This Sunday we will hold the first of three rituals in honor of the powers chosen as potential patrons for Gaia Community for the next year. After three weeks, we will hold a vote among community members and friends to choose a deity to work with from this July to next. The first ritual honors Spider Woman:
The call from Spider Woman from the ancient Southwest to Gaia Community in 21st Century America, is a call to wholeness, integrity and harmony with the world as it is. Spider Woman weaves the universe, a holy pattern in its intricate complexity and infinite beauty, a shining web of life. She calls us to a new consciousness of the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part. On our own home soil, wherever we are living, each of us must find our own unique place in the web. She calls to us to walk in beauty every day, to recognize the inherent harmony of all of nature. She calls to us to care for the earth and each other in the deepest possible way, extending our relationships to include all members of the family of creation. Spider Woman is calling to us–will you listen to her call?
We encourage participants to gather a candle and fire (or electric candle), a bowl of water, a writing implement of choice, paper and some scissors, to do some work at home along with the ritual. As we do each Sunday, we’ll have an hour to chat before ritual, starting at 3, and the ritual will begin at 4 Central.
Join us this Sunday for a virtual bardic circle! We’ll spin tales, sing songs, and share poetry with each other. Suggested topics for this month include tales of justice or changing the world. Even if you won’t be sharing, please still attend; an appreciative audience is a bard’s best friend. We’ll open our zoom room (link below) at 3 pm Central for social time, with the bardic circle beginning at 4 pm.
Gaia Community unreservedly supports Black Lives Matter Kansas City and the protesters in opposition to police brutality. As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we “affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person” (1st Principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association). Currently, our focus is on systemic racism oppressing Black lives, indigenous populations, and people of color, specifically calling for change in unjust law enforcement. Police brutality, racially biased police practices, and the criminalization of protest damage our democracy and both threaten and end the lives of Black people, Indigenous people, and other People of Color in our communities.
We encourage our members, visitors, friends and supporters to take action in any of the following ways:
Educate yourself on the ways in which intersectionality can compound racism; magnifying the oppression of people based on class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and language.
Share this information with people you know, particularly those who may not be part of marginalized communities particularly targeted by police brutality and unequal policing.
As you feel safe and able, consider protesting or supporting protesters in Kansas City or wherever you live.
Make signs, masks, and donate other supplies for protesters (water, snacks, medical supplies, etc).
Gaia Community affirms the following list of demands by Black Lives Matter KC:
BLMKC obtained the signature/agreement of Mayor Lucas to the following with a timeline of six months.
We demand local control of the KCPD. Approximately 70% of the City’s operating budget is allocated to public safety, with over $250M dedicated to the police department, yet the City of KCMO has no authority over KCPD decisions, policies, practices, and procedures. Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council must stand with the community to advocate for and encourage lawmakers in Jefferson City to pass legislation returning control of the KCPD to its citizens of Kansas City.
We demand the proposed funding for body cameras, generously provided by the DeBruce Foundation and community partners, be put to use immediately to equip every officer in the KCPD with a body camera. Following a determination by the Community Review Board, footage from these cameras must be made publicly available as soon as it is practicable. Further, following recommendations by the Community Review Board, the KCPD must implement policies and procedures regarding when body cameras must be filming.
We demand a restrictive policy governing the use of force, including a multi-step de-escalation procedure. Critically these policies must include a ban on knee holds and choke holds as acceptable methods of restraint.
We demand that the KCPD demilitarize. The KCPD must discontinue the receipt or procurement of any and all surplus military equipment from the federal government or any other source.
We demand that KCMO engage with community representatives including activists, members of advocacy groups, the leadership of local non-profit organizations and NGOs in order to develop effective solutions to the underlying socio-economic conditions that contribute to instances of police brutality. Indeed, these underlying socio-economic conditions include, but are not limited to: disparities in housing, education, economic mobility, healthcare outcomes, internet access, and food security.
In Ancient Egypt, the time of the summer solstice was when the star Sirius appeared in the dawn sky letting the Egyptians know that the Nile River would soon rise and flood the fields, bringing silt to replenish the soil and water to grow the crops. The reappearance of Sirius marked the Egyptian New Year. In myth, Horus had finally conquered Set, a victory which restored divine order and fertility to Egypt, and allowed the Nile floods to come, bringing life back to the Nile valley. It was also said that the goddess Isis was mourning her dead husband, Osiris, and that her tears made the Nile rise and well over.
To celebrate Summer Solstice we’ll be weaving the story of the Inundation of the Nile with present day events. We’ll be finding ways to renew and recharge ourselves with the summer sun, and turning the wheel of time to bring desired change.
Things to bring to ritual: a candle for chalice, water with natron (or salt and baking soda) mixed in, for purification, A small item you have charged (let sit) in the sun, something you might be able to carry with you in a pocket Optional – If you like to activate an altar at home during ritual, we will be invoking the elements of air, fire, water and earth and the deities, Isis, Horus, and Set. You might also want an image of the Wheel of Fortune card from the Tarot.
General Assembly is the annual meeting of Unitarian Universalists from all across the world – and this year it is online like so many other events. We will discuss this week the agenda and topics likely to come up during business meetings and other decision-points of GA, please join us if this is the sort of thing you are interested in. 🙂 Our virtual coffee hour starts at 3 pm Central, the forum begins at 4.
Pride Month is in June (in the United States) because of the Stonewall riots in 1969, and while this year’s public celebrations and activities are somewhat curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we encourage you to join us in a celebration and memorial of our departed LGBTQ+ ancestors. Please take some time before the ritual to think about someone you would like to honor and commemorate, as we will be naming them and building a virtual ancestor shrine during the ritual. If you have a digital photo (or a link to one) , that would also be helpful!
This ritual will be conducted in the ADF style of Druidry, meaning that you may find it useful to bring things like a cup of clear cool water, a beverage of your choice for ritual toasting and the Blessing Cup, and anything that you wish to present as an Offering during that part of ritual. We will explain these steps in more detail at the start of ritual, if you are unfamiliar with the ADF ritual format.