May there be peace throughout the whole world ..
The news and images coming from Ukraine have been unbearable. We watch in horror and wonder what we can do. For those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to spare a small amount, we have donated to charities such as The Disasters Emergency Committee. What those of us who are able to, who can muster the strength of heart to do, is to bear witness, and to pray for peace. It is only now that we realise the true meaning of ‘to bear witness’ – that the appalling images that we see on our computer and television screens are a tremendous weight of horror, brutality and sorrow that we carry with us in our souls. As Druids, we have experience of being bearers, symbolically, in our rituals – water bearers, fire bearers, sword bearers, mead bearers. To bear is to carry with sacred and careful intention, to honour that which we bear. And so those of us who feel able to, who feel that they might have the strength to, may be witness bearers of what we have seen, and bear the witnessing of that suffering, and the honouring of those who have been killed and all those who are suffering right now, into ceremonies of peace and prayer.
The Druid Network have created as simple and yet profound Peace Ritual, which we have amended and will include in our upcoming gathering on Saturday 19th March at 2pm to mark the Spring Equinox:
May there be peace in the East,
May there be peace in the South,
May there be peace in the West,
May there be peace in the North,
May there be peace throughout the whole world.
We honour the fallen,
Those who chose to take arms and fight,
Those who chose to meet war with peace,
And those for whom a wakeful choice was never an option,
All those whose fate it was to die in conflict.
We honour and remember them.
(pause to name any of those who have fallen who we wish to speak of, or to remember in silence)
We honour those who are suffering,
Displaced from their loved ones and their lives,
Those who sit in cold and darkness in bomb shelters and bunkers,
Those trying to survive amongst the brutality and inhumanity.
(pause to name any of those who are currently suffering who we wish to speak of, or to remember in silence)
We stand in the web of life, each of us connected to each other.
Our thoughts and deeds ripple outwards across that web.
Today we stand for peace, today we act for peace.
Let each of us be a channel for peace.
Peace in our Hearts.
Peace in our Lives.
Peace in the World.