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A Message of Stewardship and Community, a Prayer to Heal the Earth

Medicine Prayers Cuff Bracelet Top

There are days when the world’s fury, and our pain, are too great for any message to get through; no amount of prayer seems adequate to the task of healing.

Now, as the ruined homes and lives of residents one state away slowly emerge from the floodwaters, all pretense at governmental leadership wholly abandoned to the best efforts of ordinary people to help each other, it’s a stark reminder of how we got here. Of course, that phrase is a misnomer: To say that we “got here” implies travel, when the fact of the matter is that the dominant society has always been in exactly this place, with the occasional self-congratulatory digression and detour into an appearance of altruism. But a society built upon the twinned foundations of genocide and the chattel enslavement of other humans was always, left to its own devices as it has mostly been, inexorably headed for such a pass.

The difference now is that the Earth herself is no longer willing (or at least able) to countenance the atrocities the same society has, as part of its very identity and purpose, inflicted upon her.

And now, we are all reaping the whirlwind, innocent and guilty alike.

At this time, in this place, we know a thing or two about Mother Earth’s heartbreak — about her anger and her pain and her desperate need for healing. Our peoples live it daily with her.

As I write, the skies are split between brilliant blue and stormy gray, bisected on an east-west line. Severe storms hover just over the peaks, awaiting the push of the east wind to drive them our direction. The feel of the air and the temperature alike change from one moment to the next: now fully into the eighties, hot and far too humid; now suddenly cool and damp with a contradictory feel of clarity. The radar map shows storms all around us, if at some distance still on the other three sides, but it is unlikely that we will leave this day behind without at least a little monsoonal fury. It will be welcome, if only to wash away the heavy haze of smoke from wildfires not distant enough to permit us to breathe easily. Tomorrow, the mercury is supposed to fall significantly, and more of that which is now yet green will gold, burnt orange, or brown before the week is out.

It is an unsettled time, here and everywhere, a time of seasonal change and extremes of weather and the uncertainty of the knowledge that, should the worst happen, no one will be there holding a safety net.

It’s a time to offer a medicine prayer.

The phrase means different things in different traditions, but it seems inevitably to hold connotations not only of physical healing but of earthly balance and spiritual harmony. It’s also the title of today’s featured work, one of my favorites from among Wings’s current inventory. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Medicine Prayers Cuff Bracelet Side

A Medicine Prayer Cuff Bracelet

The medicine wheel summons the powers of the four directions to our healing, while the eagle’s feather sends our prayers to Spirit. Wings brings their collective forces together in this breathtaking cuff bracelet, connecting the four winds to earth and sky, linking the place of our emergence with the place in the heavens where the spirits dwell. The cuff’s band is wrought in in the shape of twinned eagle feathers, all hand-cut of a single piece. Each barb of the feathers is created by way of hundreds of tiny individually hand-scored lines angles downward on either side of the quill, while delicate freehand ajouré cutwork forms the natural separations in the barbs. The dots that naturally adorn eagle feathers are formed via small stamped sacred hoops, and the ends of the cuff have been lightly oxidized to bring the patterns out into beautiful relief. A delicate strand of sterling silver half-round wire, hand-stamped with dozens of chased cloud patterns symbolizing imminent abundance, form the quill shaft. At the center of the band sits a hand-wrought medicine wheel in an elevated setting, with small round cabochons placed at each of the cardinal points in the traditional colors: a white rainbow moonstone to the North; yellow amber to the East; red coral to the South; and blue lapis to the West. At the center lies a larger cabochon of rutilated clear quartz, an elemental stone that carries within it an earthy, fiery collection of shiny black schorl and gold- and silver-hued rutile. Hand-stamped directional arrows point inward from each cardinal point to the center’s vortex of power, while broken arrows between the points represent the irregularity of the path. The band measures 5/8″ of an inch across at its widest point; the wheel setting is 1.25″ across; the center cabochon is 9/16″ across (dimensions approximate). Side view shown below.

Sterling silver; rutilated quartz; rainbow moonstone; amber; coral; lapis lazuli
$1,500 + shipping, handling, and insurance

In so many ways, our generation is the most fortunate ever: We are blessed with conveniences, with technology, that even our new ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams or most intense visions. Function, navigation, mere perambulation is easier now than ever before; so, too, is communication in the global sense. It’s possible to “talk” to someone on the other side of the world in real time, to see that person’s face on a screen and read their expressions as easily as their printed words. Instantaneous links exist between the poles and around the equator, and it’s now even possible to heal at these same distances using these same tools, without the doctor being consulted ever even touching the patient.

Still, the spirits need neither airplanes nor Internet. Neither does Mother Earth; indeed, there’s a good argument to be made that she would be far better off had none of these ever been invented. But such tools exist now, and the challenge is to enforce their use for good, while denying evil access to it.

A related challenge is to use it to prevent the kind of harm that has occurred in recent days, to the greatest extent possible, and then to use it to ameliorate whatever does occur despite our best efforts.

The dominant culture is doing neither.

And so it is up to us. We need now, perhaps more than ever. a message of stewardship and community, a prayer to heal the earth . . . and ourselves.

~ Aji







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