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Prayer Ribbon Workshop
Saturday, March 11 from 1:30 to 5:30, with a fire circle and shared meal afterwards, held at the Retreat House, 4234 Ruggles Road, Taneytown. MD.
Native American Evan Pritchard is coming to White Rose Farm to lead a workshop and ceremony about prayer ribbons. In this Algonquin tradition, the ribbons—yellow, red, black and white--represent the four original races of man; the green, Mother Earth; the blue, Father Sky. 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. What a potent symbol at this time!
White Rose Farm Circle, Inc. has agreed to sponsor the event. Evan confirmed that a prayer ribbon ceremony can get subtle energies moving again. It wordlessly conveys a message of harmony with nature and each other. The bright colors speak to our hearts and to the elemental forces in Nature herself. As the ribbons dance in the breeze, they remind us to move with the wind of the Spirit, to open to new energies and forms. They also honor the spirits of the land.
Cost: $40/adult, $60/couple or parent/child; $75/family. Click here to register.
Following the workshop, we will create a ceremony to promote harmony with the land, its spirits and our communities. A fire circle and simple farm food will be offered after the ceremony. Bring a drum or musical instrument and plan to feast, dance, drum and sing!
Sally Voris, White Rose Farm
“ There is a war playing out now...the treasure being fought over is the human soul.” Susan Raven
I read this quote in Nature Spirits, The Remembrance as I drifted off to sleep under a wool blanket close to the wood stove in my drafty old farmhouse. I especially appreciated these simple pleasures after spending three days helping a friend staff a booth at a large farm conference.
She offered me the second bed in her room at the conference center. I woke the first morning feeling edgy. Had the foam mattress and the light synthetic comforter disturbed my energy field? I worked at the booth all day, got little fresh air and no direct sunlight. Then I walked across asphalt to my car. The second night, I shuddered just sitting on the bed, so I slept on two chairs and an ottoman.
In her book, Raven asserts that we strain our immune systems without the connection to the Earth and her “negatively-charged, health-bearing ions.” She writes, “ the emotional feedback from military conflict, fundamentalist religion, manipulative media and corporate malpractice hover over us like menacing storm clouds.” We will experience “ever more sophisticated modes of incursion into our daily lives,” she writes, until we wake up to the power of “our own subtle, supersensible bodies.”
Stated simply, it's time to dance our soul's dance. Where do we start? We have created structures all around us that are convenient, comfortable and soul-deadening. We gathered as sustainable farmers to share our ideas, practices and presence with each other. We are among the most conscious stewards of land in America. Yet we spent our time indoors in rooms with stale air, man-made materials and electronic equipment. We shared how to grow food in a place which damaged the environment and sapped our vitality. The deeper truth-- that connecting to Nature and to each other feeds us as nothing else can—remained unexpressed and unacknowledged. We were disconnected from life itself!
On Friday evening, we watched a movie, “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things that Climate Can't Change.” I felt overwhelmed by the environmental degradation and destruction it showed. I was buoyed by the stories of leaders who were using their “moral imaginations” to engage and create a better world. The movie juxtaposed different cultures. Native peoples from an island in the Pacific bravely paddled hand-made canoes in front of a giant freighter to protest its hauling coal to China. Residents in Peking wore face masks to breathe in its polluted air. How do we make good choices when so much around us sets the frame in which we live? Change the focus: create the future from your own inner knowing, rather than unconsciously accepting what the outside presents to you.
When I first came to the farm, the spirit of my father and grandmother called to me, “Assume you have enough. Assume everything you need will be provided.” I stepped into each day imagining that I had been given a chance to create a place of beauty, bounty and balance. I met joy, sorrow, delight, disgust, life, death, the profound, the ephemeral, the plebeian. I was tested, but finally, I simply began dancing with whatever the day presented, knowing it would feed me deeply.
The leader on the Pacific island chose to act not just for himself, but to honor his ancestors and his entire culture. He cried when he saw that the place where his father had been laid to rest had been washed away. Then he lifted himself and joyfully greeted another day.
Surely if he can face each day courageously with the imminent threat of his island disappearing, we can reclaim ourselves, our souls, our lives and our land to create and sustain life--not just for ourselves--but for others, for future generations, and for life itself.
It is how my soul wants to dance. Will you join me?
Just a quick heads-up.
Global Sisterhood: Our next gathering of the Global Sisterhood will be on Sunday, February 26 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Retreat House. Yoga instructor and workshop leader, Shawn Essed, will lead the program. It is FREE and open to all women. More detail to follow....
Prayer Ribbon Workshop: Saturday, March 11 from 1:30 to 5:30, with a fire circle and shared meal afterwards.
Native American Evan Pritchard has offered to come to White Rose Farm to lead a workshop and ceremony about prayer ribbons. In this Algonquin tradition, the ribbons—yellow, red, black and white--represent the four original races of man; the green, Mother Earth; the blue, Father Sky. 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. What a potent symbol at this time!
Evan confirmed that a prayer ribbon ceremony can get subtle energies moving again. It wordlessly conveys a message of harmony with nature and each other. The bright colors speak to our hearts and to the elemental forces in Nature herself. As the ribbons dance in the breeze, they remind us to move with the wind of the Spirit, to open to new energies and forms. They can also honor and invite spirits of the ancestors to help us now.
Cost: $40/adult. More details to follow soon.
May we create peace and harmony in ourselves and in our world!
Sally Voris, White Rose Farm
Julia is a musician, singer, songwriter, and sound therapist. She plays music for yoga studios and also offers healing sound baths, using crystal singing bowls and Sanskrit chants. She combines meditation, music, and sound into an integrated and empowering form of healing therapy. Her Facebook page is: Vision Yoga Music
May our collective power bring healing and health to everyone!
Sally Voris, White Rose Farm
“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
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 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!
Sally Voris, Founder and Executive Director
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
This farmer nurtures the mysterious
Ground of Being, the place
Where light and darkness meet.
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....
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
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.
Sally Voris, White Rose Farm