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Rather than burying Ashtiani in a pit up to her shoulders in a public square and stoning her to death, Iran postponed her sentence and said they would execute her by other means, not specified.
Ashtiani is one of twelve women and three men awaiting public stoning in Iran. Their crime: adultery. Unlike the women, the men will be buried only to the waist, their arms free. Lucky men. They have a chance. If the prisoner can free himself or herself from the pit before death, s/he is permitted to live.
Who can hold the world's suffering?
My inbox is full of pleas to help tortured individuals around the globe. They are in my prayers when I stand for peace, but oh, how frequently I cave, unable to bear witness to one more nightmare! Yet. What about the person who wrote that appeal? How does she hold this knowledge? What about the individuals who risk their lives to smuggle images and proof across borders that we, safe in our comfortable homes, might view the evidence, might fill out a short form registering our disgust, our plea to stop the carnage. For those who daily bear witness in their bodies and minds, what succor?
Listen to the wisdom of the grandmothers
Ordinary. Now is not the time to be faint of heart. It is time to stand, to take courage and strength in the work and wisdom of the thirteen indigenous grandmothers, already standing, and in the vision of another grandmother who stands and bears witness to suffering wherever she finds it.
In Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Alice Walker says,
I realized why Christians cross themselves. And why the people of Islam turn toward Mecca. I knew that I also needed a gesture of self-blessing that would, at the same time, symbolize blessing and protection of the world and its varied inhabitants.
I realized we, as humans, need a New World peace mudra and chant to help us through the days ahead, which will undoubtedly cause unprecedented suffering and pain. ... Spirit, the Grandmother Spirit of Earth, sent me this mudra and chant:
The mudra is to hold the thumb and first two fingers together, symbolizing unity, while making a circle around one's heart. A circle that covers as much of the body as possible. Or as large a circle as one has need. This is done three times, while chanting.
One EarthOne PeopleOne Love
One EarthOne peopleOne Love
One EarthOne PeopleOne Love
Please stand and let us together chant this blessing seven times; seven is the ideal number of people in a circle that is designed to grow the soul and transform the world.
Grandmothers, it is time to gather
What do you think of convening a virtual circle? Would you be part of mine? Can we count on each other to stand once a day, each in our own time, more if it feels right, and call on Grandmother Spirit, on the spirits of all the grandmothers, to heal the Earth, to heal us, to help us end the senseless suffering? Who do you know who might be willing to join our circle and bring this vision forward? Would you invite them?
One Earth, one people, one love.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.