer ribbons,” she said. I did. She said she woke grieving the loss of the couple who had been in the White House. Then she felt she had to come to the march.

I understood, I responded. A teacher of mine had described that the darkness of our culture had come to the surface. Beneath the surface was light. I unpinned the ribbon on my hat and pinned it onto hers. Our eyes met: I saw her light; she saw mine. We hugged as sisters in spirit.

Was there politics and anger at the march? Yes. The leader, an older white woman, held the small and inadequate megaphone close to her mouth and shouted into it. She led chants that sounded angry and political. The crowd waved to the drone as it flew over the crowd, imagining that they would appear enthusiastic for the news hour. One poster included obscene language; others spoke to Trump's statements about grabbing women.

A young woman played “America the Beautiful” on a big brass instrument, as three men accompanied her on percussion. Clusters in the crowd sang “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land is Your Land.”

I was drawn to the March as a salmon is drawn to swim upstream. I experienced the crowd of more than a thousand as a sea of good will: old and young, black and white, straight and gay, parents with children, handicapped; heads covered, heads shaved, well-dressed, casual, a new tide rising within and around us. I met many eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart.

As we walked back to the car, I noticed a father with a small child on his shoulders. His poster read: “Childcare 101: Be kind to each other.” I passed the same security guard. “Can I have another prayer ribbon?” he asked. “ I somehow lost mine.” I reached into my bag and found spare ribbons. The white ribbon was long; the black ribbon short, but they were all there. I knotted them and gave them to him. We introduced ourselves to each other. He smiled broadly and thanked me.

World-class gardener Alan Chadwick spoke poetically about how seeds sprout. The gardener plants, then waters seeds. The seeds pop open, however, not on their own, but because of the magnetism of the moon. I had been magnetized by an energy that is rising from the Earth: a call for people to speak in her behalf. At that march, a new commitment sprouted in me: I will no longer listen silently to rhetoric of separation, fear and hate; I will speak boldly for our coming together to restore life itself.

Many others will too.



Sally Voris, White Rose Farm

www.whiterosefarm.com, 410-756-9303

Posted 12/30/2016 7:56am by Sally Voris .

Dear Friends of White Rose Farm:

We invite you to support our efforts to engage and involve people in caring for and connecting with the land and each other. White Rose Farm hosted five seasonal celebrations this year: a May Day celebration, a barn dance for summer solstice, a salsa party in high summer, a puppet show for Fall Equinox and a drum circle to honor the ancestors for All Saints Day. 

City and country folk, young and seasoned, immigrant and native, black and white, joined together to create these community events. Here is a gallery of images and some comments from participants:

The people came!! They brought their own inner sunshine and enthusiasm, and together we built the Mayday Festival. Richard

The fireflies were spectacular. As we left the moon was rising and the last glimmer of sun was going down in the west. Thank you for the reminder of beauty in the simplicity of nature. Rebecca

The Salsa Party created such an enchanting atmosphere that even my hubby danced—that’s magic! Holly

Thank you for opening your farm to us. We had a great time! Always enjoyable to see the Beech Tree Puppets! We especially enjoy warm company of you and your guests! Michelle

Thanks for a lovely evening. I enjoyed it very much. And I so needed it today as I really felt the need to be “cleansed”. The stars and the moon were so beautiful and all in all the time there was very grounding. Jacquie

We want to offer these events again next year and add educational programs for children and families. We know that engaging people in caring for the land, the natural world and each other serves as a foundation for the future. 

This has been an especially harsh and difficult year for local farmers. We are grateful that we are still here to tell stories about it! Now more than ever we need the support of friends like you. Please show your support with a generous gift to our annual campaign. Click here to donate. 

The world is changing; many are struggling. Please help us share our harvest and important information about how we can participate in caring for our most important resource: life--within ourselves and within Mother Earth!

Thank you so much!

Appreciatively,

 Sally Voris, Founder and Executive Director



 

 

 

Posted 12/26/2016 7:13pm by Sally Voris .

 

Women's Circle: We will hold the Women's circle celebrating the winter solstice on Thursday, December 29 from 11:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the farmhouse, 5009 Teeter Road, Taneytown. All women in our wider farm circle are welcome--we limit each gathering to 12, so please RSVP if you want to join us. We changed the date because of the ice that fell on December 17. Suggested donation for first-timers is $15. Bring food to share. 

Global Sisterhood: On Thursday, January 29, Renee Deiaco will lead a program of Radiant Lotus Qigong at the farmhouse, 5009 Teeter Road. We will gather from 4 to 6:00 p.m as part of the Global Sisterhood, a world-wide movement of soulful women intent on transforming themselves and the world. (www.women.unify.org) .  

A friend has encouraged me to stay centered and balanced in the midst of these turbulent times--to make sure I am home to myself. What a wonderful place to start! And I still have prayer ribbons flying! 

My warm wishes for health and peace for us all! 

Sally Voris, White Rose Farm

www.whiterosefarm.com, 410-756-9303

Posted 12/21/2016 9:12am by Sally Voris .

This farmer nurtures the mysterious
Ground of Being, the place
Where light and darkness meet.
Hummus, humans--
From clay we are made.
When we open to celestial light
of Sun, Moon and stars,
We bring light to life
In ourselves and in our world.
Plants that spring from such soil,
Give us joy and strength of soul
To meet each day.


When we pollute the Earth,
The ground itself become hardened;
No breath of freshness, no light of Heaven,
A closed door, a dark room, stale air.
Our plants suffer as we do.


How do we restore our world?
By honoring the sacred light we carry
one being, one person, one moment
at a time.

 

May we find light in the darkness....

Sally Voris 

 

Posted 12/18/2016 11:34am by Sally Voris .

I stepped out of my house this morning onto an ice-covered step.

I did this once before, hastily,and landed hard.

I have learned to feel the ground under my feet.  

Patches of snow and grass lay before me.

The packed gravel driveway, firm in wet weather,

Now presented unwavering slickness.

I chose to walk where blades of grass,

the rounded edges of ground ivy,

And the occasional dried leaves

gave depth and texture below the icy surface.

Behind the barn

I broke the ice on the concrete pad with a metal shovel

so I could walk safely to the cows.

And so it seems to me

That our political discourse

has become treacherously superficial:

We no longer stand on fertile ground;

We no longer see that texture and diversity

are essential to life itself.

Perhaps we too are being called to break the ice--

to move beyond the superficial slickness

Created by an artificial world.

Imagine if we each found our own way

across the invisible divides that separate us.

We would create a new paradigm; the next America

Where every living being is treated with respect,

Where all of life is woven together

In one glorious whole.

 

Sally Voris, December 17, 2016

 

Posted 12/17/2016 7:01pm by Sally Voris .

At the full moon on December 13, we  held a small ceremony to honor the natural world and to activate a call for people in this nation to envision living in harmony and respect for all living beings. 

We made prayer ribbons. I learned about this practice in a workshop led by Native American Evan Pritchard. The ribbons--red, white, black and yellow--represent the four races of human beings. The green represents the Earth; the blue the sky and Spirit. When we tie them together and display them publicly, we affirm that we choose to  honor and respect each other, the natural world, and the Spirit that guides us.  
 
 
I imagine hundreds, even thousands, of these ribbons blowing in the winds of change that are sweeping the country. Their movement will help release old patterns and open hearts to a new and more deeply united America. 
 
God Bless America!

 Sally Voris, White Rose Farm

www.whiterosefarm.com, 410-756-9303

Posted 12/12/2016 8:44pm by Sally Voris .

Dear Friends of White Rose Farm:

Thank you for supporting our efforts to engage and involve people in caring for and connecting with the land and each other. With donations from you and others, we held five seasonal celebrations this year: a May Day celebration, a barn dance for summer solstice, a salsa party in high summer, a puppet show for Fall Equinox and a drum circle to honor the ancestors for All Saints Day. 

City and country folk, young and seasoned, immigrant and native, black and white, joined together to create these community events. Here is a gallery of images and some comments from participants:

The people came!! They brought their own inner sunshine and enthusiasm, and together we built the Mayday Festival. Richard

The fireflies were spectacular. As we left the moon was rising and the last glimmer of sun was going down in the west. Thank you for the reminder of beauty in the simplicity of nature. Rebecca

The Salsa Party created such an enchanting atmosphere that even my hubby danced—that’s magic! Holly

Thank you for opening your farm to us. We had a great time! Always enjoyable to see the Beech Tree Puppets! We especially enjoy warm company of you and your guests! Michelle

Thanks for a lovely evening. I enjoyed it very much. And I so needed it today as I really felt the need to be “cleansed”. The stars and the moon were so beautiful and all in all the time there was very grounding. Jacquie

We want to offer these events again next year and add educational programs for children and families. We know that engaging people in caring for the land, the natural world and each other serves as a foundation for the future. 

This has been an especially harsh and difficult year for local farmers. We are grateful that we are still here to tell stories about it! Now more than ever we need the support of friends like you. Please show your support with a generous gift to our annual campaign. Click here to donate. 

The world is changing; many are struggling. Please help us share our harvest and important information about how we can participate in caring for our most important resource: life--within ourselves and within Mother Earth!

Thank you so much!

Appreciatively,

Sally Voris, Founder and Executive Director

White Rose Farm Circle, Inc.

A copy of the current financial statement of White Rose Farm Circle, Inc. is available by writing 5009 Teeter Road, Taneytown, MD 21787 or by calling 410-756-9303. Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available for the cost of postage and copies from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, Md 21401, (410)974-5534.

 



 

 

 

Posted 11/22/2016 7:27pm by Sally Voris .

I farm the present moment, 

A place where inner and outer landscapes meet.

A place beyond past and just short of future

A place of mystery, possibility and shadow.

Dare I enter?

The garden beckons

And I am called to bring forth seeds

Out of my own dark spaces.

What gifts do they bring? What terror?

Some I bury; some I burn.

Some I plant in fertile ground,

scatter to the winds or lift to the rising sun.

What will blossom and fruit?

What will emerge stunted, deformed?

What will wither in sudden frost, harsh winds, blistering sun, drought?

What must I kill?

What a marvel this process of ripening,

Of meeting the moment: its delight and peril,

Of marrying inner and outer, Heaven and Earth, self and other,  

This call to live!

What does this moment hold for you?

Sally Voris 

Posted 11/4/2016 5:20pm by Sally Voris .

Four of us gathered today to prepare for our Drum Circle to Honor the Ancestors tomorrow night. We strung lights, set the benches, created a community altar and placed the first mementos there. 

Tomorrow night, Grandmother Michelle Moreau and Paul Thomas, will lead us in honoring our deceased loved ones (family, friends and pets). We will place photos, mementos and/or a small offering of food or flowers on a community altar. We will share stories, dance, sing songs and drum in the Old Chestnut Barn. We will then send offerings into the fire at the fire circle. Snacks will be provided.

All are welcome to bring food to share and percussion instruments to play. Cost: $10/adult; $15 parent and child; $25/family. Space is limited. Register here.

This event helps me remember those I loved, reminds me to live as I want to be remembered and to spend time with those I love. What a fine way to spend an evening! We hope you will join us! Please RSVP if you can.  

Thanks!

Sally Voris, White Rose Farm

www.whiterosefarm.com, 410-756-9303

Posted 10/25/2016 12:06pm by Sally Voris .

Why come to a drum circle to honor the ancestors? What is its relevance now?

In this moment in our culture, when our institutions and social structures are fracturing, we will come together in the spirit of community, to honor our shared humanity and to honor the Earth, from whom we have emerged and to whom we will return. We will leave the world of polls and pundits and return to the roots of our culture: night sky, pregnant earth, stories, song, drum and fire. That world so fills our senses and is so rich in meaning, that it restores our humanity.

Traditional cultures honored the Earth at the change of seasons. They recognized that the cycles of the seasons mirrored the cycles of life. They recognized time halfway between the solstices and equinoxes as significant transitions. (We still recognize Groundhog's Day, May Day and Halloween. Lammas, a High Summer Feast, has been almost forgotten in our modern culture.)

At the end of October, as leaves fall off the trees; life returns to its bare bones: roots and seeds. When those we love die, their ashes or bones return to the Earth. It is the time when many cultures honor their dead: Christians celebrate All Saint's Day; pagans Halloween; Mexicans, the Day of the Dead.

But why is this important? For me, we open to a longer view—a view beyond the politics of the moment. We choose to honor those who came before us—blood ancestors, those who have inspired us; those who have created the world as we know it, pets that we have loved. As we share our stories and songs, we recognize our common ground. We act now knowing that our actions and intentions support the great circle of life. We trust that some day, we, too, will be honored.

This year, Grandmother Michelle Moreau and Paul Thomas are leading our circle. Grandmother Michelle asks you to bring photographs or mementos of your loved ones, as well as flowers or food to share with them.

Paul Thomas, of Samara Healing Center, will lead a drum circle to help us express the rhythms of naure and the cosmos through the voice of the drum. Those drumbeats will reverberate around us in our chestnut barn and down into the Earth, connecting our drumbeats and heart beats with the heartbeat of the Earth. Weather permitting, we will end with a fire circle and send our blessings skyward.

Encouraged by Grandmother Michelle, I made an altar of my own a few weeks ago. I searched the house for just the right mementos, a photograph of mentors, of my Grandmom and my grandparents, a crocheted tablecloth from my aunt, a tea cup and a cobalt blue vase for my mom, homemade bread and jam for my Granny, a bottle of wine just because—and fresh flowers and a candle. I shared my stories of those items with a friend. We both felt closer. I was surprised by how creating the altar of favorite things mellowed me.

If you are not able to join us in person, I invite you to remember your loved ones at this time of year. Light a candle, say a prayer, remember a favorite story, share with a friend, or do what Grandmother Michelle suggests and make an altar of your own for your loved ones, including flowers and food.

Let us know what the experience was like for you, if you choose. And may your journey inside be rich and meaningful as the leaves fall and the cold winds blow....

 

 

Our Season continues....

Our next big event? A Barn Dance on Saturday, October 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Check our calendar for details, register here or become a sponsor or donate an item to the Silent Auction .  

Support the Circle!

White Rose Farm Circle, Inc. fosters community to empower people to work together to restore health to the land, the natural world and each other. Learn more about membership and/or donate to support our 501-c-3 non-profit organization. 

Mailing list sign-up