Between September 16th and 24th, 2017, the SolSeed Movement gathered in the Ottawa-Gatineau area to celebrate the Fall Equinox and dedicate Eric's 25 acres of forest land, Buckleberry Briar and Brook, to the SolSeed movement by completing a Gaia statue on top of its highest hill.
Preparations and explorations
Ben was the first to arrive in Ottawa, on the night of Saturday the 16th. He stayed at the Saumurs' home in Gatineau, played board games, and explored the two cities by electric bike with Eric. This included a visit to an amazing topiary exhibition whose centerpiece was another depiction of Mother Earth. Here are some photos from those explorations.
Eric also took Ben to his family's lakeside cottage, Greycliff, where we explored the lake by kayak and created stencils for the dedication ritual.
By Friday the 22nd, we were all gathered at Buckleberry in time for the Equinox. We climbed the hill and performed a dedication ritual in which we painted organism tattoos onto her using spray paint and stencils. We took turns performing the ritual. Each person walked up to the statue with a stencil and paint colour of their choice and said a line of SolSeed Movement scripture. If the line was a call from the SolSeed Creed, then the congregation responded. Then the person painted the image where they wanted. Over the course of the morning we added images of organisms from every Kingdom of Life, including animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria, and viruses. Here are some photos of the ritual.
On Saturday the 23rd, we returned to Gaia's hilltop to perform a special Sabbath ritual, featuring three of our Liturgical Season rituals: Genesis to symbolize the new beginning represented by the dedication, as well as Civis and Viventibus Mundos to represent the transition from late summer to early autumn. We also performed Drumming the Eons and Brandon shared a few words about the significance of the moment. Here are some photos of the ritual.
As part of the gathering at Buckleberry, Shelley presented us with field notebooks and recruited Eric to help lead us in a project that would earn us the first ever Gaia Scouts merit patch: learning five species of tree, including their overall shapes, foliage, seeds, and other interesting facts. We drew pictures and pasted leaves and pieces of bark into our notebooks. When finished, we each received the patch and a promise that we would get capuches to sew them onto. Here are some photos of us working on our notebooks, including a few of the kids after they got their capuches.