For three weeks Rabiah Nur of Spring of Light, Caryl Henry-Alexander of Ecoheremans and three local riverkeepers from the Potomac, Patuxent and Anacostia rivers came together and did a series of art, education and ceremony days. You can check out the three previous river events and ceremonies blog posts here:
So last week was the last water ceremony right before the big People’s Climate March. Friday April 28th was our Honoring Our Rivers Water Ceremony. We had over 100 people attend our ceremony with riverkeepers from all over the country who came and brought water from their home waterways.
The ceremony started off with my mom & Linda Velarde who is part of Ecoheremans boarding the boat to come across the Anacostia river. Before that while we were getting ready my mom, dad, Penny, and myself got face pained by Linda’s partner Guillermo. Guillermo did some sounds with the voice and then Penny Gamble-Williams on of the spiritual women introduced the crowd to what we were doing their that night.
Then Emily & Dean the Anacostia and Potomac riverkeepers gave a little intro about their rivers and what the riverkeepers do. Then Caryl Henry-Alexander who is an artist and worked on our amazing totems for the People’s Climate March with the community told us a little bit about that and how this project came about.
Once everyone was introduced we had a beautiful dance done by a local area African dance group called Coração Dance Collective. When they finished then Guillermo blew his conch shell to Linda on the boat and then she blew hers back to him to single they were coming up river and for people to be silent as we collect the water from them.
Myself, Penny, Guillermo and the African Dancers went down to river to meet the boat and then I collected the water they gathered from the river.
Once everyone was up on shore then Linda and Guillermo did their Aztec dance which is a very long yet beautiful dance to watch.
When they finished my mom talked about what the water meant to her and about how important it is too everyone. She talked about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments he did to test how good words make beautiful water crystals and bad words make ugly deformed crystals. One thing she said that a lot of people got a lot out of was that when it rains to go outside and dance. At one point she had everyone in the crowd put their hands out and point them at the river and say kind words and prayers to the river to help heal it. Penny then did a Wampanoag wind blessing.
After my mom talked then we did the poring of the waters together from all over the world. Water from all people from all over the country came up to pore water into a basket which was a little cracked on the sides and had was dripping on to the grass sending healing water onto the Earth to heal it. Water from the four directions North, South, East & West was brought together with water from Guatemala, the Middle East & Japan. It was incredibly beautiful to watch water coming from all over the world coming together to heal the Anacostia river.
Also during the poring of the waters we had some Aztec women from San Antonio, Texas and San Fransisco, California sang which made the moment all the more powerful. Emily who was very touched by the display that evening gave a little back ground as to where we were and why it was so important what we were doing.
Once that was finished we did a friendship or round dance which was a lot of fun. Then once the sun started to go down the Detroit Light Brigade showed us their signs which read out Honoring Our Sacred Rivers as well as a red heart water. It was really cool to see and it is the longest message they ever had put out.
Next the African Dancers did one last dance with everyone to end the evening and got everyone involved which was also a lot of fun. After the evening was over most people went home and a few of us stayed after and did some prayers by the water poring the blessed water from the evening back into the river to heal it.
The whole time we were doing the ceremony people were coming up to me and hugging me and thanking me for what we were doing which touched me. I love it that so many people who got so much out of our ceremony and felt connected to the water and the Earth.
The next day after being very tired myself and River Otter went down to the People’s Climate March and marched for a while. We meet Tyler with his friends who were carrying our riverkeeper signs while we were there and took a few pictures. We then found Sonia and Matt and went over to the Hamilton restaurant to catch up with the other riverkeepers and give them some gifts.
I really hope to continue this project in the future helping to heal water & the Earth for all so if you want to help this community grow please visit our FB page: Honoring Our Sacred Water, our Twitter page: @HonorRiversDC & our Instagram page: @honorsacredriversdc. Also follow Spring of Light & Ice Turtle Girl on FB as well for more updates on how this project is going.
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, partners & beautiful people who helped to document this project possible:
Rabiah Nur of Spring of Light, Caryl Henry-Alexander of Ecohermanas, Dean Naujoks the Potomac Riverkeeper, Fred Tutman the Patuxent Riverkeeper, Emily Franc the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Sonia Keiner, Shelby Kalm of Fair Farms, Matt Keiner, Jessie Alexander, Abdullah Yusuf, Penny Gamble-Williams, Linda Velarde, Guillermo, River Otter (Claudia), Valerie Jean & the Detroit Light Brigade, Tyler Grigsby Photography, Yudelman, Marybeth Onveukwu, & Rachel Schragis of the People’s Climate March, Natalia Cardona of 350.org, CBS Religion and many others.
To learn more about the Potomac Riverkeepers Network visit:
To learn more about the Patuxent Riverkeeper visit:
For More Info On the Anacostia Riverkeeper Visit:
For More Info On the Fair Farms Visit:
For More Info On the Waterkeepers Chesapeake Visit:
For More Info On the People’s Climate March Visit:
For More Info On the Town Creek Foundation Visit:
For More Info On 350.org Visit:
Rabiah Nur, Spring of Light:
Rabiah is a healer whose Native American roots frame her work as she is called upon to use her gifts for ceremonies, teaching intuitive counseling, retreats and healings. Due to her ability to connect with spirit she has worked with Indigenous communities from the Mayan, African, Maori and other traditions. She continues to share her gifts with others privately as well as individually. http://rabiahsol.wixsite.com/springoflight
Caryl Henry Alexander:
Caryl conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. She is also a certified Urban Farmer and grows organic veggies for her family. http://www.carylhenryalexander.com/
A community of women that weaves and reconnects communities to Mother Earth. Together they create a bold sisterhood culture of awareness, energy, and flow around place-based environmental issues, cultivating community and contributing to the greater co-fulfillment of our potential as a whole. http://www.ecohermanas.org/
Daughters of the Future Moon:
Spring of light, (Rabiah Nur. Blackfoot & Powhattan)
Womb Work, (WapajeaWalks On Water, Mississippi Choctaw/Creek),
Penny Gambles-Williams, (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag and Choctaw), Moonwoman Spirit Art Productions
have worked individually, and collectively on healing and spiritually uplifting people, protecting Mother Earth, and all of creation. As Daughters of the Future Moon, they are honoring their commitment to bring forth the healing of the water at this critical time. Drawing from the teachings of the natural world, they regularly perform ceremonies at waterways, and for Mother Earth. Water is a living organism that responds, as any other being would, to outside stimuli. Toxic dumping, trash, neglect, and negative speech impacts not only the physical body. It also causes sickness and the killing of vibrant life energy leaving behind the woeful conditions we face today. We have an obligation to continue to uplift and heal this dire situation, by infusing the critical spiritual life essence back into our water.
We are made of water, we can not survive without it. Save our water, save ourselves!
Honoring Our Sacred Water Ceremony & People’s Climate March:
Playlist of All Videos on Honoring Our Sacred Rivers:
Till Next Time…Keep Honoring Our Sacred Waters!