EarthSpirit Yule Morning at the Stone Circle

End of Year Letter 2018

Dear friends,

As we move into the winter and the end of 2018, we are glad to reach out to our community members and friends to look back on what has been another remarkable year for EarthSpirit, and to acknowledge all of you who have helped to make it so. Many of you have volunteered dozens of hours teaching, organizing, staffing or planning for EarthSpirit events. Others of you have made one or more financial contributions already this year. So many people have contributed in so many ways. Thank you! We feel blessed to share membership in this committed and dedicated community.

For four decades, EarthSpirit has sustained and nourished a community that supports families and individuals in truly living their spirituality, maintaining and passing along pagan cultures and traditions in a world that does not always share our values. In the US this year, we again hosted more than a dozen seasonal rituals in both eastern and western Massachusetts. We reached out to the public at Boston Pride, at academic institutes, Pagan Pride events, environmental and political actions and at festivals and interfaith services. We performed handfastings, baby blessings and funerals, counseled members in need, and supported those facing medical and emotional crises. We made improvements to the ritual spaces at Glenwood, our center and sanctuary in western Massachusetts, which we open to the community as part of the Sacred Land program on a monthly basis. We continued working to develop a long-range strategic plan for the organization, and made strides toward improving our infrastructure.

Rites of Spring 40 Village Builders
Rites of Spring 40 Village Builders

EarthSpirit has one of the longest-standing pagan events in the USA and reached a true milestone this year as we celebrated our 40th Rites of Spring and recognized and honored our first community Elders.

 

The other big event this year was our participation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto. Thirty-eight members of EarthSpirit attended the Parliament. Our delegation worked as an extraordinarily strong team to staff and support an information and networking booth, and EarthSpirit members offered 16 separate and important programs. Andras Corban Arthen, EarthSpirit’s Spiritual Director, continued his very active and ongoing work on the Indigenous Task Force and on the Executive Committee of the Board, participating in planning and creating the whole of the Parliament and especially several of the plenary sessions. I was a member of the Women’s Task Force, working in advance and on site to coordinate programming involving the arts, ritual and the divine feminine, and on creating the Women’s Assembly.

Womens Plenary - Sue and Vivian
Women’s Plenary – Sue and Vivian

There is a lot to share about that week in Toronto – what we did there and why it matters. So many EarthSpirit members did so much. Kate Greenough Richardson brought our Art Salon format into the light with the “Spirit Soaring Gallery Space and Art Salon”; Arianna Knapp designed and coordinated a very professional EarthSpirit booth, where we could share who we are with thousands of people; Donovan Arthen and Will Rowan presented a workshop called “Transforming Masculinity,” featuring the work of the Brotherhood of the Stag and Wolf; 9-year-old Vivian Seier was the overall youngest speaker on the Parliament’s Plenary Stage when she came forward to represent the dignity of women in paganism. It is too much to include everything in this letter, so a complete report of EarthSpirit’s participation at the Parliament is posted on EarthSpirit Voices and on our website. The links are below.

MorwenTwo Feathers at Rites of Spring 2018
MorwenTwo Feathers at Rites of Spring 2018

There have been some hard times this year, of course. We lost Morwen Two Feathers, an EarthSpirit Community Elder and teacher, and a great friend to many of us – and we celebrated her life together. Others in the community have also passed or suffered illness or personal losses, and we have seen the community come together to hold each other.

We are still facing major challenges in the US as well. The political climate remains tense, hate crimes are still on the upswing, and we continue to see intolerance and prejudice step boldly into the light as our government moves farther away from environmental responsibility, upholding human rights and the diversity which has so enriched this country. Many EarthSpirit members feel personally vulnerable and afraid. The need for clear information and communication, mutual support, and outreach to the diverse world around us has never been more pressing. EarthSpirit is doing what it can to provide leadership and an anchor in this time of upheaval – offering encouragement to its members and taking action when we can in places where it is needed.

The interfaith work that EarthSpirit has been committed to for so many years offers us many valuable and reassuring connections. Andras was re-elected to the role of Vice-Chair of the Board for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, an international organization that is supportive of EarthSpirit and of pagans in general. Andras also continues to serve as President of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions, and his leadership there connects us directly with people still practicing the old indigenous ways in Europe. Our Earthways Initiative reaches out specifically to Indigenous leaders in the US as well as in other parts of the world. We will continue to join forces with all of these peoples and groups, to further our work to protect the Earth and support other communities who share our values.

Closing of the Plenary on the Environment - Anras Corban Arthen, Isobel Arthen, Moira Ashleigh
Closing of the Plenary on the Environment – Anras Corban Arthen, Isobel Arthen, Moira Ashleigh

The end of the year is the time for us to wrap up our Annual Fund, so I will conclude with that. Our community has always been generous. We have consistently received contributions large and small which allow us to carry on. We appreciate every single one, as well as all of the volunteer time and expertise that our members contribute throughout the year. Members, like you, enable us to offer the rituals, classes and gatherings that create meeting places where we can build and deepen meaningful face-to-face connections. Your contributions help us maintain the sacred land of EarthSpirit’s home at Glenwood, make it possible for us to network with spiritual people around the world and also provide some financial support to community members who are ill or struggling. We are grateful.

If you have not had the opportunity to participate in this year’s fundraising yet, or you have found further inspiration in this letter to participate once again, now is a great time. We count on all of you to be a part of the web that holds us together on so many levels.

We wish you all a prosperous and healthy year ahead.

A Feast of Lights 2018 opening circle EarthSpirit

We hope to see you at A Feast of Lights this February 8-10 in Sturbridge MA!
Thank you all for being part of and supporting the EarthSpirit Community.

Deirdre Pulgram Arthen
Executive Director

You can find out more about EarthSpirit’s work through articles in “EarthSpirit Voices” , by liking “The EarthSpirit Community” on Facebook, or by visiting our website: www.earthspirit.com.

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A Parliament of the World’s Religions – Utah 2015

These A Parliament of the World’s Religions – Utah 2015 blog posts are located on EarthSpirit Voices our EarthSpirit Community Blog.

A Parliament of the World’s Religions – Australia 2009

These A Parliament of the World’s Religions Australia 2009 blog posts are located on EarthSpirit Voices our EarthSpirit Community Blog

 

1999 Parliament of the Worlds’ Religions

EarthSpirit LogoParliament of the Worlds Religions
December 1 – 8, 1999
Capetown South Africa
*A New Day Dawning*

In 1993 the second Parliament was held, again in Chicago. This time it was the Earth-centered spirituality which was introduced and welcomed with acknowledgment and respect for what these traditions had to offer. The week long event included workshops, services, prayer and meditation with almost every faith tradition presently in existence, concerts, cultural events, presentations from some of the world’s most respected religious leaders, notably the Dalai Lama and an assembly of religious and spiritual leaders whose members signed “Towards a Global Ethic” a document outlining principles and directives for peace, social justice and sustainability of life. EarthSpirit, along with several other organizations and tribal groups represented the Earth Religions at the Parliament and in the Assembly and signed that document.

Read more1999 Parliament of the Worlds’ Religions

MotherTongue at the Parliament October 93

EarthSpirit LogoEarthSpirit Newsletter
MotherTongue at the Parliament October 93

MotherTongue in concert

MotherTongue, EarthSpirit’s performance troupe, had a busy and exciting time representing EarthSpirit and Pagan spirituality at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago August 28 – Sept. 5 1993. After busking in Harvard Square, helping with the EarthSpirit garage sale, and giving two concerts in Salem and Turner’s Falls in order to help pay the way, the group gave four official performances and one impromptu surprise appearance during a week full of opportunities to present Earth-centered spirituality to a mostly receptive audience drawn from all of the world’s faith traditions.

Read moreMotherTongue at the Parliament October 93

EarthSpirit’s Statement in support of Standing Rock

Andras Corban Arthen at ECER 2014 for EarthSpirit
Andras Corban Arthen at ECER 2014

The EarthSpirit Community expresses its solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation as its people who defend and protect their sacred lands and water. The current desecration and violence taking place in North Dakota is one more episode in a long and ongoing history of abuses by both commercial entities and by the United States government toward the original inhabitants of this land, all for the sake of power and monetary gain. It is abhorrent and it needs to end.

We know that all of our Earth is sacred. We know that the stones and the trees, the rivers and the oceans, the thunder and the mountains are filled with spirit along with all living species who share this planet. We honor the ancestors and know that their burial places deserve honor and respect. We share this understanding with the Water Protectors and we defend their right to preserve what is sacred.

The Dakota Access Pipeline has no right to encroach on the land of the Sioux Nation without invitation. Nor should the water or important cultural sites on that land be endangered by a fossil fuel pipeline that does not serve them in any way. We ask for a halt to construction, for the demilitarization of the police force in the area and for a peaceful solution that respects both the Sioux Nation and our mother the Earth.

To support Director, Andras Corban Arthen’s travel to Standing Rock and any further EarthSpirit participation in the efforts there, you may contribute through paypal at: donations@earthspirit.com

For more information:

http://www.hcn.org/articles/Reckoning-at-Standing-Rock
http://www.prayerandpolitiks.org/…/confrontation-at-the-can…

To take peaceful action:

Visit: http://www.nodaplarchive.com
Sign: the ACLUs petition to demilitarize police at Standing Rock: https://action.aclu.org/secure/Standing-Rock…
Contact: North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 and leave a message stating your opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Call the White House: at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to ask President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Call the Army Corps of Engineers: at (202) 761-0011 and demand that they rescind the permit for the pipeline and reject the current permit request from DAPL to bore under the river.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters
441 G St NW
Washington, DC 20314
http://www.usace.army.mil/
Public comment line for those interested in voicing their thoughts and concerns on the Dakota Access Pipeline project: (202) 761-8700.

Donovan Arthen at Standing Rock
Donovan Arthen sharing Holy Water chant at Standing Rock

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