Worldwide Interfaith Ceremonies for the Spirit of the Sea

On Sunday, June 27, communities across the world joined in ceremony, vigil and prayer, for the Spirit of the Sea.  From Minneapolis to New Orleans, St. Petersburg to South Africa, Australia to the UK, people of all (or no) faiths came together in sorrow and healing. The purpose of these gatherings was to offer apologies for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and express hope of healing for the Waters, our world and ourselves.These ceremonies were a cooperative effort between The New Orleans Healing Center, Headwaters/Delta Interfaith, and many other interfaith, religious and secular organizations, communities and individuals.  Thank you to everyone who was a part of this.

We’ve gathered photos, prayers and reports from ceremonies around the world; we still have more trickling in, so check back next week for more!

Lake Superior


Washington, DC


Jefferson memorial, waters of the tidal basin. Blessings and prayers for forgiveness.

Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN

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About 25 people gathered on the banks of the Mississippi at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis MN. This peaceful spot, surrounded by trees and overlooked by the downtown skyline has steps that descend to the water. Prayers were offered from many traditions, but people also spoke of their personal grief at the pollution of our Waters, the deaths of oil rig workers and the suffering of so many creatures of the Sea. I opened with an invocation to all the Spirits of the Waters from the Vodou tradition. Ma Seva, a Vedic Swami (nun) offered a healing prayer in Sanskrit; Tim Printup, a Celtic/Pagan priest offered prayers to the river goddess Boann and the water deity Nechtan, and asked for our gratitude and blessings upon those who are working tirelessly on the beaches and waters in the Gulf region. Sushi Sharma, my sister and a Vedic priestess, recited:

On this day, 1,972,929,110 of the current creation era, at the Eastern banks of the Mississippi, on the American continent, at Boom Island Park on June 27th, at 7pm, we join in worldwide prayers for the Spirit of the Sea and the oil in the Gulf.

Peace in Heaven, in sky and on earth. Let waters flow to quench our thirst for peace. Let all trees and plants provide cool shade for a peaceful humanity. Let peace be in the hearts of all educated men, for them to share it with troubled minds. God is the source of peace, and His divine scripture teaches the way to that peace. May that peace extend its influence in every nook and corner of this globe. Let there be peace and only peace. May that peace come to me, too.

Rachel Dykoski offered a Catholic prayer and talked about her and her husband’s struggle as parents, to see the destruction of the Earth they hold in trust for their children. Rachel and I joined hands to recite the Hail Mary, for Mary Star of the Sea, and the divine mother who comforts us all.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and belssed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Artemis Preeshl from New Orleans emotionally thanked us for sending healing down the Mississippi to her home. Everyone came forward with a prayer from their tradition and their heart, either out loud or in silence. With each prayer or wish, a handful of rose petals was cast into the water.

After the ceremony, we gathered for a picnic. People had a chance to talk about their reaction to the oil spill, and share a little about their respective faiths. It was wonderful to connect personally with everyone there. Many people made plans to meet again and continue the discussions.

I would like to thank Interfaith Works, Minnesota Council of Churches, Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, The Meditation Center, Twin Cities Pagans, and Temple of the River, my husband Urban and everyone who attended, for their help and support to heal the Waters from which we all drink. Peace be with you all.

~Saumya Haas


Mississippi River, New Orleans


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See more of Greg’ Rhoades’s wonderful photos from this event or order prints.

We got to the levee just as driftwood sculptor, Joshua, was putting the finishing touches on his brilliant Spirit Boat. We hung my Star of the Sea banner on it as a sail and everyone placed flowers and candles on it-- just perfect. I was busy collecting trash off the levee when the skies opened up and there was an INTENSE downpour. We got SOAKED (as in see-through) and FILTHY -- all pretty hilarious. Veronica went ahead and cast her Reiki circle while it was pouring. It all was perfect and clearing and cleansing. We thought everyone had left due to the rain, but a whole throng came back up over the levee as soon as the skies cleared. Sean Johnson came back early from his trip and lead us in a gorgeous and powerful kirtan. A few of the faith leaders didn't make it, but others did. I still have the image of Margie Perez, standing in the River in her white dress, singing for Yemaya in my mind. Wiccans, Thelemites , Temple of Isis all said lovely prayers. Dr John sent us his prayer in writing by messenger.

Our ceremony for Lasiren and Agwe was so beautiful!

James Singleton's horn was transporting and soulful and mysterious and deep. Moose's invocation was awesome. He spoke the perfect words in the perfect voice -- just exactly what we all were thinking and feeling and didn't know how to say. He was accompanied by pink lightening in the twilight sky. Wow.

Agwe and Lasiren came down into several people.

They both said that we should continue to do public prayer ceremonies like this one. Agwe warned that there is a deposit of methane gas under the drill that we ought to be concerned about.

Lasiren said many things and some of this I am trying to remember from what people told me. She said that she was FINE, but that we ought to be worried about ourselves (humans). We think she's so big and there's so much of her, but she can make herself SO SMALL! She can pull herself in and be safe from us and we will be thirsty and there will be no water to quench our thirst. When we are gone, she will expand and the earth will be covered with her seas again. She said that we need to wake up. NOW! We need to learn how to swim in dreams with her. Maybe through dream work we can clean the water. Then she thanked us for doing the ceremony.

The Spirit Boat, the location with the sun setting over the Mississippi, even the lights flickering on the electric tower, the loving souls there, the participation from friends around the world -- all was perfect.

I would like to thank The New Orleans Healing Center, La Source Ancienne, Phoenix Recycling, Fellowship of Isis, OTO, Covenant of the Pentacle, Sean Johnson, James Singleton, Moose, Margie Perez, Dr. John and everyone who volunteered their talents and hearts, braved the downpour to attend, and joined us around the world.

~Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman


Melbourne, Australia



South Africa


A special prayer two of the 11 official languages of South Africa: Zulu and Afrikaans (Dutch)


"Our Mother, Our Mother
Mother of the Sea
Our Mother, Our Mother
Goddess of the Sea
Thank you, our Mother
Thank you, Mother of the Sea
Thank you, our Mother
God bless La Siren
Thank you, our Mother
Mother of the Sea!!"






We do not have any fresh or moving water near our home so I walked well over a mile to bring this offering and prayer to a place where the water has clarity and movement.

When I walked with the Singing Bowl I said the Reiki Prayer "Just for Today, Do not be Angry, Do Not Worry, Be filled with Gratitude" At each place, that I stopped to rest, I took pictures. When I found the place near the water to leave the offering, apology, and prayers, I had another vision of the Spirits of the Waters being called on by each person preparing to pray for this event on Sunday. I saw the Spirits going out from me, those waters I Know  - then to the East and over the Atlantic to Waters across the ocean, to the Moldau River, I saw the Water Spirits in Africa and the Middle East, across the Globe I heard the words "The Circle is complete"

I poured the water, left my offering, and sang with the singing bowl. When the prayers were done and it was time to leave I took a picture of the clouds across the water. There was a River Otter gamboling across the sky! The River Otter are coming back here in recent years and I felt that this was a good sign for us. When I left the prayer place it was 5:05 PM, the time when the Global Prayer event was beginning.




Water ceremony at the Southern Oregon Temple of the Goddess
Sunday, June27, 2010, in solidarity with ceremony held in
New Orleans, Minneapolis and around the world—
“Apology to the Spirit of the Sea, for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill”

Eight congregants and presiding Priestess Vajra Ma did ceremony with fresh local spring water that had been gathered that morning, contained in a brilliant blue altar chalice. First, Priestess Vajra Ma sprinkled some of the water on a sensually curved dried seaweed she had recently found at the ocean: Water returned to its source. Then she took the seaweed to the Temple’s Yoruba Altar and offered it to Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean. She held up the chalice into the center of the circle while Persephone Wolfshadow read her devotional poem of apology and adoration to the spring water and the Waters of the World:
[excerpts] "…Sweet water, coming from the deepest earth…sweet and energizing as you are to us, we must treat your mother the ocean far better than we do…I’m so sorry my dear love water…I have seen your beauty dear sister. I have felt your purity wash my soul of sadness . Your ocean surges and purges the hate of the world. You connect us to each other, all religions, water encompasses all. You nourish us in the womb and stay with us to death…we must protect you."

Vajra Ma then poured the water from the altar chalice into individual cups which each participant held to their heart, imbuing the water with gratitude and love, (knowing that water crystals respond as per Masuro Emoto's research and photographs).
We meditated on the countless times in our lives when we were blessed by water---drinking it, bathing in it, weeping and sweating it, cooking with it, seeing it in lakes, rivers, ocean and the sky, eating it in food, and in the many other ways water is part of our lives. We reflected on how we were mindful or unmindful of the blessing and interaction with water over the years. We sent gratitude and awareness to the times when we were not as mindful as we now know to be.
After imbuing the water in our cups with love and gratitude, we sent this same intention and vibration into the waters in our town, the pipes of the building we were in and the homes around us, into the streams and clouds and into the waters in the Rogue River that runs nearby. Into the water in our bodies and in all the human, animal and plant bodies in our region. Then we expanded this to the ocean and waters around the world into all countries, homes, creatures, plants and people, with special awareness of the waters and creatures which are poisoned from the oil-bleeding wound in the Gulf of Mexico.

Persephone read another devotional poem of praise and healing to the Mother Waters.[excerpts] “…O wondrous water dance with us, we will give you energy to heal the wound we have created. We pour our magic at your sacred streams that course to the rivers which surge to the ocean. Our magick and intent will help nurse the ocean to health, without you life is impossible…”
We then handed the cup to the person next to us, acknowledging how our love and gratitude affects and flows to those around us. Then, one at a time, around the circle each person dipped their fingers into the water and anointed the forehead of the person to their left, pronouncing a blessing upon them, whatever words and feeling flowed from our heart---like water. And so nine blessings were spoken. Priestess Vajra Ma then brought the empty altar chalice to each person who poured their water back, refilling the chalice in offering to the Great Mother Water. What we offer is already and always Hers—Source--flowing from Her to us and back to Her. Water is one.
WATER is the DIVINE MOTHER in action and She calling us to awaken.
WATER is the MOTHER and MIRROR of the SOUL of HUMANITY and She is calling us to unite as one human family, to remember who we are. Along with my grief, I take heart in how all the degradation, disrespect, ignorance, greed and destruction humanity has perpetrated over the centuries is presently being reflected in WATER. Water is the final place, we can go no further, for SHE is LIFE. We must awaken or die. She is calling us to awaken. So be it!”

~ Reverend Vajra Ma



Song for Sereia (Afro-Brazilian Queen of the Sea)
Marisa ...Monte .:. Legend of the Mermaid .:. Queen of the Sea
...(Vicente - Dionel - Veloso)
Ogunté, Marabô
Caíala and Sobá
Oloxum, Inaê
Janaína and Iemanjá
She is Queen of the Sea
Listen to their siren song :
Ialaô, Oquê, Ialoá
She lives in the sea
She plays on the sand
In the rocking of the waves
She spreads peace
She lives in the sea
She plays on the sand
In the rocking of the waves
She spreads peace
And who is She?
She is Queen of the Sea
Lyrics and Translation on :


1 comment:

  1. It was so wonderful to take part in this global healing ceremony. That so many took part all over the world, from such diverse faiths and groups, I am amazed and stunned.

    To have Headwaters/Delta Interfaith, in conjunction with others organize this event on such a grand scale, I'm thankful that your around. And just your first event!

    Thank you for the work that you do. I can't wait to see more photos and stories from around the world. What an amazing experience.