Healing and Honouring Ceremony for our Standing Ones ~ Our Forests and all life that lives and breathes here. Earth Day, 22nd April 2010.

Since 2006, I have personally been involved working with some conservationists and groups of public members, in an effort to officially halt the clear - felling of Cape Town's plantation Pine Trees. If there was a plan from the authorities, to replant, then the current action dedicated to permanently remove our forest areas, would be more readily acceptable. But it is clear - fell and there is no plan to maintain our plantation forests of Cape Town.

Effectively, we have now lost the battle and the clear fell has radically begun. This means for all who live in Cape Town, our natural places which currently comprise beautiful, magestic Trees from Oaks, Blue Gums, Yellow woods, currently seen along some road sides, in green valleys and up along the sides of Table Mountain together with our plantation forest Pines, are to all be removed because they are deemed 'alien'.

How do we, as the human species, justify some plant as an alien which has lived in that space for one hundred to more than three hundred years?  If we, as people who are believing we are genuinenly comitted to helping our planet home, Mother Earth, to survive and to continue to sustain our lives here and help future generations to survive, then it is high time that we need to find better terms and policy TO SUSTAIN LIFE. It is erroneous to conduct clear fell practice anywhere in these drastic times on our planet, whether it be a natural forest or a planted forest which requires harvesting phases. Trees are critical in our world and everywhere we can, as countries in our world today, we need to be planting trees and forests to counteract the ever increasing omissions, toxicity, polution and rising heat conditions, which are consequences of how humanity lives here on our planet, let alone creating green spaces in which people can spend time in Nature to re-connect and to help them re-balance themselves. Every country needs to awaken and to embrace holistic ways of living on our planet, if we are to survive. And it is time to not only realize this; it is time to now employ this.

Cape Town's landscape will be changed forever with this clear fell decision, as most of the Trees which grow here, are all alien, and that means a Cape Town with hardly any Trees as far as one can look in any /all direction/s here. Despite the many issues which surfaced over the time from the authorities themselves and also from some extremist conservationist groups, clear-felling of areas which have had Trees growing there for hundreds of years and with no plan to re plant the forests, will prove to have detrimental effects on so many levels of all natural life which lives there, from the Eagles, and other raptors, to the baboon troops, to the squirrels to name a few from the animal world and its also adversely affecting the many Capetonians who spend their relaxing time in the forest areas, from mountain biking, forest hikes, to family picnics, to evening strolls where people go for forest walks with their dogs. I personally have worked with many human beings over the past fifteen years taking them into these forest lands holding workshops, providing for individuals various healing treatments and ways to help people to awaken and find inner peace and healing for themselves; all these sessions have been held in Nature in these forest lands. The clear fell decision has been hard for me like many who love our green places here in Cape Town, and who are sad to see what is happening. Triggered from my many prayers perhaps, I received from the Dream World a message which I was asked to hold; to call a gathering for a peaceful honouring and a healing effort which was to also serve as a closure for our Trees and all life associated, including closure for the many human beings who are saddened by a decision which will change our city's appearance, forever.

We stood in a Sacred Circle, gathered in a Sacred Place which I was guided to, within the forest lands; the smells of sage, tobacco and sweetgrass powerfully hung in the air. As a group we sang our healing songs and played our natural instruments of Drum and Rattle with honour and with grace. Those who were able to join us in the ceremony came and several international groups of people linked up with our local Cape Town work, to join in this honouring and healing ceremony from the UK,USA and Australia. Each one of us in the circle knew we were being joined by many and the collective work was very powerful.

This is a copy of the speech which was shared with all on Earth Day, 22nd April 2010.

''Wake up wake up wake up
Rise with the rising Sun
We stand for Trees
We are one we are one we are one.''

This song had been taught to me by a mentor and friend, Roy Littlesun. Its a song I often sing in ceremony work, because its just so powerful.We had some fun with the words in this ceremony as we brought in the Trees aspect into the song, and this brought smiles into our hearts and gentle humour to us all. 

''To our Creator, Great Spirit, the One Source with many names, hear me. I stand before You, Creator of All, humbled at Your magnificence evidenced in all life You have created. Thank You for the gift we have to walk our beautiful Earth Mother. To all Powers who serve this One Source of Love and Light, join me and all who stand here in this healing ceremony here today. We stand in honour, we stand in peace, we stand in our ''sacred hoop'' within this sacred circle in respect of the Great Circle of life, of all things.

As an introduction, I now share with all, some powerful words from Jamie Sams: ''The Fire that is our essence comes from the Stars and to the Stars our essence will return.The Earth is our Mother who gave us our bodies and when we pass over from our Earth Walk, our bodies will return to the Earth. Our Spirits are from the Wind as is our breath. Our words are our breath and therefore are sacred. With my breath I speak these words:''

I dedicate this healing ceremony to honour our Trees, the Standing Ones - the Standing Ones that we are standing next to right now - all of them - and the Standing Ones that no longer stand here in their physical form, who are here in Spirit. I also dedicate this healing ceremony to all life that exists here in all its shapes, textures and forms.''May the Medicine in these words spoken, reach the hearts and minds of all Children of Earth - all five races, all creeds, all Nations - in the hope that together we may heal the wounds we have inflicted on each other. I trust that in unity we will heal our hearts and in so doing we will reconnect to our Earth Mother.''(adapted from Jamie Sams).

I greet you all in love and thank you for joining this Earth Day healing and honouring ceremony today, here in our Tokai Pine plantation forest. As a shamanic healer-teacher, my teachings come primarily from Native American wisdom,blended with teachings from Africa and the Orient. I have come to know through these Indigenous methods and ways, that ALL life matters, is alive and sacred and I live these ways today in my own way and have done so for over 15 years so far. In service of the loving One Source, Great Mystery, whom some may call God, Allah, Creator - the same One Source of Love and Light which breathed all things into being - in service of this One Source of All, I dedicate my work and have done so for the past ten years, to help humanity to awaken. From ancient Native American Red Road teachings we learn to honour the Medicine of all life-forms which are all sacred extensions of the Great Mystery's loving plan.

All acts of clear-fell of any forest in our world, such actions cause major disturbances on levels beyond what we may even consider. Too many people assume that destruction of wild life and habitat has no effect upon them, either individually or as a society because the effects may not be readily obvious. There is so much we do not know about our world, about ourselves that we need to be more careful about destroying aspects of our environment that may be beneficial to us in the future, Physically and Spiritually. As natural spaces disappear, so too do many beliefs about the natural world begin to disappear, especially those beliefs considered "mystical" with the loss of the green spaces and natural lands and wilderness comes a loss in the belief in the wonders of the world. When this loss of wonder happens, a piece of our Soul gets lost as well.

In Native American culture, it is understood that each living thing our loving Creator created, has a specific role as a teacher and a family member. Everything on Earth, whether it be Stone, Tree, Creature, Cloud, Sun,Moon or Human being is one of our relatives.Everything is known to be extensions of the Great Mystery where everything has been placed here to help humanity to evolve Spiritually.This Native American path of the heart, called the Good Red Road, does not worship Trees, the Sun or Moon - it never has, yet,it is the Eternal Flame of Love which the Great Mystery placed in all of Creation which is honoured. This Eternal Flame of Love is found in all life forms.

The Standing People, the Trees, are our Sisters and Brothers. They are the Chiefs of the Plant kingdom. Together with all others from the Plant Kingdom, they are the givers who provide continually for the needs of others.The Standing Ones provide oxygen for the rest of the Children of Earth. Their trunks and branches give shelter to the winged ones. In their roots, Trees offer homes for the smaller four legged creatures. Wood for building homes for their human relatives is another gift of the Tree Nation. In addition, each Standing One has a special lesson to share with human kind. Pine Trees are the Trees of Peace and they can bring tranquility into the life of a person sitting or walking in their shade.

As peace makers and peace bringers, Pine teaches the lessons of being in balance and harmony with ourselves and others, as well as the gifts of a quiet mind. Oak teaches us strength of character and how to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Eucalyptus also known as the Blue Gum offers the gift to help us balance our emotions and explore our Dream Worlds. Trees are living beings. Their Spirits are gentle and strong and they hold great affection for humans.Nature is part of our heritage.Each Tree has many more roots than branches, teaching humanity about how Trees are connected to the Earth.Like Trees we have a spine like a trunk, arms like branches, hair like leaves. Like Trees we reach for the light, as do Trees which reach for Grandfather Sun. Each human being has a different body just like the Trees, no two are the same. Unlike Trees we have two legs and we can walk, whereas Trees stand in one place to receive the nurturing from the Earth Mother continually, so that they can give to others.When we as human beings, are in balance, only then can we truley give and receive. When we learn to Walk in Balance we remember out roots to this Earth.She is our Mother. She is the Mother to us all who live here upon her.

Standing Ones teach us how to run our roots deep into the Earth respectfully to receive Spiritual nurturing and reconnective energy which keeps our bodies healthy. Without these roots, we loose Earth connection and we no longer can Walk in Balance. When human beings are not rooted in this world, we do not fully understand the purpose of our visions, dreams, potentials or the Dream time reality.The Standing Ones are asking you to give of yourself. Ask yourself 'Are you willing to give and receive' this means in a balanced way? As human beings, we need to nurture ourselves, and through our connection with Trees we can learn to give without exhaustion. Without this connection, dreams cannot manifest and our giving cannot be compensated by the Earth Mother.

The Trees in our forest do not wish to go. Wake up humanity to the truth and meaning of life. They do not need us. We need them. They help us to live a connected,balanced life here and they help us to evolve!

We need the Green Kingdom which includes the role of trees and the Animal World - all Powers of our Mother Earth of which she is comprised. Our natural world is here to help us to awaken Spiritually and evolve into our full potential. The Trees do not wish to go. And yet, when their trunks fall and we shudder as that sound reverberates deep within our Souls at the loss of OUR connection, their Spirits return again to the Source of All and they have peace. Their sadness is not for themselves. Wake up humanity look at what we are doing, at what we are not doing. These Trees are sad for us - because we are creating an unliveable world and leaving a place unsustainable and out of natural balance for our children's children to inherit.

I call for change in how we live here. I pray for protection, healing and peace for all our natural spaces throughout our beautiful world, and here in these forest lands and all life that lives therein. I stand for Trees and thank you all for joining, as their human relatives who chose to stand in honour of their lives.

In the Sacred Hoop of life, there is no beginning, there is no ending. And it is so.
Mitakuye Oyasin.