In these times, we pledge to draw strength together from the power of prayer and the blessings of Mother Earth – and the transformative nature of love that comes when we join together as one people, as a circle…”
— Elder’s Statement January, 2017
by Ron Madson, MohawkWhen we gather around the Pipe in each of our communities we put that pledge to draw strength together into action. At every Dance, the first thing we do, as the altar is set, is to load our Pipes and place them under the Tree. During the whole of the Dance all of our individual intentions, visions, experiences, hopes, prayers, thanks, and needs go into them. We smoke them after we have sung the last song sending all those good things to the Spirit world. We build the Dance in community; we sing and dance in community; we support, strengthen and unify in community.
When we sit in community at the ritual of Pipe, we amplify our individual vibrational energies in our spoken and unspoken prayers. Collectively we create a stronger, more cohesive and inclusive prayer energy. In this time of change and disharmony, it is essential that we create this dynamic space and time for comfort, strength, support and action.
Our way of prayer encourages us to speak our hearts to Spirit. In our NYC Family Fire Pipe Circle Ceremony, as individual heart stories and prayers are spoken over the loaded Pipes, we can see similarities in our own stories; we deepen each other’s ability to know our own truths, our own strengths, our own needs, our own prayers. In community we form stronger, more loving relationships to each other, strengthen our individual experience of Spirit and expand our awareness of the world’s manifestations. We become more focused defenders of the people and our Mother Earth.
Not everyone who comes to our Pipe ceremony are dancers. All are called by Spirit. The communal Ceremony can be likened to a pond. We each cast our stone into the pond; the ripples overlap, combine and spread in many directions. Borrowing from the idea of ‘unto the 7th generation,’ those rippling effects can move to 7 circles beyond the ceremony itself affecting the lives of many others.