The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers World Water Day Spring Equinox 2014
I just returned home from the 1st all women’s gathering with the international council of The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers for Spring Equinox and World Water Day. This was a global vision to pray for the waters of the world and reestablished our sacred connection with Mother Earth. This momentous gathering of women took place over 4 days on private land in Yavapai County along the banks of Beaver Creek in Arizona. The women who heard the call came from all around the globe from as far as Burma, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and Africa. Almost 400 women listened and followed their hearts to come together in a sacred act, opening to the land, each other, and to the love and wisdom of the Grandmothers. A calling to connect our sacred hoops, activating a field of consciousness with prayers and love, creating a new vision of a world that cares for our Mother Earth and all living things, establishing and restoring balance.
The event took place on a private 145 acre ranch which had never been opened to the public. When the owners of Soda Springs Ranch learned of the International 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and their vision for World Water Day they wanted to support and see that vision come to fruition. They opened their land and the meadow to house the tents and teepees for the women’s gathering, and traditional ranch style buildings to house the Grandmothers. The very fact we were given permission to be in this magical and sacred land was an extraordinary blessing. The old growth sycamores and cottonwoods graced the meadow with their presence along with the sounds of Beaver Creek speaking and singing to us throughout our four days together. The owners of Soda Springs Ranch could feel the magnitude of our vision and supported us with the gifting of opening their ranch in an unparalleled exchange.
On the first day, Spring Equinox, we gathered for the opening prayer and the lighting of the sacred fire. The welcoming ceremony was opened by the women from the local Yavapai-Apache Nation followed by the International 13 Indigenous Grandmother Council. The introductions were made and the ceremony and teachings began with tears, gratitude, blessings, and all of Mother Nature responding.
The ceremony took place beneath one old noble Arizona Sycamore tree who had grown into a grand majestic family. The white bark of the tree was illuminated with lights in the soft colors of purple and blue. Its shade and shadow provided the perfect backdrop for our ceremonial space. It looked like a magical place where the faery folk would dwell. The ceremonial space was beautifully laid out. The center of our circle was a sacred fire protected in a circle of cornmeal and bordered with yellow and white flowers. The Grandmothers were dress in their native regalia and the beauty and power of women in the Way of the Circle created a field of energy that was palpable.
All of nature responded to our presence when we opened our ceremonial space; the earth started to vibrate beneath my feet. I asked myself if there was an earthquake happening and then the tears swelled up in my eyes as I recognized the earths love responding in kind to our love and collective vision. It was a powerful and unforgettable moment as I felt the movement, warmth, and vibration coming up from the souls of my feet. The earth will respond to you when you create sacred relationship. It is up to you to make that relationship with the water, earth, fire, and air. All of nature is alive and has consciousness, and when you are in sacred relationship with the elements it will accord with your energy.
The spirits of the land were present you could feel the eyes watching. The hawks circled, blue heron flew by and continued upstream, owl hooted, while the drums connected to the heart beat of the Mother Earth awakening something deep within. The sound of the native words spoken and the remembering of untold lifetimes were activated and connected in the stream of time. To feel in your heart and mind the gathering of presence and intention, prayer, and the knowingness of the Father, Mother, Creator Spirit is the remembrance of the sacred hoop.
The highlight for me was the ceremony on Saturday, World Water Day. Just knowing that people all around the world were joining together to pray with focused intention for the waters of the world was beautiful. Grandmother Mona Polacca a Hopi/Havasupai /Tewa elder lead the ceremony at Montezuma’s Well. This is a special place where the warm waters flow forth from the center of Mother Earth, and where the plumed serpent is said to live. We were about to participate in a ceremonial gathering that would be like a stone dropped in a pond and ripple out into the unknowable, and yet it felt knowable, and more significant than words can express.
Montezuma Well is a historic sacred site which has been both refuge and inspiration to many over the centuries. With its constant flow of 1.4 million gallons of water each day, this above ground well in the heart of the high desert is a place like no other in the world. It features ancient cliff and cave dwellings and petroglyphs, and for centuries has been a sanctuary and sacred place for the local tribes, such as the Yavapai-Apache, Hopi, and Navajo.
On that Saturday Morning we walked in silent pilgrimage from the Soda Springs Ranch to Montezuma’s Well. This was walking the path of the ancient ones and our feet were like tiny batteries activating the site. We may have held our tongues but our thoughts and presence was loud. It was a site to behold as over 300 women walking in silence and purpose stood tall lining the 368ft wide rim. The women connected with the source of the water and as a symbolic act created an umbilical cord winding up the stone stairs wrapping around the rim. The Grandmothers were in groups placed at each of the four directions across the body of water from each other and a yellow flag was flying at the direction of the east, black in the west, red in the south and white in the north.
When the ceremony began Grandmother Mona Polacca’s voice rang out and reverberated around the rocky rim of the sink hole and the water so all could hear in this natural amphitheater. She called out to the ancestors and the spirit of the water to hear our prayers, she was powerful and the prayers potent and everyone felt her words deeply in their hearts and held a vision for the planet.
This ceremony was not open to the public, the Parks had closed the site for the Grandmothers and the blessing of the waters. We came together with the support of the local tribes, the park service, and with the guidance of the Elders. People around the world also prayed for the water, offering their prayers and projected their energy to fill the water with good vibrations that spread to the waters of Mother Earth in a unified vision.
The experience of this ceremony activated a deep feminine way of connecting with the essence of the goddess within me. I considered how we spend the first months of our life in the embryonic waters of our mother’s womb coming into the world from that sacred water. I felt the light of spirit infusing me with grace when I looked into the eyes of all the women on that day and the beauty of that light manifesting into the density of form. I became aware of my tears made of water and how they felt like liquid drops of velvet. We are water beings and our lives depend on that flows in our lives.
My thoughts conclude with the importance of prayer and ceremony. The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers shared their ways, rituals, and ceremonies. All the Grandmothers pray daily in their own way with their own beliefs and truths. Each tradition was so different that the next, yet they all lead to the same place.
It is the Grandmothers of the world that are holding the future of our generations to come. Take a moment and ask your elders about their prayers. My mother of 88 years starts her day with prayer; she prays for her children, and their children, and their children’s, children. My mother prays everyday and each night before she slumbers, her prayers circle around including all the children of the world. Our Grandmothers are full with the wisdom and knowledge of their life and make an impact on our future generations.
There are many ways to live a spiritual life and they do not all have to look the same. Remembering we are all One and judgment does not come from the Creator of life. It is humanity that has created limitations and boundaries around the creations of the Creator. There is a place for everyone in our beautiful world. We are the caretakers of our planet earth teach your children well. I am grateful for the all Grandmothers in my life.