An Action of Prayer


The blog Pagabohemia is always worth a read and this week’s article addressed an issue of deep relevance to the effort to prevent fracking in the UK.

The piece is a response to the request on Facebook from Winona Laduke, who is involved with the Sacred Stone camp that is offering spiritual resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Winona asked for the creation of a prayer chain from sunrise to sunset every hour on the hour, to pray for the water and land and protection of our people.

Paul describes how he sat down to join in with this with his drum at sunset, feeling a kinship with this struggle 4,000 miles away due to his own awareness of the protection camps that have been set up at different times to protect lands in Cheshire, North Wales and elsewhere in the UK. These are the words that came to him:

Spirit of the Sun
Spirit of the Sky
Spirit of the Land
Spirit of Water
Spirits of the Rivers
Spirit of the people

Rise Up!
Rise Up!
Rise Up!

Much occurs to me as I read this account. I liked the emphasis on action. We tend to think of prayer as something passive which we do on our knees. But the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota people are demonstrating by the emphasis on prayer that setting up a camp – or any protest – can be a spiritual action. The blog’s point is that we may be unable to engage in direct action. There may be no call for it where we are living. But we can still make the time to engage in a simple activity such as sacred drumming to join in spirit with the protest.

In reading this, and other information regarding the Sacred Stone camp I thought about how making something sacred is not to render it less powerful but is a way of concentrating energy that may sometimes be dissipated by the use of alcohol and drugs. A sign pointing the way to the Sacred Stone camp states ‘No Alcohol, No Firearms’.

So do read this blog and other pieces about the Sacred Stone camp. It gives all activists food for thought, and shows us how as Pagans our active spirituality out on the land (or even at home or in our gardens) may contribute something unique to the anti-fracking movement.

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