Sext: Noon Prayer for the Desert

priestess in process

The second panel from “Where We Stand is Holy” series (in process). This one is focusing on the desert landscape and her creatures that are under assault in the American West by fossil fuel corporations seeking oil and gas resources. Shown here is the Priestess at the center of the panel. “Sext: Noon Prayer for the Desert.” Sext, or Sixth Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office and is said at noon. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the sixth hour of the day after dawn.

The original vision for this series emerged after my return from an Animas Institute quest at Tahoma (Mt Rainier) last summer. I connected deeply to that landscape and was reminded of this commandment to Moses from the Torah: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5). When we are standing on Mother Earth, we are standing on holy ground. On our last evening together, I walked out in front of our group, removed my sandals, and chanted a song that we often sing during our community sweat lodge (changing sit to stand).

Where I stand is holy, holy is this ground.
Forest, mountain, river, listen to the sound.
Great Spirit circles all around me.
(Repeat several times)

This mantra is guiding the creation of these paintings inspired by illuminated manuscripts that included ornate borders with flowers, bugs, and creatures of all sizes. I recently changed the title from “I” to “W” as we need a radical shift in our collective consciousness around our innate interdependence with each other and the living earth. Given the recent violence in Paris, and subsequent response to it, now more than ever we need to shine our lights brighter to counter the deep darkness of our times. We need a revolutionary love for the Other, our neighbor, and all creation. May it be so.

Prayer for the Birds: 2015, 24x48", Acrylic (Where We Stand is Holy Series-In Process) NFS
The first panel completed “Lauds: Morning Prayer for the Birds.”