paganpaul: (Default)
Atokirina, the seed of the sacred tree:

As usual, click the wee one for a big one (1280x1024, 98KB)
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paganpaul: (Default)
I found this article and I just have to share it.

Pagan youth service uses world of Avatar to pray for our own
By Kathy Nance

I have been looking for a way to add a hopeful note to all the despair we all feel about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. My last post was so despairing–as was I.

The children have led me to that hopeful place.

At this weekend’s St. Louis Pagan Picnic in Tower Grove Park, the young people from Four Winds Fellowship will dedicate their annual youth-led service to healing the

The Four Winds Fellowship children's service will refer to the spiritual connection with nature portrayed in the movie "Avatar."

Earth. The ritual begins at 1 p.m.

Martha, the adult who helped the children and teens put the ritual together, said that the intent is both to heal the planet and to help people rediscover and strengthen their connection to it.

The kids decided to frame the ritual around the movie Avatar. It’s something they’ve all seen, Martha said, and something they thought would be familiar to anyone who happened to come to the ritual, whether they are Pagan or not.

“In Avatar, the Na’avi are connected to the all. And that’s something we’ve lost. So many people don’t feel that connection in any way in their daily life,” Martha said.

So the young High Priestess will wear a green gown trimmed with leaves, and call the spirit of Gaia, whom the Greeks honored as the Mother of All Things. And who is honored in our times in the form of the Gaia Hypothesis, which teaches that we all are part of one living being: Gaia, the Earth.

The young High Priest will wear a green vest, furry trousers, and suede boots to call the spirit of Pan, Greek God of rustic people and places, of both the shepherds who protect the sheep, and the wild things in the forest. The God whose name means, “All.”

The four classical elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, will be honored. I asked Martha about the role Water will have.

Martha said the young man calling Water will talk about how our bodies are mostly water. And that the same water that is in us falls to the earth, flows into streams, and into the ocean, then back again as rain. That it connects us all.

I love that image. I have been thinking a great deal about the fact that our blood has the same salinity as the sea. That each of us begins life swimming in our own private ocean. That science tells us life on earth began in the sea. And that so many of our creation stories begin with the sea, with a primal Ocean Mother. Or with a sky god hovering over the deep waters, speaking, “Let there be light.”

It is as though the stories we made to explain how we all came to be carry within them the memory of our first homes.

And I think that is why so many of us are paralyzed with despair or frozen with anger at this tragedy in the Gulf. The ocean calls to us on a cellular level, whether we hear Her consciously or not. It’s like I wrote in my previous post about Avatar–just because we can’t see the connection with the naked eye as the Na’avi did doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

And so, the young people of Four Winds Fellowship and anyone who wants to join them will link arms Saturday afternoon. And they will roll their bodies forward at the waist, around in a circle, as the Na’avi did when beseeching Eywa, their own All-Mother, for aid. And the prayer will go out that we all can begin to feel the invisible cords of energy that connect all living beings. And that somehow, the hurts of Earth, Ocean and Sky can be healed, and the Balance restored.

(Original article is online here.)
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paganpaul: (Gallifrey)
As on this BBC news site:

Avatar Hallelujah Mountain in Hunan/ A scene of Pandora in Avatar
Officials said the film's images (R) were based on photos of the mountain

A Chinese mountain has reportedly been renamed in honour of the sci-fi film Avatar, after claims it had inspired scenery in the fantasy blockbuster.

The Southern Sky Column in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, will now be known as the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.

Local officials said photographs of the mountain had been used as the basis for Avatar's fictional world of Pandora.

Avatar has become the most popular film ever in China, making $80m (£50m) at the box office so far.

Xiaoxiang Morning News said the mountain was officially renamed at a ceremony on Monday.

The paper said a photographer from Hollywood had visited the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, the location of the mountain, in 2008.

"Many pictures he took then become prototypes for various elements in the Avatar movie, including the 'Hallelujah Mountains'," Reuters quoted the website as saying.

(More on the BBC news site)

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