Category: Earth Spirit

News from the Earth Spirit Council: Paganism, circle dance, labyrinths, if approved updates from Environment and Gardening teams. This category is used for the monthly Earth Spirit e-newsletter.

Walking a sand labyrinth at Spanish Banks

If you’ve never walked a labyrinth in the sand, here’s your chance. For summer solstice, Les will draw a Chartres-style labyrinth in the sand at Spanish Banks on June 22. Come and walk any time between 3:30-5:30 pm.

Click here for the meetup event.

If you have any questions, please email Les at:  walkingalabyrinth@gmail.com

Check his website any time for updates: http://walkingalabyrinth.blogspot.com/

I plan to be there and would welcome interest in a picnic dinner at 5:30pm.

Send me a note if you’re interested: earthspiritucv@gmail.com

Solstice party celebrating the abundance of sharing our gifts

Thanks to a Neighbourhood Small Grant, UCV members Mary Bennett and Jodie Miller (click names to learn more about Mary and Jodie) are hosting a summer solstice party with the folk who have been attending their workshops on earth spirituality.

We are having our wind-up summer solstice (Litha) party on the 21st.

The creative and generous women in this course are sharing their gifts, both material at our giveaway table each week and gifts of knowledge and talent, including herbal knowledge, drumming and crystal magic.

Thanks to Vancouver Foundation and Kits House for our grant that allowed us to offer these sessions free of any charge to participants.

Some photos from the sessions are posted on the blog kitsecoarts.wordpress.com

For questions contact Mary or Jodie.

New — Earth spirit circle dance gatherings in the summer

NEW: Earth Spirit ritual and circle dance gatherings

Summertime and the living is easy.
While our regular Monday and Tuesday evening circle dance gatherings are on hiatus, we’ve decided to combine two of our interests and put together a combo: earth spirit ritual with circle dance.
Coordinated by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett, we will combine some earth spirit components with probably 8 or so circle dances.  As always with circle dance, this is a self-care circle – so if you want to sit out or adapt the steps to suit your body’s preferences, that’s absolutely fine.
We will start out with casting a circle, calling in the four directions and honouring the divine masculine and feminine. We’ll use a combination of readings, lighting candles and dances that correspond to this sequence.
In the middle we will do more circle dancing related to the season and some earth-centred activity (planting, harvesting, making) and then end the evening with opening the circle with devocations and a closing dance/chant.
We will likely dance to some or all of these pagan chants in each session
For more details contact Mary Bennett at earthspiritucv@gmail.com
Or check out all earth spirit listings at vancouverunitarians.ca/earth-spirit

RSVP appreciated but not required.

“Irreparable Harm?” Creation of a documentary theatre piece

Did the protesters at the Trans Mountain facilities in Burnaby cause irreparable harm to Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, by delaying a few trucks for a few minutes on a few days in 2018? That’s what the BC Supreme Court believes. That’s why there’s an injunction barring anyone from coming within five metres of any site owned by Trans Mountain Pipeline. The 230 people who were arrested in 2018 for breaking that injunction have a different opinion as to who is causing irreparable harm to whom.

Most of those who were arrested and charged with criminal contempt of court for breaking the injunction have either pled guilty, or been found guilty by Judge Affleck – the same judge who created the injunction. These land and water protectors have made many impassioned speeches in court, trying to alert the judge to the harm that this pipeline expansion, if it proceeds, will cause to First Nations, and to the land and water that we all depend on for life. For that we have been labelled ‘sinister’, and told that by showing defiance of the law, we are inviting chaos and threatening civilization.

Several of the land and water protectors have formed the Sinister Sisters Collective to develop a documentary theatre piece about our journey through the BC Supreme Court. We are calling it “Irreparable Harm?” Using video footage from the arrests, excerpts from the court documents, and re-enactments, we will shine a spotlight on how our justice system treats those who are in opposition to the interests of large corporations.

We will be working over the summer months to compile the most dramatic moments of our encounters with the justice system. Our goal is to present a workshop in October, and then a full production of our theatre piece in the spring of 2020.

Stay tuned.

By Mairy Beam, arrested at the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Tank Farm gates on August 24, 2018, found guilty by Judge Affleck on Dec 5, 2018 and sentenced to serve 28 days of house arrest and 125 hours of community service.

Trading stuff for community connections (plus stuff)

Do you want to declutter without contributing to the landfill?

Want to meet some nice people who also want to live a simpler lifestyle and care about the environment?

We had our first Bunz mini-meetup on Saturday May 4 from 3 -4 pm, Cayla Naumann brought some of her items and Mary had plants to share. Both shared their perspectives on the Bunz app and how it contributes to waste reduction. Cayla went home with some herbs; Mary got a mini tarot deck and book, Coral got a tiara. We all had fun! Reusable name tags donated for UCV events.

We’re thinking about Bunz Mini-Meetup #2 – possibly 2pm on Sunday, May 26. Send a note if you’re interested.

Here’s what Cayla posted on our zero waste email group:

  • Another Unitarian shared this with me and I’ve recently been using the Bunz app (and there’s a Facebook group too) and really enjoying it. The whole idea is to ‘trade’, no cash exchanges. You can also offer services or less conventional trades. Pretty cool idea and way to reduce waste, consumerism and build community. They do have a BTZ currency as another option.Have you tried Bunz? Sign up using my link and get an extra 100 BTZ when you activate your wallet. My username is @catatonic489  https://bunzshare.page.link/tTqz2ejBmxBhdWQR8

If you’ve every frequented (or have ever fantasized about) a “free store” – here’s a way to try it out.

We plan to set up some other meeting times to make pre-arranged trades and possibly bring extra stuff to browse at. Let earthspiritucv@gmail.com know if you’d like to participate.

Mary will be potting up some mint for bunz trades. Surprisingly mint plants got a lot of likes on bunz!

Any leftovers will be passed along to our Refugee Committee’s table for sale by donation.

Here are some videos if you’d like to learn more:

BUNZ Intro – meet the people who use bunz and why…

BITZ – How the “rewards program” works

How to activate your wallet

 

BITZ

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

Painting with Pat on the Labyrinth

Pat MacBain will be painting on the labyrinth again this year. And available to coach kids at 3pm.

We’ll have crayons and pastels for kids and others to use to create labyrinth art. You can create an art piece of the scene, a flower or learn to draw the labyrinth pattern.

Here are some photos from 2018 World Labyrinth Day.

A painting begins. And then the light shifted….

painting, walking, running.
Hawk was very interested in learning about oil painting from Pat.
Several people joined at 3pm through Jane’s Walk advertising.

Make a Flower Crown for May Day/Beltane

Flower Crowns

Our plans for the flower crown activity on Sat. May 4 (4-5:30pm) and then at the Earth Spirit circle on Tuesday, May 7th are evolving.
Sandy brought in some ivy that had been twisted to form a base.
Mary was given some white wool. We did a walk around the gardens to see which flowering shrubs could benefit from a bit of judicious pruning and which flowers will be so plentiful they could be given over to this project. The cranesbill geraniums are just coming into bloom and will be plentiful.
Here’s a good link if you want to make these at home.
We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, laurel, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.

Herbal Tea from the UCV Gardens

From World Labyrinth Day (May 2018), photo of Sandy serving her herbal teas to an enthusiastic group. Sandy makes a ginger-sugar syrup and uses apple mint for the tea.

Herbal teas

We’ll have several craft activities for kids and others for World Labyrinth Day, but of course you’re welcome to just walk the labyrinths and… have a sip of herbal tea. Served around 2:30 pm.

So, if you’re not into decorating a tree or making a flower crown, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up. Please bring your own mug!

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Mint Tea

Most people have tried mint tea, and we have a growing selection of mints at the west side of the garden path labyrinth – in pots! pineapple mint, chocolate mint and “ordinary” mint. Really you can just take some, crush it a bit to release the flavour and scent, and add to hot water. Or you can make a mix and try it out.

Here are some recipes from Sandy.

Recipes for teas

From Sandy Riecken

Ginger syrup recipe – makes 1 litre/ quart

¼ cup cane sugar

3 ¾ cups water

1/3 c. (approx.) thin sliced fresh ginger root, unpeeled

Put all ingredients into a pot and heat for 3-5 minutes or until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, stir and let cool. If possible leave overnight to cool and then remove ginger pieces.

Put one slice of lemon into the bottom of the jar or container for ginger syrup. *

Mint tea – for 6 litre / large container

Cut garden mint the day before. About 6 – 8 cups before washing, sorting and trimming. Choose stems with the largest leaves.

Cut stems to remove roots, discard any damaged or yellowed or too small leaves or stems. Cut stems short enough to fit into the salad spinner or the large glass container that will hold the tea.

Place bunches of stems into a salad spinner after all the stems have been soaked in a large container completely covered in water for 20 – 30 minutes.

When the bunches of mint have been processed lay them in the bottom of the large tea jar until the container is ¼ to 1/3 full. Boil water and pour over  leaves until the container is more than half full or double the depth of the layers of mint. Can be up to 2/3 full of water. Leave overnight to cool with the mint in place.

Remove all the stems of mint once it has completely cooled in the morning. Add ice to the container before serving if you wish to have the tea chilled.

Other teas and herbs:

Black Tea – Sandy uses Murchie’s Golden Jubilee, the rest of the pot for tea I made for my morning bed tea. I like this one as it doesn’t get strong and acid like some black teas do.

Peppermint – from tea bags. I used 5 or 6 tea bags in about 1 litre of boiling water and then left it to cool overnight.*

Save some of the processed mint stems with leaves and place into a jar with water.*

Cut some lemon balm stems as well. Wash and place them in a jar. *

To serve tea:

Place lemon balm leaf into bottom of the cup, pour in a tsp or so of the ginger syrup and then fill up with the mint tea.

* Refrigerate these overnight

Tea Recipes from Sandy

For Sandy’s tips and recipes for tea, click here.TeaRecipes

What’s in the garden labyrinth?

Pick some fresh herbs to make or add to tea as you walk. A pinch of this; a pinch of that.

The following are available.

  • sage
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • calendula
  • mints and lemon balm (in pots on west side of labyrinth)

To find suggestions and health benefits, just google “sage tea benefits” etc.

Last year we enjoyed a herbal workshop with staff from Gaia Gardens.

If there’s interest, we could do again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish Tree for May

Jodie Miller will be on site for World Labyrinth Day and encouraging you to write a wish and hang from our trees.

We’ve decided on the vine maples in the courtyard. We considered the tree/s in the centre of the garden path labyrinth, or the two at either entrance, the cherry blossom at south entrance or the vine maples in the courtyard or our orchard of 14 apple trees. We especially liked that it’s easy to get to and visible to all. It’ll be easy to invite kids and all others to “make a wish” on Saturday, May 4. Watch this space for the transformation.
We will let the wishes fly for a while and then collect and bury them (as Yoko Ono does). So we’ll have to decide on a nice spot for the burial as well. Ono buries them at the Peace Tower in Iceland. Suggestions for UCV are welcome! (This is our first year doing this, but we already expect it will be the first annual).
Suggested colours are:
  • gold to symbolize prosperity
  • blue for courage
  • white for fidelity
  • pink for tenderness
  • green for good health.

Here’s a description of Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree Ongoing Installation.

And the instructions:

Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree. Ask your friends to do the same. Keep wishing. Until the branches are covered with wishes.[2]

Yoko Ono’s comment:

  • As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.[1]
Here’s a good news story about making a public wishing tree. (I love good news stories). Traci Bunkers is the artist involved with a kids art camp and guerrilla art group.
A search of google reveals that wish trees are becoming popular for weddings and baby showers.

Herbal teas

If you’re not into decorating a tree at all, don’t worry. Just add some herbs to your tea. They say all herbs are healing on Beltane and will surely fix you up.

The point is, Beltane is a holiday for our renewal, time for new hopes and beginnings. Anything you decide or wish or manifest over a cup of tea on Beltane could actually work this time. (from mookychick)

There’s lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage around the grounds. Please pick a sacred bundle for using fresh or dried. Just add hot water.

Flower Crowns

We’ll have (but you could also bring) ivy, rosemary and lavender for a good base.
We’ll also bring wire, twist ties, ribbon and yarn for fastening things on. If you have “floral tape” or “floral wire” and can bring along, please do.
And here’s a very easy approach to do with kids. Paper bags and duct tape are involved.