Celebrating Water

LizFisher1703aToday is World Water Day! One of the four sacred elements in Earth-based spiritual practices, the power of water is honored in our ceremonies, our art work and our writings. Water invokes Healing and Love. The Alder is one tree that finds strength in water. It also has characteristics of fire and can help us find the determination to stay true to our purpose when circumstances threaten to overwhelm us. This tree supports us as we prepare wisely for the future. Willow, Ash, Apple, and Ivy are also transmitters of the power of water.

We have all been reminded of the importance of this vital component of our organic system by the Water Protectors. The Dakota Pipeline and other dangerous oil projects have grave potential to contaminate natural rivers, streams, and underground water tables. By keeping this information before the public, these activists have had major impact on attitudes worldwide.

Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, World Water Day educates on the importance of providing clear water sources to all humans. These are key to eradicating extreme poverty.  This year’s theme is “Why Waste Water?” For more information click World Water Day, 2017.

Give Thanks for Water and for Life

LizFisher1703bOn March 22 around the world people are gathering to offer good intentions and prayers into Water. On-line there will be a synchronized meditation and blessing and the introduction of a movie about these efforts. At this website Bless the Water you can watch the online premiere of the FREE film Water Is Life and listen to the live audio broadcast at 5pm Pacific/Midnight GMT. There are also two free musical offerings which you can download that are unique ceremonies in themselves.

LizFisher1703cFifteen short videos present a variety of viewpoints on the importance of water. Here are a couple of nuggets. Dr. Bruce Lipton says: “The water molecules are in communication. We are part of a whole; we are not separate entities, we are connected to the whole. Giving prayer to the water is a real event. We are infusing into the water energy. So on Water Day, it is a wake-up call that says do we want to keep life on this planet? No water, no life.”

Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, one of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers says: “I pray you too will take care of your Mother Earth where you live and the water that surrounds you and the water within you.”  A short video where she delivers a fuller statement is available on this website.

Water Protectors, Dakota Access Pipeline, Indigenous Rights

We are all familiar now with the scrambling that is going on in the public discourse. A common query is: how do we know what the truth is? Our values that guide our spiritual practice are the best bell weather. We who have been involved in spiritual social action know that those who raise these issues as moral imperatives have long sacrificed for their sacred beliefs. Indigenous People who have a deep, principled connection to their basic beliefs about caring, compassion and common good at this crucial time have become welcomed role models.

LizFisher1703dA short recap of what has happened in the last few months. In December the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline which was indeed a victory. The current U.S. President, however, has reversed that decision so the project is slated to move ahead. In a show of solidarity with the Water Protectors, numerous cities and states opposed to the pipeline’s construction are considering divestment in institutions that financially contribute to this project.

On March 10, 2017 Indigenous Leaders and their allies participated in a protest march and rally in Washington D.C. in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and for Indigenous Rights. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii, addressed those gathered. She said: “The fight for clean water is a battle for the life blood of our planet, the soul of our nation, and of all nations.”

A wide variety of organizations attended. Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization of Women, made this statement. “I will attend the Native Nations Rise March in Washington, D.C. which is a massive call for our lawmakers to respect the rights of Indigenous People to protect their homelands and future generations. This action is tremendously important, because it highlights how the Water Protection Movement goes beyond the Dakota Access Pipeline. Whatever happens, we need to protect the rights of native people, and people of color. We need to preserve our environment for future generations. And we need to make sure that clean, safe drinking water is accessible to everyone.”

The Sunday services at Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation in North Dakota address these issues and are available in audio form on their website. This congregation, as well as many others around the country, and the national UU Leadership, have been highly visible supporters of the efforts to stop this pipeline.

LizFisher1703eWhy Waste Water?

Meanwhile, what are some practical measures we can take to participate in World Water Day? Globally, the vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused – polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.

Instead of wasting wastewater, we need to reduce and reuse it. In our homes, we can reuse greywater on our gardens and plots. We can also advocate for more conservation based processing and use of waste water. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation. Download this Factsheet and learn more.

The Continuity of Values Throughout Time

Even as we re-double our efforts to protect and expand our free and democratic society, we must value all that has been done up until now. Throughout the most recent past, efforts for environmental protection and the interconnected life system have been plentiful. Many of these campaigns which have been successful are threatened with rollback. These days it is all the more important to hold the vision that supports these efforts and advocate for expanding them.

LizFisher1703fRecognizing the significant contributions of those who have become ancestors is a vital part of this process. This needed honoring encompasses not just decades but centuries. Chesca Potter, the artist who created The Greenwood Tarot (with Mark Ryan) shares her insight about the Waters of Life in her commentary describing the image she created for the Ace of Cups: “Springs rise up from their source deep within the earth, giving pure water which is recycled from rain which fell thousands of years ago. One receives new inspiration from ancestral wisdom. Obviously clean sources of water are literally the water of life, and the basic need of all settlements. The ice of winter melts with the renewal of inspiration, and one is emotionally awakened. Sensuality returns.”

Art Credits:

World Water Day Image — https://www.askideas.com/world-water-day-clipart/ public domain

California Coastline — Photo by Bob Fisher (Used by Permission)

McWay Falls is an 80 foot waterfall that flows year-round, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California — Photo by Bob Fisher (Used by Permission)

Spring Soon 2 — public domain content from FreeImages.com

“Why Waste Water” is the theme for 2017 — Image from United Nations Waste Water Fact Sheet

Melting Snow — public domain content from FreeImages.com

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:
About Liz Fisher

Elizabeth Fisher is a professional writer, the author of the UU Women’s Federation course Rise Up and Call Her Name: A Woman-honoring Journey into Global Earth-based Spiritualities and a variety of other publications. She received the CUUPS Margaret Fuller–Henry David Thoreau award for furthering understanding of earth-centered philosophy, is included on a list of the Thirteen Most Influential People in Women’s Spirituality, and is on the advisory board of the Goddess Museum of Art and Culture in Orange County, Ca. Over the years since 1982, when Liz became a Unitarian Universalist, she has been a leader in the UU Women and Religion Movement, a CUUPS regional ritual group, and a variety of faith-based social justice movements.